Jump to content
Mattias Burling

Test - Are Vintage Lenses Really Radioactive?

Recommended Posts

I get this question a lot since I use almost exclusively old glass and have made several reviews and video guides about it. 
My thesis have always been that the authorities in charge of radiation and our nuclear facilities wouldn't let it slip through  if it was true.

But thesis are one thing, scientific proof is another. 
So a test had to be done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I wouldn't trust that "geiger counter" with my life.  You live in a civilized first world country brimming with smart over educated people.  Surely there is a university somewhere near by with a grad student that has some free time and access to premium equipment.  I would personally track down some of the most notorious alleged radiation emitters and do a mini mythbusters episode with an expert and proper calibrated equipment.

As far as Ukraine is concerned I had not heard that particular legend.  I have heard Kodak was a bad offender.  I haven't thoroughly researched this because my vintage lens collection is small and at this time not often used.  But I heard Kodak used thorium in a lot of old lenses.

Another thing to consider is some of these cheap detectors might work for gamma rays but not necessarily detect alpha particles.  I don't know.  Maybe even beta emissions are an issue.

At very least it would have been nice to see that device tested on known gamma, alpha, and beta emitters for calibration purposes.  Even a broken clock is right twice a day.  Your device only gave one reading constantly.  How do we know it isn't a broken clock?  Personally I would return it.  If you want to get into the authoritative radiation game I would save up and get a real Geiger counter or at a minimum make a friend in a physics department at a local university.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't trust that "geiger counter" with my life.  You live in a civilized first world country brimming with smart over educated people.  Surely there is a university somewhere near by with a grad student that has some free time and access to premium equipment.  I would personally track down some of the most notorious alleged radiation emitters and do a mini mythbusters episode with an expert and proper calibrated equipment.

As far as Ukraine is concerned I had not heard that particular legend.  I have heard Kodak was a bad offender.  I haven't thoroughly researched this because my vintage lens collection is small and at this time not often used.  But I heard Kodak used thorium in a lot of old lenses.

Another thing to consider is some of these cheap detectors might work for gamma rays but not necessarily detect alpha particles.  I don't know.  Maybe even beta emissions are an issue.

At very least it would have been nice to see that device tested on known gamma, alpha, and beta emitters for calibration purposes.  Even a broken clock is right twice a day.  Your device only gave one reading constantly.  How do we know it isn't a broken clock?  Personally I would return it.  If you want to get into the authoritative radiation game I would save up and get a real Geiger counter or at a minimum make a friend in a physics department at a local university.

Yeah, or I can just make a video for fun and hope that people have a sense of humor ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, or I can just make a video for fun and hope that people have a sense of humor ;)

Oh so you were mocking the "geiger counter"?  Sorry I have a background in science and sense of humor or not there is a lot of misinformation or half baked information put out by reputable journalism sources, politicians, etc all the time.  It's just when you really know this stuff and listen to lay people talk about it sometimes you can't tell if they are joking or serious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get this question a lot since I use almost exclusively old glass and have made several reviews and video guides about it. 
My thesis have always been that the authorities in charge of radiation and our nuclear facilities wouldn't let it slip through  if it was true.

 

Those authorities do a lot of picking and choosing when it comes to freaking out about radiation.  Coal fired electricity plants emit more radiation than nuclear power plants.  I've never seen a coal power plant festooned with radiation warning signs.

Also I give you vintage uranium dinnerware you can freely purchase anywhere in the United States...

rglass10.gif

I'm not an expert in this area but I personally would avoid eating off of this completely unregulated stuff.

It's funny.  People freak out about the US using depleted uranium weapons on the battle field... but don't say anything about the nondepleted uranium dinnerware in domestic homes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, or I can just make a video for fun and hope that people have a sense of humor ;)

As someone who went through the nuclear rain after Chernobyl in 1986, I can tell you that your sense of humor sucks in this case. Sorry. Or better: no apologies. Better remove that video from YouTube, or clearly flag it as a piece of humor, because it's prone to be misunderstood. 

(Aside from that, don't test Russian but Japanese lenses. Radioactive coatings were mostly used in 1970s Japanese DSLR lenses, for example in the M42 mount Pentax Takumar series.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As someone who went through the nuclear rain after Chernobyl in 1986, I can tell you that your sense of humor sucks in this case. Sorry. Or better: no apologies. Better remove that video from YouTube, or clearly flag it as a piece of humor, because it's prone to be misunderstood. 

(Aside from that, don't test Russian but Japanese lenses. Radioactive coatings were mostly used in 1970s Japanese DSLR lenses, for example in the M42 mount Pentax Takumar series.)

You dont think Sweden and Finland got nuclear rain from Tjernobyl?

Are you calling the unnatural amount of my relatives that now in their 60s have cancer liers?

If so, gfys.

No the video wont come down. Within the first hours it got tons of coments. All from people who understod the humor.

Btw, imo you can joke about anything. If you dont like it. Get of the internet.

:)

I aded the smily so you know that Im not saying this in an angry tone. Just in a calm and factual matter. Freedom of speech.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Within the first hours it got tons of coments. All from people who understod the humor.

