Radioactive Lenses

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Peter
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Would you buy one or is anyone still using any older lenses that have Thorium Oxide as a component of the glass.
It seems there are several good quality lenses from the past that fall into this category but would you risk it?
The amount of radioactivity given off seems minimal compared to acceptable exposure levels in other situations but the thought of it would stop me from owning one.
 
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Never use one as a loupe, don't store it on a shelf next to your bed, and use a different lens on a camera you carry in your pocket all the time. Otherwise, I doubt there's much risk in typical use.
 
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It's also probably not a good idea to leave the lens on the camera for an extended period if film is loaded, due to the potential for fogging.

The other problem, of course, is yellowing of the glass, but that is easily remedied :) :

 
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Keith
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Apparently [according to some vintage lens reviewers/sites at least] you'd have to have the lens up to your face for hours daily for the amount of radiation you'd get from one single X-Ray to reach you. I've never owned a lens with Thoriated glass, though they have been on my radar [Takumar 50mm 1.4 springs to mind] - I wouldn't stress on it, these vintage lenses are mostly pick up and go for a bit of fun, rarely perma-attached to the camera. If you are planning to use it very regularly maybe look into it a bit more but honestly, these days the air we beath is probably more harmful.
 
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Mike
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I'd happily buy one but they tend to be too expensive for me.
There are parts of the world with natural background radioactivity higher than many of these lenses, and from a foot away or through a camera bag the radioactivity would be undetectable in most parts of the world.
Retune's basic safety recommendations are really overkill, but not at all onerous so there's no point ignoring them even if the risk is tiny :)
 
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I really wouldn't use one as a loupe. Irradiating your eye from a mm away is asking for trouble.
 
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Mike
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I really wouldn't use one as a loupe. Irradiating your eye from a mm away is asking for trouble.
Yes that bit isn't overkill. the use of thorinated glass in eyepieces was banned long before it went out of use in normal lenses. To be fair using a lens as a loupe is a fairly usual practice.
 
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