Silica dessicant in the bag?

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by j-dogg, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    Was an idea I had while shopping one day. Moisture is the enemy of lenses, it brings fungus and all sort of fun stuff with it, am I the only one who thinks this is a great idea? I have a couple in my Nikon bag and one in my Canon bag, all my Canon EF lenses are L's and have seals in them to prevent that stuff.
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    How often do you recharge (dry out) the silica? To be effective, in a place as humid as Florida, I would guess that you would need to do this frequently for it to be of any use.
     
  3. walbergb

    walbergb Subscriber

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    Made sense to me too. I have desiccants everywhere--bags, lens cases. The only problem is that the covers wear out and leaves all that silica everywhere. Small price to pay to protect my gear.
     
  4. bobmc

    bobmc Member

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    Tidy Cat Crystals in a perforated 35mm film container are a good solution. Drill a series of 1/8" holes in the sides, slip in a liner made from coffee filter material and fill it with Tidy Cat Crystals. The crystals are pure silica gel. It will hold a lot of moisture and won't fill your cases with particles. I have no idea what other brands of cat litter may be the same, but it's worth looking in to.
     
  5. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    I just bought cat litter for my babies, I'll have to look into it.
     
  6. altair

    altair Member

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    Great idea regarding the silica cat litter. I dont use that type for my kitties, but I'll have a try at it soon. Thanks!
     
  7. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Normal cat litter is very, very dusty. I believe the poster was referring to the kind that is all crystals.
     
  8. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    Since it seems that much of the small electronic and optical items come with those small bags, I think it's a great idea. Especially in humid areas. A cabinet with a "goldenrod" or even a small incandescent lightbulb is good for storage.

    But you do have to recharge (essentially bake out the moisture) every so often. There is indicator silica gel that changes color when it has lost its effectiveness.
     
  9. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Dessicants really work best in a sealed bag or container; otherwise, they just soak up moisture from the environment and stop working.
     
  10. altair

    altair Member

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  11. TSSPro

    TSSPro Member

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    I keep them in my camera bags and in my fridge/freezer to keep it from frosting up as easily. I have the big bags that are marketed for divers and diving equipment. They havent failed me yet.

    All the best-
     
  12. imokruok

    imokruok Member

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    There are desiccants available that B&H and elsewhere that come in tiny tubes, and they'll turn pink once they're saturated. I have a bag of them and throw one in my bag when I travel for 1-2 weeks at a time. I figure it might help a little, but they're always pink by the end of the 2 weeks, usually much much sooner especially if it's damp or raining where I go.

    Otherwise, everything of mine goes into a drybox at home, bags and all, with a desiccant inside. I got a clear storage tub from the Container Store that is meant for damp basements, I put a large desiccant inside, and measure it with a $10 digital humidor gauge.
     
  13. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    You can buy bulk silica gel at many websites or stores.

    Hollinger Metal Edge is a company that sells museum and archival supplies: http://hollingermetaledge.com/modules/store/index.html?dept=27&cat=868&searchname=silica

    Craft stores like A.C. Moore sell silica gel for drying flowers for use in craft projects: http://www.acmoore.com/p-30088-silica-gel-15-pound-bag-.aspx

    I use the craft store variety. It's cheaper by a factor of four.

    I get small plastic drinking cups and fill them about half way. Then I cover with a paper coffee filter and secure with a rubber band. Everything is sealed inside metal ammo boxes with tight fitting gasket lids.

    I figure one or two cups full of silica inside an ammo box, depending on size, will protect me from almost anything short of a flood or fire. Right?
     
  14. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    I keep silica packs in the case with my Nikonos, the case is water tight, and I am never sure the camera is 100% dry when I put it away. As for changing the packets out, whenever I get my hands on a few new packs I toss them in and take out the old ones.
     
  15. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    You can bake silica gel in the oven at 225º-250ºF for about 30 minutes and it will rejuvenate.

    Obviously, take it out of any plastic bags or containers before baking.
    It's probably okay to leave it in paper packages if you are sure it is paper and you are careful to keep away from direct contact with heating elements, etc.
     
  16. darkprints

    darkprints Member

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