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Are Mamiya ZM lenses radioactive?

Discussion in 'Film and Vintage Forum' started by mamiya_rz67, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. mamiya_rz67

    mamiya_rz67 Member

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    After buying a vintage Mamiya 1000 DTL 35mm camera with a 55mm lens that I found out was radioactive (I never even knew that vintage lenses were sometimes made with radioactive materials!), I'm a bit paranoid now.

    I own a Mamiya ZM 35mm camera with 50mm Mamiya-Sekor E lens. It does not have the characteristic yellowing of radioactive glass and doesn't show up on lists of known radioactive lenses, but I would just like to double-check.

    Thanks you!
     
  2. Roger S

    Roger S Crazy Canuck Administrator

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    Hello and welcome to the forum.
    The Mamiya 50mm f/1.8 was measured and tops out at 0.42 μSv/h for radioactivity in the front element, and 1.164 μSv/h for the rear element. Apparently it was identified as thorium-232 in the glass. However, the tests came back as negative when the lenses were attached to the camera as the metal body shielded any radiation.

    OK, next trivia question? ;)
     
    mikew likes this.
  3. mamiya_rz67

    mamiya_rz67 Member

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    Thanks, but the lens I have is 50mm f/2, not f/1.8. It is not an M42 mount lens. It is a Z-mount lens. The design of the markings on the lens are similar to my Mamiya 645 Pro, so I'm guessing they were made around the same time.
     
  4. paulmag

    paulmag Always on Honorary Life Member

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  5. lundrog

    lundrog Member

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    Likely the rad fallout is less than a couple feet. Just don't stare into the lens with out glasses for hours at a time... or sleep with it in your pocket... with a lens caps you'll block any rad as well.
     
  6. Agiledogs

    Agiledogs Active Member

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    Besides the list of lenses there is some great info in here....Especially concerning eye-pieces. Corneas are especially sensitive to the types of radiation emitted from the lenses and eye pieces. In general the camera and lens case should offer general protection when in use and when in storage. Note also that the alpha and beta particles are also blocked by the deal layer of skin so the only true worry would be in the case of the eye pieces due to the effects upon the cornea.

    If you have one of these lenses though here are some huge never do's.

    "spit shine"...dab a cloth on your tongue and clean the lens. subsequent dabs would bring potential particles indie the bodies natural layer of protection
    Clean using any type of blower device as exposed dust particles can be inhaled....instead use something like a damp cleaning cloth

    This should provide you more than adequate protection from any throrium impurities from the lens.

    Keep in mind that on contact they are talking about levels being 10 mR

    There are 1000 mR in 1 REM

    It takes at least 10 REM in a single dose to produce any real notable effects.

    As mentioned you get as much from an xRay as you would sleeping with the lens elements touching your chest for 1 hour.
     
  7. slipper

    slipper Here a lot Premium Member

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    Definite hi viz jacket required.??
     
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  8. Ramble Vision

    Ramble Vision Mountain Climber Super Moderator

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    three man crew and rescue hoist for sure :)
     
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