Waterproofing photo equipment
I had a bad past week as many of my cameras and lenses were damaged when Hurricane Irene visited with flooding where they were stored. NO, stupidly, they were not in plastic freezer bags. Please inform me: are zip-lock bags the way to go here, assuming a Pelican case would not hold nearly all that I have? Any other suggestions? Please do not recommend a bank safe deposit box because that is precisely where they were: water measured 2.5 feet in the vault! - David Lyga.
Freezer bags aren't waterproof.
You can get some pretty big pelican cases! And clones of pelican cases. Some dessicant would be good to go in with the cameras. Have a pelican case for your most valuable stuff at least.
Maybe a cooler(s) duct/gorrilla taped shut for the rest of the stuff (with something to stand them off the floor of the cooler incase of water ingress or condensation.
A non-floodable storage option is good too, but I realize that's not an option for everyone's geography. I have a garage with no plumbing and a slab floor which is in a non-floodable area, and it's a safe place to keep things dry.
Large zip-lock bags with dessicant packs is a dandy way to store camera equiptment, bodies and lenses, flashes and other assorted items you wouldn't want to get wet. Any good water tight container with seals works as well. Go to your local boating supply or outdoor shop and check out their water proof gear bags. Rechargable dessicant packs that can be tossed in an oven or microwave to dry out and reuse. Even GI ammo cans are better than nothing for protection. Maybe those "space bags" that you seal and vacuum out the air are an excellent way to store gear.
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The cameras are mechanical and I have already saved 80% of the lenses (dismantled and thoroughly cleaned each element and aperture blades, etc). With these non-zooms I usually know what I am doing as I have dismantled hundreds of lenses. The bodies are a bit more difficult: first I removed the base and set them in my oven with the pilot light on to dry them over a period of a few days. Then, its removing the tops and flushing with (yes, gasp) warm soapy water then thorough rinse and slow dry on top of a saucepan on low heat. I have revived many, many Spotmatics and SRTs like this but the meter sometimes fails. But the shutter works well after all this fuss and I know that the innards and really clean.
The problem with a hurricane flooding is that it is not ONLY water. It is also a tiny bit of mud that always stays behind after the water dries. Rust is not too much of a problem because I caught it in time. Even though I am agnostic, 'heaven help me'. - David Lyga
Best rule of thumb if something gets wet and it can be addressed in a timely fashion, keep it submersed and get it to a repair facility pronto.
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I get around on the water a bit and I store my equipment in a big Rubbermaid container when I'm out on the marsh in transport.
5x7 Eastman-Kodak kit, under the knife for a bit
4x5 Graphic View / Schneider 180 / Ektar 127
RB67 Pro S / 50 4.5 / 90 3.8 / 180 4.5 / WLF / prism finder / polaback
Random 35mm stuff
"space bags" great idea on the surface but has flaws, the vacuum will suck in water if the bag's integrity is compromised. A water proof hard case is the best bet and only if its opened and aired out regularly.
Originally Posted by Rick A
Sorry to hear about the disaster. Double bagged in thick freezer ziplocs with the desiccant dry packs, and stored with a locking top cooler, with the rims sealed off with a tub of Vaseline, and then doubled layered with duct tape, placed inside a large rubber maid container, thats off the floor. its a pelican case on the cheap, though not as accessible.
Peli produces some VERY large cases, too, and they can be stacked. There is also a company named Jan-Al Cases that produces huge cases for musical instruments etc.
Originally Posted by David Lyga
Or if you need more space and have enough space:
The future belongs to the few of us still willing to get our hands smell like fixing bath.
For a freezer bag alternative, try aLoksaks. They are waterproof and extremely durable. I use them while hiking.