Radioactive Camera Lenses?

1 reply [Last post]
eire1274
eire1274's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/12/2003
Posts: 1147

An interesting article on PetaPixel: http://petapixel.com/2013/05/03/decades-old-lenses-may-be-radioactive-especially-if-theyre-made-by-kodak/

On my old 35mm, a Pentax K-1000+, it was a pro-grade ALL MANUAL camera body, which was nice, because through the 90's when I was shooting exclusively on film, the SLR industry had shifted entirely to auto-focus lenses, meaning that there were a ton of old manual-focus lenses out there for next to nothing. Which means I've owned several of these radioactive lenses.

My sister still shoots with that camera and a 52mm Vivitar lens, which is packed with early 70's Kodak glass. I knew this lens was a problem, because if I left film in the body for too long (which I was prone to do) with the Vivitar mounted it would be speckled with bright unexplained overexposure spots when I developed it. Film reacts to radiation just as it does with light, and this is a simple proof that something in the Vivitar was contributing exposure.

The plus is, the radiation output is low enough (and short ranged, under 3 feet) that using the lens every day for an hour, you wouldn't absorb significant radiation. You'd have to put it under your pillow and sleep on it for decades to cause any real damage. But it leads you to question what else is out there that could be dangerous or toxic because we didn't know what was in the materials when it was produced.

Nick McDermott

spawnkiller
spawnkiller's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/06/2012
Posts: 310

WOW, wasn't even thinking some lenses were radioactive !!! That scare me a little, many products we're using are surely not good for our body... Micro-waves, cellular, wi-fi, imagine if all that is somehow dangerous and only the next generation realise it...

Gaming PC: MSI Z77A-G45 ::: Intel Core I7 3770k @ 4.83Ghz ::: EVGA GTX680SC Signature ~1300mhz Boost/7122mhz ram ::: 16GB 4*4gb G.Skill 2240mhz CL10 ::: ASUS Xonar DX ::: Crucial M4 128gb (windows) + Intel 330 180gb (Steam games) + 1TB Caviar Black (storage) ::: Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold M1000 ::: Antec P280 ::: Noctua NHU12P SE2 ::: ASUS VE247H ::: Logitech G510 ::: Cooler Master Storm Sentinel II ::: Logitech X530 ::: Steelseries Siberia V-2 Black & gold edition

98% Of people under 25 surround their minds with rap music, if you're part of the 2% that stayed with rock, put this in your signature, ROCK IS BETTER!