How do you avoid Condensation on your lens ?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by stevestuff, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. I am looking forward to taking pictures this winter.
    I am concernd about condensation issuse with my new Canon "L" leses
    and wondered what the approach is to avoid condensation when you take
    your camera from a warm environment into a cold environemnt or vis
  2. Let the camera/lens adjust to the new temp slowly.

    If I walk from a cold room 60 degrees into summer 100 degree weather, my glasses always fog up, those on my nose.
    But the ones in my case do not fog if I take them out a while later.

    Same principle works for lenses. So wait to take your lens out; 2 minutes or 20 depending on degree of temp change.
  3. jbq


    What Frank said.

    In addition:

    -Most condensation happens when placing a cold object in a warm place.

    -When going from a warm to a cold place, the problem is with the moisture in the air that is trapped in the lenses. If you seal your lenses in a zip-loc while in the cold, take them inside (without opening the zip-loc) then take them back outside and re-open the zip-loc outside you should be fine.

    -Be careful not to breathe on your cold lenses.
  4. Keep the camera under your coat till you are ready to shoot. If you are camping out, be sure to keep the camera in your sleeping bag with you so it stays warm. My frineds have used solid fuel hand warmers in their packs to keep the camera equipment warm with good results.
  5. The advice you received it right on the mark. Condensation is more of a concern when your in a humid climate. Going from your hotel room with the A/C blaring into the heat and humidity. That's when you really have to be careful.
  6. When a cold object is moved to warm air there is a convection
    flow of air that flows down the side of the cold object. This
    brings more warm air in contact with the cold object. Warm air
    can hold more moisture but as it’s cooled it must give up
    that moisture as condensation to the cold object. It doesn’t
    much care if it’s a glass of iced tea or your lens. You need
    to stop the flow of air. <br>
    One of the easiest ways is to use a plastic bag. If you don&#146;t
    have that you could wrap the lens in a clean dry bath towel. That&#146;s
    one from the closet not one hanging by the shower door! Anything
    that is dry (really dry) and stops the air flow will do the trick.<br>
    The towel will also provide insulation so the lens will warm up
    slower than in a plastic bag especially if most of the air is
    squeezed out of the bag. A Zip Lock back limits the amount of
    moisture to volume of warm air when the bag is closed. A dry
    cleaning bag can be twisted on both ends to limit the supply of
    warm moist air. I&#146;d only use a dry insulator like a towel if
    a clean plastic bag is not available.<br>
    Dave Hartman.
  7. I agree with the method of putting the camera in a plastic bag when taking it inside from the cold outdoors. A trick I found usefull when travelling in hot and humid locations (I figured this out in Guangzhou, China this past August - the place was like a suana outdoors) is to heat up your camera gear with a hair dryer. You don't have to get your gear hot, just warm enought so its close to the outside temperature. Do this just before going outside and condensation shouldn't be a problem.
  8. A little more on insulation. First it&#146;s not really an
    advantage over a plastic bag. It&#146;s a stop gap. Second the
    way it works is it stops the convection flow of air. Inside the
    walls of your house you many have fiberglass. It&#146;s light and
    it impedes air flow. The more density a material the faster heat
    can transfer. You get cold in 27?C (81?F) water but not in air
    of the same temperature. Primarily fiberglass insulation stops
    the flow of air circulating in the wall. Clothing does the same.
    In a still room there is a convection flow of air raising from
    our bodies. If the body gets cold exposed hair stands up in an
    attempt to stop air flow. A diver&#146;s wet suit stops the flow
    of water next to the body and a dry suit insulates better with a
    layer of air in dry clothing.<br>
    A clean, dry camera bag that zips shut (make sure it&#146;s
    really dry) will stop the transfer of moist air in and dry air
    out. If you put a lens way with condensation, rain or snow on it
    the bag might start dry but it will be wet. I once put a lens
    away with just enough moisture from a very light sprinkle that
    condensation occurred between the filter and lens. The moisture
    must have been in the threads of the filter as I wiped down the
    lens before putting it away for the night. This was on a back
    packing trip in the Eastern Sierra Nevada range of Central
    California. I air-dried several lenses and my cameras the next
    morning, no harm, no foul. Use common sense, stop the flow of air
    The best thing is to plan ahead and have Zip Lock or Heft One Zip
    bags. Freezer bags with the zipper thing are really nice. Plastic
    doesn&#146;t necessarily stop the convection flow but if airtight
    or nearly so it denies a fresh supply of moist air. If a plastic
    bag has most of the air squeezed out the bag may sweat but only
    on the outside.<br>
    On a similar topic if you have refrigerator cold film and want to
    warm it faster put it in your pocket while still in the air tight
    packing. It will take a long time at near body temperature to do
    any damage. Here the air tight packing denies a fresh supply of
    moist air. Even if there is sweat in your cloths the packing
    locks it out.<br>
    Dave Hartman.

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