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Lens Fungus Prevention Best Practices

danimal59
Contributor

Good Morning,

I recently purchased a T7 kit as well as two additional lenses. I live in Western Pennsylvania and store my equipment in a LowePro bag.

The other night in the Canon Community I came across some posts about lens fungus and I have been trying to educate myself about  what I should be doing to best protect my equipment. 

Specifically I have read about people storing their lenses in plastic bags with silica gel packs and some going as far as purchasing Ruggard  humidity controlled dry cabinets.

I wanted to see if members here may have some suggestions so that I can find the best solution for my needs.

Thank you,

Dan

12 REPLIES 12

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

I have been doing photography from the tintype age to now. I do nothing extra special and have never had any fungus problem. Fungus likes dark moist areas so don't do that. Most of my gear is stored on plain open shelves in my formerly stop bath stained dark room converted to storage room.

I am not saying this to be rude or condescending but consider the value of a Rebel T7 kit and the cost of replacement vs the cost of any extraordinary fungus reduction method or methods. I have a dehumidifier in there because I do have a great deal of equipment stored there. A little cost analysis is a good thing.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

I have followed your posts for sometime and I am not surprised you said this about my equipment. Just FYI I find your comment to be condescending. Just because the equipment may not be meaningful to you I already bought two more lenses and you didn’t ask if I was planning to buy more. 

Dan

I'm sorry you found EB's post condescending. It didn't strike me that way; he seems to be giving good advice, and it didn't look like he was making unwarranted assumptions about your gear.

Fungus seems like a pretty low risk to me -- I certainly haven't come across it in 23 years of owning ILCs -- and compared to the cost of a dry cabinet, the T7 is not a high-cost item. I'm seeing it on sale for under £420 with lens (the Rebel 2000D here in the UK).  Of course only you know how much you've spent on additional lenses.

EB is simply pointing out that if a person happens to have, let's say, £900 worth of lenses, and they spend £1000 on a cabinet to protect them from fungus, then they might want to reconsider. Even less drastic protection methods might not be worth it, given that fungus issues are not common. Of course, if you live in a swamp, it might be different.

Personally, I have an R5C, a C70, and four RF-mount lenses. I keep my lenses on the bottom shelf of the coffee table. Dust is my only concern.  If they get damp, I let them sit on the table and breathe with the caps off etc.

wq9nsc
Authority
Authority

I don't do anything too special with my lenses.  I do shoot a lot of sports and if the equipment is damp it gets wiped down with a dry cloth and allowed to sit in an open area for a day before going back into my storage room.  I keep desiccant packs around and use those at times in the lens suitcases that come with the Canon "great white" primes.  Desiccant packs are reusable and "baking" at a very low temperature (not over 150 degrees) for a couple of hours will restore them by removing moisture.  I use mil spec packs that change color to indicate when they need to be baked but you can just use the regular packs that come with most consumer electronics gear these days.

Fungus isn't going to form unless the lens is stored in a damp and dark location for a longer period of time.  So don't put your gear away damp in a sealed or semi-sealed container, make sure the storage area doesn't have a sustained high humidity level, and use extra caution if you live in a high humidity area where the gear is frequently staying in high humidity because this is what causes fungus growth.

I have used Canon SLR and later DSLR cameras since the late 1970s and I bought my first Canon SLR cameras and lenses when I was living on the Mississippi gulf coast less than a mile from the water.  I never took any special precautions and I have never had any fungus issues.  Bottom line is, it can happen but speaking from the point of view of someone who spent most of his career doing enterprise risk management:  There are a lot more likely bad things that will happen to your camera gear so don't over-stress about the possibility of fungal buildup.

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

krahe
Rising Star
Rising Star

I've been concerned about this ever since I saw used lenses out there with the problem. What I do if I've been out shooting in a humid area is when I get to someplace dry (and clean!), like an air conditioned room, I will exercise the lenses I had been using, such as by zooming them in and out a few times (for zoom lenses) and/or exercising the focus mechanism, with the lens caps off, too, of course. My thinking is that this will displace any moist air left in the lens with drier ambient air.

