what desiccant for storing lenses?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by matt miller, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    I am in between cameras at the moment, which means that I have to store my lenses until March or April (when my Wehman will be ready :D). They've been sitting on the table in my basement darkroom for the past couple of weeks. The humidity has been running around 75% down there all summer. I'm thinking I should store them in a sealed container with some sort of desiccant. I don't want the funk to start growing. What sort of desiccant should I use for this, and where can I get it? Are the little packets of silica gel good enough, or is there something better?

    That brings up another question. Is it safe to store film down there with such high humidity levels? I use neg sleeves in a binder.

    Thanks for the help,

    Matt
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I bought a jug of that kitty litter. Don't know how well it's working but that's what I'm using.
     
  3. laz

    laz Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2005
  4. luvmydogs

    luvmydogs Member

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    Bob,

    Thanks for the link. I've been looking for a long time!
     
  5. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    Instant coffee crystals---that way you can develop your film iin it afterwards! Stick it (the instant coffee) in a empy Bull Durham bag.
     
  6. TerryThomasAtlanta

    TerryThomasAtlanta Member

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    White rice. (Uncooked, of course.)
     
  7. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I have always used the silica packs, when storing stuff, even did this when I lived in Hawaii, where the heat and humidity is always high, never had a problem at all.

    Dave
     
  8. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I've used silica gel packets from shoe stores. Usually if you ask nice enough, they'll give you as many as you need.

    How are you all storing lenses? In sealed zip-lock bags with dessicant?
    I thought that lenses needed air exchange?

    I guess i'm just afraid that i've been storing my lenses incorrectly.

    Also, I remember reading about a photographer in Malasia or Thailand..
    He stored his lenses and cameras wrapped up in newspaper and placed in a 5-gallon paint bucket in his closet. A shop light with a 60watt lamp hung about a foot away from the bucket. Apparently he never experienced fungus or moisture-related problems..
     
  9. laz

    laz Member

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    The disadvantage of silica packs is that unless you change them regularly they lose their effectivness and you'll never know.

    I would think that this advice has the same intention as a dessicant; Desiccant must be used in some container at least somewhat air tight otherwise the first humid day will saturate it rendering it useless. But I'm no expert, maybe an APUGer more expert in the care and feeding of lenses will chime in.
     
  10. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Laz127, I rejuvinate my packs regularly and keep many of them around to change out on schedule, the silica can be rejuvinated as well..

    Dave
     
  11. laz

    laz Member

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    Cool! Those packs are certainly easier to deal with than Dririte. Do you beg from your shoe store also, or do you have a source to buy them from? (in less that industrial quanties)

    Always happy to learn about a better mouse trap! :smile:
     
  12. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    How do you go about rejuvinating the packs? And yes, where do you get them?
     
  13. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I always check with my local camera store, and they freely give them to me, but I have bought in industrial quanities as well, which is normally by the gross, (12 dozen)

    Silica packs can also be put in a lower temp oven for about an hours and this will restore their moisture absorbing properties, I learned this a long time ago, when in the RV business, as many of the componates were shipped to us with these packs and instructions on restoring the absorbing properties..

    If I remember right Porter's Cameras sells them as well

    www.porterscamera.com

    Dave
     
  14. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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  15. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Cool Matt,

    Glad I could help.

    Dave
     
  16. laz

    laz Member

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    Yup, that's Dririte in a kewl little container!

    FWIW it is for exactly these kinds of exchanges that a board like this is so wonderful for! Another well deserved thank you to Sean!
     
  17. gbroadbridge

    gbroadbridge Member

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    Stick 'em in the oven, about 120C for an hour or so.
     
  18. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    Check out Cabella's. They have metal cased silica packs for storing firearms that can be regenerated for years.
     
  19. Graeme Hird

    Graeme Hird Member

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    ... or check out your local pet shop for cat litter. Several brands of the more expensive litters are silica gel with indicator included - at around $8 for two kilograms, you can choose how much to use and when to regenerate.

    Cheers,