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Author Topic: What's the simple rule to avoid condensation?  (Read 4421 times)
Jim2
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« on: September 08, 2009, 04:12:20 AM »
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What's the simple rule on how to avoid condensation? Living in Australia especially on the Gold Coast where "winter" is 16C (or 12C at worst and rare), no snow, etc. I haven't really come across any issues. I have taken my camera to Colorado in winter, hiking in the snow and snow blizzard, and measured the temperature at 0C (32F) or probably less but I was too cold to bother checking the temp, take photos there etc and haven't experienced any condensation.

So  my questions:

1. When and how would it happen
2. What to do to avoid it

thanks in advance
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Josh-H
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2009, 05:35:31 AM »
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Quote from: Jim2
What's the simple rule on how to avoid condensation? Living in Australia especially on the Gold Coast where "winter" is 16C (or 12C at worst and rare), no snow, etc. I haven't really come across any issues. I have taken my camera to Colorado in winter, hiking in the snow and snow blizzard, and measured the temperature at 0C (32F) or probably less but I was too cold to bother checking the temp, take photos there etc and haven't experienced any condensation.

So  my questions:

1. When and how would it happen
2. What to do to avoid it

thanks in advance

I live in Australia as well - but recently returned from a couple of weeks in NZ - some of my shooting was from helicopter with the doors off at 11,000 feet - the air temperature was -19 degrees celsius. My 1DSMK3 never missed a beat.

All I did to avoid condensation - was on return to my hotel room from the heli-pad I immediately put the camera in my Nature Trekker Bag (but a plastic bag would do just as well - just check it often and empty it of water as necessary to avoid the camera sitting in a puddle). Condensation occurs when you take a camera from an extremley cold temperature to a warm one (such as a hotel room in my case). By putting the camera in the camera bag or a plastic bag any condensation occurs on the bag and not on or in the camera.

The real trick to it is to slowly bring the camera back up to normal temperature - condensation forms when you take the nearly frozen camera into a warm environment. So its really about insulating it until it returns to normal room temperature. A good camera bag like a Lowe Pro Nature Trekker (or other suitable camera bag) is just fine for this sort of thing - lock the camera up immediately after shooting in the cold and let the bag slowly come up to room temperature. That way you wont have any problems.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 05:40:33 AM by Josh-H » Logged

Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2009, 05:40:14 AM »
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Quote from: Jim2
What's the simple rule on how to avoid condensation? Living in Australia especially on the Gold Coast where "winter" is 16C (or 12C at worst and rare), no snow, etc. I haven't really come across any issues. I have taken my camera to Colorado in winter, hiking in the snow and snow blizzard, and measured the temperature at 0C (32F) or probably less but I was too cold to bother checking the temp, take photos there etc and haven't experienced any condensation.

So  my questions:

1. When and how would it happen
2. What to do to avoid it

thanks in advance
The worst condensation I experienced was using a camera in a green house  after leaving the camera in the car in below-freezing temperatures overnight... I warmed the camera and lens up by holding it in my hands for 10 minutes.

Condensation when warm, wet air comes into contact with relatively surfaces.

The dew point of air is the temperature at which condensation will occur.

If your camera is warmer than the dew point, you will not get condensation.

... so keep your camera and lenses warm.

I spent a few weeks at Useless Loop, (Western tip of Oz) where it was so dry they extracted salt from sea water.

One day I stood and starred at the sky because I had seen something unusual - it was a cloud!
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2009, 02:04:41 PM »
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What's the simple rule on how to avoid condensation?
The simple rule is to avoid large, sudden changes in temperature or humidity.  Probably the best thing you can do short of avoiding these situations, is to insulate the camera as much as possible so that it can gradually warm-up/cool-down over a longer period of time.
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Luis Argerich
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2009, 03:03:35 PM »
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Nope, read the previous posts.
Going from a hot environment to a cold one is not a problem

Quote from: JeffKohn
The simple rule is to avoid large, sudden changes in temperature or humidity.  Probably the best thing you can do short of avoiding these situations, is to insulate the camera as much as possible so that it can gradually warm-up/cool-down over a longer period of time.
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jvora
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2009, 03:21:31 PM »
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I live in a hot humid city - When I shoot in Air Conditioned environments and am about to leave this cool and dry environment for the moist/warm/humid outdoors, I place the camera and lenses in 2 ziplock bags each with silica gels - It seems to do the trick.

With Digital cameras, I not only have to worry about the surfaces of lenses that condense moisture, but also the filter in front of the sensor !


Hope this helps !


Jai


Quote from: Jim2
What's the simple rule on how to avoid condensation? Living in Australia especially on the Gold Coast where "winter" is 16C (or 12C at worst and rare), no snow, etc. I haven't really come across any issues. I have taken my camera to Colorado in winter, hiking in the snow and snow blizzard, and measured the temperature at 0C (32F) or probably less but I was too cold to bother checking the temp, take photos there etc and haven't experienced any condensation.

So  my questions:

1. When and how would it happen
2. What to do to avoid it

thanks in advance
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 12:34:49 PM by jvora » Logged
Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2009, 08:08:39 AM »
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There are two reasons a plastic bag works to reduce condensation:

1. It limits the amount of air (and therefore the moisture it can contain) around the camera.

2. It prevents warm, moist air from coming in contact with the cold camera.

Warm air can hold more water vapor than cold air without condensing. When warm air is cooled, it's capacity to hold water in vapor form is reduced, and some of the vapor will condense to a liquid.

If your climate is cold, when going from inside to outside, make sure your gear is well-ventilated to remove warm, moist inside air from around your equipment before condensation has a chance to happen. When going from outside to inside, place your gear in plastic bags or some other sealed container so that everything is surrounded by the dry outside air until after it all has warmed to room temperature.

If your climate is hot and humid, reverse the procedure above--the cold dry air will be inside, and the warm moist air will be outside.
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