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Thread: Mold is not nice

  1. #1
    JBW's Avatar
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    Mold is not nice

    My Sony Alpha a58 is developing mold in the LCD. I'm guessing that it is in the body as well. I asked B&H about a water / moisture / dust resistant camera that would allow me to use my Tamron 90 mm 272E lens and they suggested the Sony a7711.

    I would like to stay with Sony but if anyone can build a case for a different brand I'll consider it.
    Brian

  2. #2
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    Re: Mold is not nice

    Brian, I don't think it matters how mould, water, moisture or dust resistant your camera is because as soon as you change lens or use a zoom air containing mould spores and moisture will enter (unless done in a controlled environment room). One of the disadvantages of living in our climate.

    Depending upon how bad it is there are two things of concern, is it affecting your images and is it going to jump from the body to the lens?

    This example on my D300 has been deteriorating over the past 5 years and the camera is still fine. Should I throw it away and replace it, not a clue

    Mold is not nice

  3. #3
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    Re: Mold is not nice

    Quote Originally Posted by Stagecoach View Post
    Brian, I don't think it matters how mould, water, moisture or dust resistant your camera is because as soon as you change lens or use a zoom air containing mould spores and moisture will enter (unless done in a controlled environment room). One of the disadvantages of living in our climate.

    Depending upon how bad it is there are two things of concern, is it affecting your images and is it going to jump from the body to the lens?

    This example on my D300 has been deteriorating over the past 5 years and the camera is still fine. Should I throw it away and replace it, not a clue

    Mold is not nice
    You're not helping me convince she who must be obeyed

  4. #4
    Stagecoach's Avatar
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    Re: Mold is not nice

    Quote Originally Posted by JBW View Post
    You're not helping me convince she who must be obeyed
    Sorry Brian

  5. #5
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Mold is not nice

    Brian - unless you change / improve the way that you are storing your equipment, this will be an issue with any new camera (and gear) going forward.

    As Grahame has mentioned; you can't avoid spores in most places around the world, but in a humid, tropical climate one has to add the fact that these conditions are idea for mould growth. Buy a new camera, and you will have the same problem, as even sealed cameras will have places that are open to the atmosphere and growth there (as well as inside of your lenses) will occur.

    A sealed storage area that is dehumidified (either mechanically or through the use of desiccants) would be something I would do in your case, before investing in any more optical gear. Once that is in place, upgrading cameras and lenses would make sense, as at least they will be protected more than they are now.

  6. #6
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    Re: Mold is not nice

    Brian... When I was a photographer in Vietnam and in Subic Bay, Philippines; we used to keep our gear in a standard gym type locker that was modified with wire mesh shelves. We always had a low wattage electric bulb burning at the bottom of the locker.

    The bulb kept the locker fairly dry while the mesh shelves allowed ventilation throughout the locker.

    This seemed to keep our gear fairly free of fungus/mold. I am sure that you could rig a storage area out of Philippine plywood at a slight cost to keep your photo gear in a drier environment. Just about any type of enclosure would work - depending on the amunt of gear you needed to keep fungi free. I suspect that today, one could find a heating element combined with some sort of a fan that would do even a better job.

    This might work... https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/A...humidifiers-20

    Another thing we did was to ditch all leather accessories which seemed to be a breeding place for mold. In those days (the 1960's) cameras traditionally were supplied with leather cases and leather neck straps. Toda, I worry when I see the leather retro cases and straps for modern DSLR and mirrorless cameras.

    Of course, here in Southern California, mold is not a great problem. Most often we are well under 60% humidity and last weekend the humidity hovered below the 10% mark
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 27th October 2017 at 03:31 PM.

  7. #7
    JBW's Avatar
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    Re: Mold is not nice

    Quote Originally Posted by Manfred M View Post
    Brian - unless you change / improve the way that you are storing your equipment, this will be an issue with any new camera (and gear) going forward.

    As Grahame has mentioned; you can't avoid spores in most places around the world, but in a humid, tropical climate one has to add the fact that these conditions are idea for mould growth. Buy a new camera, and you will have the same problem, as even sealed cameras will have places that are open to the atmosphere and growth there (as well as inside of your lenses) will occur.

    A sealed storage area that is dehumidified (either mechanically or through the use of desiccants) would be something I would do in your case, before investing in any more optical gear. Once that is in place, upgrading cameras and lenses would make sense, as at least they will be protected more than they are now.
    I do keep my camera as sealed up as possible with desiccants. The problem is when i take it into the garden and and the sun comes out. Instant fog city in the camera.

  8. #8
    JBW's Avatar
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    Re: Mold is not nice

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    Brian... When I was a photographer in Vietnam and in Subic Bay, Philippines; we used to keep our gear in a standard gym type locker that was modified with wire mesh shelves. We always had a low wattage electric bulb burning at the bottom of the locker.

