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Thread: Is My Dry Cabinet OK ?

  1. #1
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    Default Is My Dry Cabinet OK ?

    I seldom take pictures these days, call it laziness, call it a temporary loss of passion for photography, whatever. So most of the time, my cameras and lenses sit in the dry cabinet which is set to approx. "medium" in the humidity setting. Only occasionally, I take the camera a a few favourite lenses out for photo taking for some ocassion. Its been like this for a number of years. Recently I took out my lenses and cameras out to check them, and was horrified to discover the following :

    1. The film camera that I never use these days ( cos I use my digital ) - some of the "rubber" parts feel a bit sticky ! The other plastic parts feel ok.

    2. Some of the lenses that I seldom use, the "rubber" parts look whitish, the other non-rubber parts look ok. If I wipe the whitish stuff, it comes off.

    3. I found some fungus (?) growing on a couple of the lenses that I seldom use ( white crystal-like stuff insdie the lens )

    I would appreciate some advice :

    Is my humidity setting too "humid" ? Shd I set it to "high" instead ? Or is my dry box already not functioning ? ( the red light still comes on and later goes off when it reaches the set humidity level, like before ). I did notice though that there is a strange smell every time i open the box, like some pungent, "film" smell - is this normal ? Is there anything in the control box in the dry cabinet that will run out ( get consumed ) that I need to replace or top up ?

    I suppose , the bottom line is, what shd I do now to mitigate the situation ? It would be a heartache to see the lenses go bad, aas they are all f2.8 lenses.

    Thank you.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Is My Dry Cabinet OK ?

    your 'medium' is at what %?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is My Dry Cabinet OK ?

    I am not sure. the pointer usually points to about 50-60% when the read light is off. I am now setting it nearer to "low" and will see where the pointer settles after the red light goes off.

  4. #4
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is My Dry Cabinet OK ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Image007 View Post
    I am not sure. the pointer usually points to about 50-60% when the read light is off. I am now setting it nearer to "low" and will see where the pointer settles after the red light goes off.
    Whether "low" stands for "low RH" (<50%) or "Low Dehumidifying" (resulting in RH>50%) is the most important question here. Get a second hygrometer and verify the reading.
    I had a similar encounter with a bicycle head lamp - but it was outside in the room, no dry cabinet. After a while the outside of the plastic became whitish and sticky. From that I'd guess that your RH setting is too low.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is My Dry Cabinet OK ?

    might not want to set it too low either....fungus can grow on either ends of the 0% - 100% humidity range.
    Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.

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    Default Re: Is My Dry Cabinet OK ?

    Quote Originally Posted by faineant View Post
    might not want to set it too low either....fungus can grow on either ends of the 0% - 100% humidity range.
    That would ridicule the whole concept of dry cabinet / dry box, wouldn't it?
    Not setting RH too low has a different reason, nothing related to fungus at all.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Is My Dry Cabinet OK ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    That would ridicule the whole concept of dry cabinet / dry box, wouldn't it?
    Not setting RH too low has a different reason, nothing related to fungus at all.
    In some way yes, but I've read quite a few articles (suppose they're credible), that another class of fungus thrives in 10-30%; and you'd have to worry about excessively drying up your equip.
    Looking for Canon 100mm F2 USM :)

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    Default Re: Is My Dry Cabinet OK ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ombre View Post
    In some way yes, but I've read quite a few articles (suppose they're credible), that another class of fungus thrives in 10-30%; and you'd have to worry about excessively drying up your equip.
    Can you provide the name? Would like to know more about that. Secondly, does this kind of fungus grow here? Considering the natural environment I wouldn't expect but we all know that fungus can travel far, especially thanks to worldwide logistics and traveling people.

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