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Storing Lenses to Avoid Fungus and Haze


M Joel W
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I'd like to store my lenses to avoid fungus and haze. I bought a small humidity controlled locker, but I would rather store them in Pelican cases so I can take them out with me. 

I have a few Pelican cases and a few knock offs. I've read I should store lenses with desiccant, and so I ordered a few of these:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015OTBKAA/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s03?ie=UTF8&psc=1

What do rental houses do? I've always wondered how master primes etc. are stored to avoid fungus. Do they stay in their pelican cases or do they go back in a humidity controlled locker? I've never heard about fungus on a master prime....

Edited by M Joel W
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12 hours ago, Webster C said:

I asked this question recently to a couple of pros and they said to store your lenses on a shelf. That's not always practical, of course, so I ordered some of the desiccant to keep in my pelican cases. 

Is there some additional detail like uncapped on their sides so sunlight gets into the optics or capped and standing on end fine?  

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Thanks, I appreciate the feedback.

Echoing Shawn's question, do you mean on a shelf in open air, or would a humidity controlled locker be better?

I suspect it's environment-contingent: I’ve noticed on eBay that lenses are much more likely to have fungus when they come from Japan. (I assume more likely to have haze when they come from Arizona.)

I live in a temperate area (New England) but would be bringing my lenses elsewhere. I had an 18-55mm Canon kit lens develop fungus just lying around the house here so I'm using a Ruggard humidity-controlled cabinet to store my cinema lenses, but it's possible I'm unduly paranoid. 

Edited by M Joel W
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  • Sustaining Member

Hi guys,
Webster asked me to post a pic of my "lens shelf" 🙂 as he calls it. It's an IKEA cabinet with glass doors. When they're not in the Peli my glass lives there. But mind you I live in LA so humidity isn't an issue usually...
Best, David

20200405_130259.jpg

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Thanks, David. I do worry since I live in an area that's more humid than LA.

Is a humidity controlled locker better or worse than a sunny shelf? I assume it depends on humidity levels.

What's the concern with just storing in Pelican cases? I assume if there's desiccant fungus won't be a problem? 

How are lenses stored at rental houses btw? 

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Yeah it all depends. Where are you located? Most rental houses store them in their flight cases, but they also have quite controlled environments usually. So if you can have a humidity controlled locker that would be ideal.
And well, the thing with Pelicases is that they're (almost) airtight and if it is humid in there it will stay that way and provide a good environment for fungus to grow.

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I'm in New England now. It's less humid here than in Japan, I believe, but I had one lens (a 18-55mm Canon kit lens) develop pretty severe fungus on just one element, weirdly. There's also a set of binoculars we stored for like twenty years in a closet and it's full of fungus, but it was possibly stored in a damp case or something. So I'm a little more paranoid than I would be were I in LA.

I suppose the answer is I should buy the Pelican cases I've been putting off buying so I have a case for everything but still store things in the locker when they're not in use. I might be traveling for a few months at a time, but in that case I will just put desiccant packs in the Pelican cases.

What do you do when you get home from a rainy shoot btw? Throw lenses in an airtight bag with desiccant? Or when it is cold, put them in a bag outside, seal, it, and bring them inside, to prevent condensation? I finally got the money to buy some cinema lenses and now I'm just afraid of damaging them! 

 

Edited by M Joel W
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I think you're overthinking it. Use common sense and you will be fine! I use the Peli because it's a safe case for transport and crazy people on set! 🙂

Edited by David Auner aac
Typo.
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