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Thread: Fogging of lense and fungas

  1. #1
    pinakibaidya's Avatar
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    Fogging of lense and fungas

    Hi,Friends.I often face the problem of fogging of lense whenever i hurriedly take out my camera from my box and try to shoot.Last time i missed some shooting oppurtunity during my daughter's b'day celebration.I live in Himalayan town Darjeeling which is about 7000ft from msl.Weather here is cloudy and humidity is very high.Another thing i am worried about is fungus.It grows on almost every surface specially during mansoon.Is there any way out?Please help.

  2. #2
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Fogging of lense and fungas

    You have two separate issues to deal with; one is keeping the equipment dry for longer term storage and the second part is managing condensation. I ran into significant condensation problems on a trip to South-East Asia and did a bit of thinking and research for my next trip to parts of the world with similar issues:

    1. Longer-term storage - This is to protect your equipment from getting mouldy due to high humidity. Storing them in an air-tight container that has a dessicant in it would be the easiest / cheapest solution. Descciants come in all shapes and sizes, from simple throw-away packages of silica gel, to packages that indicate that they are used to to forms that can be reactivation (heat).

    I was looking at sites like this one: http://www.jakesmp.net/CSD_Silica_Ge...ica_004_M.html


    2. Condensation - This is what happened when you tried to take a picture of your daughter and is a result of the camera being cool enough for condensation to form when you brought it out. I've run into the same issue when stepping out of an air-conditioned hotel room or car and into a warm, humid environment. The only solution here is to allowing the equipment to come to ambient temperature before exposing it to the humid environment. If you take the route suggested in point 1, leave the camera and / or lenses in the dry storage container (plastic bag?) for a reasonable length of time; probably 30 - 60 minutes and allow it to warm up. If it is in a sealed plastic bag, the condensation will form on the outside of the bag where the camera touches it, but will remain dry inside the bag.

    Something to be aware of. Lens caps and filters can act as a barrier and trap moist air. Plastics used in modern camera a good insulators. I've been in situations where I followed my own advice and when I removed the lens cap or filter, the front lens element was still cool enough for condensation to form, resulting in a fogging issue.

    Once it is at ambient temperature, take the pictures and when you are ready to store the camera again, put it back into the sealed bag with dessicant.

  3. #3

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    Re: Fogging of lense and fungas

    Hi,
    Wow, average rainfall of 3000mm per annum. Temperatures in the region of 20 C high. No big temperature changes though. I would imagine your biggest problem is shooting in constant foggy wet conditions.

    Keeping your camera dry under those conditions will be difficult. I would imagine if I was going to shoot mostly under the conditions you are facing, it would be a good idea to find some good protective cover for your camera.
    http://www.warmcards.com/SJ1.html A link to a storm jacket camera cover.

    You will also need serious protection for storing your camera in those conditions. Keeping moisture away from your camera when not using it, use a lot of silica sachets in whatever you store your equipment in. I use an aluminium case for my camera and lenses, with plenty of silica sachets. You can dry these sachets in an oven from time to time. Aluminium is a good conductor of heat and if the camera is not subjected to sudden temperature changes it reduces the chance of condensation. The aluminium case cannot absorb moisture like a bag made of cloth.

    You must realize in a high humidity environment, with so much dampness, as the area you stay in, the padding in a cloth bag will absorb a lot of moisture. (This might be the cause of lenses “fogging”).
    YOU NEED TO KEEP YOUR EQUIPMENT DRY AT ALL TIMES.
    What material is the “box”, you refer to for storing your camera, made of?
    Hope this will help.

    Please post a few pictures of the area you live in. Must be a beautiful place.

  4. #4
    pinakibaidya's Avatar
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    Re: Fogging of lense and fungas

    Thanks Manfred and Andre for your valuable advice.I used to keep my camera in bag made of cloth.But recently i discarded the bag as i found fungus outside.Now i keep it in a bag made of foam with extra padding inside.I know very few people will face this problem regularly.I noticed condensation mainly occurs during changing lense.That is why i keep one lense attached to camera even during storage.Is it good or bad for my camera.I have posted a few pics of Darjeeling.You can follow my posts in recent past in this forum.Really it is a beautiful place.I am posting a few pics here.Fogging of lense and fungas,Fogging of lense and fungas,Fogging of lense and fungas

  5. #5
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Fogging of lense and fungas

    It is a very beautiful place. Thanks for posting the images.

    If you are seeing fogging when you change lenses, that would tend to tell me that you are storing your camera in a relatively cool place and when you change them, the moisture from the air is condensing on the optical surfaces. This also means that the moist air is also getting into your camera body when you do the lens change and condensing. Some cameras are better sealed than others, but they do have to allow for pressure equalization due to altitude changes.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the moisture you cannot see can be causing problems. Elements like the shutter are very precise devices and the last thing you want is condensation and mould growth in these or having bits of mould accumulate on your AI filter. This condensation is likely occurring when you remove the lens.

    My camera manual states the operating conditions for my camera at 0 - 40°C at less than 85% humidity and no condensation.

  6. #6
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Fogging of lense and fungas

    Hi Pinakibaidya,

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinakibaidya
    That is why i keep one lense attached to camera even during storage. Is it good or bad for my camera?
    To answer your specific question, in general, no damage should result from keeping a lens on the camera while not in use - in fact the less times you expose the inside of the camera to the world, even in a normal place, the better - so yes, it is best to keep one on. I see no point in taking it off to put the body cap on, then next time you need it, taking off the body cap to put usually (in my case) the same lens back on.

    Your locale certainly looks very nice, I have heard of Darjeeling, but imagined it, like most cities, as being at sea level - how wrong can I be

    I have a small slotted plastic box with some dessicant crystals in, they are pinky/orange when dry and go sort of bluey/green when damp, this is easy to dehumidify in a microwave oven, it takes several 1 minute sessions, opening the door to let the steam out between, to dry it out again. Fortunately, I only need to do it every couple of months though! I was given it, so not sure where they can be bought from, but someone else may know, I find it easier to handle than the little sacks of silca gel.
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 17th July 2012 at 05:43 PM.

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Fogging of lense and fungas

    When I worked as a photographer in Vietnam, we kept our caameras/lenses in a cabinet with a low wattage incandescent bulb in a fixture at the bottom of the cabinet which was kept burning 24/7. The bulb did not heat up the cabinet to a degree that would damage the camera/lenses but, it kept the humidity level down so we had no probems with fungus. It also kept the gear at a slightly higher temperature so when we exited the bulding, we did not have moisture build-up when the gear at a lower air conditioned temperature hit the high temperature and high humidity outdoors. We always kept lenses on our cameras in storage. In fact, we usually shot with several cameras so we would not need to switch lenses in the field.

    One thing that we would do is get rid of any leather camera or lens cases and we would not use leather camera bags. Leather equipment is not common these days but, was very common in the 1960's and would become a breeding place for fungus and mold...

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