Kevin Rahe
EOS M50 Mark II

You never know how used lenses were kept/stored. They could have been stashed away in a musty, moldy basement for many years. They could have been through a flood. I've seen a LOT of this while working at a reuse-recycling business. We get camera donations that actually SMELL like mildew and show it externally. Wiping down a lens or camera with alcohol or whatever does nothing to what's inside of it.

shadowsports
Legend
Legend

Wiping stuff down, keeping it clean and dry is my recipe for success.  I live in Nor Cal, 1 mile from the ocean.  Old house, not so weather sealed and no dehumidification.  I've done insulation and windows, but our coastal area is often foggy, misty and moist.  We do have a portable dehumidifier in a downstairs bedroom.  It fills up rapidly.  When we replace our furnaces, we plan to install a dehumidification system as well.  Clean and dry are the most important things.  I didn't think @Ernies comments were condescending at all.  He was just pointing out considerations when deciding how to protect an investment.  

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.6.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10, 430EX III-RT ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8
~CarePaks Are Worth It

Tronhard
Elite
Elite

Really, much depends on your environment, by which I mean both the ambient condition outside and the design and structure of your house inside.  For example: I live in Auckland, New Zealand and it gets pretty muggy in the summer. I am not familiar with conditions in Pennsylvania, so apologies for not being familiar with your environment.

For some years I lived in a house with single-pane glass and fairly minimal insulation.  In winter the windows would fog up and we would get mold on some surfaces, especially in places open to moisture, like the bathroom and kitchen, or the lounge - which was off the kitchen.

My solution at that time was to keep the lenses in their original packaging (which is also great for resale as it attracts confidence and often gets a better price), along with mini silica gel packets in the boxes, plus larger dehumidifying packets on each shelf, and the cupboard had two outside walls and thus did not get too much exposure to inside air.  I always kept the door to that cupboard closed when not actually accessing my gear.   

When out shooting, I avoided rain and kept my cameras in holsters when not in use.  On the few occasions I have shot in very cold conditions, I have put the camera and lens in a plastic bag when returning indoors while they warm up and have had no issues.  Finally, I never change lenses in the field so each lens has its own body - which is my choice, as I want to avoid moisture and dirt getting into the camera body and I often need to change focal lengths very quickly.

Some years back we moved into a much more modern house, with significant insulation, double-glazing, heat pumps and a dehumidifying system.  I never get condensation inside but I still protect my gear as before.  I have never had fungus in a lens in my years of shooting.

My gear has included from the top end pro gear that is weather sealed to the more consumer units - so what you would call Rebels, and kit lenses, so I am not talking about high-end stuff that is very expensive.

I hope this is of some assistance.


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

"My solution ... was to keep the lenses in their original packaging (which is also great for resale as it attracts confidence and often gets a better price), along with mini silica gel packets in the boxes, plus larger dehumidifying packets on each shelf .... I avoided rain and kept my cameras in holsters when not in use.... I have put the camera and lens in a plastic bag when returning indoors while they warm up ...  I never change lenses in the field ... I want to avoid moisture and dirt getting into the camera body ... "

I never do or did any of that. I shoot when I want to and where I want to in whatever conditions that exists. I even did a shoot for a client that involved shooting during hurricane Ivan. My motto is if the conditions are too bad for me they are too bad for my gear.  Ivan pushed the limits for sure. If you camera gear doesn't do what you want or you are afraid to use it, it is of little use.

"... keep the lenses in their original packaging (which is also great for resale as it attracts confidence and often gets a better price)..."

I bet the next guy appreciates you for that. I admit I did the very same thing while I was in my lens testing phase. It was fun at the time but thank heaven that's over!

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!
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