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 seven 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 also salt in the air.The result may be dust inside the camera, a scratched lens or at worse an unrepairable camera. 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 of an ideal vacation 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 already 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 is 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, you are wrong. 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, when not in use, 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.
Protect your camera 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.
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 appliances is switched off and 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, my husband wraps cameras and lenses in diapers and then places 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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