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05-21-2015, 03:31 PM   #1
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Static and dog hair

I live in a very dusty and dry area (<10 inches precip/year) and have a terrible time with dust and dog hair clinging to my lenses and lens caps due to static (I'm primarily a pet photographer). Even my rocket blaster has dog hair clinging to it. My normal static remedy is to introduce some humidity into my home by boiling some water on the stove; in the winter I just leave a coffee pot on the woodstove. So my question is how much humidity is too much? Is there an ideal relative humidity level that I can try to keep my house at?

05-21-2015, 03:39 PM   #2
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I don't know about humidity, but Pentax makes that sensor cleaning tool that uses static to remove dust. Maybe it would be a good solution for you? I forget what its called officially
05-21-2015, 03:55 PM   #3
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Relative Humidity and Your Home - Therma-Stor, LLC
05-21-2015, 04:17 PM   #4
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That's interesting reading and good to know. Mostly I'm worried about growing fungus in my lenses.But I'd like to be able change them without the immediate growth of statically attracted hair and dust that occurs when I take my lenses out of their neoprene sleeves. I can blow/brush the hair and dust off but more appears before I get the lens onto the camera. I think you might have to live in a dry area to appreciate how quickly this can happen. I grew up in PA and all we ever worried about there was mildew. We dusted once a week; here I can easily dust twice a day here (not that I actually do, of course). I'm wondering if I need to build a clean room just for changing lenses, lol.

05-21-2015, 04:38 PM   #5
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The quick check for ideal humidity is your eyes: If you have scratchy eyes, then you don't have enough moisture in the air. If your eyes are fine, then the relative humidity is OK. If you are worried, simply leave a bowl with water in your home, but out of the sun, and see how quickly it evaporates. Of course, if you have dog water bowls in the house, there's no need to do that. I would say, under most circumstances, it would be unnecesary for you to introduce more moisture in the form of a boiling kettle or pot, etc.
05-21-2015, 05:00 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
The quick check for ideal humidity is your eyes: If you have scratchy eyes, then you don't have enough moisture in the air. If your eyes are fine, then the relative humidity is OK. If you are worried, simply leave a bowl with water in your home, but out of the sun, and see how quickly it evaporates. Of course, if you have dog water bowls in the house, there's no need to do that. I would say, under most circumstances, it would be unnecesary for you to introduce more moisture in the form of a boiling kettle or pot, etc.
Good point about the eyes, it is a good indicator. Normal household functions, showering, washing clothes and so normally keep the humidity up. Unless you are living in the desert and then it depends more on the outside environment and how much air exchange you have.

Also, what is comfortable and recommended for humans may not be the same for lenses. The link was for comfortable use by humans. Lenses will be better as dry as possible. But 40 - 50% is not going to be an environment that fosters fungus. 80 - 90% and up gets you into trouble.
05-21-2015, 05:44 PM   #7
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Neoprene sleeves for your lenses? Maybe that is a contributory factor too, on the same lines as rubbing a balloon against a sweater? If you have grounded metal water pipes anywhere in the house try touching the lenses against them before dusting the lens?
05-21-2015, 09:33 PM   #8
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Dryer sheets reduce static. I wonder if keeping some in with/near your lenses would help? There are other laundry products to reduce static, too - sprays and stuff - but you don't want your lenses coated with weird gunk...

05-21-2015, 10:50 PM   #9
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Years ago, back before CDs and cassettes, there used to be an item that was commonly known as a static gun. It was a small device with a 'piezo' in it and a trigger. You would hold it next to your LP and pull the trigger to let off a small electric charge that would get rid of any dust grabbing static on your record. The idea was to keep dust off LPs.
If you do a search, you can find anti-static guns on sites like amazon. I don't know if the gun would mess with the electronics in a camera, but it might be worth a try, I don't think it gives off that big a charge. Remember to pull the trigger slowly, no clicks allowed.
05-22-2015, 12:19 AM   #10
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You can search on micro-tools to buy anti static blower, like FireFly DSC-2000


Last edited by mixberry; 05-22-2015 at 12:27 AM.
05-23-2015, 07:19 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
I would say, under most circumstances, it would be unnecesary for you to introduce more moisture in the form of a boiling kettle or pot, etc
The winters here produce very dry air. Touching a light switch shocks you. I always have a teakettle on top of my propane heating stove to introduce a little moisture into the air. They also have regular humidifiers, ranging from small to large that can be very useful.
05-23-2015, 12:12 PM   #12
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Great ideas- thanks! I do have a couple of humidifiers, I just didn't want to overdo it if it's going to be bad for my equipment. The area I live in is pretty arid; I have prickly pear cactus all over the place (hell on bare feet) but it sounds like I can safely humidify up to 50-60%.
05-23-2015, 02:09 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by AutumnRowan Quote
I have prickly pear cactus all over the place
You must be my neighbor! Hey, they do have beautiful blossoms though!
05-23-2015, 10:51 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by AutumnRowan Quote
Great ideas- thanks! I do have a couple of humidifiers, I just didn't want to overdo it if it's going to be bad for my equipment. The area I live in is pretty arid; I have prickly pear cactus all over the place (hell on bare feet) but it sounds like I can safely humidify up to 50-60%.
I've just picked the last of our prickly pear crop not an hour ago!
05-24-2015, 07:50 AM   #15
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I'm in SW Montana. Last year was the most spectacular prickly bloom I have ever seen. Got some really nice photos with my old camera, hope they bloom like that again this year. I have found the best way to get those microscopic spines out of your feet is to use duct tape
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