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Thread: Condensation

  1. #1

    Default Condensation

    You sleep in the same room as your camera and lens. The air con is on for the entire night. Next morning you bring the camera out of the room and it starts condensation like crazy. You wipe it off. It condense again. And again. Will fungus grow eventually?

  2. #2
    Member leshrec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensation

    I did read about putting the camera in a plastic bag before bringing the camera out so that less condensation will occur.

    Found this on DPreview:

    The problem is that warm air can hold more water. If warm air in fact does have a lot of water (i.e., higher relative humidity) then cooling the air will cause the water to condense and form fog that will result in water droplets on cool surfaces touched by the cooling air. Note that warm dry air does not cause the same effect. It has to be full of moisture.

    Consider a camera at 70F inside that is taken outside where the air is full of moisture and at 100F. The air that touches the camera is cooled to some lower temperature, and at the temperature where the amount of humidity becomes 100% of what air can hold, moisture starts to condense and fogs your glasses, your lenses, and the camera.

    The solution is to prevent warm moist air from coming into contact with the camera and lens until those items warm up to a temperature where the relative humidity is below 100% (probably within 4-5 degrees of ambient air temperature, though it might be less on really muggy days).

    You can wrap your camera in a coat, put it in box, seal it in a steel drum or waterproof bag, or whatever. Those will all work but all have a serious disadvantage that they also insulate the camera and cause it to take longer to warm up. The best solution is to put the camera into a kitchen sized plastic trash bag, and squeeze out virtually all of the air. Then place the camera/bag in a place where it will warm up fast (good air circulation is helpful, for example).

    A very viable alternative is to put the camera into a regular camera bag, close the lid, and don't open it until the inside of the bag is up to ambient temperature. That is the easy way, but since the inside of the bag is well insulated it is also a very slow process compared to using a kitchen trash bag.

    Notice there is no value to putting a desiccant into the bag with the camera (there's no extra moisture inside the bag). There is also no need for the bag to be air tight either, merely avoiding significant air exchange is sufficient.
    Now, I'm not sure if fungus will grow due to condensation, but I personally don't feel comfortable with any significant amount of moisture appearing anywhere in my camera.
    Last edited by leshrec; 19th November 2010 at 08:31 AM.
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    Member hotwork77's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensation

    Quote Originally Posted by leshrec View Post
    I did read about putting the camera in a plastic bag before bringing the camera out so that less condensation will occur.

    Found this on DPreview:


    Now, I'm not sure if fungus will grow due to condensation, but I personally don't feel comfortable with any significant amount of moisture appearing anywhere in my camera.
    The advice given is applicable to countries with 4 seasons.

    It's common sense to wipe the condensate immediately with a dry cloth. I'm sure you will do that wouldn't you? When you reach home, dry as much of the physical moisture you can find and then put your gears in the dry cabinet.

    If you are on holidays, dry it with a towel or lint free cloth and then set it aside. A bit of snow flakes or drizzle will not cause fungus growth. I travel a lot to the Artic region and Europe without so much of a single fungus growth so you shouldn't worry as well.
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    Default Re: Condensation

    Quote Originally Posted by gohjialong View Post
    You sleep in the same room as your camera and lens. The air con is on for the entire night. Next morning you bring the camera out of the room and it starts condensation like crazy. You wipe it off. It condense again. And again. Will fungus grow eventually?
    If this occurs many times, fungus will grow. You cannot wipe dry everywhere, all the time.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Condensation

    Hotwork's advice seems to differ with Daoyin. Yes hotwork I toils wipe it off. And now I don't know if fungus will or will not grow!

  6. #6
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensation

    Quote Originally Posted by gohjialong View Post
    Hotwork's advice seems to differ with Daoyin. Yes hotwork I toils wipe it off. And now I don't know if fungus will or will not grow!
    relax..... cross the bridge when you get to it....
    Exploring! :)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Condensation

    Er, you mean solve the fungus problem when it appears or what?

  8. #8
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensation

    Quote Originally Posted by gohjialong View Post
    Er, you mean solve the fungus problem when it appears or what?
    Exactly. Fungus is not an infectious disease spreading like a flue epidemic. It takes while to develop. Wipe the outside if it got wet, leave on open shelf in your aircon room. That's it.
    EOS

  9. #9

    Default Re: Condensation

    Well I always have my gear kept in my camera bag with some gel packs. That should be alright I guess? From what I read around.