    The bulb kept the locker fairly dry while the mesh shelves allowed ventilation throughout the locker.

    This seemed to keep our gear fairly free of fungus/mold. I am sure that you could rig a storage area out of Philippine plywood at a slight cost to keep your photo gear in a drier environment. Just about any type of enclosure would work - depending on the amunt of gear you needed to keep fungi free. I suspect that today, one could find a heating element combined with some sort of a fan that would do even a better job.

    This might work... https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/A...humidifiers-20

    Another thing we did was to ditch all leather accessories which seemed to be a breeding place for mold. In those days (the 1960's) cameras traditionally were supplied with leather cases and leather neck straps. Toda, I worry when I see the leather retro cases and straps for modern DSLR and mirrorless cameras.

    Of course, here in Southern California, mold is not a great problem. Most often we are well under 60% humidity and last weekend the humidity hovered below the 10% mark
    If we closed our windows 2 would do our house. I store my camera in a synthetic fabric camera bag with lots of salt packs on my computer desk. Three voltage regulators are under the desk. For about 16 hours a day it is being caressed by warm dryish air. I could try low wattage light bulb.

  9. #9
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    Re: Mold is not nice

    I think that sealing the camera even with desiccants is not the best idea. Having a gentle flow of dryer air should be better. Even without a fan, the light bulb we used at the bottom of the gym locker caused a gentle flow of air since heat rises.

    The use of desiccants is reactive; while the flow of dry air is proactive.

  10. #10
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Mold is not nice

    Quote Originally Posted by JBW View Post
    I do keep my camera as sealed up as possible with desiccants. The problem is when i take it into the garden and and the sun comes out. Instant fog city in the camera.
    Put the camera and lens in a sealed plastic bag and let it sit outside at ambient temperatures until it warms up. No condensation will occur inside the bag, just on the outside. The cheapest and easiest way to protect your gear when transferring it from a cool, low humidity environment to a humid, high humidity environment.

  11. #11
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    Re: Mold is not nice

    Put the camera and lens in a sealed plastic bag and let it sit outside at ambient temperatures until it warms up. No condensation will occur inside the bag, just on the outside. The cheapest and easiest way to protect your gear when transferring it from a cool, low humidity environment to a humid, high humidity environment.
    +1. This is important not because of the difference in humidity but because of the difference in temperature. The colder the air, the less moisture it can hold. (This is why absent a change in weather, the relative humidity--humidity expressed as a percent of the maximum the air can hold--goes up at night.) If the air is sufficiently humid, the cold surface will cause condensation. So, Manfred's suggestion is the way to go.

    Re dessicants: I don't agree that:

    The use of desiccants is reactive; while the flow of dry air is proactive.
    Both will result in storing the gear in a less humid environment. When I am in a very humid environment, I store my gear in a Pelican case, which seals well, with two Pelican canisters of silica gel. There are other brands as well, but the key is to have one that includes a colorant that shows when the silica gel becomes hydrated. In a very humid environment, dessicants like silica gel hydrate very quickly, which most people don't realize. That means that after a short time, they do you no good at all. The Pelican ones can be dehydrated by heating them in an oven. I heat mine in a toaster oven.

  12. #12
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Mold is not nice

    +1 to Dan's write up. 100% correct.

    There is little difference to how the environment is kept at an appropriate level of relative humidity; active (as in with a mechanical dehumidifier) or passive (desiccant).

    A fan, in itself is not going to make any difference to the relative humidity of the air in the storage area; all it will do is move the air around; the relative humidity does not change at all. A light bulb will have two effects; it will raise the temperature of the air locally, which will introduce convection currents into the equation so there will be air movement. It will also raise the temperature, which will (again locally) reduce the relative humidity as warmer air can hold more moisture. Lightbulbs in small enclosed spaces can be a fire hazard, so probably not a great plan.

    The difference between an active humidity control solution and a passive one relates to maintenance. As long as the active solution is running, there is little we have to do other than ensure that it is operating. A passive solution, like a desiccant needs monitoring as once the material is saturated, it will become useless as it cannot absorb any more moisture. Dan's solution works because of the indicator built into it. Using a bag of desiccant (without this monitoring capability) is high risk as we have no way of telling if it is working or not.

  13. #13
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    Re: Mold is not nice

    Quote Originally Posted by DanK View Post
    +1. This is important not because of the difference in humidity but because of the difference in temperature. The colder the air, the less moisture it can hold. (This is why absent a change in weather, the relative humidity--humidity expressed as a percent of the maximum the air can hold--goes up at night.) If the air is sufficiently humid, the cold surface will cause condensation.
    Internal condensation is often a topic on watch fora. Some time ago, I wrote:

    http://tcktek.blogspot.com/2007/11/s...watch-sir.html

    A psychrometric chart tells it all:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:P...eaLevel-SI.jpg

  14. #14
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Mold is not nice

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    Internal condensation is often a topic on watch fora. Some time ago, I wrote:

    http://tcktek.blogspot.com/2007/11/s...watch-sir.html

    A psychrometric chart tells it all:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:P...eaLevel-SI.jpg
    1. Agree with your advice on freezing watches. Doing so seems to be rather counter-productive and a fast way to have your watch in need of servicing.

