Lens Condensation

Discussion in 'Through-the-Lens Club' started by Padre, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. Padre

    Padre

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    Hello:
    I have a problem that I hope somebody can assist with.
    Today I took my camera out (Canon T3i) do do some shooting. My room is approximately 75 deg. and 71% humidity.
    When I got outside the lens fogged up. This has happened before but this time the INTERNAL lens element also fogged up. Took about 30 min for the entire lens to unfog.
    I don't really want to have to wait 20-30 minutes for my lens to unfog before I can use it.
    Any suggestions on a way around my problem.
    Thanks
    <Padre> :wavey:
     
  2. Paul53

    Paul53 MAKE HATE WRONG AGAIN!

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    Lens should be sealed with inert gas inside. Interior condensation impossible. Anybody know otherwise?
     

  3. KentuckyPatriot

    KentuckyPatriot Photojournalist

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    Not impossibe...in fact lenses can actually grow fungus internally when gaskets and seals fail. I would have this lens sent to the maker for an overview and possible repair before it is too late.

    Of course if this is a kit lens you can wait and buy a better lens down the road.
     
  4. JimBianchi

    JimBianchi Da Da CLM

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    This is more common than you think, but generally only present in more extreme environments like AK in winter going from warm home to cold air or the jungle when really hot going into a cold AC building.

    I used to have to keep my camera under my jacket for a few minutes before going outside and keep in my coat, near my body, when outside in the cold. In high humidity keep the camera out of the AC by keeping it in the bag and in a non-ac room like the bathroom or trunk of a car. As a retired pro photographer I had to learn a bunch tricks to save my gear. I think digital camera are better sealed than the film ones and had much more of an issue when shooting film.

    The rapid change in temp is the issue. (The actual Dew Point will determine when it happens) Just like a cold can of coke gets condensation after a few minutes in your hand.

    You can also remove a lot of trapped moisture by letting you camera and lens sit in a large bin of dry rice over night. (I would wrap it in a paper towel first) Put it in, close the lid and wait 12 to 24hr, it will really dry it out. (Also can save a camera/phone/other electronic that have been dropped in the water, works 50% of the time)

    Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  5. Cubdriver

    Cubdriver

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    Lenses typically aren't sealed, and depending on the construction, some 'breathe' far more than others. Zooms that extend and retract are especially prone to it; the Canon 100-400 f/4.5=5.6 is a notorious dust pump - it about doubles in length as you zoom it from min to max focal length. Regular lenses will usually breathe somewhat as they focus, too, if they change length at all to do so.

    What lens are you using, and when did it fog up internally? Immediately, or after some time outside? About all I can suggest off the top of my head is to try to 'preheat' the lens before going out into the high humidity. Can you put it in the sun on a windowsill or something similar when you plan on going shooting? If you could get the lens and its internals to the same temp (or nearly so) as the outside is, you shouldn't have any problems with condensation.

    Another possibility would be to seal it in a plastic back when you take it out, and let it sit and warm up to the outdoor temp before opening it. (Akin to what we need to do in winter when coming in from the cold outside, though indoor humidity is usually low enough that it's not too much of a problem in my experience.)

    I'd imagine that the humidity must be pretty brutal in the Marshalls.

    -Pat
     
  6. officer196

    officer196

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    Nothing unusual and there really is nothing you can do about it. Lens' need to be assimilated slowly if possible to new weather conditions if possible and most lenses are not sealed. Unfortunately it's just part of the game.
     
  7. PhotoFeller

    PhotoFeller A swamp dude

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    This has been my experience, especially in Florida, when the camera is moved from the dry, cool indoor environment to the hot, humid outdoors.

    When I know I'm gonna use the camera outdoors, I set it in the garage for an hour or so ahead of time to let the fog clear.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  8. Padre

    Padre

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    Hello Pat and all others that have responded. Thank you for your replies and the excellent suggestions. I'll try some of them to find one that seems to work for my lens.
    I am using a Canon EFS 18-55mm kit lens. Good lens (not excellent) but good for now. EVERYTHING fogs up when you leave your apartment (eyeglass lens, mirrors, etc). The humidity is sometimes 85-90% with a temp of around 85 degrees every day. Right now (at 1:45PM) it's 85% humidity with a dew point of 75 degrees. Temp is 80 deg F.
    Great place to live with a lot of photographic opportunities but hard to do with a fogged up lens.
    Again, thank you for your suggestions. Will try to upload some of my pics of the island/area as soon as I can figure out the best way to do it (link or ??)
    Regards,
    Dennie :wavey: