Many photographers love using vintage lenses for their unique character. With Thorium-coated “radioactive lenses,” their yellowish tint is what gives them a distinct look. However, the downside is that the color intensifies with time, turning the lens’ “character” into something that’s more of a nuisance.
If you own a Thorium-coated vintage lens that’s turned very yellow, Mathieu Stern has a solution. In his latest video, he shows you a simple and cheap method to remove the yellow tint.
The trick is in UV lighting. You can get an LED UV lamp for 30-ish dollars on Amazon, and you’ll also need a small mirror. I assume you already have one at home, and you’ll need it to place the lens on it. The process is pretty straightforward: place the lens on the mirror and shine the UV light straight onto it. The mirror will reflect a part of UV rays through the lens. After around 10 hours, turn the lens over and leave it under the UV light for another 8-10 hours. And that’s it. here’s how it turned out for Mathieu:
Watching this video, I thought “This is like Lightroom’s temperature adjustment in real life.” So if you want to get the colors right in camera instead of adjusting them in Lightroom later, I believe you can try this. And if you do, let me know if it works for you.
[How to Remove Yellow Tint from vintage Lens (FAST & EASY) | Mathieu Stern]