    2. Using the psychrometric chart suggests one has a sling psychrometer and the space to swing it around. The wet bulb / dry bulb temperatures are how relative humidity is determined. The points where lines from the wet bulb and dry bulb temperature intersect give you the relative humidity. A hygrometer is far easier to use.

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    Re: Mold is not nice

    Quote Originally Posted by Manfred M View Post
    1. Agree with your advice on freezing watches. Doing so seems to be rather counter-productive and a fast way to have your watch in need of servicing.

    2. Using the psychrometric chart suggests one has a sling psychrometer and the space to swing it around. The wet bulb / dry bulb temperatures are how relative humidity is determined. The points where lines from the wet bulb and dry bulb temperature intersect give you the relative humidity. A hygrometer is far easier to use.
    The advantage of that diagram, a Mollier-diagram in Holland, is that you can see at what lower temp you get condensation with a given relative humidity.

    George

  16. #16
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Mold is not nice

    Quote Originally Posted by george013 View Post
    The advantage of that diagram, a Mollier-diagram in Holland, is that you can see at what lower temp you get condensation with a given relative humidity.

    George
    Right idea, wrong diagram is what I was trying to point out.

    The diagram Ted posted is used to calculate the relative humidity. What we are after is the dew point, i.e. the temperature where condensation occurs for a specific relative humidity. For the case of 100% relative humidity, the wet bulb temperature is the dew point temperature, but for any other relative humidity value, the wet bulb temperature is higher than the dew point.


    Mold is not nice
    Last edited by Manfred M; 28th October 2017 at 10:29 AM.

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    Re: Mold is not nice

    Quote Originally Posted by Manfred M View Post
    Right idea, wrong diagram is what I was trying to point out.

    The diagram Ted posted is used to calculate the relative humidity. What we are after is the dew point, i.e. the temperature where condensation occurs for a specific relative humidity. For the case of 100% relative humidity, the wet bulb temperature is the dew point temperature, but for any other relative humidity value, the wet bulb temperature is higher than the dew point.


    Mold is not nice
    Mold is not nice

    Buttom ax is the temperature, vertical ax is the amount of water in the air. The red curved lines are the different relative humidity percentages. If you know the temperature and the relative humidity then you can read the amount of water in the air and the temperature at which the condensation starts, that's the 100% line.

    Practical.
    Inside the house there is a temperature of 20C and a humidity of 70%. Seek the line crossing between 20C and 70%. To the right you can read the amount of water in the air, 0.010, and to the left at the 100% line you can read the condensation temperature, something as 14C.
    Simply you could say that if the camera was outside in a temperature lower as 14C and you would enter that room, you will experience condensation on the camera.
    The figures are based on an easy reading of the diagram.

    George
    Last edited by george013; 28th October 2017 at 11:32 AM.

  18. #18
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    Re: Mold is not nice

    Quote Originally Posted by Manfred M View Post
    Put the camera and lens in a sealed plastic bag and let it sit outside at ambient temperatures until it warms up. No condensation will occur inside the bag, just on the outside. The cheapest and easiest way to protect your gear when transferring it from a cool, low humidity environment to a humid, high humidity environment.
    You are possibly assuming we have aircon. Our house temperature is the same as the outside temperature.

  19. #19
    JBW's Avatar
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    Re: Mold is not nice

    Quote Originally Posted by Manfred M View Post
    Brian - unless you change / improve the way that you are storing your equipment, this will be an issue with any new camera (and gear) going forward.

    As Grahame has mentioned; you can't avoid spores in most places around the world, but in a humid, tropical climate one has to add the fact that these conditions are idea for mould growth. Buy a new camera, and you will have the same problem, as even sealed cameras will have places that are open to the atmosphere and growth there (as well as inside of your lenses) will occur.

    A sealed storage area that is dehumidified (either mechanically or through the use of desiccants) would be something I would do in your case, before investing in any more optical gear. Once that is in place, upgrading cameras and lenses would make sense, as at least they will be protected more than they are now.
    I do keep my camera in a camera bag with bags of chemicals to absorb moisture. The problem is found outside. I will be merrily shooting away when the sun comes out from behind the clouds. Instant steam bath as the sun heats the earth and the moisture is put into the atmosphere. My entire camera fogs up.

  20. #20
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    Re: Mold is not nice

    Even ifr i do say so myself this thread has taken an interesting turn. But to clarify one point...

    My problem is not so much humidity during storage as it is humidity during shooting. I'm out there having fun, the sun comes out instrant sauna as the moisture in the earth and on the plants is vaporized.

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