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How To Protect Camera From Moisture And Mould

There is one thing that we often overlook in photography and it is especially common for people who live near the coast…

Moisture And Mould

MouldWe like to think we take good care of our camera equipment by keeping it in our camera bags and making sure we protect it and that everything is safe and secure.  But moisture is something that can penetrate almost anything. Camera bags, drawers, wardrobes and even boxes are not safe. If left unnoticed, it is surprising how quickly moisture can start turning into mould. If this occurs inside your camera body or lens, the result can be devastating.

Unfortunately it happened to one of my lenses, a Sigma 18-200mm. Admittedly it wasn’t a lens I used a lot. At first the mould started appearing unnoticed inside my camera lens. I wondered why my photos were blurry. I just couldn’t get them sharp. I tried cleaning the lens thinking there must be a smudge or something that I hadn’t seen. I had a good look at the glass, but everything seemed fine. Frustrated, I put the lens away and started using another one.

Then one day a few months later I decided to give the 18-200mm another try. I took it out of the box where it had been sitting and attached it to my camera body. I went to take a few images, but I noticed that when looking through the viewfinder that the image I was seeing wasn’t clear. I turned my camera around to look at the lens and went to a window to allow light to enter the lens barrel. That’s when I saw the problem. There was mould on several layers of the lens glass and would most likely be covering all the inside of the barrel! Great! One Sigma 18-200mm lens down the drain.

How To Protect Camera From Moisture And Mould


After thinking about how to avoid this happening again in the future, I decided the easiest way to protect all my camera equipment, is to put silica bags inside my camera bag and lens pouches to try to absorb any moisture that might be lurking and ready to pounce.

The silica gel bags I am referring to are the ones that come in the box when you buy a pair of shoes or a new camera bag. These are something I used to just throw away, but not any more. I place two in each lens pouch and a couple more inside my camera bag.

This is an easy and cheap solution to keeping your camera assets in good condition and to give camera equipment the best chance at beating moisture and mould. Each bag should last around 12 months before you need to discard and replace with fresh ones.

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