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How To Store Your Camera Gear

By | 13/10/2022

Information technology’due south much more fun to buy shiny new toys than to think about how to properly treat them. But if you’re already invested in your arsenal of gear, you owe it to yourself to learn how to store your camera and lenses – earlier your lenses lock up on a shoot or your resale value plummets.

To learn how to protect your gear, yous have to understand what you’re protecting it from.

The
biggest danger to your camera bodies and lenses
come come from two things: blunt forcefulness (think dropping, not bad, cracking) and humidity.

Solving the outset issue is easy plenty: whether at abode or on the go, it’s worth investing in a protective photographic camera bag and a neck or hand strap. If you’re not sure what to pick up, read through our article on the all-time photographic camera bags. For now, let’southward just presume you lot’re covered on the basics.

DIY Hacks for Storing Your Lenses

Before we move on: if yous’re not looking to invest in whatsoever new equipment to keep your photographic camera equipment safe, there are still some things you can practice to continue your lenses in decent shape. Let’s breeze through these best practices:


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  • Store them front-element-side-down.

This will minimize the presence of oil in your aperture blades (which tin can really gum up the works when you try to change your aperture in the future). This has become less of a necessity with modern autofocus lenses that employ less oil in their manufacturing, but it’due south amend to exist prophylactic than sorry.

  • Shut aperture rings to the smallest f-finish to reduce tension on the springs.

The springs in your lenses, like any other springs, fatigue over time. To continue your lenses like-new, set up them to their smallest aperture (in other words, the highest number on your lens) when you store them. If your lens doesn’t support manual discontinuity adjustments, simply close up the aperture using your camera body earlier you plow it off.

Why Humidity is the Camera and Lens Killer

If you’re only hither to skim this article, here’due south what you need to know:
don’t store your camera or lenses in a place that tin can store moisture.
Ideally, your storage space is air-tight and dry.

Even in the U.s.a., where we tend to retrieve less about humidity and wet levels than somewhere in the torrid zone, humidity levels are significant enough to do real impairment to your sensitive and calibrated camera equipment.


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It’southward worth reading The Wandering Lens’s writeup on the effects of extreme temperature and humidity.

Humidity tin cling your camera sensor (RIP), fog up your lenses, short electronic circuitry… in worst case scenarios, it’s no laughing matter. Fifty-fifty in moderate climates, the dew signal can climb unexpectedly, creating a breeding basis for mold and fungus.

Information technology’s certainly possible to get years of poor storage practices without seeing any sick effects from fluctuating temperatures and humidity, but eventually, mold and mucus will show upward.

And then how can you combat humidity, peculiarly in long-term storage?

Depending on your upkeep and the amount of gear you take, your solution can look like
plastic bins and silica tablets. That’s the bare minimum you should have already, but if you’re more than than $500 in to your gear, it’due south fourth dimension to take storage more seriously.

You should likewise beware of cases and sleeves that worsen humidity. For example, leather lens cases that come up in the box from nigh manufacturers may look beautiful, but they’re functionally useless. Not just do they offer minimal touch on protection, only the material draws in a significant amount of moisture. Afterward a few months of storage, you lot might detect the unwelcome surprise of a foggy front element.
But similar that, y’all’ve got mold.

Only if you’re serious most protecting your gear, read on.

The Professional Solution for Camera Equipment Storage: Dry Cabinets


img courtesy of DigitalFilmmaker.

Hobbyists and amateurs should be fine with the higher up tips. If you haven’t already invested in your gear and you aren’t planning on reselling, y’all probably don’t need to worry about the optimum way to store your camera equipment.

For the rest of us – myself included, who has well over $x,000 dollars in camera gear sitting unused in my house – it’s of import to think of our gear as financial assets. It’s not only imperative to ensure the equipment stays working and in tiptop form for our own shoots, information technology’s but as of import to preserve the resale value of your gear and then that yous can upgrade ofttimes and stay on the top of your game.

If the above sounds like you, you’re going to want what’south called a “dry cabinet dehumidifier” — a temperature controlled, dehumidified, air-tight, electronic cabinet (and in many cases, complete with locking systems).

