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Thread: Frosting on Sony SEL55210 - Causes? Any Remedy?

  1. #1

    Unhappy Frosting on Sony SEL55210 - Causes? Any Remedy?

    Today I was preparing for an outing with the subject lens, and figured I'd bring it over to a sunny window to get a good look at the outer lens and give it some air puffs. In the sunlight, I discovered that a lens behind the outer lens has what appears to be a permanent residue.

    Disappointing, to say the least.

    So several question occur to me:

    1) Is this fixable, or is the lens toast? Being not among the most expensive of such lenses, I have a feeling that the cost of repairing/refurbing it might not be practical.

    2) What causes this? I'd guess it might have been something like going from a warm, humid outdoor environment to shoot something going on in the back yard, then going back in to an air-conditioned space, and having condensation ensue.

    3) Are all lenses subject to this, or is it just these less-pricey ones that are prone to damage from whatever caused this?

    Exhibit 'A':

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  2. #2
    Elite Member leuius's Avatar
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    Hmmm...

    When you put the lens on the camera, do you see the "fog" in your image?

    1) Is this fixable? I have no definite idea but the thought of having to remove the front element and cleaning what is behind comes to mind.

    2) What causes this? My guess is that humidity/condensation got trapped inside the lens. Was this lens ever rained on? Is the residue wet or has it dried off?

    3) I would hope more expensive lenses to be better sealed. However, I have that same lens and never experienced anything like that. With a focal this long it is used almost exclusively outside, in hot or cold conditions but I am careful when getting my equipment from a cold place to a warmer place.

    Good luck,

    Stef

  3. #3
    Thanks Stef.

    Hard to say for sure with the few shots from yesterday. Lighting wasn't so good once we arrived on location - rather overcast. But I think there might be more chromatic aberration than usual, albeit when view full crop.

    I've taken a few test shots at work today, and I'll see what's what tonight.

  4. #4
    Elite Member leuius's Avatar
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    Hi Doug,

    In your tests, try various apertures, from wide open to mostly closed on near and far subjects. You are more likely to see "something" at high f/stop, including eventual sensor dirt.

    Based on what you see (or ideally *not* see), the lens may still be usable. A cleaning job could be useful for peace of mind though... and probably not that expensive considering that the overall mechanisms are in order. I would visit a local photography technician as opposed to sending back to manufacturer, for something "minor".

    Regards

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by leuius View Post
    Hi Doug,

    In your tests, try various apertures, from wide open to mostly closed on near and far subjects. You are more likely to see "something" at high f/stop, including eventual sensor dirt.

    Based on what you see (or ideally *not* see), the lens may still be usable. A cleaning job could be useful for peace of mind though... and probably not that expensive considering that the overall mechanisms are in order. I would visit a local photography technician as opposed to sending back to manufacturer, for something "minor".

    Regards
    Noted, thanks

  6. #6
    I took the test shots at the office. The one thing that strikes me is the somewhat low contrast - but I can't honestly say if it's a step-change from normal. I seem to recall always goosing contrast with this lens in editing.

    But knowing how light, uniform backgrounds can bring out any lens blemishes, I took a series with that feature. And in editing, there are indeed defects. The constellations of spots below show up in the same locations from shot-to-shot. I checked the outer lens frequently, so its either due to an element inside the barrel or on the sensor.

    Unfortunately, I didn't have the presence of mind to change the lens to see if the same spots showed up, which would implicate the sensor.

    Nevertheless, I think I'll give the camera shop in town a call, and see if they can facilitate a cleaning of that foggy element for a less-than-extortionate fee.

    Here's an example of the spots I was seeing, as enhanced by Lightroom's Spot Visualizer -

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  7. #7
    Elite Member leuius's Avatar
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    Hi Doug,

    Looks likes sensor dirt to me... it doesn't seem to match what we can see of the lens front hazing pattern, which appears real tight.

    You could give your sensor a quick cleaning...

    I don't remember having low contrast with the 55-210. It's not stellar (compared to higher end Zeiss optics for example) but still very competent. Can you tell if specific areas of your shoots display lower-than-usual contrast that would be consistent with the pattern of your lens element?

  8. #8
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    I reckon its mold or fungus....
    Camera : Sony A6000
    Sony Lens : FE 90mm f/2.8 G OSS Macro , 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS, 10-18mm f/4 OSS ultra wide,FE 16-35mm f/4 OSS ZA Lens
    Sigma Lens : 30mm f/2.8 DN

    500 px : https://500px.com/stevemeier

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by leuius View Post
    Hi Doug,

    Looks likes sensor dirt to me... it doesn't seem to match what we can see of the lens front hazing pattern, which appears real tight.

    You could give your sensor a quick cleaning...

    I don't remember having low contrast with the 55-210. It's not stellar (compared to higher end Zeiss optics for example) but still very competent. Can you tell if specific areas of your shoots display lower-than-usual contrast that would be consistent with the pattern of your lens element?
    I'll change the lens and see if I see similar patterns - that'll indicate whether or not it's sensor contamination. But no, I haven't seen anything that I can correlate to specific features of the hazing.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    I reckon its mold or fungus....
    Blarg! Perhaps I'll drop it into a vat of Clorox.

    Then again...perhaps not

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