How to remove condensation out of camera/lens within 10 hours

Started Apr 30, 2019 | Discussions
amateurphotographer Senior Member • Posts: 1,104
How to remove condensation out of camera/lens within 10 hours

Hi folks,

Just come back from hols. Camera was soaked in the waterfalls but still worked.

After going in and out of waterfalls all day on rainy days, as expected camera fogged up with condensation.

As the instruction manual says, no camera (except waterproof ones), are sealed from condensation.

So besides getting a fully waterproof camera. How does one, remove condensation in the camera quickly like overnight (say 10 hrs). I say 10 hrs as that is overnight when camera not in use.

Anyone with real experience with zip lock bag and zillion silica gel and squeezing the air out of the bag first? Put in a warm room or used a hair dryer from a distance. If yes, please let us know your findings. i.e. how much silica gels used and how long it took to clear the fogging.

Yes, before entering warm area - you can put the lens and camera in a zip lock bag, trying to equalise the temperature .

For the lens with a fogged circular patch in the centre of the lens, I used a hair dryer on lowest power and some distance away. Ran it for a couple of hours and it worked. Given lenses can take at least 40C as used in dessert conditions , I guess under low power the hair dryer wont damage the lens.

Anyone know of a miniature portable dry box or other gadget to remove condensation? Do you think a vacuum pump would work (but has to be the deal with liquids), has to be portable ?

Yes I used a waterproof cover, but yes that protects the camera from getting wet, but your hand inside the cover also generate heat and mists up the camera.

Taking the camera in and out of a warm car on a cold day, also creates fogging. yes I did put the camera in the boot which tends to be cooler than inside the passenger area.

I think for me, just get a waterproof camera

So what are people's experience and solutions, be great to hear.

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The Grumpy Snapper Contributing Member • Posts: 573
Re: How to remove condensation out of camera/lens within 10 hours

Safe solution. Seal it in an air tight container with some dessicant, silica gel (or rice if you don't have a proper dessicant).

Less safe solution. Bake it in the oven at the lowest temperature setting. My solution after having my OM1, 24mm and 50mm submerged in Georgian Bay for 15 minutes. I was using the camera and lenses the next day.

Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 15,536
Re: How to remove condensation out of camera/lens within 10 hours
1

A pair of these silica gel blocks in a plastic box with the camera & lens overnight.

Amazon - Safe Silica Gel Desiccant Packeks Dehumidifier - Rechargeable Fabric Silica Canister for DSLR Cameras Storage

Place the box above a turned on light bulb to keep it warm.

You can microwave the silica gel blocks until they are just too hot to handle, let them cool 5 minutes then repeat to drive the moisture out of the blocks so you can use them again.

I keep four in my electronic dry box for use in cases just like yours.  After overnight with the blocks it is into the electronic dry box.

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OP amateurphotographer Senior Member • Posts: 1,104
Re: How to remove condensation out of camera/lens within 10 hours

The Grumpy Snapper wrote:

Safe solution. Seal it in an air tight container with some dessicant, silica gel (or rice if you don't have a proper dessicant).

Less safe solution. Bake it in the oven at the lowest temperature setting. My solution after having my OM1, 24mm and 50mm submerged in Georgian Bay for 15 minutes. I was using the camera and lenses the next day.

brave put your camera in the oven.  But given that the cost of repairs would probably mean buying a new camera, then it seemed worthwhile doing this.  My concern would have been the sensor being damaged by the heat.  You must have been overjoyed when all was working again!  well done!

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NancyP Veteran Member • Posts: 6,606
Re: How to remove condensation out of camera/lens within 10 hours

If caught without usable silica gel, a plastic bag and a small sealed (maximum dryness in rice) plastic bag of rice will do the job. Obviously you need to expose the rice to the air in order to absorb moisture given off by the camera. One can get a bag of rice almost anywhere. Note - rice has dust, be careful, it might be best to put the camera on a platform (eg, paper plate) over the rice or to put the rice in a dry untreated nylon (not "silnylon"!) small stuff sack/ ditty bag. Cheap, weighs nothing for those who have weight limits traveling.

Olympus Tough cameras are decent point and shoot fully waterproof cameras, with the option to shoot in raw format (Oly raw). You can't dive deep with them, but for snaps at the beach or on the river, great.

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NancyP

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OP amateurphotographer Senior Member • Posts: 1,104
Re: How to remove condensation out of camera/lens within 10 hours

NancyP wrote:

If caught without usable silica gel, a plastic bag and a small sealed (maximum dryness in rice) plastic bag of rice will do the job. Obviously you need to expose the rice to the air in order to absorb moisture given off by the camera. One can get a bag of rice almost anywhere. Note - rice has dust, be careful, it might be best to put the camera on a platform (eg, paper plate) over the rice or to put the rice in a dry untreated nylon (not "silnylon"!) small stuff sack/ ditty bag. Cheap, weighs nothing for those who have weight limits traveling.

Olympus Tough cameras are decent point and shoot fully waterproof cameras, with the option to shoot in raw format (Oly raw). You can't dive deep with them, but for snaps at the beach or on the river, great.

