Proper way to store lens

alvarow

I'm New Here
May 30, 2017
17
0
New Jersey
Hello... is there a proper o se a best way to store your lenses? Say on a shelf... standing over the capped mount side down? Or standing over the front cap mount side up?

How about when transporting, say in a shoulder bag, which side up?

Or doesn’t matter? Or matters only for certain lenses (heavier ones)?

What’s your take?

Thanks
 

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
7,973
502
Everyone stores their stuff a little differently, I'm sure. I don't think there's a single right answer.

But here's my take:

1) Protect the lens from shock / impact / knocking around -- any padded container will do. For the longest time, I used my largest camera backpack tucked securely in a closest shelf as my lens storage. Over time, as I amassed more gear, I opted for something like tool cabinet (actually a DVD cabinet, but a very study metal one) that I outfitted with yoga mat on the bottom and TrekPak dividers on the sides.

2) Protect lenses from front / rear element damage. This one's easy. Cap both ends when not in use.

3) Protect the lens from humidity, which can lead to mold. I've read elsewhere at this forum to avoid a damp basement, which makes sense. You can dehumidify or use dessicant, but those require power / periodic attention, so I'd imagine it's safer to just store your gear in a more dry location in your house (if there is one).

4) Don't ever leave lenses out if you aren't using them. For instance, I live in a tectonically active area, so placing lenses in open shelving or on a table is a terrible idea. Knocking a lens off of a table should never ever ever happen, so don't put them in a position to be knocked off.

5) As far as standing up vs. lying down, I'm not the guy to ask. I personally store my smaller glass (smaller non-L primes, my teleconverter, etc.) front element up / mount cap down, while longer lenses would simply be too tall for my cabinet drawers, so just I lay them down. See link above for what that looks like.

6) Couldn't tell you about really heavy lens storage as I don't own anything heavier than a 70-200 f/2.8L IS II. I believe the superwhites have hard cases that you can use, but I defer to those that own them.

7) Pets + open lens storage can be problematic. We have two dogs, so despite constant sweeping / roomba action, hair gets everywhere. So again, a (padded) closed cabinet, (padded) desk drawer or camera bag with zippers is preferable to just putting gear on an open shelf.

8.) If you live in a larger apartment complex and fire sprinklers are a consideration, obv keep your solution (a) nowhere near floor level, (b) consider airtight storage (like a Pelican case) and (c) get insurance if you don't have it already. When those things go -- heaven forbid -- it's game over for anything not sealed..

There are far more knowledgeable folks here than I am, so check back here for their comments.

- A
 

scottkinfw

Wildlife photography is my passion
For storage I want the lens to be safe and dry.

I have a long gun safe. The safe has about a 3/8 hole pre-drilled in the back. bought a gun safe heater and installed that (cord goes through back hole and to AC outlet). That however, doesn't really desiccate the safe so I purchased 4 Eva-Dry mini dehumidifiers. To monitor I also bought an Eva-Dry safe sensor (a digital hygrometer/thermometer that transmits to a receiver outside the safe) so I can keep an eye on things. This is in my walk in closet so I can look every day if I get neurotic about it.

About once a month I rotate the dehumidifiers out to recharge them by plugging into wall outlet. This takes 24 hours.

Inside the safe, the humidity remains in the 35% or lower range, and temps are in the 70's. The sensor needs a battery change about every year or so. The cost for the Eva-Dry is minimal, but obviously the safe is costly, but it is fire safe, safe from theft, tornadoes, etc. My lenses all have lens coats on them and I put them in with caps on. Same with cameras.

I know Neuro likes hard cases (Pelican, I believe), and my system could easily be adapted to a hard case for very little.

I am interested to hear what others do.

Scott

alvarow said:
Hello... is there a proper o se a best way to store your lenses? Say on a shelf... standing over the capped mount side down? Or standing over the front cap mount side up?

How about when transporting, say in a shoulder bag, which side up?

Or doesn’t matter? Or matters only for certain lenses (heavier ones)?

What’s your take?

Thanks
 

SecureGSM

2 x 5D IV
Feb 26, 2017
1,353
328
I store cameras and lenses in a large dust, water, air tight, shock resistant safe case. It is a Pelican Case knock off and sold in Australia by Bunnings Warehouse chain of hardware stores. I am sure that you can source a similar product in USA or any other country these days. It cost me A$72.00 only. Internal dimensions are: 515 x 375 x 225mm

https://www.bunnings.com.au/craftright-515-x-435-x-225mm-large-safe-case_p5810184

you can comfortably store 2 cameras and 5-6 lenses in this case. The case is also carry on friendly.

