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01-06-2011, 09:08 AM   #1
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where to store unused lenses??

wondering if there is another cheaper alternative to keep my lenses free from fungus or haze, other than buying a dry cabinet.

living in Singapore and the weather here is kinda hot and sometimes humid...

really appreciate all ideas

01-06-2011, 09:49 AM   #2
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You can use one of these for each lens with a silica gel pack. Replace the pack as needed. The lens cases come in small (shown) medium and large. To give you an idea of size, the medium fits a Tamron 28-75mm F/.8 and the large will fit a Pentax K 300mm F/4.0. I'd check with local photographers as to how often you will need to replace the silica gel packs. Lowepro makes a similar product, with more sizes.

NaCl(certainly cheaper than a dry cabinet)H2O
01-06-2011, 10:12 AM   #3
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It would be very easy to make a cabinet, either using an existing one or building one from wood. Inserting a small incandescent light bulb will act to dry the air. You can also by dehumidifiers designed for gun safes for under $50 that will work well, but the light bulb will do the trick and provide light inside the cabinet too.
01-06-2011, 10:41 AM   #4
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An old small broken refrigerator with a light has almost everything you need. Disconnect the compressor, wire the light to stay on constantly, make sure the door seals well, add reusable gel packs that you can swap and dry out in an oven.

01-06-2011, 12:18 PM   #5
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Wow… this is something with which I actually have some experience, so here goes…
As saltwater says, you need silica gel packs before beginning this process.
As for me, I use Ziplock bags, the ones for freezer-use in quart and gallon sizes (mostly quart bags for the small primes, a K-7 will fit in a gallon bag). I place the lens into a Ziplock bag, drop in a silica gel pack (sometimes two packs), partially seal the bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, then complete the seal of the bag.
But, wait, there’s more…
Since having a bunch of bags sitting on a shelf, or two, is a little inconvenient, I use Lowepro camera equipment backpacks into which I place the bagged lenses/body. After filling the backpack(s), just zip ‘em closed and the equipment is easily moved/transported in cushioned comfort.
But wait, as an extra, added bonus…
I also have a Lowepro, large, really tough-hard plastic, airtight container which is large enough to hold the Lowepro Pro Trekker AW backpack. I just left a message at Lowepro to see if they still sell this unit. I also have a Doskocil really tough-hard plastic, airtight container which, although smaller than the Lowepro unit, will still hold a small camera equipment backpack.
Just got a call from Lowepro: This really tough-hard plastic, airtight container was made by Pelican and the included inserts were made by Lowepro. This unit is no longer available. You can, however, purchase a Pelican case large enough to hold a camera equipment backpack.

For those of you who believe I may have gone overboard with using the really tough-hard plastic, airtight containers: At that time, I was a very active river rafter and “overboard” could be a really big problem for camera equipment. Those soft, comparatively small, rubberized, watertight pouches just didn’t help if they fell into the water and then hit rocks.
I was also an avid 4-wheeler; and crossing streams/rivers which were wide and slow-moving, making it appear as though a crossing would be really easy, could quickly become very problematic if no one walked across the wide stream/river first. Me, I just parked my Jeep, got out my camera with a zoom-telephoto lens attached, and photographed the action. After the first few vehicles dropped into unseen, deep pools and got really water-soaked, or even fell over on their sides, others would “walk” the stream/river to find a safe crossing.

In the past couple of years, I have wondered about some other alternatives, especially when I read about floods in the news. A product that is now available and which seems to me to be an idea worth considering is the plastic, vacuum-compressible, bags apparently designed to store clothes, blankets, etc in a much smaller space than if the items were not compressed. If you can find one of these bags large enough to hold a backpack containing camera equipment, it might be a quick, easy, and lightweight solution compared to a heavy, hard plastic, container.
One source for these plastic, vacuum-compressible, storage bags is DealExtreme.
Look here for one of the “Compact Space Saver Vacuum Compressed Seal Storage Bag”:
DealExtreme: $4.35 Compact Space Saver Vacuum Compressed Seal Storage Bag (60*80cm)
and here for a manual “Air Pump for Vacuum Storage Bag” (as opposed to using an electric vacuum cleaner):
DealExtreme: $4.20 Air Pump for Vacuum Storage Bag

I also use a vacuum sealer to store, and freeze, BBQ ribs, pulled pork, chicken, etc when rib, pork butts, chicken breasts, etc are on a really good sale. I have thought about using this process to store small lenses I leave at home when I am away on a long trip but that seems like a really extreme idea. If I thought I might be in a flood situation, I just might try this idea.

