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Author Topic: How do you prevent lens fungus if you live in a tropical, humid state?  (Read 6028 times)

cheeseheadsaint

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Hi! I saw the term lens fungus for the first time on this forum and wondered what it was. Well after googling and reading many threads on other sites, I'm feeling slightly paranoid! xD
 I checked my lens using a flashlight method I read about and didn't see any telltale spores.. although a bunch of random dust particles..

Currently I just keep everything in rebel gadget back that came with my xsi and I keep a couple desiccants in there. (today i just checked on the desiccants, saw how inflated they were and dried them)

How long does it take for a lens to start catching The Fungus? I've had my stuff for 2 years.

and

How do you prevent lens fungus if you live in a tropical, humid, rainy state?

also

Are L lenses fungus proof and they are sealed and stuff? (I don't have any yet, just curious)

Thanks for reading! =D
Canon Rebel XSi, kit lens, 50mm f1.8, ef-s 55-250mm IS, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 6D

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vishwa@kiranfamily.com

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Re: How do you prevent lens fungus if you live in a tropical, humid state?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2011, 10:26:45 PM »
I use a dehumidifier cabinet. All lenses, filter and body go into this when not in use. I live in south India where moisture and fungus come easily.  Did some searching on the web and go this : http://www.kalabhai.com/products/photooptics/digicabi.htm. You may have to lookup a local seller in your area.

Zuuyi

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Re: How do you prevent lens fungus if you live in a tropical, humid state?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2011, 11:41:18 PM »
Here's a suggestion.
Silica Gel

It's what's in shoes when you get them.  It's sole purpose is to reduce moisture in the air.  With the ones below you can refresh them once they get over-hydrate with 3 hours in the oven.
Check the reviews it's a good number of photography reviews.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0018O035O/ref=noref?ie=UTF8&s=hi&psc=1

willrobb

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Re: How do you prevent lens fungus if you live in a tropical, humid state?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2011, 12:12:12 AM »
Here's a suggestion.
Silica Gel

That's one of the things I use. I live in Tokyo where late June-October can be like living in a sauna. I have small packs of silica gel in all of my camera bags/lens pouches where I keep my gear. I keep all my gear in a fairly cool dark cupboard and during the summer months I surround my gear with "Dry pots" which are basically small  tubs filled with moisture absorbing balls. In about 2 weeks I can fill four of these tubs and each holds 750ml.

When I first arrived in Japan 10 years ago I didn't know about them and in my first summer I got fungus on some lenses (50mm 1.4, old kit zoom), but since then all have been OK.

Hillsilly

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Re: How do you prevent lens fungus if you live in a tropical, humid state?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2011, 12:30:42 AM »
I also have silica gel in a cabinet that I store my equipment in.  A few other tips:
 
Don't leave your lenses indefinitely in a camera bag (especially if damp);
Don't leave them in your car all summer;
If you get them wet, wipe excess water off at your earliest opportunity.

Interestingly, sunshine kills fungus.  The best prevention is to go outside and take some photos! 
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te4o

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Re: How do you prevent lens fungus if you live in a tropical, humid state?
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2011, 05:40:39 AM »
A dry cabinet is the best but also an exPensive solution. I decided to buy food boxes big enough for the lenses and for a hygrometer and for dehumidifier to control humidity. I measure outside and inside and calibrate the hygrometer like that. It's a cheaP way - 20 $ AU and gives me certainty that I'm not overdoing it - lens coatIngs  can deteriorate under 25% rel humidity. Optimum is between 40 and 60% - I aim at 40. After use I store all my lenses in the food boxes like that.
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cheeseheadsaint

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Re: How do you prevent lens fungus if you live in a tropical, humid state?
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2011, 10:50:43 AM »
oh crud! better find my lenses a better home than my camera bag! Hillsilly> and maybe that is why none of my lenses have fungus... although it is humid as Hades here during the summer(winter is a bit more drier), it ain't called the Sunshine state for nothing! =D

and in order to recharge the silica gel, how long do you put it in the oven for and at what degrees?

also
 How long does it take for a lens to start catching The Fungus? (approximately..)
Are L lenses fungus proof and they are sealed and stuff? (I don't have any yet, just curious)
Canon Rebel XSi, kit lens, 50mm f1.8, ef-s 55-250mm IS, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 6D

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Re: How do you prevent lens fungus if you live in a tropical, humid state?
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2011, 10:50:43 AM »

Ryusui

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Re: How do you prevent lens fungus if you live in a tropical, humid state?
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2011, 03:18:02 PM »
A dehumidifier cabinet definitely seems like an effective way to battle this problem.  Unfortunately, from what I've found it's also pretty pricey.  And I don't know if I'm just not using the right search terms, but after a few minutes of Googling (isn't it weird that word is now kind of common place in today's society?) I can't find any manufacturers or suppliers in the US.

Luckily, my job in our local (and only) camera store has me privy to lots of stories from many photographers.  One such photographer is Zane Mathias.  He lives in a really damp and humid area of Maui and has had this problem.  He came up with his own solution, which, while not as elegant as a DigiCabi, definitely has worked for him:

Check the article on his invention here: Beating Lens Fungus

As for how long it takes mold to grow in a lens, that's kind of relative.  It depends on so many changing factors that can vary not only by location but from one day to the next.  The biggest thing to remember is that if you're in a humid environment, don't move your camera or lens between high and low temperatures too rapidly.  If you do, condensation can be created and that's what will help lead to mold.  In fact, all of Canon's manuals say the following:
Quote from: Canon
If the camera is suddenly brought in from the cold into a warm room,
condensation may form on the camera and internal parts. To prevent
condensation, first put the camera in a sealed plastic bag and let it adjust to
the warmer temperature before taking it out of the bag.

That was taken verbatim from the Canon EOS 1D Mark IV instruction manual.  And yes, L lenses can grow mold, too.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2011, 03:56:16 PM by Ryusui »

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Re: How do you prevent lens fungus if you live in a tropical, humid state?
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2011, 03:18:02 PM »