Condensation on Camera Lens: Why it happens and how to prevent it.
A camera is the ultimate summer accessory. However, inclement weather can sometimes destroy your chances of the perfect shot! Now, we’re not talking about rain making your hair frizz. Or tan lines resulting in a less than picture-perfect appearance. We mean the effect weather can have on your equipment!
Humidity and condensation is a continuous concern for cameras. Build-up of moisture behind the lens can quickly result in mold growth. Therefore, it can become difficult to reverse and can easily destroy expensive equipment. At best, you will have a steamy, foggy camera lens that becomes useless until it dries out completely. However, it’s relatively simple to prevent.
Why Does Condensation Happen?
First of all, it’s important to understand how and why condensation happens. Dew Point Temperature is the key: the temperature at which humidity [water vapor in the air] will condense [become a visible liquid]. You can find this information on most weather services and apps: here’s what it looks like on AccuWeather:
What this means is that to prevent any condensation forming, you need to consistently keep your equipment above the dew point temperature. Now we know that can be easier said than done. One example is stepping out from a cool air conditioned room into a warm sunny environment. Or vice versa – capturing photos of your ski trip outside in the snow and then taking your camera back into a warm, cozy lodge. Both of these examples result in a fast change in temperature which in turn can affect your equipment. You can easily prevent this by always protecting your gear from the elements.
How to Prevent Condensation on your Lens:
Consider a few things before entering an environment that is drastically different to the one you’re currently in. Try to make sure that your camera is securely in its case or camera bag, with zippers fully closed. Most camera bags have sufficient padding to prevent damage to your equipment from knocks and bumps. Padding also adds the benefit of offering insulation to your equipment, keeping it warm. When it comes to your smartphone camera, waterproof or water resistant cases will provide the same protection. Next, allow your equipment to acclimatize to its new environment. Depending on the severity of the difference in temperature, this may take minutes to a few hours. Once you’re happy that it’s at or above the dew point temperature, you can remove your camera from the bag. You’ll feel better knowing there’s no risk of blurry lens due to water vapor forming.
How to Treat Condensation on a Camera Lens:
Prevention is simple, but it requires patience and is all too easy to forget. So, if it’s too late and you already have some fogginess built up on your lens, here’s what you can do.
- Wait for the condensation to dissipate before wiping the lens. Trying to clean it will produce smears and smudges, rather than rid you of the water.
- Use an airtight bag alongside a water-absorbing pouch, such as Concrobium Moisture Grabbers. Moisture will wick away much quicker than leaving it evaporate naturally. Moisture Grabbers will also work to dry out all of the interior components of your equipment, resulting in a clear lens and better photographs.
For more tips on protecting your belongings from moisture-related damage and equipment destroying mold, watch out for regularly updated articles on our blog and be sure to follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.