Lens storage - silica gel


bjolester

Link Posted 08/11/2017 - 18:40
I am looking for some advice regarding how to best store lenses when not in use. Currently I store my lenses in an open bookshelf in my study in our house. Consequently the lenses are subject to air circulation and a stable temperature and humidity. The main drawback is that the lenses collect dust on the exterior, so they have to be cleaned every now and then.

I know some people store their lenses in lens containers like the Lowepro lens cases series, together with silica gel. I am contemplating acquiring a few of these Lowepro lens cases for the lenses I value the most. Is there any drawback with using silica gel? Is there a possibility of the silica gel drying out the grease/oil found inside the lenses? (Maybe this is a silly question, so please excuse my ignorance...)

I am grateful for any advice on this matter!
Bjørn

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Algernon

Link Posted 08/11/2017 - 19:01
You could just put a dust cloth over the lenses. It might actually help if the cloth (cotton ? ) also absorbs moisture keeping the lenses even drier.

I've never heard of any problems with silica gel. It does only absorb moisture from air that is very close to it though. It won't suck it in from further away.


--
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi
Last Edited by Algernon on 08/11/2017 - 19:02

Helpful

bjolester

Link Posted 08/11/2017 - 21:08
Thanks Algi, I will surely check out your suggestion with putting a dust cloth over the lenses. It is also good to hear that silica gel is proven safe product to use with photo equipment.
Bjørn

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Defragged

Link Posted 08/11/2017 - 23:23
I have two Andbon Dry Cabinets similar to this :- http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-68L-Dry-Cabinet-Storage-for-Camera-Lens-Antique/26... which I purchased on ebay some time ago, though they do seem to have gone up in price. Not cheap but then neither are lenses!
C.O.L.B.A.S victim
(Compulsive Obsessive Lens Buying Addiction Syndrome)

What you need are lenses, more lenses, bigger lenses, better lenses, faster lenses, and when you have these, your pictures will be perfect!

davidwozhere

Link Posted 09/11/2017 - 01:26
I keep mine in various camera bags and desk drawers with lots of bags of silica gel (bought a job lot off Ebay last year) I havent found any problem so far.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

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johnriley

Link Posted 09/11/2017 - 07:36
The open shelf with plenty of air circulation is the best option. I have seen so many older lenses ruined by being in closed bags.
Best regards, John

bjolester

Link Posted 09/11/2017 - 08:18
Thank you all for sharing your experience about lens storage! Most helpfull.
Bjørn

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petrochemist

Link Posted 09/11/2017 - 15:22
Silca gel will absorb quite a few chemicals but they are all compounds with much higher polarity than the greases used inside lenses. In addition these lubricants are designed to be involatile or they would transfer to the glass surfaces ruining your photos. So there's no chance of silica gel 'drying up' your lens grease!

Absorbents like silica gel will only absorb compounds they come into contact with (usually those in the local air). Reducing the concentration of chemicals in the air can speed up the evaporation of similar liquids, so liquid water in with silica gel will get absorbed over time...

If you have high concentrations of alcohol fumes, silica will absorb those readily enough (along with H2S, SO2 etc). Unfortunately this doesn't make it practical for passing a breath test after a night out on the tiles, or even just freshening bad breath.

At work I've used finely ground silica gel to extract traces of alcohols, ketones, ethers, phenols... from hydrocarbon samples (the sample actually passed through a column packed with the silica), ending up with far more than I'd expected!
Mike
.
Pentax:K5ii, K7, K100D, DA18-55, DA10-17, DA55-300, DA50-200, F100-300, F50, DA35 AL, 4* M50, 2* M135, Helicoid extension, Tak 300 f4 (& 6 film bodies)
3rd Party: Bigmos (Sigma 150-500mm OS HSM),2* 28mm, 100mm macro, 28-200 zoom, 35-80 zoom, 80-200 zoom, 80-210 zoom, 300mm M42, 600 mirror, 1000-4000 scope, 50mm M42, enlarger lenses, Sony & micro 4/3 cameras with various PK mounts, Zenit E...
Far to many tele-converters, adapters, project parts & extension tubes etc.

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Last Edited by petrochemist on 09/11/2017 - 15:28

bjolester

Link Posted 09/11/2017 - 20:52
Thank you for providing a scientific explanation of the merits of silica gel! Now I am 100% convinced that silica gel will not have any negative impact on lenses in storage
Bjørn

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kh1234567890

Link Posted 09/11/2017 - 23:37
If you are going to use silica gel bags get the self indicating ones and regenerate them periodically when the indicator colour changes. There is a limit to how much moisture silica gel can absorb before becoming useless.
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bjolester

Link Posted 10/11/2017 - 10:22
kh1234567890 wrote:
If you are going to use silica gel bags get the self indicating ones and regenerate them periodically when the indicator colour changes. There is a limit to how much moisture silica gel can absorb before becoming useless.

That sounds like a good idea! Where does one purchase self indicating silica gel? Amazon?
Bjørn

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Algernon

Link Posted 10/11/2017 - 11:29
Alternatively just weigh the dry bag and record it. Dry out when the weight increases.


--
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi

johnha

Link Posted 10/11/2017 - 16:50
How about putting them in a cupboard (not cased) with one of those water trap crystal contraptions (where the crystals turn to water)?
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