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My canon camera lense is fogging from the inside when im shooting in humid conditions.


My canon camera's lense tends to fog internally when shooting in high humidity locations.

I tried letting it sit in front of a fan and it seemed to help out a bit, is there any other way i can get the lense not to fog internally?



@uliman03 wrote:

My canon camera's lense tends to fog internally when shooting in high humidity locations.

I tried letting it sit in front of a fan and it seemed to help out a bit, is there any other way i can get the lense not to fog internally?


When talking a camera from a cool environment to a warm humid one, like from an air conditioned building outside in the summer, or from outside in the winter to a heated interior it is important to avoid the type of condensation you are describing.


This might even include using a plastic bag to help protect it from moisture until it warms to the new temperature.


Other things that can be done include keeping it away from AC vents before taking it outside, and maybe even placing it in s sunny spot so it warms up a little before taking it outside.


You want to avoid getting it moist on the inside like that and dry it quickly if it happens. . Lenses can actually grow fungus on the internal glass lens elements from that and it can ruin a lens.

I hear people in humid hot places say they buy those bags of "do not eat - silicone gel" like come in packaging and right before going from a cold-to-warm temp change They will seal the lens in a bag like that and let it adjust put their lenses in a sealed storage bag with those silicone beads.
Me, I'd probably do it for a week and quit because it is too fiddly.

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?


What Scott means is "Silica Gel".   I have scuba buddies that use underwater cameras and they use them in there cases.  They work but you must use the right size packet and the container or bag, whatever, must be airtight.


Under normal conditions, not the tropics, you should not need this or should you be seeing fog.  Air condition to outsdie should not be a big concern.  Is this just one lens or all your lenses?

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


You are storing your camera in a cold environment.  


This is a bit like putting a drinking glass in the freezer or refridgerator for a few hours.  When you take that cold glass out into a warm moist room, water is going to condense on the surface.


The condensation would never happen if the glass was already at room temperature.  


You need to allow the lens to warm up to the ambient temperature.  If you put the lens into a sealed bag while still in the cold/dry air environment, then you can take it into the warm moist environment and it wont fog because you've trapped dry air inside the bag (or at least drying than anything else around).  Let the lens warm up.  


We have the same problem with astronomy in the winter months -- but in reverse.  The difference in optical temperature of our telescope mirrors vs. ambient temperature creates thermal currents which distort our optics.  The solution is simply to put the telescope outside about an hour before we plan to use it.   You can do the same thing with your camera lenses (but to avoid condesnation on the glass, I'd put the lenses in a sealed bag while they warm up.)


If you want to be scientific about it... check your weather and specficially check the "dew point".  This is the temperature at which water will condense based on the amount of moisture currently in the air.  If the lens is as cold or colder than the dew-point... it's going to want to fog up (moisture will condense on it's cold surfaces.)  If you keep the lens in an environment where it's always at least a few degrees warmer than the dew point then it will never fog.  In astronomy we use "dew heaters" (warming straps that wrap around the optical components of our telescopes) and a temperature controller that keeps the optical surfaces just a few degrees above the dew point.


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da


From my post on this topic:


I was at the beach last week and took my camera up to the ocean to take some shots.  The camera and lens were in AC (in the car driving down to the beach, 6 hour trip) and when I got to my parents’ house I took it out and started snapping pictures with the EF-S18-55mm kit lens.  After about 5 minutes I noticed the outer lens was fogging over.  It wasn’t a “hot” day, about 82 but as always it’s humid at the beach. I used my cleaning cloth and once the lens warmed up it stopped.  After that the inner lens fogged over and of course I couldn't clean it. It never did “unfog” while I was walking around for about an hour.

Question - did the moisture damage the lens in any way?  I used it again later and it was working just fine.  I have an EF 75-300mm zoom and this did not happen to it (Internal fog, the outer lens did fog but went away as described above).  Why would one lens fog internally and another not?  Also, how do you professionals keep this from occurring?



Your AC temperature in the car was colder than the dewpoint at the beach.  If you have a camera bag that can help insulate the camera so that it takes a lot longer to cool down.  Or you can keep the camera in the trunk so it's not getting chilled (I wouldn't do this if it's blistering hot and the trunk is an oven.  But if the trunk is less than 100ºF then you're fine.)


I don't know where you live, but let's just use Miami Florida as an example of a warm beach with high humidity.


Here's a link to the 10-day weather forecast for Miami but it includes a graph showing the temperature through the week.


What this graph lacks is the dew point (it's not enabled by default).  Just click the gear icon in the upper right corner of the graph and check the box that says "Dew Point".


The graph tells me that this week the dew point is consistently between 70 and 75º.  If the AC on your car is set COLDER than the dewpoint and your camera is cooled down to that temperature, the camera will fog when you introduce it to the moist air.


If your camera is WARMER than the dew point, then your camera will not fog when you introduce it to the warm moist air.


Keep the camera warmer than the dew point is your only defense against the problem.  Weather sealed lenses would help with the problem on the internal glass, but cold surfaces are cold surfaces (optical or not) which means condesnation is forming on every cold surface (not just the glass.  But the glass will be among the slowest to warm up since it's dense, a poor conductor of heat, and can hold a lot of thermal mass.)



Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

Once again thanks Tim,

It might have been when I was driving to the beach (from Northern Virginia to Emerald Isle, NC) I had my camera bag behind my seat on the floor.  With cold air being denser than hot I suspect a lot of the AC wound up going under my seat to this area cooling off the camera and lenses.  Anyway, the day after my fogging incident I took the camera out to the beach after it was sitting in the house with the AC on but this time it was on a kitchen table (in the bag) and I didn't have any problems at all.  Next time I travel I won't put it behind the seats on the floor.  I like the trunk solution as my trunk doesn't get blistering hot while the AC is on.  I'll just have to take it out of there if I'll be out of the car for an extended period of time. 


Also, as an amateur astronomer and private pilot I'm well versed in dew points and weather. I’ll also get some desiccant bags and put my lenses in a zip lock with them to keep the moisture down when dew point and temperature are close to each other. Good thing is I “watch” weather through other hobbies so I’ll just have to attach my observation to my budding photography hobby as well.




"Also, how do you professionals keep this from occurring?"


I have never had this happen.  I also never take any special efforts.  I just use the equipment as it is.  I expect my equipment to work in the same condition I am in.  Desert, beach or mountain.  Summer or winter.  I don't really know if it makes a difference that I use mostly "L" quality lenses or not.  I don't, or never had that many EF-S lenses to try with them. 


When a persons livelyhood depends on his equipment, your demands are different.

Maybe "L" lenses are better sealed against fogging like rifle scopes are.

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

I suspect you are correct on the quality of lenses.  My other lens, EF 75-300mm zoom, did not fog.  Maybe it's just sealed a little better?  I'm borrowing it from my brother who has an old school film Canon with the EF mount that he's not using anymore.  The only thing that I can think of after doing some more research and looking at cross sections of the two lenses is the 18-55mm has a few pieces of lens glass that are smaller and thicker than the 75-300mm glass.  My guess is the smaller/thicker pieces of glass retain temperature longer than the larger/thinner glass in the 75-300mm causing it to be more suspect to fogging.

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