View Full Version : Storing Camera Gear away from Humidity/Damp
I would be interested to hear from those who live in sub-tropical/tropical climates such as Brisbane and above and what they do to store their camera gear away from the humidity.
I live in Darwin where the humidity hits the high 90%, I have heard of people investing in those de-humidity cabinets and the like and at one point looked into buying one myself. I have heard that the best way to avoid fungus is buy subjecting your lenses to sunlight ie. take them out and use them regularly. I am generally careful when going from airconditioned environments to outdoors so that condensation isn't a problem - in this case I keep my gear in the bag for about 1/2 an hour so that my gear isn't subjected to the quick changes in temps (condensation). This is all I have done other than keeping my gear clean and dust free and although I have only had it for 2 years I have not had any problems with fungus. A friends husband who is a tog had to replace heaps of his gear and his is kept in de-humidity cabinets - go figure :confused013
I don't store mine, both my cameras, two flashes and five of my lenses sit on the bed in the spare room as I use them all the time
If I did store it I would put buy those sachets of silica gel/crystals I think there is special one for cameras ?
After six years I have never had any problems.
The heavy, telephoto and wide angle lens I don't use often I put them out on the back decking table a few times a year its undercover though the sun comes under the roof in the Winter, Spring and Autumn.
If you are using the silica gell type bags to keep things dry, make sure you take them out of the camera bag every month or so and put them into the microwave oven, set on high, for a couple of minutes to dry them out.
They can only absorb a certain amount of water, so they need to have the moisture removed from them regularly to keep them working.
The microwave does a good job of getting rid of any moisture they might be holding.
de-humidity cabinets don't last forever. I had one that stopped working, I had to replace the 'motor' bit.
there's no way to know it's stopped working, as the light still comes on. You must look at the humidity guage and realise it's not going down.
apart from that, de-humidity cabinets are such a stress free way vs managing silica gell type bags. and unlike compressor based cabinets, the gel based ones don't use much electricity. it basically has a bag of special gel, it opens a door to inside, then opens a door to outside and applies some heat to expel the captured water. this cycle happens hourly.
thus it works much faster than gel bags, since they're always in a state of mid-wet
Thanks for your comments everyone, at the moment it seems like most people are dealing with it without dry cabinets (find it amusing that one poster said they know someone who has used one and they still had problmes)
I have a dry cabinet in Singapore. Most Singaporeans who have more serious camera gear do as the RH average is 90% there abouts. No one will get fungus with a dry cabinet, i don't see how one person will ever do unless his dry cabinet is spoilt. Bringing your gear to hot and humid places is fine for short term and if your hotel room is airconditioned, the RH % is most likely around the 50-60 range and thus don't need to bother packing silica gels as well. There are 2 main types of dry cabinets, digital ones and analogue ones. Digital ones are more expensive (not by much) and easier to manage as all you do is set the RH on the settings lcd. The analogue one you will need to fine tune a knob over time based on your readout. I have read that setting too low a set RH % will cause seals to crack as well. Don't know how true it that but it does make sense depending on the type of rubber used.
Depending on the amount of silica to dry, you will vary the time in the microwave at medium or low temperature. High temp tends to heat up the outside bits first and the inner ones don't get "dried" out if you're doing chunks of them. My dad who used to dabble a little in photography had a air tight box for the camera gear and bottle of silica in it and would microwave it every year or two. Also high temp will cause the gels to "over dry" and crack. Once they crack apparently they're gone so i was told.
I have a Dry Cabinet that is lockable and I built a Jarrah and Jarrah burl cabinet for it to go in- that is lockable.
My gear is cleaned at least once a month or every time I use it.
It Took $54 off my insurance premiums.
I bought a couple of those dehumidifying eggs (I think Mongo mentioned them here somewhere) and have one in each of my camera bags. They have the silica crystals in them, but also have an indicator on the outside of the egg that tells you when you need to stick it in the microwave to dry them out again. I've had one lens (that I know of) with fungus in it. A camera shop in Korea bought it though...very decent of them :D
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