Monday, July 17, 2006

07/17/06: Humidity and Lens Care

Humidity and Lens Care

Yesterday morning I met a high school senior at 6:30 in the morning to do her senior photos. One of the reasons -- besides nice light :) -- that we met so early was to avoid the extreme heat we've experienced in the Midwest recently. We certainly didn't want to do the session at 6:00 PM when it's almost 100 degrees!!

As soon as I got my camera bag out my lenses started to fog up! That's how humidity affects cameras and lenses when you go from 72 degree air-conditioned environments to outdoors, muggy and 90+ degree heat. There are several ways to deal with these conditions to protect your gear and also not leave you looking thru a Gaussian blur that you weren't expecting!

Some advocate keeping your gear in a ziplock bag when you are going from indoors to outdoors on a muggy day. I've never tried that...mainly because I'm too disorganized to worry about putting EVERYTHING in a little baggies!

For these situations I typically carry lens tissue for wiping condensation off the lens (if I'm in a hurry) and / or a rocket blower (most commonly used for blowing dust off gear) which can help quickly dry the condensation from your lens (and it's much more practical than a hair dryer and a long extension cord!). You can also dry the lens with some lens tissue. DO NOT wipe the lens with your clothing or other type of material that isn't suitable for cleaning could scratch the glass!

One more important note -- DO NOT change lenses while the lenses are still foggy from the cold/cool to hot & muggy environment. The last thing you need is to trap the condensation on the rear glass of a lense (that which, when attached to your camera body, is inside the camera).

Stay cool everyone! :)


EDIT: Rockin' awesome photographer Garrett Nudd suggested leaving your camera gear in your car the night before -- and it's probably best to only do this if your gear is secured in the trunk of the car and / or while your car is in the garage! Thanks for the tip Garrett!


Blogger Garrett Nudd Photography said...

Great advice Dan! We struggle with the same issue here in Florida. I know some photograhers who leave their gear in their car overnight if they have an early morning outdoor shoot. I think I like your remedy better. :-)


9:12 PM, July 17, 2006  

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