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06-23-2017, 08:32 AM   #1
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Moisture Control for Photo Equipment Storage

This is just a small tip, but for me it seems to have solved a problem I've had with every Pentax I've owned (K7, K-5, K-3, K-1). The problem was spots appearing on my sensor within a couple of weeks after acquiring a new camera, like they did on my brand new K-1:



We live about 15 miles from the ocean but it's typically 75-80% humidity outside, and in the house it is a very consistent 50% humidity. I have always stored my cameras and lenses zipped up in a backpack, and nowhere near any moisture, yet within two weeks of acquiring a new camera without fail spots would show up on my sensor. If I cleaned it, they'd show up again not very long afterwards. I'd keep all the old silica packets I could find (sent with vitamins, etc.) in my backpack, but it didn't help. I worried my lenses might eventually be affected too, which is a lot harder to fix than a dirty sensor.

A few months ago I bought some silica packets that start out orange, but turn green when they are full of moisture. I cleaned my sensor again, put a silica packet in my bag, and after a week discovered it had turned green. Now I know why old silica packets don't work:



I have been changing out my silica packets every week for several months now, and no spots. The good thing about this type of silica packet is that they can be reused by putting them in the microwave for a few minutes on "defrost" until they turn orange again. This seller on Ebay offers 35 for $12.99 and free shipping.


Last edited by les3547; 07-12-2017 at 09:31 AM.
06-23-2017, 08:47 AM   #2
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Just looked these up on UK eBay - nothing similar, but I was intrigued to find silica gel cat litter ! Wonder what the cat makes of it .. .. ..
06-23-2017, 09:20 AM   #3
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Nothing beats a dry cabinet for gear storage in very humid environments.

06-23-2017, 10:18 AM   #4
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I bought several bags of Silica gel packets from B&H, opened them, and put an entire bag in each of my storage drawers (and several packets in each long lens trunk).

Overkill? Maybe

06-23-2017, 10:24 AM   #5
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The thing to take from this is not to rely on the little bags that come as part of packaging. I buy lots of new silica gel pouches each year (large ones) and throw the old ones away.
06-23-2017, 01:03 PM   #6
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I don't worry about my camera since I live in a house that has ac and isn't in a particularly humid area, but I don't keep it in a backpack. I store my lenses in clear plastic shoe boxes with tight fitting lids and keep a reusable silica gel container in each. The point of the clear plastic is to let light in as darkness helps to encourage fungus. There are many silica gel containers that are reusable. These things can be reused by baking in an oven: Hydrosorbent OSG-40 Silica Gel Dehumidifier Desiccant 40 Gram Orange NO Cobalt (II) Chloride: amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific?tag=pentaxforums-20&. These can be reused by simply plugging them into 120v overnight: amazon.com: New and Improved Eva-dry E-333 Renewable Mini Dehumidifier: Dehumidifiers: Wall Art?tag=pentaxforums-20& or amazon.com: TOP TOP-300 Wireless Mini Dehumidifier with Moisture Indicator: Home & Kitchen?tag=pentaxforums-20&. These last two would be better in a larger box than a shoe box.
06-23-2017, 01:10 PM   #7
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I live in a very humid area of North Qld, Australia. Commonly known as The Wet Tropics.
Years ago a built a small 2 shelf cupboard with a small light fitting for a 15w pilot lamp at the bottom to store VHS tapes which were previously always growing mold.
The small amount of warmth from the 15w lamp was sufficient and it worked brilliantly, no more mold. Since the demise of VHS I use the cupboard for leather shoes and belts (which also grow mold in this climate).
However, I have never had spots on the sensors in any of my cameras which weren't as a result of atmospheric dust entering during lens changes. It happened occasionally, but was uncommon because having multiple bodies I rarely changed lenses.
Since December 2015 I switched to M43 and again have three bodies, so lens changes are rare. My camera's are kept in a canvas bag or out on the desk, so far I've not had a single dust bunny in all this time. I am convinced in my case that the spots were always due to dust entering the camera during lens changes.
(touch wood.. lol)

This is my personal experience you understand

06-23-2017, 01:17 PM   #8
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Another item to check out is the GoldenRod dehumidifier:

amazon.com: GoldenRod Original Dehumidifier: Home & Kitchen?tag=pentaxforums-20&

I use it and silica gel packs - live near water, and we get a lot of humidity.
06-26-2017, 12:01 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Nothing beats a dry cabinet for gear storage in very humid environments.

That would look great in my bachelor pad, after my wife divorces me for buying it.

Chris
07-22-2017, 04:35 AM   #10
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My dad was a optical instrument maker and if a humidity controlled cabinet was not available they would store lenses and other optical equipment on an open shelf with the caps and covers off. This would allow air to circulate around the lenses and light to get in. That is the best way to prevent fungus and the approach recommended by Leica.

Obviously this method has its limits if you life in a hot and humid area. Then you really need a humidity controlled cabinet, even if it means living in a bachelor pad

The worst thing you can do is to leave your gear in a closed camera bag. It attracts moisture and in the dark fungus will quickly develop. Camera bags (esp leather ones) and lens pouches should just be used for transporting gear, not storing gear.

Last edited by Theov39; 07-22-2017 at 04:44 AM.
07-22-2017, 02:21 PM   #11
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Check out some dry cabinets here: Archival Dry Cabinets & Dehumidifiers | B&H Photo Video
I am also thinking of getting one of those, probably the best solution.
08-05-2017, 12:15 PM   #12
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Orange silica gel in bulk

Posted this elsewhere so just in case someone reads this thread also:
UPDATE: Found out that Blue Indicating Silica Gel is toxic if inhaled or accidentally ingested but the Orange variety is supposedly non-toxic. And also the flower-drying crystals I bought are too fine to put into a tea bag or mesh bag. So, I am getting 2 Lbs. of Orange Indicating Silica Gel from eBay:

LINK TO: SilicaGelFactory

The beads are an industry standard size of 2-4mm each and will be perfect to fit into salt shakers or drawstring type bags for tea or aquarium filter mesh without falling out and making a mess! They are also a popular brand name called "Dry & Dry". Live and learn....
Shown with aquarium media filter bag with about 3 ounces of orange beads:



---------- Post added 08-05-17 at 02:21 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by 35mmfilmfan Quote
Just looked these up on UK eBay - nothing similar, but I was intrigued to find silica gel cat litter ! Wonder what the cat makes of it .. .. ..
??? I see 153 listings of various types:

Indicating Silica Gel


Last edited by goldenarrow; 08-10-2017 at 08:20 PM.
08-05-2017, 07:43 PM   #13
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I use a wooden cabinet with an LED light bulb in it. It keeps dust out and the temperature stays a constant 70 degrees. Mold likes a dark-light cycle and a warm-cool-warm cycle, so nothing grows while the light glows. I also installed a UV-B bulb to sterilize the inside of the cabinet, but I only used it for the first 24 hours.
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