DIY Dry Box For Camera Lens and Body.

I was walking around in the rain the other day with my camera and telephoto lens, getting some strange looks. I was carrying a rain cover, but they can be kind of awkward to use. Unless it’s coming down pretty heavily I don’t worry about it too much. Because I use a dry box.

Fungus inside camera lens

Fungus develops when moisture gets into a camera lens or body and is left there to turn into a science experiment. I don’t have personal experience with fungus, but I have read some real horror stories. And, as you can understand from seeing this image, it is something I want to avoid.

Above is a humidity controlled storage cabinet. It runs on electricity and can be bought for $150 or so, depending on the size. Or, you can make your own for less that doesn’t require electricity.

There are plenty of “advice” resources on-line, some good some bad. I don’t remember where I came across this idea, but it is a winner.

This a Sterilite container for storing clothing, like sweaters. It has a gasket for an airtight seal. They come in different sizes. I think I paid about $20 for it.

These large desiccant packets (about 3″x3″) came from Amazon. They do a great job of removing moisture; I think they could suck wet paint off the walls. And, they are reusable. “Bake” them in the oven at 200 degree for about an hour and they’re like new again.

Battery operated hydrometer

That’s it! Put your camera gear inside, throw in a packet or two, and monitor the hydrometer. When I came in from the rain the other day, I put my camera body and lens (separated with lens caps removed) inside of mine. The humidity level shot up to 56%, which is still probably nothing to get too worried about. But, after leaving them in there overnight it came down to 10%.

I’ve seen people comment “once moisture gets into your lens, you can’t get it out.” I don’t understand the physics behind that comment. If it can get into your lens, why can’t it get out? Also, “this will suck the lubricant out of the moving lens parts.” Really? Petroleum/Silicone based lubricants have water in them now?

Camera bodies and lenses are very sophisticated technology these days. Both have software in them controlling the mechanisms. I don’t feel like taking a chance with not doing all I can to protect them. Even if you use an umbrella, when it’s raining the humidity level is 100%. In the past I have used neoprene covers on the lens. But, a Pro I follow says they do nothing more than store moisture and hold it right next to the lens. That makes sense to me.

Published by Larry Maras

Nature Photographer in Summerville, SC.

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