Hi, I also used course salt crystals, i think that was ok.

Yeah, I probably get the olympus tough, and wide adapter.  Good to have for rainy days.

Thanks

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hotdog321
hotdog321 Forum Pro • Posts: 21,122
Re: How to remove condensation out of camera/lens within 10 hours
1

Depending on the severity of the problem it might not be possible in ten hours. Personally, I've successfully used gentle heat to cook the moisture out via evaporation. Putting gear on the radiator in a dry environment or even in a hot, sunny window works.

Note that severe condensation might leave water spots inside the lens even once it dries. If that happens the only solutions are professional cleaning or living with it.

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OP amateurphotographer Senior Member • Posts: 1,104
Re: How to remove condensation out of camera/lens within 10 hours

hotdog321 wrote:

Depending on the severity of the problem it might not be possible in ten hours. Personally, I've successfully used gentle heat to cook the moisture out via evaporation. Putting gear on the radiator in a dry environment or even in a hot, sunny window works.

Note that severe condensation might leave water spots inside the lens even once it dries. If that happens the only solutions are professional cleaning or living with it.

Good point with the water spots after drying.

I found that my camera phone took "better" ( in terms of less water droplets visible)  when it was raining than my large zoom attached to my sony A7.  Obviously the larger exposed glass showed more rain drops than the small lens of a camera phone and was harder to get droplet free.  Yes I pointed the camera downwards and only raised it when shooting.

So I think shielding the lens (somehow) of a waterproof camera is the way ahead to shoot in wet conditions.

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OP amateurphotographer Senior Member • Posts: 1,104
Re: How to remove condensation out of camera/lens within 10 hours

amateurphotographer wrote:

hotdog321 wrote:

Depending on the severity of the problem it might not be possible in ten hours. Personally, I've successfully used gentle heat to cook the moisture out via evaporation. Putting gear on the radiator in a dry environment or even in a hot, sunny window works.

Note that severe condensation might leave water spots inside the lens even once it dries. If that happens the only solutions are professional cleaning or living with it.

Good point with the water spots after drying.

I found that my camera phone took "better" ( in terms of less water droplets visible) when it was raining than my large zoom attached to my sony A7. Obviously the larger exposed glass showed more rain drops than the small lens of a camera phone and was harder to get droplet free. Yes I pointed the camera downwards and only raised it when shooting.

So I think shielding the lens (somehow) of a waterproof camera is the way ahead to shoot in wet conditions.

this looks interesting, although rather bulky,

https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/news/camera-canopy-literally-shields-your-kit-from-the-rain

Am sure you can make something similiar like using one of those student transparent A4 folders, just find material slightly bendy yet stiff enough.

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hotdog321
hotdog321 Forum Pro • Posts: 21,122
Re: How to remove condensation out of camera/lens within 10 hours

amateurphotographer wrote:

hotdog321 wrote:

Depending on the severity of the problem it might not be possible in ten hours. Personally, I've successfully used gentle heat to cook the moisture out via evaporation. Putting gear on the radiator in a dry environment or even in a hot, sunny window works.

Note that severe condensation might leave water spots inside the lens even once it dries. If that happens the only solutions are professional cleaning or living with it.

Good point with the water spots after drying.

I found that my camera phone took "better" ( in terms of less water droplets visible) when it was raining than my large zoom attached to my sony A7. Obviously the larger exposed glass showed more rain drops than the small lens of a camera phone and was harder to get droplet free. Yes I pointed the camera downwards and only raised it when shooting.

So I think shielding the lens (somehow) of a waterproof camera is the way ahead to shoot in wet conditions.

A lens hood will provide protection for the front element unless the rain is blowing directly into your face. Furthermore, this is one of the (very) few times I might suggest a clear filter to keep rain off the front element and make it easier to wipe dry.

When I shoot in the rain, I often just carry a golf umbrella and towel draped across the body. More intense rain might demand an Op/Tech Rainsleeve. I keep a couple stashed in my camera bag.

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Grobian Forum Member • Posts: 68
Re: How to remove condensation out of camera/lens within 10 hours

hotdog321 wrote:

A lens hood will provide protection for the front element unless the rain is blowing directly into your face. Furthermore, this is one of the (very) few times I might suggest a clear filter to keep rain off the front element and make it easier to wipe dry.

When I shoot in the rain, I often just carry a golf umbrella and towel draped across the body. More intense rain might demand an Op/Tech Rainsleeve. I keep a couple stashed in my camera bag.

That's a little funny, when considering how diverse the conditions are around the globe. Where I come from it would be unthinkable to usefully hold an umbrella 99/100 days of rain - due to the wind! The umbrella would be more likely to work as a tool for flight than rain cover

The lens hood is a really nice suggestion. Although it makes for more difficult wiping from rain water when you are shooting into the wind/rain.

I've used the cover from Peak Design, but it's a little cumbersome to use, and you really need to practice using the controls on the camera beforehand with the cover on.

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