Storing cameras indefinitely

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by smile4me, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. smile4me

    smile4me Member

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    Having a number of 35mm cameras that I don't use anymore, I would like to store them. Aside from removing the batteries, can someone recommend the best way to prepare a camera and lens for long storage (1 year or longer). The camera bag is not an option as I have too many body and lenses
     
  2. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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    I'd think as long as your air isn't too humid and temperatures not too extreme the cameras should be fine for decades

    I've read to and do keep all shutters on B or T
     
  3. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    My old camera repair guy specifically suggested to let cameras sit on B with the shutter fired and not cocked. (This means that the advance lever should not be moved after firing the shot, of course.) I picked up the same habit from him. If T is an option, he said to use it instead of B.
     
  4. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    silica gel bags stored with it, too, I presume, wouldn't be a bad idea.
     
  5. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    Edmonton is generally a drier area, like Canmore, particularly in the winter. I like to store equipment wrapped in a cotton cloth. Never in the basement or garage but in a nice dry clean area like a upstairs closet.
    In a more humid climate, like Vancouver, I'd use a plastic bag with a few bags of good silica gel.

    Never store the camera or lenses in it's eveready case. Never!
     
  6. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Individual baggies with a pack of silica gel in each. Shutters/cameras released.
     
  7. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning;

    The subject of storing camera bodies is well known. Anyone else have any suggestions for the lenses that go onto those cameras?

    For mine, I do put the caps on them, and they are inside plastic bags with a small packet of silica gel also. The only thing a little different that I do with my lenses is to set the aperture ring to the smallest f stop (f:16, f:22, et cetera) to allow the springs inside the lens to fully relax and avoid having them "take a set" and perhaps function only sluggisly later. Most of my lenses are Minolta ROKKOR and the lens aperture or diaphragm is held open at the maximum aperture for focusing by the camera body linkage system. When the shutter is released, the pin on the back of the lens mount is allowed to move and the aperture leaves close down by the springs inside the lens.

    Anyone have any other thoughts on storing lenses also? (Aside from not in the garage, basement, or trunk or boot of the car.)
     
  8. Super Six One

    Super Six One Member

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    I was wondering whether storing cameras and or lenses in a vacuum bag(s) would be a good idea or not? As once all the air is sucked out, this might prevent an attack of the dreaded fungus, as there would not be any oxygen for the fungus to live on. Plus this would keep the equipment in a very steady environment!

    Any thoughts on this anybody, any fungus experts out there?
     
  9. la.triglia

    la.triglia Member

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    Has somebody specific suggestions to follow for old Hasselblad?

    Dear friends,
    I have a couple of 503cx with different lens, what I have to do during long stop periods to preserve their efficiency?
    Ciao
     
  10. Allan Swindles

    Allan Swindles Member

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    If you use silica gel, remember it needs to be dried out regularly otherwise it will just hold the any moisture it has absorbed next to the equipment.
     
  11. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    One thing I do is to store lens horizontally. I had few occasions where they were stored vertically. Some internal dust settled on lens surface and stuck!
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Store them on B, uncocked, and pull them out and exercise the shutters every now and then. Every one of my friends who has a Hassy has had sticky shutters after not using them for long periods. Don't ask me why, but the problem goes away with exercise.
     
  13. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    Two things I've read recently, cannot vouch for their accuracy:

    1) Storing equipment with silica long-term can cause damage by drying out the internal grease that lubricates shutters etc.

    2) Using the silica with colored moisture indicators can contribute to corrosion of delicate electronic and mechanical parts. Supposedly the substance added to effect the color change will off-gas under some conditions and it is very corrosive in this gaseous state. Can destroy delicate parts. This author advised using plain silica, not the indicator type if you use any.

    These were two separate articles.
     
  14. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Not arguing the point re: silica gel but I'd be curious why the authors of the article came to their conclusions.
    Every camera or other pricey bit of electronics sold in the last thirty years or more came packed with it. I can see some concern for the color changing indicator off gassing but have no personal experience.

    Drying out the lube? There may be some trace amount of water in it but really? Properly lubricated machines don't rust.
     
  15. Allan Swindles

    Allan Swindles Member

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    New equipment is fine packed with silica gel as it is not intended for long term storage. However, storing for a year or more adds a new perspective. Naturally it depends on the humidity of the surroundings. It should be obvious that dry, constant temperature situations are far better than damp, variable temperature conditions. Do not store in leather cases, they will hold any moisture next to the equipment but by far and away the best way is to put the gear through its paces at regular intervals.
     
  16. el wacho

    el wacho Member

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    store them at my place for free. :wink:
     
  17. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    Yeah, that was my take. Initial packaging for shipping and warehouse storage assumes the equipment will be moved from one type of environment to another several times, warehouse to warehouse, warehouse to truck, travel through wet/hot/cold/dry conditions, store shelves, etc. The silica helped neutralize the environmental changes inherent in shipping. Long-term storage in a climate controlled environment was a different matter. Besides the grease, the silica can dry out leather, leatherette, glues, etc.

    Like I said, I'm not vouching for the argument, but it makes sense to me.
     
  18. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    The manual I received with a recent purchase (used N90s) specifically addresses storage and makes no mention of silica gel. I always thought, rightly or wrongly, it (silica gel) is included with new equipment because most of it arrives here in the U.S. via container ships which means a fair about of time is spent in dock areas and on the ocean, both very humid environments. There's no mention of saving it in new packaging, just the usual "don't eat this." :wink:
     
  19. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Indeed not.
    But in lubricated machines that aren't used, the lubricants do turn hard (which you may call "dry out"), and the entire machine needs cleaning and relubrication before it can be used again.

    They harden, not because water evaporates (and would be absorb by Silica gel - the gel does not extract moisture, merely absorbs it), but because the stuff itself changes over time. Lubricants age, and do that faster when left alone.
     
  20. SilverGlow

    SilverGlow Member

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    What about the internal grease on the mechanisms? Should the shutter be exercised periodically? To keep the grease mullable? To keep it from turning to glue? And if so, how often should one activate the shutter release?
     
  21. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    With respect to mechanical bodies, it is a good idea to exercise the shutters monthly, going from B to the top shutter speed. Otherwise, they may wind up being inaccurate. Definitely leave the shutter uncocked. At least, with a couple AF SLR's, it is possible to store them uncocked. One is the Maxxum 9000, since it's the only true AF camera body that still has manual wind, the other being the F4. On the F4, fire the shutter on "T", then turn off the camera. Move the shutter speed dial to any position other than "T", and the shutter closes. Only problem is that the mirror remains up. Guess you could then turn the mirror lockup lever to the locked position, which might relieve some of the stress on the mechanism.

    -J