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Camera Fogging

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#1 Bill _OC

Bill _OC

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Posted 02 April 2002 - 05:49 AM

This is a subject that may be a little off beat, but I would be curious if anyone has some ideas that might help.

My topside camera is a Nikon N80. Last year on a cruise, I had severe problems with the lens (front and back), mirror, viewfinder etc. fogging up when I left my stateroom on a cruise in the southern caribbean. It took forever to clear up.

I'm expecting similar results with my Olympus digicam when it is not housed. (hopefully the gel packs in the housing will prevent this).

I have heard that preheating the equipment with a hair dryer (not sure if this advise was tongue-in-cheek) may help.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

#2 MikeO


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Posted 02 April 2002 - 06:59 AM

With the cameras topside, your problem is condensation on the camera gear. Underwater, the problem will usually be condensation on the inside of the housing. Topside, you are taking an object out of a cold environment (the presumably air-conditioned stateroom) into a warm humid one. The moisture from the warm air condenses onto the cold object causing your fogging. Warming the camera before going outside will help solve this problem (hence the hair dryer). If there isn't a threat of theft, I usually leave my cameras out of the air conditioning (but in the shade) inside their case to combat this. Otherwise I have to sit there every morning waiting for them to warm up. Dessicant packs will not help you in this case because the moisture you are worried about is in the air all around you. What dessicant packs help to prevent is fogging inside the housing. This is similar to the topside fogging except that in this case, you are taking warm, humid air and trapping it in the housing. When you take the housing underwater, the housing cools and moisture will condense on the inside of the housing. If the whole thing gets cold enough, you may get some condensation on the camera, too. Dessicant packs absorb the moisture in the air in the housing and this helps combat fogging inside the housing underwater. Keeping a wet towel over the housing between dives also helps.

Mike Oelrich
Canon EOS 40D in Seatool housing, 100mm macro, Tokina 10-17, INON Z-240s.

#3 rstark


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Posted 02 April 2002 - 07:12 AM

You can buy silica in bulk at the address below or at an arts & crafts store. Then get a very small ziplock bag and use a pin to poke small holes in the bag and fill it up with the silica. When you want to regenerate the silica you should take it out of the ziplock, it will probably melt.