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07-19-2010, 10:48 AM   #1
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Storing Your Gear At Home

Moisture & Fungus are the biggest enemy of photo gear.
So how do you store your cameras, lenses, accessories at home?
Here is what I have been doing for the last 30 years at US $ 3 per box. And have not lost a lens or camera to moisture, fungus or general rot.
Here is the Army Ammunition Box I use - from the flea market or Army Surplus Store. Never lost anything to fungus or general rot.
Look at the amount of stuff stored in one box. I removed everything from their original cases for a good view.
Very compact size 12 x 7.5 x 6 inches - the top cover comes off. There is a very heavy duty removable rubber seal in the lid - refuses to rot even after 40 years or so. I clean it with a little talcum powder once in 5 years.
The box bottom is padded with foam, and I insert some foam in between lenses too.
I dunked one of the boxes in a bucket of water for the night. Next morning it was absolutely dry inside.

Last edited by nanhi; 11-19-2012 at 08:32 AM.
07-19-2010, 11:14 AM   #2
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I'm assuming that when you dunked the case into water, you had the rubber seal in place so that no water got inside. This is very interesting, I might do this as well. I'm a sucker for old military gear!
07-19-2010, 12:50 PM   #3
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Sounds good

I think I'll have to check these out
07-19-2010, 04:38 PM   #4
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Fungus is caused by humidity and thermal breaks + dust. If you can keep your lenses dust-free or near enough, and make sure that the air that circulates around them is below 70% humidity, then you should be fine. Moisture accumulates with a thermal break. That is the point where a warm material meets a cooler one. The cooler side beads with moisture. Add dust and the ubiquitous fungal spores, and you get lens fungus. Why lenses? Glass is a natural insulator. It heats and cools slower than the surrounding air and materials. Generally being cooler, glass will more likely be the cooler side of the thermal break, thereby being the material most likely to accumulate moisture.

Nice storage system. Keeps the dust out but allows air to circulate and all materials therein can stay at the same relative temperatures.

07-19-2010, 05:11 PM   #5
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i use a plastic container with a tight snap lid like the ones made by rubbermaid
i put a few bags of silica gel inside

that sort of helps
07-19-2010, 07:26 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tip. You can buy these online in several places, cheap too, but I'm betting my local military store will have some. I'll have to go check it out.
07-19-2010, 08:15 PM   #7
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I still have a couple of my father's old ammo cases from the Korean War era. 60 years old and going strong. But for my camera gear I use Rubbermaid and silica gel (crystal cat litter).
07-19-2010, 10:02 PM   #8
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If you don't have a good seal, ammo cases can have problems with condensation. FYI

07-19-2010, 10:26 PM   #9
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Hmm, I have a couple of spare ammo cans. I may try that out. I usually use them for ammo, but I can sacrifice one.

Toss a couple of silica gel packs in and it should be golden.
07-20-2010, 12:13 AM   #10
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Storing Your Gear At Home

Hello my Good Pentaxian Friends. I would like to share some more info on storage of photo gear for people living in wet and humid climes as me.
Please do not store your gear in wooden cupboards or cupboards built into brick / RCC walls. They constantly absorb and release moisture and "seed" the growth of fungus / rot faster. I have lost lenses and one rare white face Rolleiflex 2.8F.
Use a steel Almirah - I have one by Godrej Malayasia - see photo.
As some Pentaxian suggested you may drop a bag of silica gel inside the Ammo Box.
Our villa in Muscat, Oman was flooded with 7 ft of water in June 2007 - see photos. My Leica SLR was saved thanks to these boxes. We lost everything including all my photos and negatives.
I believe flash floods have become quite common in the US & elsewhere. So do protect your costly gear.

Last edited by nanhi; 11-19-2012 at 08:32 AM.
07-20-2010, 12:48 AM   #11
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lock and lock or biokip containers plus silica gel would also be good
air tight water tight plus plastic does not retain heat as much
07-20-2010, 02:00 PM   #12
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I use these NATO style ex military boxes, they're carbon fibre and strong enough to drive a Land Rover over, as my mate proved!

They are also sealed and have a pressure / vacuum release button if they are transported in an unpressurised aircraft hold.

They are designed for optics such as weapons sights and night vision, so they are the business.

I use this size, and am in the process of getting someone to professionally cut some foam to make inserts

I had a van load of these in various sizes and tried to sell them through various photography sites but didn't even get an enquiry, and they were cheap, but they sold easily enough to the military vehicle collectors for tool boxes.

07-20-2010, 02:43 PM   #13
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Lab dry box

I got a used laboratory dry-box off of ebay, complete with hygrometer; just add silica. Nice because it's also clear polycarbonate and you can see what's going on inside, but the ammo boxes are undoubtedly a fair bit cheaper and stronger.


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