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eptas View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eptas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Lens storage
    Posted: 12 November 2012 at 05:40
What is the best way to store lenses when not in use? I'm not talking long term storage, just storage at home when not in use. I live in a fairly wet/humid part of northern British Columbia. Thanks.....Vic.
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Bob Maddison View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob Maddison Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2012 at 08:20
Shouldn't be a real problem in BC, but if you are concerned, just keep then in zip lock poly bags, possibly wrapping them in bubble wrap first.
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brettania View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brettania Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2012 at 08:50
Put some desiccant sachets in the storage bag. Replace approx. annually.
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Bob Maddison View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob Maddison Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2012 at 09:49
Originally posted by brettania brettania wrote:

Put some desiccant sachets in the storage bag. Replace approx. annually.


For annually, read weekly unless the bag is TOTALLY sealed i.e welded closed. Otherwise they are useless. Those sachets have a limited capacity to absorb moisture and any tiny leakage will allow the package to 'breathe' drawing in moisture from outside thus rendering any absorbent useless in a very short time. When they do absorb moisture they are also trapping and fungal spores which can continue to propagate in the 'moist' conditions and hence act as a reservoir to infect your lenses!

In the factory, lenses etc. are only sealed in the bag with a desiccant sachet under almost totally dry conditions, and the bags are usually welded closed. This means that the desiccant has very little work to do.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brettania Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2012 at 10:08
Good point Bob.

There are heat-sealers for plastic bags. Or are you going to tell me they are useless as well?

While I am still thinking about it, make those bags "heavy duty".

Edited by brettania - 12 November 2012 at 10:11
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Post Options Post Options   Quote waldo_posth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2012 at 10:08
Originally posted by brettania brettania wrote:

Put some desiccant sachets in the storage bag. Replace approx. annually.


Usually silica gel is used as a desiccant. There are variants of silica gel which change their color if a maximum of humidity has been absorbed (after that you put it into an oven, heat it, so the orignal color is restored, and then you can re-use it).
Do not use the one which turns from blue to pink (carcinogenic/toxic), but that which turns from orange to grey or green (less carcinogenic/toxic).

I use plastic containers that can be sealed (Tupperware-like) for storing lenses.
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Bob Maddison View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob Maddison Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2012 at 10:39
Originally posted by brettania brettania wrote:

There are heat-sealers for plastic bags. Or are you going to tell me they are useless as well?


Heat sealer can work well but you do need to make sure that the bag really is sealed by squeezing it after sealing. The first problem is to ensure that the air you inevitably enclose in the bag is dry otherwise the desiccant will have too much work to do. And yes, plastic boxes do work too, but are much more bulky than bags! I store my little used lenses in big storage boxes that can take a lot of photo gear: their lids make a fairly effective seal.

The OP really doesn't have big problem, if he lived in the tropics especially in a rain forest area he would, all he needs are sensible precautions. What he doesn't need it to potentially make matters worse. A lens in regular use shouldn't have a problem. If fungus is the concern, then regular doses of sunlight will work wonder to prevent it!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ifreedman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2012 at 16:15
Originally posted by Bob Maddison Bob Maddison wrote:


The OP really doesn't have big problem, if he lived in the tropics especially in a rain forest area he would, all he needs are sensible precautions. What he doesn't need it to potentially make matters worse. A lens in regular use shouldn't have a problem. If fungus is the concern, then regular doses of sunlight will work wonder to prevent it!


You could probably get an inexpensive ultra-violet lamp and give them occasional doses of that instead. It would accomplish the same thing.

Honestly, though, I've never done that. I just try to store my lenses in a cabinet in a relatively dry part of the house.

Ian
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Hemisfear View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hemisfear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2012 at 21:38
I've had no real problems, but when I purchased a couple of cheap humidity meters at my local Home Depot last fall, I thought about protecting my not often used glass, as it read 85%. After searching the local stores for a plastic tub that I could use for a dry box and being very disappointed with their selection, in contrast to products that seem available to the south, I purchased a Pelican case from B&H. (Hunting supply shops did have dry boxes, but the shape and lid configuration was not to my liking)
I leave a small gel pack, you don't need much, and a RH meter to gauge the moisture. I treated the gel packs by arranging them on a baking sheet and left them in the oven for a period of time to revive them. I keep the spares in a freezer bag with my second humidity meter and they are still at about 10% after about 6 months. I was happy to see that B&H actually sold the Cinnabar colour cheaper than the other colours and it matches my Lowepro gear as well!
I hope this helps....
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Post Options Post Options   Quote foo_machi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 November 2012 at 08:40
You might want to invest in an auto dry box or dry cabinet. These things have built-in hygrometers and electronic desiccators. It's kinda like a fridge, once plugged in you're all set. There is no need to re-heat desiccators / silica gels, and you're always assured that the air inside the box is constantly dry.

I live in the tropics and humidity is a problem. My five year old dry box has kept my gear dust and fungus free. However, they don't exactly come cheap, but considering the amount of money you have invested in your camera and lenses, it's well worth it.
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Bob Maddison View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob Maddison Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 November 2012 at 09:17
The biggest problem for lens / camera storage in any climate is temperature change. A drop in temperature means that saturated air deposits it moisture on any colder surface. Temperature variation can be a major problem in the tropics as the air is often saturated with moisture and even a small drop in temperature will lead to condensation. This is especially important if air conditioning is involved. For most temperate climatic conditions, it should be sufficient to keep your gear in a more less sealed container such as a poly bag. If you need more protection, then a simple inexpensive camping "Cool Box" will minimise the temperature changes and hence minimise the risk of condensation.

It is also worth remembering that in the tropics, because of the high ambient temperature, moulds and fungi will propagate at an alarming rate, whereas in cooler climates the risks are very much less. Therefore, protection that might be essential in the tropics might be unnecessary in a cooler climate.
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