Humidity and Camera Lenses – Foggy Situation

Humidity and camera lenses is a real annoyance. Photography itself requires patience, but when it comes to dealing with humidity it takes your patience to a whole new level.

The problem occurs when you take your camera from inside an air-conditioned space to outside when it’s humid. The drastic change in temperature causes your lens to fog up. It’s frustrating, because it can cause you to miss a shot. During the time you have to wait for the lens to clear (15 – 20 minutes), the light can change, a subject can move, or it could start raining. These changes can all happen in a matter of seconds.

When it comes to fixing humidity and camera lenses, the first thing you think of doing is wiping the front of the lens. But, you will find that this doesn’t work. There is also glass inside of the lens, and it fogs up, too – only you can’t see it. Not only that, the temperature of the lens is still cold.

If it is not a planned shoot, it’s nearly unpreventable. For example, I keep my cameras in the basement (the coldest part of the house). They are usually sitting on a table or desk. If I want to shoot something in the yard on a humid day, I either have to wait or I don’t bother. That decision depends on what I’m shooting.

Humidity and camera lenses can be stopped. When I know that I’m going to be shooting in the humidity, I will pack my camera bag and put the entire bag in the garage. Or, if it’s during the day – I’ll put the bag outside on the deck for a hour before I have to leave.

Having your lens fog up due to humidity can be a huge inconvenience. If you have the time to prepare, you’re better off. But, in cases where you don’t have time to plan ahead – you just have to wait it out. Hopefully, you don’t miss a shot.

What causes the camera lens to fog up?

Drastic change in the temperature of the lens, combined with humidity, causes condensation to build up on the glass in the lens, both inside and outside.

How do you remove humidity from camera lenses?

Once the lens gets fogged, there’s no way to remove it. You just have to wait. Depending on the conditions, it can take about 20 minutes for the lens to clear.

How do you keep humidity off of the camera lens?

You can store your camera in a warmer part of your house or studio. You can also keep it in a camera bag, which will provide some insulation.

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