  10. #10
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensation

    Quote Originally Posted by gohjialong View Post
    Well I always have my gear kept in my camera bag with some gel packs. That should be alright I guess? From what I read around.
    Then read again. Basic requirements for any dry box and dry cabinet is to be airtight. No camera bag can say that. Check your gel packs, are they still blue or already turned pink? And how do you monitor the RH?
    Secondly: fungus loves stagnant humid air and darkness. Your average camera bag fits the bill nicely.
    EOS

  11. #11
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensation

    Quote Originally Posted by gohjialong View Post
    Er, you mean solve the fungus problem when it appears or what?
    do you spend all your life counting down till the day you K.O., worrying endlessly about it?

    Live your life, right?

    so... similiarly, USE YOUR CAMERA more instead of worrying about this and that growing, when it hasn't even surfaced yet!
    Exploring! :)

  12. #12
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensation

    Quote Originally Posted by gohjialong View Post
    You sleep in the same room as your camera and lens. The air con is on for the entire night. Next morning you bring the camera out of the room and it starts condensation like crazy. You wipe it off. It condense again. And again. Will fungus grow eventually?
    Quote Originally Posted by gohjialong View Post
    Hotwork's advice seems to differ with Daoyin. Yes hotwork I toils wipe it off. And now I don't know if fungus will or will not grow!
    Quote Originally Posted by gohjialong View Post
    Er, you mean solve the fungus problem when it appears or what?
    #1, get a dry box or dry cabinet,
    #2, when moving from cold place to warm place, don't take out camera straight away from camera bag, leave it till it get similar temperature with the new environment.
    #3, fungus spore is present at everywhere, just like dust, it maybe already landed on your camera and lenses the day you open up the camera box, it just waiting for the right condition to grow.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Condensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    Then read again. Basic requirements for any dry box and dry cabinet is to be airtight. No camera bag can say that. Check your gel packs, are they still blue or already turned pink? And how do you monitor the RH?
    Secondly: fungus loves stagnant humid air and darkness. Your average camera bag fits the bill nicely.
    ok i shall keep track on those points.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Condensation

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    do you spend all your life counting down till the day you K.O., worrying endlessly about it?

    Live your life, right?

    so... similiarly, USE YOUR CAMERA more instead of worrying about this and that growing, when it hasn't even surfaced yet!
    no la now in army so cannot do anything with it on weekdays.. stay in somemore. ord next month so i guess my camera's life would be better after that.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Condensation

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    #1, get a dry box or dry cabinet,
    #2, when moving from cold place to warm place, don't take out camera straight away from camera bag, leave it till it get similar temperature with the new environment.
    #3, fungus spore is present at everywhere, just like dust, it maybe already landed on your camera and lenses the day you open up the camera box, it just waiting for the right condition to grow.
    good points. trying to save up to get a dry cab asap. thanks for the points esp no. 3.

  16. #16
    Member hotwork77's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensation

    Quote Originally Posted by gohjialong View Post
    Hotwork's advice seems to differ with Daoyin. Yes hotwork I toils wipe it off. And now I don't know if fungus will or will not grow!
    My advice and Daoyin advice do not differ. We say the same thing. Just a metaphor: I talk about "elephant trunk" and Daoyin talk about "elephant tail". The topic is still about elephant. The only difference is which part of the elephant. Don't get confused.

    When you travel overseas, you can't bring your dry cabinet with you. At least nobody does that anyway unless you are eccentric. When you move from a cold winter outdoors to warm hotel lobby, there would be condensation. You wipe that condensation as best as you can with whatever cloth you have. I use lint free cloth but if I forget to pack it then I would use bath towel even if it wasn't ideal.

    If you are in a warm country like Singapore as Daoyin implied, you sleep in a aircon room. The air is cold...your camera is cold. When you bring it outside where the air is warm, the moisture in the air will condense like crazy on your camera and lenses. The least you would do would be to wipe it dry with a lint free cloth.

