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  1. #1
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    Help! Telephoto fell into salt water! What next?

    Help, please! Yesterday, the kit telephoto lens (75-200) from my new Sony Alpha-100 fell into the ocean while I was photographing some boats. It sat in salt water for about 12 hours before the tide went out and I could find it. I immediately put it into isopropyl alcohol, hoping the alcohol would extract the water (it's a trick I use in woodturning to dry out wet wood).

    I removed the UV filter from the front, and tried moving the mechanisms. A narrow, black felt band that was behind the focusing ring fell out -- it had been held in place with glue, which failed.

    The lens is full of water/alcohol. What do I do next? I am relatively comfortable with optical systems (I used a microscope in my day job as a pathologist), but I'm not sure how hard it is to dismantle and repair a lens.

    Thanks so much for your advice.
    Charles in Victoria, B.C. (who is hoping hye doesn't have to buy a new telephoto lens)

  2. #2
    Member gryphonslair99's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Telephoto fell into salt water! What next?

    What Next? Go to a good photography shop and buy an new lens. That one is now a wet paperweight.

  3. #3
    Not-so-recent Nikon Convert livin4lax09's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Telephoto fell into salt water! What next?

    salt water + electronics = no good. Sounds like you're going to have to buy a new lens. good thing its not a really expensive one.

  4. #4
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Telephoto fell into salt water! What next?

    Check Adorama, Beach Camera and B&H photo video for a new one.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

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  5. #5
    Senior Member cyberlord's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Telephoto fell into salt water! What next?

    If this was a fully manual lens, it might be saved. The new lenses have micro circuitry in them that the salt will eat in no time.
    My blog - Photography Rulez


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  6. #6
    Not-so-recent Nikon Convert livin4lax09's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Telephoto fell into salt water! What next?

    given he said the kit lens from an alpha, Im betting its AF.

  7. #7
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Telephoto fell into salt water! What next?

    To try and save the lens it would have needed to be flushed out using fresh water immendiately and for a while to get rid of the salt which the alcohol won't do. However, I have never seen electronics survive more than a dipping in salt water.

    It could have all sorts of mud, sand, small critters... in the lense that would trash it.

    Best advise is buy a new lens and protect the camera body.

    Roger
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

    My Web Site: www.readingr.com

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  8. #8
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Telephoto fell into salt water! What next?

    Quote Originally Posted by crsmith
    Help, please! Yesterday, the kit telephoto lens (75-200) from my new Sony Alpha-100 fell into the ocean while I was photographing some boats. It sat in salt water for about 12 hours before the tide went out and I could find it. I immediately put it into isopropyl alcohol, hoping the alcohol would extract the water (it's a trick I use in woodturning to dry out wet wood).

    I removed the UV filter from the front, and tried moving the mechanisms. A narrow, black felt band that was behind the focusing ring fell out -- it had been held in place with glue, which failed.

    The lens is full of water/alcohol. What do I do next? I am relatively comfortable with optical systems (I used a microscope in my day job as a pathologist), but I'm not sure how hard it is to dismantle and repair a lens.

    Thanks so much for your advice.
    Charles in Victoria, B.C. (who is hoping hye doesn't have to buy a new telephoto lens)
    Well the lens to be saved has to be completely disassembled, and washed and dried. Since the lens has no power source in it (batteries) any electronics should be ok as long as the lens is disassembled quickly. Even without a power source the dissimilar metals will create a battery and corrosion will very quickly make the lens worthless. On how long it will take to happen I have no idea but after 72 hours it could be a goner.
    GRF

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  9. #9
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Telephoto fell into salt water! What next?

    Like others have said, buy a new lens. If you chose to get this fixed/cleaned, it will cost you more than a new lens.
    Mike

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  10. #10
    Seasoned Amateur WesternGuy's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Telephoto fell into salt water! What next?

    Ouch!! Personally, I would be checking with my home owner's insurance to see if there was any coverage - it is a personal possession. If this photography is simply a hobby (serious or not) you might get some relief. HTH.

    Cheers,

    WesternGuy

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