How bad is low humidity for camera equipment in the short-term?

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Platographer Contributing Member • Posts: 803
How bad is low humidity for camera equipment in the short-term?

I know that low humidity, like high humidity, is not good for camera gear. I have two questions related to this.

First, are relative humidity (RH) levels around 25% too low for a few months over the winter? My dry cabinet, which I started using in May and keep set at around 40% RH always seemed to be working (when I opened the door the RH would go up) until just recently. It is now at 33% RH and I anticipate it will drop more.

Second, how bad is short-term (less than one week) exposure to extreme low humidity levels like 12% RH? Places like Death Valley have such low humidity frequently AFAIK. Similarly, how bad is long-term high humidity? Like, when I go to the tropics for a one-week trip, should I bring desiccants? Or, is that not enough time to worry about fungus or mold starting to grow?

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