    Over a period of time with repeated condensation no matter how much you take care, fungus will still grow when the conditions are right. The right conditions are:
    (1) Presence of fungi spores.
    (2) 45% or more moisture.
    (3) Nutrients.
    (4) Lack of ambient light.
    (5) Still air.

    If you live in Singapore, after every use outdoors, clean your camera and lenses of your body oils (they are nutrients for fungus). Dry them with lint free cloth if there is moisture and put it back in the dry cabinet to dry the rest of the area you can't reach. Lastly, don't worry so much. My old Pentax film SLR which is more than 40years old and old Nikon film SLR which is more than 20 years are still fungus free. (touch wood)

    Hope that helps.
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  17. #17
    Member hotwork77's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensation

    Quote Originally Posted by gohjialong View Post
    good points. trying to save up to get a dry cab asap. thanks for the points esp no. 3.

    Meanwhile...while saving for a dry cabinet. You may want to try a cheaper alternative. Get a dry box cost only $25. It is a air tight plastic box for camera. Add some silica gel and voila...cheap version of dry cabinet. Can't last long but a good stop gap measure while you save up for a dry cabinet.

    Since you ORD soon...we welcome you to join our outings and take more photos.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Condensation

    Quote Originally Posted by hotwork77 View Post

    Meanwhile...while saving for a dry cabinet. You may want to try a cheaper alternative. Get a dry box cost only $25. It is a air tight plastic box for camera. Add some silica gel and voila...cheap version of dry cabinet. Can't last long but a good stop gap measure while you save up for a dry cabinet.

    Since you ORD soon...we welcome you to join our outings and take more photos.
    Agree totally with getting a dry box. Just got myself one at $25 (NTUC Xtra). Put two packets of silica gel inside. Even though I take my cam out to shoot quite often, it's the peace of mind to know that fungus has less chance to grow when kept in a dry environment.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Condensation

    Quote Originally Posted by hotwork77 View Post

    Meanwhile...while saving for a dry cabinet. You may want to try a cheaper alternative. Get a dry box cost only $25. It is a air tight plastic box for camera. Add some silica gel and voila...cheap version of dry cabinet. Can't last long but a good stop gap measure while you save up for a dry cabinet.

    Since you ORD soon...we welcome you to join our outings and take more photos.
    There is an even cheaper way. Bring out all your equipment and put them under sun once everyday for a bit of time. Just like using it, inhibits fungus growth without spending any.

    PS. just make sure the rubbers, optics and electronics don't get fry under a hot sun.
    Last edited by coolthought; 21st November 2010 at 06:15 PM.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Condensation

    Quote Originally Posted by hotwork77 View Post
    My advice and Daoyin advice do not differ. We say the same thing. Just a metaphor: I talk about "elephant trunk" and Daoyin talk about "elephant tail". The topic is still about elephant. The only difference is which part of the elephant. Don't get confused.

    When you travel overseas, you can't bring your dry cabinet with you. At least nobody does that anyway unless you are eccentric. When you move from a cold winter outdoors to warm hotel lobby, there would be condensation. You wipe that condensation as best as you can with whatever cloth you have. I use lint free cloth but if I forget to pack it then I would use bath towel even if it wasn't ideal.

    If you are in a warm country like Singapore as Daoyin implied, you sleep in a aircon room. The air is cold...your camera is cold. When you bring it outside where the air is warm, the moisture in the air will condense like crazy on your camera and lenses. The least you would do would be to wipe it dry with a lint free cloth.

    Over a period of time with repeated condensation no matter how much you take care, fungus will still grow when the conditions are right. The right conditions are:
    (1) Presence of fungi spores.
    (2) 45% or more moisture.
    (3) Nutrients.
    (4) Lack of ambient light.
    (5) Still air.

    If you live in Singapore, after every use outdoors, clean your camera and lenses of your body oils (they are nutrients for fungus). Dry them with lint free cloth if there is moisture and put it back in the dry cabinet to dry the rest of the area you can't reach. Lastly, don't worry so much. My old Pentax film SLR which is more than 40years old and old Nikon film SLR which is more than 20 years are still fungus free. (touch wood)

    Hope that helps.
    Thanks for the explanation. Didn't know body oil can also make fungus grow. Is the lint free cloth just like any other cloth we get when we purchase cleaning kit? Or is it different?

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