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alan_lee

Problem with housing fogging

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Hey everyone! Lately I've been having a problem with the lens bit of the housing fogging up towards the end of the dive. Also noticed that there's a couple of droplets of water at the lens lens port of the housing. I've been diligently cleaning the o-ring and lightly greasing it, but the problem still exists. I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to rectify the problem, apart from changing equipment. This happened even when I was staying in a non-AC chalet on my last dive trip.

 

I'm using a Panasonic Lumix FX33 with a Panasonic housing.

 

Cheers in advance for your advice!

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Hi Alan,

 

I had at least 3 experiences in the past with my buddies, it never happened to me :) .

In all the 3 cases was a problem with the O-ring cleaning, the common factor was that the three friends didn't clean and dry carefully the housing the day before the dive ;) , and usually they were storing the housing closed between dives.

 

I allways keep the housing opened between dives, and I inspect the o-ring carefully looking for fibers, sand, salt or any suspicious thing. Usually, before the weekend, I wash with semi-warm water the oring using a regular soap, and I dry it with soft paper, taking care not to leave any fiber in the o-ring.

 

After that, I clean the housing, taking special care in the spaces where the o-ring goes. You have to clean it, because that spaces acumulates small particles of sand or salt.

 

And never forget to put some grease in the o-ring, gentle, with your fingers and avoiding the grease accumulations. Is just a little film of grease. Don't be affraid to use your fingers.

 

I have been taking underwater photos for almost 4 years, diving in cold waters at least every weekend, and I never had this fogg problem.

 

Hope this help.

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Cheers for your reply! Actually, I have been maintaining the o-ring, and the thing that puzzles me is why is it that the lens port that gives me problems, and not a leak through the areas around the o-ring.

 

Cheers!

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If you are still looking for solutions to fogging, I have some suggestions. I had horrible experiences with fogging. My manual said to only open the housing in a cool, dry, environment or in an air conditioned hotel room. However, I've yet to stay in an air conditioned room on tropical dive vacations!

 

I've had the best luck loading the housing at night with camera and a silica pack or two. That way the silica has all night to absorb the moisture. Then, as soon as possible on the boat, get the camera in a bucket of water and keep it there between dives. If a bucket is not available be sure to cover the camera so it does not sit in direct sunlight. These techniques have helped reduce my lens port fogging problems.

 

Good luck.

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Actually, my fogging problem was solved simply with a change of the o-ring! I actually went through a dive without any silica gel (I'd forgotten to pop it into the housing) and there wasn't any fogging at all. Fingers crossed, I hope that it's the end of my woes! :uwphotog:

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Hi Alan,

 

I had the same problem occasionally with my point and shoot. I think it may be that using the flash repeatedly causes the inside of the housing to heat up and thus causes the fogging. All of the above will help.

 

Phil

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I have not had a fogging problem with any compact and low volume manufacturer's housing (Pentax and Sea & Sea) but I always used a silica gel pack.

 

Recently and rather surprisingly I experienced fogging problems with a high volume Ikelite housing. Because of the high volume I had not been using silica gel, but to help prevent to problem there are now two in the housing!

 

I noticed that fogging did not occur on the first dive of the day and the common feature was that I had prepared the camera and closed the housing at home the evening before. Swapouts of batteries and memory cards during the day must have exposed the housing to more humid conditions.

 

My solution to this has been to flood the housing with clean, absolutley dry breathing air which I supply using a 0.5 litre cylinder and short length of hose poked inside the housing. Instead, it would be simple to rig an 'air inflation gun' ( http://www.beaversports.co.uk/ ) to a BC or dry suit inflation hose and squirt a little back gas into the housing and snap the back closed.

 

HTH, Tim

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I have noticed that if you let the housing heat up prior or between dives then fogging can be problem. By this I mean I had a spate of fogging problems with P&S and DSLR housings and remedied it by:

 

1 Keeping the housing cool before the dive- a covered plastic box worked

2 Prior to diving emersing the housing for several minutes in the sea to see if fogging was going to occur

3 Keeping the camera cool between dives- in the same water filled plastic box or haning under the boat on very hot days

 

I have seen housings assembled in a/c environment fog too but the silcia gel packs can reduce the incdences of fogging, don't throw them away you can rejuvinate them several timeswith a quick nuke in a microwave

 

I have remedied a fogged housing in the field by taking the back off in the boat and letting the air equibrilate then replacing the back, I cannot see how that fits in with only assembling in an a/c environment.

 

I think it is a dew point problem which in my distant past I rememeber having to study but now is just a distant and very hazy memory, I'm sure an HVAC engineer could fathom it out.

 

As to why the lens only fogs, I think the glass/acrylic on the port is a better conductor of heat than most housing materials and so cools quicker when taken underwater. Therefore (frustratingly) the water vapour will condense on the cool inside surface of the port rather than the inside walls of the housing

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Did I say fogging didn't occur on the first dive of the day? It bloomin' well did today!

 

PS. Ooops, I didn't realise that I was logged on with my son's account...

Edited by cjmoranuk

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Actually, my fogging problem was solved simply with a change of the o-ring! I actually went through a dive without any silica gel (I'd forgotten to pop it into the housing) and there wasn't any fogging at all. Fingers crossed, I hope that it's the end of my woes! ;)

How would changing the o-ring prevent fogging?

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I think there is some confusion in this thread... from my knowledge:

 

1. O-rings have nothing to do with internal fogging...but if you choose not to dry the O-ring and groove, then you risk introducing additional moisture into the housing.

 

2. The colder and drier the air is sealed inside your housing, the less likely fogging will occur. An A/C room is perfect.

 

3. The temperature of the housing after it's sealed does nothing for preventing condensation from occurring underwater. If there is any water vapour in the housing, it doesn't matter how cool you keep it between dives....once a temperature equilibrium is reached underwater, it will either fog or not fog, depending on internal moisture content.

 

4. Heating of the internal environment via flash will actually reduce fogging....heating tends to vaporize water, not condense it.

 

I may be wrong though.

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I understand this is an old thread by this point, but I thought I may as well put my 2psi in ont it anyhow. Silica packs go a long way for correcting fogging concerns, and I'm sure we've all seen their uses many times fold by this point. The only time I had any fog concerns was the one time I ever sealed off my point and shoot (P&S) camera setup w/o using a silica pack inside... OOPS.

 

With my P&S camera, I've even gone as far as to use a good dive mask defog "paste" on the internal housings ports' lens. I like to let it dry and then wipe it clean; This is the last step before sealing off my camera in the housing. Just like with a dive mask, you have to be rather quick (I think anyhow) or else the defog doesn't do a lot of good (if any). The tiny dab of defog that it takes to cover the lens on the inside port of the housing doesn't really cost anything extra as it's something that we all pretty much have as part of our daily dive gear. Some may not like the thought of this idea, but I've never had a problem with fog since I started doing the above mentioned two things.

 

Dustin

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