OK, I’m done. While I don’t know the cost of a “dry box”, I hope you find some of these ideas helpful, even if they are not less expensive than a dry box.
RayGunn
01-06-2011, 01:30 PM   #6
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These also work really well. If you get a air tight, or even close to air tight, container with one of these Damp Rids, I'm sure that will be enough for the weather in Singapore.

D A M P R I D - The Original Non-Electric Moisture Absorber
01-09-2011, 05:48 PM   #7
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thanks all for the kind suggestions
08-19-2011, 03:32 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by RayGunn Quote
I also use a vacuum sealer to store, and freeze, BBQ ribs, pulled pork, chicken, etc when rib, pork butts, chicken breasts, etc are on a really good sale. I have thought about using this process to store small lenses I leave at home when I am away on a long trip but that seems like a really extreme idea
I've been thinking about the same thing, as with my LBA, I've accumulated a few lenses that I do not use very often. The question is will it actually work?

08-19-2011, 04:33 AM   #9
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In Singapore a Peltier effect dry cabinet is the only way to go - a lightbulb in a box will not dry the air reliably.

Small dry cabinets are not that expensive, they work and aren't hard to find in Singapore - eg Red Dot Photo (Singapore) - Products
08-19-2011, 05:06 AM   #10
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As I am living in the Karoo, a semi desert region, I don't actually need a dry box for everyday storage. My problem is a few lenses that I've bought from more humid parts of our country, with a bit of a fungus problem. A few of them I want to store for a long term, as i do not use them often, and don't want them between my other lenses. I've wondered if vacuum packing them might slow the fungus growth, or even stop it completely.
08-19-2011, 05:29 AM   #11
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I think, it's a shame to not use a perfectly good lens. The only sure way to prevent fungus is to use the equipment.

That why unused lenses should be on ebay.
08-19-2011, 05:55 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
I think, it's a shame to not use a perfectly good lens. The only sure way to prevent fungus is to use the equipment. That why unused lenses should be on ebay.
When you are working a 12 hour day, 6 days a week, it is not possible to use all the lenses you collect, usually just a few favorites. Once in a while it is nice to take an old friend out of the cupboard again, and as I don't need to sell them at this stage, I'd rather make sure they are stored without risk.
08-19-2011, 06:03 AM   #13
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What I do is I buy those big plastic transparent bins, they can be easily found at Walmart for under $10 each. Try to find the ones that have better seals. Then buy a wireless rechargeable dehumificator ($15) and an hygrometer ($7) from Amazon.

Your're set for under $35.
08-19-2011, 06:37 AM   #14
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in reading this thread, one point comes across that no one has really touched upon. The whole purpose is to prevent condensation, especially internally, because that is the initial cause of fungus.

with that in mind, the light bulb idea does work, but only if, it raises the temperature of the air and articles in the cabinet above ambient, thereby lowering the relitive himidity.

In reading Ray's suggestions, they all have merrit, but at the end of the day they all require some form of dissicant to work, and, also note that for the freezer bags, unless they remain undisturbed they are prone to cutting against sharp objects because they are too thin. hard protection as a second layer of safety is a good idea.

Fortunately, in canada I don't have to deal with this issue, because my house is air conditioned (hence lower than outside humidity) in summer, adn very dry in winter.

The only need really is to have some air movement to ensure no condensation happens, and to keep lenses covered when going between temperature extremes to allow the lens temperature to stabalize.
08-19-2011, 08:07 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
The only need really is to have some air movement to ensure no condensation happens
Would I be correct to assume that if you vacuum pack a lens, thus removing all oxygen, that fungus would not be able to grow?
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