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07-11-2014, 05:31 AM   #1
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Lens storage.... how do YOU do it?

Okay, my LBA has reached the point that I'm having a problem storing all of them. I've filled two hard cases (with the foam rubber insides) and two of the soft, shoulder-strap kind and now, I've got several sitting on a window seat in my office. My gun safe is full of guns and there's no room for camera gear. I suppose I could continue to buy the hard cases as my lens collection continues to grow, but I thought I'd ask and see what you guys/gals use, short of empty cardboard boxes wine comes in! Hey, wait..... that might work!

Dewman
Idaho

07-11-2014, 06:05 AM   #2
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I can't imagine the problems you encounter when you store your antique car collection

I think a large fishing tackle box might work. All sorts of sizes and shapes and you can get a great deal end of season.
07-11-2014, 06:14 AM   #3
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Are you asking for straight up storage ideas, or storage you can carry around, travel with, etc? I have the lenses I don't keep in my bag stacked on a bookcase in my office, along with boxes and paperwork from cameras and lenses where applicable. I don't have all that many (try telling my wife that, though! hah.), so this way it's pretty easy to find one if I need it for something.

Why not get some decorative lidded magazine/photo boxes or something comparable and use those? You can write on the label which lenses are inside, stack the boxes, etc. Then just use the carrying cases for lenses you'd need for a given situation (example: I have most of my macro stuff in a second camera bag since I don't typically need it and when I do I probably want most of it together).

I also recently purchased a few inexpensive drawstring neoprene lens pouches on amazon to protect my lenses from one another - handy bonus in that they all have a clip I can snap onto my belt or a strap so when I don't have large enough pockets for them and my wife doesn't want to carry them in her purse, I still have an option that isn't terribly awkward.

---------- Post added 07-11-14 at 09:23 AM ----------

Actually, re: wine -- if only Ikea still sold their Gorm wine rack, that would have been perfect. It held about 100 bottles and wasn't terribly expensive. The slats supporting the bottles were close enough together that any lens bigger than the limited/pancake lenses wouldn't fall through, there'd be good airflow, and you could find them when you needed them. But sadly they discontinued that one a while back and alternatives are considerably more expensive.
07-11-2014, 06:23 AM   #4
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First world (or is that second amendment?) problem.
I own no guns, so I have plenty of room for my lenses.

07-11-2014, 06:26 AM   #5
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I picked up a used teak dresser at a yard sale for $10. I keep it in my home office. Lined the drawers with foam, keep a few moisture bags in there for good measure. Keep most of my gear handy, and pull out what I need to travel with. Like you, LBA has gotten to a point that it's impossible to carry it all. Time for a massive sell off one of these days. The excuse that, "I really don't need it right now...but it would be glorious on full frame someday.....", is getting old...might have to face the realities, and purge!
07-11-2014, 06:27 AM   #6
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Guess the other question is waht's the climate like where you live? If you have lenses you rarely use and you're in a humid environment, you might want to consider some kind of storage to protect against fungus. Personally, I'm trying to follow some advice I read regarding unloading lenses I'm not using. I figure I can always buy another one later if the urge strikes but in hte meantime I have money in the bank earning interest instead of on a shelf gathering dust and risking damage.
07-11-2014, 06:42 AM   #7
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I got myself a cubby hole shelf from Target. It's very similar to this :



Lenses can be stood up vertically except for the longer focal length zooms.
07-11-2014, 06:44 AM   #8
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Just sell what you haven't yet used this year. That'll solve the problem