The Issue:

https://www.zeiss.com/camera-lenses/us/service/content/fungus-on-lenses.html


In order to grow, Fungus requires Relative humidity of at least 70% (more than 3 days)

How can fungus be avoided?

next to driers (e.g. silica gel orange packs) in the containers


I purchased 4 silica gel small packs of eBay and paid few dollars for the set. 45g each. I keep all 4 in a single safe case at a time.

these are very handy as they change colour when granules absorbed much moisture from the air.
In order to reactivate the granules, I heat packs in microwave on Medium / Low Power for 5 minutes only, then leave containers to cool down for about 10 minutes and place them back inside the safe box. Granules regain their original colour. I repeat reactivation every month or so.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/1Pc-Silica-Gel-Desiccant-Dry-Box-Moisture-Camera-Microscopes-Color-Changing-/222601325138

there are plenty of those on eBay.
 

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takesome1

EOS 6D MK II
Aug 23, 2013
1,490
122
98
Licking, Missouri
When I sit a lens down I put it big end down. You know I tried the other way and they just kept falling over.

I store mine in a safe under lock and key and I leave them in their travel backpacks ready to go.
In the bags sometimes they lay on their side, upside down or whichever angle the bag gets stuck in. I have had no adverse effects.

I have insurance for replacement. The safe is to prevent one of the grandchildren from using one of the lenses to torture and fry ants on the patio.

Where does everyone live that they need so much protection from humidity? It is something I have never worried about in my safes and it has never been a problem.
 

SecureGSM

2 x 5D IV
Feb 26, 2017
1,353
328
it gets quite humid in subtropical and tropical areas around the world.

https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/US/humidity-city-july.php


in Australia: New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territories with average humidity for the summer months well in excess of 80%

http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_014015.shtml

I have seen plenty of fungus affected canon L lenses being sold on local Classifieds website advertised in NSW and QLD in Australia.

takesome1 said:
Where does everyone live that they need so much protection from humidity? It is something I have never worried about in my safes and it has never been a problem.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,619
2,105
As Scott stated, I keep mine stored in Storm cases (now a brand of Pelican). In our previous house, I used to keep desiccant cartridges in with them, because sometimes the humidity would get above 60% RH for a few days at a time over summer. Since we moved (same town), I've checked and the humidity is pretty stable at ~45% or lower, even in the middle of summer. So, they're still in the Storm cases (because roofs can leak, pipes can burst) but without the desiccant.

Inside the cases, they are stored as they fit best. That means some are stood on end (some front element down, some front element up), and some are laying on their sides.

Everything is insured, just in case.
 

Ian_of_glos

EOS RP
Jun 12, 2012
246
28
England
takesome1 said:
When I sit a lens down I put it big end down. You know I tried the other way and they just kept falling over.

I store mine in a safe under lock and key and I leave them in their travel backpacks ready to go.
In the bags sometimes they lay on their side, upside down or whichever angle the bag gets stuck in. I have had no adverse effects.

I have insurance for replacement. The safe is to prevent one of the grandchildren from using one of the lenses to torture and fry ants on the patio.

Where does everyone live that they need so much protection from humidity? It is something I have never worried about in my safes and it has never been a problem.
Well I live in England so it rains pretty much all the time. This can be a problem, especially with zoom lenses as rain water can get inside the lens when it is in the zoomed out position. When I return home I always leave any zoom lenses overnight in a warm dry place, zoomed out, lying on their side so they can dry properly.
Condensation can also be a problem especially if I have been using the lens outside on a very cold day then move into a warm place. Again I allow the lens time to come up to room temperature before putting it away.
 

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
7,973
502
Ian_of_glos said:
Well I live in England so it rains pretty much all the time. This can be a problem, especially with zoom lenses as rain water can get inside the lens when it is in the zoomed out position. When I return home I always leave any zoom lenses overnight in a warm dry place, zoomed out, lying on their side so they can dry properly.
Condensation can also be a problem especially if I have been using the lens outside on a very cold day then move into a warm place. Again I allow the lens time to come up to room temperature before putting it away.
+1. My part of the country is quite dry, but even I have the large zip-lock bags + desiccant combo for travel. The 'beer can' phenomenon of leaving cold / dry air conditioned hotel room for a hot / humid outdoors (say on vacation) will fog your internals. It's always best to let your gear come up to temp in your bag before pulling it out and using it.

