Conserve and protect cameras and lenses

Conserve and protect cameras and lenses

Published : 03/08/2016 - Categories : PROFESSIONISTA , Professional Use

Often we put the camera equipment well protected in its case, maybe with a couple of sachets of silica gel inside, so as to keep it intact and resistant to moisture and mold. BUT NOT 'SO' THAT PROTECT , indeed.

Leave all the photographic equipment inside the case or carrying case for long periods when not in use is a common mistake but rather deleterious for optical, given that the moisture possibly forfeited by the transport bag (which is hygroscopic) then it is poured on the equipment contained inside .

If we keep purses and backpacks in cabinets or drawers air exchange is minimal and practically the car and objectives are always in a closed environment, and with too high relative humidity . The damage is done and the result is the formation of mold and spores on the lenses and possible corrosion on the metal parts of the camera body. 
the creation of dedicated environments, created inside the furniture or shelves well lined to protect the lenses from possible shocks does not guarantee protection from moisture and condensation, with the risk of mold and mildew formation.


Use plastic boxes or in any case made of insulating material (glass, metal etc ...)

The best solution when you do not use your own equipment, you can always remove it from the bag and put it in a plastic box with lid . All the more so the seal is hermetic, the better the dehydrating action. In some cases there has been reported the use of simple glass jars with spring cap and rubber seal (commonly used for canning or food) to insert sized goals not excessive (type 55-300). They are really excellent because they ensure a tight seal.

Use silica gel new or refurbished properly

Sometimes the silica gel sachets do not seem to work properly to protect the machine from moisture and objectives, or seem to dry up immediately. This mainly depends on two factors:

  • The isolation of the environment in which they are placed is not adequate, as we said above;
  • The desiccant bags are already exhausted before using them often for convenience bags, especially those in small weights, are retrieved from other packaging such as bags, shoes etc ..

It 'important that the silica gel sachets, before being re-used, are reviewed and if regenerated . What does it mean? If we use the sachets already exhausted, that is already fully "moisture-laden", will no longer be able to dry, or keep dry the environment in which they are placed.

To verify their condition we will have to weigh them to verify how the weight is greater than the initial one ( are exhausted in about 20% more than the original weight ), and in the case regenerate them in the normal oven or microwave. Otherwise if the bags are new and sealed, perhaps accompanied by a humidity indicator which indicates to us the state, we can place them directly in the container together with lenses or camera body to preserve moisture.

Use the right amount of silica gel

For small containers as much as possible sealed with individual targets can be functional very small sachets of silica gel, for example by 5 g , and more to the overall dimensions of the individual sachets in reality. In fact it is always good to overestimate the amount and size of desiccant pouches for use in sealed containers to have really the security of adequate desiccant action and protection from moisture. We are talking of an action of "drying", which is based on the unique capacity of the wire silicagel and maintain if 'the water molecules, but which by its nature has a saturation point beyond which, if not done a silica gel regeneration, its action is exhausted.

So the greater the amount of silica gel used, it will take more time because this runs out , always in optimal conditions (ie no passage of air from the container in which it is inserted to the external environment). For small or medium sized containers can fit envelopes 20 to 60 g .

often occur, at least initially, as they work the sachets

Once prepared boxes or well-sealed jars, and positioned targets, camera bodies and bags of silica gel is important, at least in the first period, weigh them to see what they are absorbing . This allows you to see if the solution found is correct , and allows us to intercept the envelopes before they have exhausted their action , and then replace or regenerate them.

The silica gel, useful ally also in action

Sometimes special climatic conditions , very rigid or with humidity and rain, can cause condensation problems in the equipment with the change of temperature outside. A system to minimize some of these problems might be to place the machine in a bag together with the envelopes silicagel , obviously not saturated, close well and leave some time to absorb the condensate linked to the sudden change of temperature.

The silica gel is presented in envelopes of two types: TNT and TYVEK

The TYVEK , compared to TNT (nonwoven fabric), a certificate is material for the production of desiccant material emitting sachets of powder equal to 0 . This makes it indicated in those special situations in which it is necessary there is not even the most microscopic dust release. This feature means, however, that it is not possible to regenerate the sachets in TIVEK . 
The envelopes in TNT by their nature are porous and this allows to regenerate , because moisture can escape from the sachet if it is heated to the appropriate temperature, but It may issue an infinitesimal quantity of powder given by the rubbing of the crystals of silica gel.

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