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How do I deal with lens fogging from humidity?

m sisco4 , Aug 28, 2000; 10:58 p.m.

When I am shooting in southern environments like South Georgia, Florida, etc. near the coast, I find that the high heat and humidity causes my lenses to fog (on the exterior) when going from inside air conditioning to the outside. Once fogged, it is almost impossible to get rid of it. I can clean the lens many times with a microfiber cloth, and it continues to fog again and again. This finally disappears once the temperature of the equipment is equal to the outside temperature, but it's still difficult to totally get rid of the streaking. A little lens cleaning fluid helps, but I am reluctant to over clean or wipe the lens.

Does anyone have any advice on 1) how to avoid fogging when transitioning inside and outside of a humid environment, and 2) how to clear the fog from the lens more efficiently and effectively.

Thanks.

Responses


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Sriram R , Aug 28, 2000; 11:12 p.m.

Here in tropical Singapore, this is a regular problem. When I move my gear between air conditioned rooms and the outdoors, I seal them inside ziploc bags. This helps a bit. Other than that, the only thing I can do is wait for the condensed moisture to evaporate. If I'm in a hurry, I use a blower.

Jerry Litynski , Aug 28, 2000; 11:58 p.m.

If you can find a suitable 'cooler,' keep your equipment in that while you are indoors. (I would not recommend putting anything like ice in the cooler.) Then going outside, put the cooler in your trunk until you are ready to use it. This will keep the indoor air conditioning from having a chilling effect on your lenses, making them ready to use outdoors.

John Womack , Aug 29, 2000; 01:08 a.m.

If you can keep your equipment out of air conditioning it will help. While working in Florida, I would always lock the camera in the trunk of my car overnight. Nothing like getting up at dawn for a fantastic sunrise, grab your camera and run outside and have the world disappear. If it fogs over, relax; it will be OK. You may not, but your equipment will recover.

Michael Fedler , Aug 29, 2000; 01:19 a.m.

The answer above about putting your camera inside a plastic bag is a good one. One other tip that may help is to put the camera inside the bag and then put it outside a little while before you plan on going out. That way your camera and lens have time to warm up to the outside temperature before you are ready to start talking pictures. Whatever you do don't blow on the lens thinking that your breath will dry off the lens surface. I will only make the problem worse. One other technique I have used is to use a UV filter over the lens. The filter will fog but not the main lens. Then to speed up the evaporation of moisture from the filter, grasp the outer edge of the filter with your hand to warm up the filter with your body heat without touching the filter surface.

Tom-Jim Solon , Aug 29, 2000; 01:31 a.m.

Humidity

Here is what I have done to minimize fogging in humid conditions while I was in the Philippines:

1- Keep equipment away from airconditioned spaces, IE: When in the hotel room or at a hosts home, leave the equipment either in the bathroom( door closed), kithcen, living room et al...

2- Before moving from an airconditioned room to the outdoors, place equipment in a heavy duty plastic bag (or air-tight container) with moisture absorbing 'selica gel' or desicants. Buy these at the camera store. This will save you much needed time. You can always re-use the desicants by heating them up in a low heated oven (250 Faren.)for 10 minutes.

Mike Dixon , Aug 29, 2000; 01:45 a.m.

If the lens is cold when you expose it to warm, moist air, it WILL fog up. Use a blow dryer to heat up the lenses before you go outside. It's fast, it's cheap, it's simple, and it works.

Anil Nediyara , Aug 29, 2000; 02:08 a.m.

I have faced the same problem in South Indian tropical climate. The only way out is to allow the lens to warm up to outside temp. I store my equipments in airconditioned (AC) room, this reduces the growth of fungus, humidity inside AC room is less. This is the better side of the problem.

Jeroen Schouten , Aug 29, 2000; 11:33 a.m.

Or take pics in various stages of fogging to get some very interesting effects.... Who needs those overpriced fog-filters huh??

Jim MacKenzie , Aug 29, 2000; 12:33 p.m.

The easiest solution is to let the gear warm up a little before you use it. Load it into your car (or wherever) and dawdle around outside for awhile. Make sure you don't have your air conditioning on, or that the gear isn't in an air conditioned area (e.g., back of a sport utility with A/C on won't help; trunk of a car is ok if the back seat is upright).

The same problem applies in winter here. I put my gear in the car and let it cool off to ambient temperature before use. Then I leave it in the bag while it warms up in the house, slowly, after I'm done.


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