- A
 

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
7,973
502
kingrobertii said:
Buy a Pelican case and be done with it. Stores securely at home, and on a larger shoot (if applicable).
And if you go with Pelican, consider TrekPak, a modular divider system. Think of it as reconfigurable camera-bag style dividers minus the velcro. I used it in my cabinet photo (linked in my first post above), and they have kits pre-configured for many specific Pelican cases.

Pick-n-pluck foam in Pelican cases is fine, but I'm not fond of the permanence of it and it's wasteful for packing efficiency. Trekpak lets you slide pieces, move things about, etc. and you can simply get more gear in there with the thinner dividers Pricey, but nice. Don't get me wrong, pick-n-pluck has its uses -- especially if these cases will travel and see rough handling. But in a stationary 'home storage'-only use, I find it overkill.

- A
 
ahsanford said:
kingrobertii said:
Buy a Pelican case and be done with it. Stores securely at home, and on a larger shoot (if applicable).
And if you go with Pelican, consider TrekPak, a modular divider system. Think of it as reconfigurable camera-bag style dividers minus the velcro. I used it in my cabinet photo (linked in my first post above), and they have kits pre-configured for many specific Pelican cases.

Pick-n-pluck foam in Pelican cases is fine, but I'm not fond of the permanence of it and it's wasteful for packing efficiency. Trekpak lets you slide pieces, move things about, etc. and you can simply get more gear in there with the thinner dividers Pricey, but nice. Don't get me wrong, pick-n-pluck has its uses -- especially if these cases will travel and see rough handling. But in a stationary 'home storage'-only use, I find it overkill.

- A
True. You can always see what people in your area are selling on Craigslist. That's how I got mine for less than half retail value.
 

Talys

Canon 6DII
Feb 16, 2017
2,058
329
Vancouver, BC
I'm going to put a plug in for SKB with thinktank dividers :)

The SKB cases are very nice, and the thinktank dividers are very thoughtful. They're much thinner than Pelican, which can be both good and bad -- Pelican dividers are not very adjustable and are so thick that they take up a ton of space, with the tradeoff that they provide more protection. The ThinkTank dividers, I think, protect enough protection, and let me cram in a lot more stuff.

The lid organizer is also a great price on these, and really well designed, compared to the pelican ones. There are also SKBs where the inside is a removable zippered container with shoulder strap, or backpack (by ThinkTank), neither of which are exhorbitantly expensive.

I'm not a fan of the cut-it-up-yourself dividers or the pluck foam, because I tend to reorganize my storage quite often -- as I buy more storage or as my gear changes.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,556
772
mine are either in my studio mounted to my camera, in one of my camera bags, or laying in the office in my house. Humidity here is very low, its 26% indoors (68% outdoors) right now, its a moist stormy day today.

Our problem is that humidity gets down into the 10% range during the winter, its too dry.

So storage here is merely protecting a lens physically, no special case needed. I do have a large roll around soft sided pelican case, its covered with a thick layer of dust from lack of use. It does a good job when I use it.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,619
2,105
ahsanford said:
And if you go with Pelican, consider TrekPak, a modular divider system.
I'd consider them if I didn't already have the padded divider sets. But those have worked fine for me, especially since I also have ample extra Velcro-edged dividers from various Lowepro bags.
 

Jopa

EOS 6D MK II
Dec 11, 2015
1,056
0
Oh wow... I guess I'm the only person in this thread who doesn't love his own lenses. I really just keep them on the shelves of my office, front element down. It's a relatively clean space. I better do not disclose this fact if I decide to sell something on eBay ;)
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,619
2,105
johninsanantonio said:
I like Pelican for storage but prefer foam over dividers.
What if you sell a lens and buy a different one? That's why I prefer dividers. :)

For travel, foam would be more protective...but when I travel, my photo gear is in a backpack carried on. The one time I checked photo gear, I put the loaded backpack inside a Storm case.
 

alvarow

I'm New Here
May 30, 2017
17
0
New Jersey
Thank you everyone for sharing their tips and wisdom with me! I guess I was overthinking it (which end up).

At home it is dry and I keep the gear in a closet in the living room, all standing. When I go out it’s usually one or two lens with a messenger style bag.

I travel with a pancake 40mm, 24-70mm and my almost always on 100-400 II and that covers my needs usually. May add a 14mm if going dark skies. It all goes on a shoulder lowepro. As much as I love the 100mm Macro the 400 zoom focus so close that I make do with that on travel.

Thanks again, I’ll keep an eye on Craigslist for bargains and perhaps improve my shelf setup.