Is a dry box with silica gel good enough to keep lenses from fungus?


socrates

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Jan 31, 2005
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#1
Just got a new DSLR with lenses. My first DSLR actually. I already have a dry box, so can I keep my lenses and camera with lots of silica gel to keep the fungus away from lenses or is it necessary to get a dry cabinet to control humidity?
 

Oct 13, 2013
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Singapore
#2
Good to have a digital hygrometer to give you an indication when the slilcas need replacement.
 

hlkh78

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Sep 20, 2010
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#3
Just got a new DSLR with lenses. My first DSLR actually. I already have a dry box, so can I keep my lenses and camera with lots of silica gel to keep the fungus away from lenses or is it necessary to get a dry cabinet to control humidity?
I add a thirsty hippo in and remove the silica gel
Replace the thirsty hippo whenever water is more than 1/3 level
 

rhino123

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Sep 1, 2006
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#4
Just got a new DSLR with lenses. My first DSLR actually. I already have a dry box, so can I keep my lenses and camera with lots of silica gel to keep the fungus away from lenses or is it necessary to get a dry cabinet to control humidity?
It is enough. The problem here is, you don't want your camera and lenses to be in too dry a place, it will damage the rubber of your camera and lenses. Also, do note that you need to check now and then to see if your silica gel turned orange. If that happen, the gel is no longer useful and you need to change new gels. So it is simpler to just get the dry cabinet, also easier to control the humidity (at around 55%).
 

Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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#5
Good to have a digital hygrometer to give you an indication when the slilcas need replacement.
There is no need for a hygrometer with digital display, any analog model can do the job as well. All what is needed is a precise hygrometer.
The digital display only gives the illusion of precision. Do a salt test to see how precise it really is.
 

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Springf

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Jun 9, 2007
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#6
I use hippo . 5 years already , didn't see any problem.
 

Aug 30, 2013
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#8
And how much have u spend on the hippos for 5 years?
assuming each pcs is 1.8 (based on the recent price i bought), lasted me 2 to 3 mths (assuming 2 mths).

then each yr is 10.8, 5 yrs is $54.

i do that for my camera bag, cos i dislike the moudy smell.
 

Springf

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Jun 9, 2007
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#9
And how much have u spend on the hippos for 5 years?
I use two sealed box. The one doesn't open frequently last years. The one opens a lot last about 3-6 months.

The hippo be replaced still can use at other places like shoe cabinet for another month
 

keithwee

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Aug 20, 2010
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#10
My advice isn't technical based , just practical based. :)

I once used a similar setup , Tupperware with silica gel/ thirsty hippo that I swop out once a while - it did become a hassle after a while.

And one day fungus did still grow on on of my lenses.

I swooped to a dry cabinet, once and for all settled the prob. Pack inside and leave it switched on and am now living happily ever after.

Most people don't realize that that cabinet doesn't cost much than a original battery for starters , for example a Gariz case already costs as much as a small dry cabinet, and that in the long run saves u more than compared to buying thirsty hippos.
 

Blur Shadow

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Sep 17, 2005
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#11
I started out with pretty much that. It should work.
 

auden09

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Jul 22, 2009
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#12
Just got a new DSLR with lenses. My first DSLR actually. I already have a dry box, so can I keep my lenses and camera with lots of silica gel to keep the fungus away from lenses or is it necessary to get a dry cabinet to control humidity?
This was something I thought a lot about too when i first started photography in 2008 and was in a tight budget. It is fine to use silica gel in a dry box. But do bear in mind that this is more troublesome in the long run. And you cannot control the humidity. Too dry, lubricants dry up. Best to get the S$128 30L DigiCabi for a peace of mind in my opinion.
 

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Octarine

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#13
Not to mention the fine dust from Silica gel and the carcinogenic features of Cobalt Chloride ..
 

albertsy2

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Jul 22, 2009
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#15
I have a dry box, using a rechargeable desiccant (you can get one from HomeFix for about $12). I have a digital and an analog hygrometer in there and just keep the humidity level in the 35~45% range. I have my dry box just above eye level in my closet, so I see the humidity number every single time I change my clothes! I only need to recharge the desiccant every three months or even longer. No mess, no fuss!

My friend and I bought our cameras at the same time (within a few days, literally). He did NOT use either a dry box or cabinet, even though I told him to. His camera and lenses developed massive fungus infestation after 5 years of this. His sensor had fungus growing on it! My camera and lenses have zero fungus. He bought a new camera and lens and now keeps them in a dry box too.
 

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catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#16
during the film hay days, about twenty five years ago, average camera bodies cost less than $500.00, most prime lenses cost $300.00, zoom lens less than $1k, and a dry cabinet cost around $300 and above, so it does not make sense to own a dry cabinet for most people. hence we use Tupperware, biscuit tins with silica gel to store our cameras and lenses.

nowadays the dry cabinet are so much cheaper have lots of sizes available, and we easily spend $5k to $10k on our camera gears, so it does not make sense not to use a dry cabinet protect our camera gears, anyway, how much money can you save on using a dry box instead (hydrometer, and silica gel, drying agent etc)? if you also factor in the convenience of maintenance.
 

albertsy2

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Jul 22, 2009
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#17
Throwing the desiccant into my microwave, running it on high for two minutes; doing this once per quarter -- just four times a year. Also, my desiccant is five years old and cost me only $10.
 

catchlights

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#18
Throwing the into my microwave, running it on high for two minutes; doing this once per quarter -- just four times a year. Also, my desiccant is five years old and cost me only $10.
unless you have a delicate microwave oven to do this, else it is not wise to put the desiccant in the microwave to heat up which meant for preparing food for your family
 

albertsy2

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Jul 22, 2009
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#19
As long as the crystals don't come out of the bag and then get onto your food, and then you actually eat it, it is perfectly safe.
 

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Octarine

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#20
As long as the crystals don't come out of the bag and then get onto your food, and then you actually eat it, it is perfectly safe.
Have you heard about the Silica dust? When you heat up your gel on max settings you actually shock-boil the absorbed water into steam, which can result in cracking the gel balls and creating fine Silica dust. Have a look at the hazard sheet for Silica (dust) and the blue coloring agent Cobalt Chloride.
 

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