Battling Steamy Camera Lens
A dehumidifying cabinet is the best way to provide full protection for your camera and all your photography accessories from humidity. For every serious photographer, you will find a dehumidifying camera cabinet in his home, studio or office. There are two types of dehumidifying camera cabinets in the market: electronic dehumidifying dry cabinet and airtight dry container.
Electronic Dehumidifying Dry Cabinet
Professional photographers tend to opt for an electronic dehumidifying dry cabinet to protect their photography equipment. This is mainly because it can optimize the level of humidity in the box where camera equipment will be kept dry and safe at all times. All you need to do is to preset the optimal humidity level and you will no longer have to worry about finding affected camera tools from fungus or dust mites. To maximize results, it is recommended to preset the dehumidifying dry cabinet at an RH (relative humidity) range of 45 to 55%.
Airtight Plastic Container
The airtight plastic container is a different concept that keeps humidity at bay by isolating the camera equipment from unwanted exposure of air, insects or moisture. Normally, packets of moisture-absorbing silica gel or other kinds of dehumidifying agents will be placed inside the container to maximize results. You can also opt for a “dehumidifying case” which has a similar function with a dehumidifier in reducing humidity levels. The “dehumidifying case” tends to be electrically powered so you can effortlessly keep moisture off your precious camera gear at all times.
It is important to bear in mind that not every dehumidifying agent can be put in the airtight plastic container. Naphtha or camphor mothballs should never be placed in the container that stores the camera or close to equipment that produces strong magnetic fields as they will release toxic fumes that pose a risk to the camera lens and films. While a humid environment will encourage fungus, an overly dry container will also damage your camera tools by drying out the lubricant.
Caring for Your Camera Equipment
To ensure your camera tools are kept in their excellent conditions, you need to take good care of them on a regular basis, apart from only using the above hacks to fight humidity off. Below is a list of practical ways we can use to take care of our gear.
- Take Our Camera Out on a Sunny Day
The concerns that a camera will get damaged from the exposure of sunlight is misplaced. In fact, exposing your camera tools to sunlight from time to time will not only keep unwanted moisture off, but it will also prevent bacteria and mold from growing. So, why are you still hesitating? Take your gear out on a sunny day from now on!
- Remove Batteries from the Camera
Do not let batteries sit in the camera unused for an extended period of time. Always remember to remove the batteries from your camera as a battery fault could potentially cause the batteries to leak or melt in your camera, causing unnecessary damages.
- Use Your Camera At Least Once a Week
As with all the electric products, you should not leave your camera unused for an extended period of time. Even though you might not need to use it very often, you should let it run in some form from time to time to make sure that it is still functioning properly.
- Keep Your Camera Off the Heat
Camera equipment is very delicate and at times, fragile. Most of the parts cannot withstand heat, for example, plastic which is prone to deform affecting the shape if it is exposed to a high level of heat. Do bear in mind to keep your camera equipment away from heat.
- Watch out for Temperature Change
Temperature change is often overlooked when it comes to caring for your camera. Irreversible damage could be done to the camera and its batteries when the camera is subject to sudden temperature changes. If you cannot avoid taking your camera to environments where the temperature will vary remarkedly, you should always cover your camera in a protective case, insulating it from rapid temperature change to minimize moisture building up on the lens.
- Turn Off the Power Before Changing Camera Lens
When the camera is on, static charge is likely to build-up on the surface and dissipate, attracting dust particles to the sensors. To minimize potential damages on your camera tools, you should turn off the camera before changing the lenses.
- Never Put Your Camera in the Drawer
You should never put your camera in the drawer, as the drawer tends to have a high level of moist, providing an ideal environment for mildew to thrive. If you do not own a dehumidifying dry cabinet for your camera, you should store it in a cool and dry place.
Camera performance depends heavily on how users take care of their equipment. It is useful to learn these hacks by heart to help you better protect your precious camera from humidity, and other forms of potential risks that might cause damages to the parts.