DSLR in Mexico - Lens fogging up??

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Vegasvec, May 9, 2010.

  1. Vegasvec

    Vegasvec TPF Noob!

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    I am going to take my DSLR on my honeymoon to Mexico in July and I am worried about the lens steaming up. When I was in Mexico a few years ago, I remember my point n shoot camera would fog up after I walked outside the hotel and turned on the camera. I think it was the fact I was going from an air conditioned area to the humid outside.

    So I would usually have to wipe the lens, to get the steam off. But I never had the proper wipes so I had to use my shirt or other soft cloth. I am worried about this happening with my DSLR. Any suggestions?

    Also, I have a UV filter over the lens. If I do get it to fog up, am I going to have to take off the filter, clean the lens, put the filter back on and clean the filter?

    Looking for some advice. Thanks!
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    A dSLR lens has a lot more lens elements in it than a P&S.

    It's likely the internal glass elements will also get condensation on them when moving from the air conditioning inside to the hotter, humid air outside.

    I would strongly recommend removing the UV filter. They cause more problems than they solve.

    You will need to let the camera and lens aclimate for about 15 or 20 minutes for the temperature to stabilize and the condensation to evaporate.

    It would be helpful to have some dessicant in your camera bag:

    Pelican | Silica Gel | 1500-500-000 | B&H Photo Video
     
  3. Vegasvec

    Vegasvec TPF Noob!

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    But when I typically experience the fog, it is coming from air conditioning to the oustide.

    I am sure this will work for the reverse - if I am outside in the humidity for a while and go into a cooler area, then condensation would set in. But would this help prevent fogging outisde?
     
  4. Jeff Colburn

    Jeff Colburn TPF Noob!

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    Do what KmH said, and it will fix your fogging issue, inside and out. The camera must reach the outside temperature to stop your fogging issue, and the condensation that forms must evaporate.

    To wipe off the fog, go to a camera store and buy a microfiber cloth or lens tissue. In an emergency, use a dollar bill. It won't leave any lint behind.

    Have Fun,
    Jeff
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Generaly speaking the best approach is to just wait for the lens and camera to get used to the new climate around it. You can use a microfibre cloth to wipe the condensation off, but generally speaking I find that it just makes things more tricky (smears and stuff) and its just easier to let it warm/cool and defog itself.
    I get the same when shooting in butterfly/bug houses where things jump in humidity and temperature and it really is best just to play the waiting game.
     
  6. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    Good advice here. I just wanted to say I use the same thing KmH referenced at BH Photo. You can recharge them in the oven and re-use them. I always have one in my bag during the summer.
     
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Totaly valid approach that - the idea being that the sealed back will let the camera aclimatise without the buildup of condensation as a result.
     
  8. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    I've heard that before too, from "experienced" photographers. Of course, I don't know if any of them have done it, or just passed it on. But it sounds logical to me. I've also heard that keeping it in your bag, with bag closed and adding silica gel for extra mositure absorption to the bag is typically effecient as well.

    The latter is all I have ever done, and have not seen issues. But I have only been in humid and extreme heat with my camera a few times, and don't recall having any fogging issues since simply out of the nature of the way things went I didn't pull it our right away from the bag (didn't need to). The times I saw the fogging, I let the camera adjust on it's own and it adjusted quickly. When I tried once to wipe it, it was like Overread said, the moisture mainly got smeared around on the front lens element.
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, the issue is condensation.

    When hot (humid) air comes in contact with a cold surface, condensation will form. Thing of a glass of ice cold lemonade on a hot summer's day...condensation forms on the outside of the glass because it's cool.
    This is the same thing that happens to the camera (or say, your eye glasses) when you go from a cool (dry) air conditioned place out into a warm (humid) space.

    As mentioned, if you let your gear warm up before exposing it to the warm air, you can prevent the condensation from forming on it. The zip-lock bag is perfect for this.

    The same thing happens when you go from a cold outdoor climate into a warm (humid) house.
     
  10. scorpion_tyr

    scorpion_tyr No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can't prevent it, just be patient and let it go away. It will happen every time, unless you stay at a hotel with no AC.
     
  11. Josh220

    Josh220 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Good info, I added one of the Pelican Silica Gel's to my never-ending B&H carts and will take some plastic bags with me when I go to Hawaii. I am sure I will experience similar effects so I'll go prepared.
     
  12. AUZambo

    AUZambo TPF Noob!

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    I have this exact same problem everytime I visit the beaches in Alabama and Florida. I learned that before going anywhere I need to set my camera (out of the bag) on the patio table for about 20-30 minutes to give the condensation time to evaporate.

    Wiping the lens will only make the problem worse because then you run the risk of leaving streaks on the glass. Just be patient and give it time to go away.
     

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