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02-28-2012, 11:51 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by jford Quote
First - silica gel does work - if it is dry and if the space is sealed to limit the amount of moisture being adsorbed and if sufficient time is allowed. Some companies offer packets with a color-indicating silica - usually blue when dried, pink when not dry.

For what it's worth, I'm familiar with a system to provide a (nearly) continuous stream of dry air to an instrument - an air compressor forces air through a bed of silica gel. Periodically (once a day, I think), the air is automatically vented away from the instrument (but still through the silica) and the silica heated to about 300 F, which dries it. After the drying cycle, the silica is allowed to cool, and the air again pumped through it into the instrument. As I recall, it cost us about $8000, without the compressor. Supposedly will last twenty years. Could probably be built for a few hundred US$. Maybe $1000.

Yes, UV light will kill fungus. And yes, short-wave UV is much more effective than sunlight or long-wave UV. But short-wave UV can also cause retinal burns, cataracts, sun burns, skin cancer, and blindness. Watch yourselves folks. Be certain you understand what you're doing.

As mentioned above, for at least some types of fungus, dryness doesn't really kill the spores - it just causes growth to stop. Yes, fungus spores are (nearly) everywhere. They are marvelously versatile little pests.
Right, and from my research.
Camera gear is best kept at 45-55% humidity.

03-01-2012, 08:28 AM   #32
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I don't think anyone mentioned those cheap and available vapor barrier zip-lock freezer plastic bags for lens storage. With a small ACTIVE silica gel bag inside they should be great especially for the lenses and accessories you don't use all that often. You can get them in various sizes for almost any size lens and they recycle easy enough. That should work very well to lower the humidity around the lens and also provide visual access to what is inside.
03-01-2012, 04:46 PM - 1 Like   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
Build the dry cabinet you mentioned and take out your equipment only when shooting. Your fungus will not increase if you keep the humidity lower than the dormant level.
Like Creampuff I live in Singapore ... he's right. When I first arrived here I stored some Canon FD lenses on a shelf - they were infested within a year.

I had my dry box pack up recently, although the relative humidity meter still works. I bought some of those dehumidifying canisters you can buy in the supermarket here. With one of those inside, the humidity is lower than the dry box was achieving when the heater was working. One of these in an airtight container would work if the electricity supply is uncertain. Of course the canisters have to be upright, so it's not a portable solution.


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