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  1. #1

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    Storing camera gear in plastic boxes?

    Are common plastic storage boxes OK to store camera gear in? I was wondering if they off-gass anything that will scum up the optics?

    Even so, if the boxes are opened every so often does that keep any gas residue under control? Some of my boxes get opened a lot, others very little.

    How do you store your cameras and lenses?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iluvmycam View Post
    Are common plastic storage boxes OK to store camera gear in? I was wondering if they off-gass anything that will scum up the optics?

    Even so, if the boxes are opened every so often does that keep any gas residue under control? Some of my boxes get opened a lot, others very little.

    How do you store your cameras and lenses?
    I've answered this one before - in a drawer. I tend to avoid plastics as much as possible, as a general thing. When I need to put some equipment in a sealed container I use steel ammo cans.

  3. #3

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    In camera bags, on an open shelf, in a closet that has relatively stable temperature and humidity.

  4. #4

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    I wouldn't use a plastic box, possible condensation if not dry, and outgassing from the plastic (think of a new car when, after a while, a film builds on the interior glass as the sun heats up the plastic trim releasing plasticisers, etc.).

    If you must use a metal tin, something like the ammo can ^^^ sounds good.

    I keep my stuff in either gadget bags for regular use items, or dry cupboard or drawer. And "collectable" items sometimes end up in the china cabinet, if my wife's not looking.

  5. #5
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    I use a steel rolling tool cabinet. Thin drawers for filters and small parts and cables. Medium drawers for lenses. Big drawers for larger camera bodies. For some reason I'd never be able to keep tools organized in such a thing, but I can keep camera stuff well organized. Probably because a lens or filter is more valuable than a 13mm socket or a screwdriver.

  6. #6

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    Some of mine are in a closet. Some of mine are in camera bags. Some of mine are in plastic tubs.

    It really isn't all that critical how you store these, provided it is safe, dry, and relatively cool.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  7. #7
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    Mine are in a big common plastic storage box. I put some silica desiccant in the bottom. It never occurred to me that the plastic might "outgas" and damage my cameras. The dust at my house is extremely bad... after even a couple days there is a layer on everything. A sealed container is not optional!

  8. #8
    DWThomas's Avatar
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    My major systems are in bags, or in one case, a belt pouch. A number of others are in plastic boxes. The house has central heat and central air, so I don't expect the outgassing problems to be anything like in a car, where temperatures in the sun can go way way up. I also think the padded automotive stuff of fifty years ago was far worse than today's interiors.

  9. #9

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    I had several cameras that were collectable rather than users stored in sealed plastic containers with silica gel. After a couple of years I opened them to find that all the leather cases were wearing fur overcoats. Nothing seemed to have affected the lenses though, and a quick wipe over seemed all that was necessary. The camera repairer I used recommended storing cameras and lenses in glass-fronted cabinets. I don't have room for that, so they live in a drawer, on the sofa, on the table, in the car, on the hi-fi .... you get the picture...
    Steve :-)

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Roberts View Post
    I had several cameras that were collectable rather than users stored in sealed plastic containers with silica gel. After a couple of years I opened them to find that all the leather cases were wearing fur overcoats. Nothing seemed to have affected the lenses though, and a quick wipe over seemed all that was necessary. The camera repairer I used recommended storing cameras and lenses in glass-fronted cabinets. I don't have room for that, so they live in a drawer, on the sofa, on the table, in the car, on the hi-fi .... you get the picture...
    Steve :-)
    Did you reactivate (dry out in an oven) the silicagel before storing the cameras? A silicagel packet will not absorb water indefinitely, it will soak up a certain amount and then it's just like a wet sponge. Anything stored with slicalgel needs to have the packets reactivated every few months or so, depending on conditions.
    The trouble with sealed containers is that they keep things in as well as out.

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