Protect Your Camera From Humidity
Protecting Your Camera From Humidity and Sand
If you plan to travel or live in a tropical area, there are precautions that you should take to protect your camera and accessories from the humidity. My husband is a professional photographer and we have been living in the tropics for twelve years. We can tell you about the problems you may encounter and how to avoid some of these.
Often a trip to the tropics isn't only filled with humidity. If you are near the beach there will be other potential problems such as sand, dust, and salt in the air. The result may be dust inside the camera, a scratched lens or at worse a camera that is beyond repair. The humidity will cause mold to grow on the lenses and the salt air can lead to rust inside the camera.
With a little forward planning, you will return home with beautiful images and not a camera that will either need to be repaired or replaced.
If you are traveling with a camera, it should have its own bag. Putting your camera in your handbag or in your suitcase may be convenient but can lead to the scratches and other possible damage. Camera bags are specially designed to cushion your camera, lenses, and other photographic accessories.
There is usually a designated place for you camera's memory cards as well. These too are sensitive to the damaging humidity.
What is Silica Gel
You may have seen silica gel and didn't realize what it was. They often come in boxes along with other packing material. They are the little pouches that are usually tucked in a corner. If you keep your camera in a bag, it's always a good idea to have silica gel packets inside the bag. They are small enough to tuck in each compartment.
These will help keep the moisture away from your camera when you are traveling.
Using Diapers to Protect Camera Equipment
If you think I am kidding, I'm not. Have you ever seen a child with a wet disposable diaper? They are extremely absorbent, and are just what you need. Keeping a camera and lens wrapped in diapers, will keep your camera almost free from moisture. These can be quite bulky so when you reach your destination, this is the place to use these. In a camera bag you should use the silica gel.
Protection From Sand and Dust
Protecting your camera from sand, is important if you don't wish to have a cleaning bill when you return home. The fine particles can blow into the smallest openings on your camera. These can be the openings where the dials move or between the camera and lens. Another place of great concern is the lens. As the sand blows past the lens, it is scratching the surface. If you have felt the sand whipping against you skin, you know how damaging it can be. Purchasing a protective filter will aid in the preservation of your lens.
Whether you are near the beach or in a desert location, blowing sand can prove a problem not just for the camera body but also the lens. A protective camera housing is your best bet but if you can't afford that there are things you can do. A rain sleeve or hood will offer protection not only against rain but also sand.
In a pinch you can use a trash bag and duct tape to protect the most vulnerable areas.
Recycle an Old Refrigerator
If you will be staying in one location for an extended time, consider using a refrigerator. Because of the rubber seals that are around a refrigerator they make wonderful storage units. Ensure the appliance is switched off and dry, then place your camera inside. We have found this to be an excellent storage not just for camera equipment but anything else that is sensitive to humidity. As extra protection, we wrap cameras and lenses in diapers and then place them in the refrigerator.
If you are traveling with valuable camera equipment, travel insurance is a must. Not only is this necessary for medical reasons but also for theft. Check your policy to see if it covers your cameras and lenses. This should also be for damage to your camera not just coverage if stolen. You may pay a bit more for an extensive coverage but in the long run it will be worth the added expense.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Mary Wickison