Dry out cabinets come up in anywhere betwixt $200 to $700 dollars — in well-nigh cases, cheaper than a single lens or body. In other words, it’s an essential purchase for the serious photographer.

I’ve tried many dry cabinets, and my recommendation comes down to i brand.

Best Dry Cabinet Dehumidifier: FORSPARK

FORSPARK dry out cabinet dehumidifiers come in many sizes, from a petite 30L all the way upward to 125L. They all come up stocked with similar features: temperature control, humidity control, key-locked — and FORSPARK’s propriety rapid dehumidifying technology, which edges information technology out over the many knock-offs.

Their closest competitor, Ruggard, produce quality products besides — merely I’ve had slap-up customer service experiences with FORSPARK, which is important when it comes to long-term use cases like a dry out chiffonier (though I do prefer the wait of Ruggard dry out cabinets!)

There are two sweet spots in the lineup in terms of value-for-the-money and practicality

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FORSPARK 30L Dry out Cabinet Review: The Best Dry out Cabinet Under $200

The 30L is the go-to dry cabinet for the amateur-turning-pro. These things can quickly become pricy, then if you’re not looking to protect a boatload worth of gear, the 30L is the improve value (unless you’re looking to future proof). It’southward also great for smaller spaces, similar studio apartments or bedrooms.

Yous can fit two bodies and 8 lenses in the 30L. It’ll exist a tight squeeze – and probably not equally flashy as a larger case – but information technology’ll exercise the job.

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FORSPARK 125L Dry Chiffonier Review: The Best Dry Cabinet for Large Collections

With massive storage and adjustable shelving, the real dazzler of the FORSPARK 125L dry cabinet is that you can pre-pack your camera bag with all the gear you apply on shoots, toss it in the cabinet, and never worry about mold or fungus. For photographers who utilize their gear often, this size offers most efficient storage by a mile.

Plus — who doesn’t like the centre candy of seeing their bodies and lenses lined upwardly in a glass example?

Note: these are the only two cabinets I’ve personally tried and feel comfortable recommending to our readers. The other sizes in the lineup should perform just likewise, but I don’t know that commencement-mitt. Choose wisely!

Are Dry Cabinets Really Worth Information technology?

There’s nothing very exciting about dry cabinets, and dropping a few hundred dollars on something as preventative and practical as storage probably doesn’t thrill you.

But hither’south the reality: dry cabinets are admittedly worth information technology, and I’ll show it using numbers and an unfortunate anecdote.

While camera bodies depreciate relatively rapidly (anywhere from $200 to 800 a year), photographic camera lenses hold value remarkably well. For case, Fuji lenses have almost no depreciation factor. You can purchase a Fuji lens, continue information technology in practiced condition, and resell it in two years with almost no loss whatever.

However, a foggy front element, slugging autofocus, glutinous aperture ring, or browbeaten-up housing can drop your value past half – or more. If your lens is in bad enough shape, it’s often not fifty-fifty worth it to resell.

Early on in my photography career, I invested in the Canon 5D Mark 2 and the Canon 50 Serial of lenses. I traveled the globe with them, moved cantankerous-land, shot rock shows and in the desert, through tropical forests, and very often in the pelting. The photos I got were well worth it. When I focused on other aspects of my career, they sabbatum in storage for four years.


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Simply I was immature, stupid, and didn’t think to intendance for my gear similar I should take. When I wanted to motility on to the Fuji ecosystem (and male child, am I glad I did), I was merely able to resell my moldy Catechism lenses for 1/5th of the market rate. In other words, I lost over $3000. If I had invested in proper storage, I would have saved at least $2500.

Don’t make my mistake.

And if you can’t afford a dry cabinet, at the very least, shop your gear responsibly in air-tight plastic bins and check on them regularly. You’ll be glad y’all did.

Paul Mauer

Digital strategist, writer, and image maker based in Manhattan working with clients in the tech and entertainment industry.


Source: https://www.sharkandpalm.com/photography-tips/how-to-store-camera-and-lenses-at-home-and-keep-your-resale-value-high