07-11-2014, 06:55 AM   #9
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by jrpower10 Quote
Guess the other question is waht's the climate like where you live? If you have lenses you rarely use and you're in a humid environment, you might want to consider some kind of storage to protect against fungus. Personally, I'm trying to follow some advice I read regarding unloading lenses I'm not using. I figure I can always buy another one later if the urge strikes but in hte meantime I have money in the bank earning interest instead of on a shelf gathering dust and risking damage.
I live near Boise, Idaho and we have very low humidity as a general rule (Think high desert country).... usually less than 40%, even on a bad day, so that's not a problem. I suppose I'm by my lenses like I am my guns. I collect them, I don't sell them. However, my guns, for the most part, increase in value as opposed to most lenses. I'm a cabinet/furniture maker by avocation, so I suppose I could just get off my duff and build a nice wall-hanging cabinet to store them in, but that seems so practical! That would free up my hard cases and then, I could use them to transport my gear whenever I go out on a shoot.
Hmmm.... I seems that I've answered my own question, eh?
07-11-2014, 07:01 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dewman Quote
Okay, my LBA has reached the point that I'm having a problem storing all of them. I've filled two hard cases (with the foam rubber insides) and two of the soft, shoulder-strap kind and now, I've got several sitting on a window seat in my office. My gun safe is full of guns and there's no room for camera gear. I suppose I could continue to buy the hard cases as my lens collection continues to grow, but I thought I'd ask and see what you guys/gals use, short of empty cardboard boxes wine comes in! Hey, wait..... that might work!

Dewman
Idaho
Ammo dry boxes with plenty of desiccant.
07-11-2014, 07:17 AM   #11
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I have a closet in the studio/office with shelves and that's where the 'second' line of lenses go, those that are not used regularly. The ones I use daily are in my camera bags.

Just a note on desiccant bags, they have a very limited useful life. The ones you get inside the packaging of new products are often already used up before you get them. They are designed to remove any moisture that might be in the air included in the package so there are no humidity issues during shipping. But even if not used up, a few days / weeks exposed to regular moist air and they are done. They can be renewed by drying them out at low heat in the oven but do not rely on them to go forever unless renewed occasionally. And they also are only designed to work inside a sealed container as anything open to the air has a constantly renewing source of moisture.
07-11-2014, 07:25 AM   #12
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If you build something that works well, post pictures. You might be able to sell a few to some of us
07-11-2014, 07:41 AM   #13
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I use a Pelican case with silica gel for the infrequently used ones. The frequently used ones are in my camera cases. I have a large case when I need to use one of my longer lenses and a small one that carries usually 16-50, 31, and 43 + camera.
07-11-2014, 08:04 AM   #14
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Drawers....One for Canon and junk, one for Pentax, one for Nikon, one for digital...crap, out of drawers! Bags...one for the stuff I'm using, one for stuff that I don't have room for in the drawers, a suitcase I got at goodwill with some really cool Nikon gear for the 'future-fixit-projects' some plastic tubs for this and that....geez, I need a bigger house!
07-11-2014, 08:12 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dewman Quote
Okay, my LBA has reached the point that I'm having a problem storing all of them. I've filled two hard cases (with the foam rubber insides) and two of the soft, shoulder-strap kind and now, I've got several sitting on a window seat in my office. My gun safe is full of guns and there's no room for camera gear. I suppose I could continue to buy the hard cases as my lens collection continues to grow, but I thought I'd ask and see what you guys/gals use, short of empty cardboard boxes wine comes in! Hey, wait..... that might work!

Dewman
Idaho
Boise is a great small city, mighty attractive, excellent location, and the place feels really old--unlike western Washington.

I'm not a collector, but as a photographer I need ready access to my lenses and bodies and all the other stuff. I also need to store working prints, catalogs, ancient slides, paperwork etc. About 25 years ago I purchased a locking four level steel lateral file from the Boeing Surplus Store for cheap. Sanded down the rusty spots, sprayed on new paint, and it has served me super well ever since. The thing is about 5.5' tall and 3' wide.

The top three drawers slide out and have a sliding cover which is handy when certain visitors come over. These accommodate my lenses, bodies, and small accessories. The third level handles transparency archives, and the fourth has a rail for old-style files and folders and is long enough for prints.

The whole thing is quite utilitarian, and when covered and locked looks very unsexy, but I like it that way.

M
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