As it stands right now, I keep my lenses in my camera backpack with my Canon body's, and my Pentax gear in a smaller camera bag in my darkroom/office.
Unfortunately, all of the rooms in my house are subject to damp/mould (really bad ventilation problems which we're trying to sort out).
I now have 2 Schneider lenses which I just bought with my 2nd hand enlarger, so I now have 8 lenses I need to safeguard against fungus.
I've scoured the web and this forum and have found a plethora of different methods.
Storing in a tuppaware box.
Storing in a modern camera bag etc etc.
I just wanted to get some advice from here as I find it a more trustworthy source as to the best method, given that my house is a mould trap at the moment.
I'm running with both hands...
I store mine in a 25 cubic foot safe in an air conditioned garage. I think as long as the room where you store is climate controlled, ie humidity controlled you're ok. If not, you may wish to consider a dehumidifier.
Two approaches come to mind if you can't control humidity in an entire room.
First is heat. Raising the temperature a few degrees in a closed (but not airtight) container will lower the humidity inside the container. Best devise for this that I'm aware of is a "Goldenrod" or equivalent. But a low wattage incandescent light will also work.
Second is a renewable desiccant such a silica gel. That's what is typically put in the tiny bags you see packed with new photo equipment. It can be renewed by putting in an oven at low temp for a few hours. Some forms have a color indicator to let you know when it's absorbed humidity up to it's capacity. I have a few 1 pound bags that were originally shipped with imported motorcycle engines. This might be your best bet.
Second bit on Silca Gel or equivalent clay based product. DO be careful with reheat if the product is in porous paper bags with glued seams. Had a shipment of product where the seam glue softened during the reactivation bake. Very hot granular and dirty surprise when we picked them out of the lab oven.
Silca Gel and clay products act to balance the humidity, If moisture is needed at a certain percentage then the properly 'damp' bag will dispense moisture until equilibrium is reached just as the 'dry' bag will absorb until equilibrium is reached.
Camera bags don't do anything for it. I don't keep my lenses in the house. I keep them in a dehumidified garage. Lacking that, a closed container with silica gel would be good as long as you monitor the humidity.
Chris, if you're having humidity issues in your house and are worried about all of your lenses so long as you're just storing them I would suggest just picking up a pelican case big enough to store them in, and a few of the metal desiccant reusable packs (as mentioned above) and seal them all in there.
Not the bags, just the lenses for now you can always wash the bags in the washing machine and dry them if you have any issues but the lenses are your most important thing to keep safe.
The second thing I would store in there is any developed film you might have if you're having mold issues that could be a film killer, in-store the rest of your film in your fridge or freezer in ziplock bags or Tupperware containers.
If you're on a tight budget...
You can always get foam later...
If you have the scratch...
And here are the desiccant
Check them weekly, if they change color just throw them in the oven for 3 hours and they are recharged! I would get 4 since your environment is so hostile ;)
There's a reason why the military uses pelican cases....
People in the tropics use dry cabinets. These have a small solid state dehumidifier in them.
A desiccant will keep things dry.
A more primitive dry cabinet can be made of a box with a lighbulb in the base. The lightbulb warms the box, thus reducing the relative humidity to a level congenial to whatever is stored inside. Think of the old welder's trick of storing their stock of rods on a junked refrigerator with a lightbulb inside.
Originally Posted by L Gebhardt
Thanks for the info everyone :) happy New year to you all. See you on the other side. Jay
I'm going to run with both hands..