Storage of expensive lenses

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Alan Johnson, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Alan Johnson

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    Most of my gear is not expensive and has lived happily in a cool dark dry domestic cupboard.
    But I have 3 lenses I would like to keep with minimal fungus, as in this Zeiss tract:
    https://www.zeiss.co.uk/camera-lenses/service/content/fungus-on-lenses.html
    If they are kept in a sealed airtight plastic box, with some indicator silica gel, in a 70F domestic room, would that be better than leaving them in the cold cupboard? I'm not intending to go to some extremes proposed by Zeiss.
     
  2. guangong

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    I keep my more expensive stuff in my gun safe, which has humidity control. Even then, check things over frequently. During past summer I was preoccupied and didn’t realize that humidity control was broken, necessitating two days removing an initial fungus attack. Luckily, no lasting damage. It also helps to give lenses a sun bath every now and then. Overall, frequent use of lenses is the best way to insure their health.
     
  3. jim10219

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    I had kept my passport, birth certificate, and other important papers in a small, supposedly airtight safe with a bunch of silicon gel packets. When I opened it back up a couple of years later, everything was covered in mold. Needless to say, I was very disappointed. I even kept the safe in a closet in my house, so it wasn't exposed to extreme temperatures. But apparently, sealing it off from the circulating air was a mistake.

    I keep my lenses in the open air with dust caps over them. I occasionally check them for mold and fungus (usually when I grab one to shoot with). If you can get to the fungus early enough, it can be removed without any damage. So your best defense against fungus is persistence. Once every few months should be fine.

    I own a few expensive musical instruments. There is a rule in the musical instrument world. Never store an instrument in a room that you'd be uncomfortable in. Keep the temperature and the humidity relatively stable. Also, make sure to give it some use from time to time to make sure everything's is functioning as it should be. That's pretty much the same philosophy I take for camera gear, electronics, and anything else that is valuable outside of jewelry.
     
  4. jgoody

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    It seems that sealing up camera equipment in an airtight container or safe is probably the worst idea. A closet or cabinet that get some airflow seems fine.
     
  5. ic-racer

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    Monitor and control humidity. I use a sling psychrometer, because it does not go out of calibration.
     
  6. The humidity level in southern California is usually low, so I store my lenses * with lens caps in open backpacks. I have done that for many decades without problems.







    * Nikon, Hasselblad, 4"x5" lenses
     
  7. OP
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    Alan Johnson

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    Thank you
    I am considering warm 70F domestic room, plastic box with air circulation, not sealed,combination thermometer/humidity meter.
    So far a better plan than the original.
     
  8. RalphLambrecht

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    I keep my photographic equipment in a domestic room averaging 20C and60-65%RH;no fungus issues over the past 20 years; fingers crossed.
     
  9. Old-N-Feeble

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    All my lenses are individually in plastic bags with silica gel packets inside... never... never... never had a problem.
     
  10. Arklatexian

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    Where I live is just the opposite. Hot and humid! Fortunately most of our homes are cool inside using refrigerated air conditioning to make them comfortable/livable. This is either central air conditioning or window units. This "cool" air is also "dry' air and the days of closets full of shoes, white with mildew (fungus) are almost unknown to most people under 70. What about lenses? Fungus spores have a hard time developing under cool, dry conditions (air conditioning) so I keep my camera equipment in the house where I live and check everything at least once every two months. As they say in Jamaica: "No Problem". Where there is no air condition, like in the tropics, Kodak once recommended storing lenses near a burning, tungsten filament light bulb. It seems that fungus also does not like high temperatures either.......Rergards!
     
  11. Luis-F-S

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    In a 25CF safe in an airconditioned/heated room. Been that way for the past 30 years
     
  12. Theo Sulphate

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    For decades, in the Pacific Northwet, I kept all my lenses out in the open, usually affixed to cameras, in a dedicated camera room where the temperature varied between 62F in winter to 78F in summer. Relative humidity was between 30% and 60% (the top reading only for short periods for a few days).

    I don't like keeping cameras and lenses in the dark, sealed up.

    As Jim stated above "Never store an instrument in a room that you'd be uncomfortable in."
     
  13. mshchem

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    I have always been careful. Don't leave in a sealed up camera bag. As long as the lens gets free air flow, in an air conditioned space should be fine. Basements are really bad, damp and a native environment for mold and fungi. In my darkroom I have a dehumidifier set to run year round, it doesn't run much at all in the cool months, but come sultry Iowa summers, even with AC, that dehumidifier runs a lot.
    Best Regards Mike
     
  14. RalphLambrecht

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    the attached graph may give some guidance.
     

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    Alan Johnson

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    Thanks Ralph.
    That should be fine.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  16. Steve Goldstein

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    My less-used lenses live in a large safe because I have it and it has room. A container of DampRid in the safe controls moisture, and I periodically change it out as the bottom of the container fills with water. I've been doing this for the better part of three decades, including many years when the safe was in a damp-in-summer basement, and have never had an issue with fungus or mold.

    In the US you can get DampRid at some of the big-box stores (Lowes, Home Depot, maybe even Walmart) or marine supply stores that serve boat owners. It's Calcium chloride.
     
  17. trendland

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    You are right.
    It is ALLWAYS better as you mentioned.
    But this issue was unclear before ?
    Avoiding humidity,changing and extreme temperatures and mecanical impacts is what every lens within storrage will love.

    with regards
     
  18. RalphLambrecht

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    silica packs do't last forever.I just keep equipment within the human comfort zone:
     

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  19. +1
     
  20. paul ron

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    Silica packs have to be desiccated every now and again. I just put them in my oven that has a pilot light (150°F) overnight. If in a sealed ziploc bag they can stay dry for about 3 months or so depending on the time of year it is. Winter they tend to stay dry longer since the humidity is very low with the heat in the house.

    My silica packs have an indicator so I know when to desiccate again.

    .
     
  21. RalphLambrecht

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    storing equipment in comfortable living conditions is just fine.
     
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