 

 

Matty, scientific conferences and lectures will often contain humor.  It is not an either or thing.  Just because a video or lecture is humors doesn't mean it is not trying to convey an objective and/or serious point.  Even you have videos that convey very objective factual information that have a bit of humor tossed in.  The criticism I had was with the objective part of the statements not the humor.

Also after looking at the comments I'm pretty sure some of the people that viewed that video and thought it was funny also came away thinking vintage lenses are not radioactive.

I have had various highly technical jobs where I had to interface with the general public.  I can assure you there will be many people who walk away after viewing that video and think it was a legit test.  Only about 30% of Americans have a university degree of any kind.  A minority have a STEM degree.  Given the debate about vaccines in Europe and the US and the ridiculous ban on ALL so called GMO foods in Europe (as if there is any natural animal resembling a Belgian Blue cow) this video is definitely misinforming people.   Doesn't mean it isn't funny.

Anyway I didn't comment to bash.  I just thought it would be a nice idea to do a video with real equipment and experts.  As I pointed out with the Uranium dinnerware there are plenty of hazards out there nuclear and otherwise that the authorities in no way regulate.  People actually using vintage lenses on a regular basis is such a tiny part of the overall population even if there was a spike in cancer rates our epidemiological surveillance would not pick it up.  If they are indeed harmful and causing cancers and/or cataracts I can assure you we are on our own.

Nice link.  Yeah Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind cigarettes.  EPA estimates 1 in 15 homes exceeds the EPA limit for radon.  Guess how much the EPA regulates radon in the buildings where we live, procreate, and raise our children... ZERO.  So if they aren't going to regulate something that they say is widespread and kills thousands every year why on earth would someone assume they are going to regulate vintage camera lenses?!

Just because there aren't men in space suits with Geiger counters and decontamination equipment on your front lawn don't assume everything in and around your house is safe.  The government can't be relied upon to keep you safe from EVERY threat out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get this question a lot since I use almost exclusively old glass and have made several reviews and video guides about it. 
My thesis have always been that the authorities in charge of radiation and our nuclear facilities wouldn't let it slip through  if it was true.

But thesis are one thing, scientific proof is another. 
So a test had to be done.

I think that you should immediately bury your old lenses at least 100 feet under ground. And remember, we want to see photographic proof that you have indeed done this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Btw, imo you can joke about anything. If you dont like it. Get of the internet.

:)

You probably know very well that this is not true for the country where you live, which has very strict hate speech laws that don't exclude jokes.

Besides, we're not 4chan here. I would prefer this forum to be more grown-up (not only in this respect).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You probably know very well that this is not true for the country where you live, which has very strict hate speech laws that don't exclude jokes.

Besides, we're not 4chan here. I would prefer this forum to be more grown-up (not only in this respect).

As someone thats worked alot with humor and satire for Swedens largest broadcaster, What your saying is 100% false. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You would have a better chance of winning the lottery than having a vintage lens that is radioactive. Now then there are lenses that are radioactive, there has to be because of nuclear testing facilities during the cold war, but the chance is somewhere in one in a billion. And they may be destroyed by now. So don't worry about catching cancer when you buy a vintage lens. And even if they were radioactive they would not be sold or even get a chance to reach your door when shipped.

So Mattias, is Zach serious or am I getting false signals due to my broken sense of humor?

That post reminds me of the typical day at my previous job.  You can give the general public all the scientific facts they need and you will still invariably get results like this.  Now do you understand why people who actually know what they are talking about can't tell if lay people are joking?  I mean the guy didn't even have to look anything up.  All he had to do was read the thread... and that was too much effort.  I like how I predicted this and sure enough a few posts later...  Voilà.

 

I will mail you $100 if you can intelligently and accurately summarize what you just linked to and it's relevance, if any, to this topic.

By the way did you see the Uranium bowls on ebay?  I like how they advertise the glow in the dark "feature."

I like how people rely on United States government regulations to determine what is and what is not safe.  I remember the US government regulating the dangerous yellow cake and nuclear weapons in Iraq.  $1+ Trillion well spent.  To those of you who prefer US government regulations to peer reviewed journals and textbooks I leave you with the crown jewel of US government safety regulations, enjoy...

moms_demand_action_kinder_surprise.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As someone thats worked alot with humor and satire for Swedens largest broadcaster, What your saying is 100% false. 

Hmmm? I don't think so:

http://www.exponerat.net/16-arig-pojke-domd-for-uraldrig-vits-pa-fb/

("16-year-old sentenced for old joke on Facebook". That joke was a racist joke.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_Sweden

Sweden, like most European countries, definitely does not have the extent of freedom of speech granted by the First Amendment in the U.S. I'm just mentioning this here because many people on this forum are not from Europe and would therefore completely mistake your statement.

And you have witnessed here (and pointed out) first-hand in this thread that your intended joke actually amounted to misinformation and mythology. Are you a critical thinker? Do you take responsibility as a publisher? Are you a kid or a grown-up person?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...