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Thread: Protecting camera gear from moisture

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    Member achee's Avatar
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    Protecting camera gear from moisture

    Hi all!

    Last Friday morning I was out shooting in what was mostly a light drizzle, and it got me thinking about how the likelihood my gear could get damaged by a bit of water. I did get a fair bit of fog inside my filter, so I had to take that off. After the shoot I sat my camera, lens and bag in my car's footwell with the AC directed into it, fan on high and temp on medium, for about half an hour in the hope that the dry air would dry it out.

    So... How much rain can cameras and lenses take safely? (That's a general question, but more specifically I have a 50D and a variety of lenses from a variety of manufacturers.)

    Was my method of post-shoot drying necessary / enough?

    Should I take any other precautions?

    How many of you guys put silica moisture absorbing stuff in your camera bags? (See this thread - http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...=lens+moisture)

    Thanks!

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    Member Wingnut's Avatar
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    shower cap from a hotel works well!
    Often beaten, never scared.


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    Depends on your gear how water resistant it is
    Darren
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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day archee

    Two thoughts here for you -
    a) over the years many of my cameras/lenses/tripods etc have received rain to some degree, without experiencing any major disasters. Immediately I finish a shoot & am out of the rain, I do whatever I can to remove the moisture from the items themselves ... so your efforts sound pretty good to me
    b) I am in Innisfail Qld at the moment, and the locals tell me that the ever-present humidity up here brings 'massive' problems
    I am told that 'all' the locals have de-humidifier devices to keep important stuff from going mouldy ... my host tells me that she gets 1-Litre of water a week from the bedroom dehumidifier which contains valuable clothing, documents and cameras etc

    Regards, Phil
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    Thanks guys! Yeah, I can imagine innisfail being very different from Sydney in terms of keeping your camera gear dry!

    I think I'll keep an eye out for a cheap shower cap to add to my camera bag, along with some sort of moisture-absorbing stuff.

    Anyone else? Even if you're not sure what the correct answer is, I'd be interested in hearing what you actually do (and if you've been doing it for a long time without problems)!

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    Quote Originally Posted by OzzieTraveller View Post
    my host tells me that she gets 1-Litre of water a week from the bedroom dehumidifier which contains valuable clothing, documents and cameras etc
    l
    Tell her she needs a better dehumidifier! I'm assuming she has a main powered plug in unit? Our Delonghi unit runs from about 8am til 11pm each day, and nets between 4 and 6 litres each and every DAY. We have it set up in the bedroom up one end of the house, but could probably do with one down the other end of the house too. It's concerning how much moisture is getting about in the air, hey!
    Canon stuff 5Dmk1 w/ 24-70 f2.8L, Canon 5Dmk1 w/70-200f2.8L, 100mm f2.8 macro, 50mm f1.4, 580exII
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    Phew!

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    Quote Originally Posted by achee View Post
    Thanks guys! Yeah, I can imagine innisfail being very different from Sydney in terms of keeping your camera gear dry!

    I think I'll keep an eye out for a cheap shower cap to add to my camera bag, along with some sort of moisture-absorbing stuff.

    Anyone else? Even if you're not sure what the correct answer is, I'd be interested in hearing what you actually do (and if you've been doing it for a long time without problems)!
    I'm not sure if I would have run semi-warm air from the blower in the car, over a damp camera. Moisture and heat are the two ingredients for mold to start forming. I would have just wiped everything down, bought some silica gel packets and hoped for the best.

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    Hey guys, looking for some help.
    Got caught in a big storm today and my brand new Panasonic FZ40 got soaked.
    The LCD is now fogged up, as is the lens.
    What do I do to dry it out??
    Or do I take it straight to a camera shop tomorrow?

    HELP!!!!!!!!!!!
    Point & Shoot Fujifilm Z10
    Panasonic FZ40 (yeah not a DSLR, but it's a start)

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    OK. remove the battery, do NOT turn it on! Dry it as much as possible and stick it in a big container of rice (rice soaks up moisture). Take it to the camera service centre tomorrow. However there is a very high chance it is fried and will never work again. Sorry. This is even more of a chance if it was ON when it got wet, or you turned it on since. Water and electrcity do not mix and will quickly fry the circuits etc.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Too late on the not turning it on.
    This is how I realised that there was a problem.
    Everything fires up, but their is a "lens error".
    Basically I think that because the lens is fogged up it is trying to focus with no success.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    chuck it in a container of rice overnight. you never know. And when I say stick it in the rice..bury it!

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    Done that plus shoved a couple of Silca Gel sachets in the battery compartment.

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    Well after a few days sitting in rice, I decided to give the camera another try.
    All working perfectly.
    I have also been in contact with the online seller to advise them that I have had a problem just in case it starts playing up again.
    Thanks for the help Ricktas.

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    add some spring onions and peppers to the rice and you could have panasonic rissotto for tea tonight
    cheers macca
    ps great outcome

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    Quote Originally Posted by nugai View Post
    Well after a few days sitting in rice, I decided to give the camera another try.
    All working perfectly.
    I have also been in contact with the online seller to advise them that I have had a problem just in case it starts playing up again.
    Thanks for the help Ricktas.

    I'm pleased that it seems ok, by I'm concerned over why you would talk the seller about it, why should they care ? It's not as though that you drowning the camera would be covered by warranty

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    Quote Originally Posted by achee View Post
    Thanks guys! Yeah, I can imagine innisfail being very different from Sydney in terms of keeping your camera gear dry!
    Actually Sydney is also a humid city with average humidity at 65% (Summer constant over 80%). I have lived here for 40 years and brought my original lens here from Victoria...Some of them have mold inside and I have discovered that it is not worth getting them cleaned and recoated...So the moral is to keep them in a place that is dehumidified! You can actually buy a little fridge like thing to put your camera stuff in...made just for serious photographers.
    Last edited by Doninoz; 01-06-2011 at 9:21pm.
    DON - Teachable, always learning, always experimenting, just want to know everything I can about photography!

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    FWIW I'll share two wet camera moments.

    About 4 years ago while snorkelling near our over-water bungalow in Tahiti with an old Canon 300D, its underwater housing leaked while the camera was in use.
    Back in the bungalow, I removed the battery, sponged off salt water traces, dried as thoroughly as possible and put the camera in its backpack with several silica gel packs.
    Next day, it gave no error messages and was back in business. Back in Oz I had it serviced by a camera tech and it is still performing well for my son.

    About 2 years ago I was in northern Svalbard ( High Arctic) photographing polar bears and walruses with what I thought was a well shrouded 40D. The conditions changed
    to windy-snowy-sleety and the camera yelled "Error 99". Back in the warm air conditioned cabin on our ship, I dried it as best I could and set it aside for a day's airing.
    Next day, it was back in service and captured some magnificent images during the next few weeks. After this good performance, I did not have it serviced when I came home
    and it sat unused for a month. At its next outing it was back to the "Error 99" message. Thank heaven for insurance as it needed surgery in Sydney! It continues to perform well
    as a backup crop-factor body.

    Both scenarios bear out Rick's advice: (a) don't turn it on / get the battery out ; (b) dry the equipment as best you can ; (c) place the equipment in the best moisture-absorbing environment available at the time. If it is cost effective, have the gear checked out by a reputable camera tech asap; otherwise, use it as an excuse to upgrade to new equipment.

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