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Storing lenses
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 12:30 am    Post subject: Storing lenses Reply with quote

I would like to know about the way you store your lenses.

I keep them on shelves. Part in a library part on a big shelf attached to a wall.
I try to keep them in the most dry part of the house. And in a place where there is good light

So fat I stored them vertical (sitting on the mount part, for most lenses except for a few big ones who sit on the front part as it's larger).
And with the caps on, to prevent dust to fall on the lenses.

But I am not sure that this is the best way. I think that I should remove the caps. At least periodically. But having the lenses vertical does not help, because the upper part will gather all the dust (and we know that dust is one of fungus' preferred food).

So I was thinking of building something with the wood, that may help to store the lenses horizontally without rolling.
Something like the things that hold the wine bottles, but simpler.
This way I could periodically remove the caps and have the inner part of lens receive some healthy light without collecting too much dust.

So, how do you store your lenses?


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am storing them in big plastic boxes without caps. They lie on their side, not on the front or back. Plastic boxes contains water remover chemical it keeps humidity always around 35%.

Benefits ?

No dust inside in box , humidity always around ideal value, and light can go to inside the lenses.


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
I am storing them in big plastic boxes without caps. They lie on their side, not on the front or back. Plastic boxes contains water remover chemical it keeps humidity always around 35%.
Benefits ?
No dust inside in box , humidity always around ideal value, and light can go to inside the lenses.


What chemical, and where do you buy it?


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Available is super markets to dry rooms. Product name is "Ceresit" made by Henkel. Plastic boxes are made from transparent plastic. Chemical is Kalcium-klorid.

I found in google product link.
http://www.makingdiyeasier.co.uk/unibond/stophumidity.html

I use big ones (500g).




Last edited by Attila on Sun Apr 29, 2007 12:58 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to find something similar here, I don't think we have the same brand of product available.
Not sure they keep it in supermarkets either.


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully you can. If you not find try to get this material: Kalcium-klorid.


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is that instrument you have there, does it measure humidity?

The one doubt I have about your system is: lenses need ventilation. Moving air. This is said by all recommendations I have read. You don't get much ventilation in a box.

Perhaps drilling holes in the boxes?


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi!

This topic really gets interesting as soon as a collection grows.
I never thought about that, before I realised I had a few lenses...

I keep them in my study, where humidity is about 50% (depending on the season). I think that is a little too high, but it's the only place where I can store them.

They are in wooden shelves which grant ventilation and I store them horizontally. They don't roll if they are stored close together. BTW, the rest on the lens caps which serve as a kind of cradle for each lens.
The lenses "look" at my windows with open front but closed back (to prevent scratches there, since this would be a bad thing).

Looks like this:

Some lenses are missing, those are in my bag at the moment.

If humidity gets too high, we have a machine that filters out humidity, I think they are called "dehumidifiers".
Orio, you should be able to find chemical dehumidifying boxes in a hardware store. They are not expensive and work, once opened, for about half a year, depending on size.


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you guys have storing problems I have a solution, just sent them to me.


Guido


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No lenses from me, Guido, my storing problem is solved. Laughing


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is part of my lens collection as it is currently stored, vertical and with caps on, from the left you can see the Carl Zeiss Jena and Pentacon lenses, then the Russian lenses that are big. On the far right, the only 4 Canon lenses that I own:

http://www.imageshock.eu/img/lenscoll1.jpg

Sorry for the picture quality, it is 1600 ISO and almost wide open, as I am not feeling very well I did not care about mounting the tripod, I will take a better picture one of these days.


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From left to right.
Back row:
CZJ Sonnar 2.8/180, 4/300, 2.8/200, 4/135, 3.5/135;
Pentacon 4/200, 2.8/135;
3M-6A 6.3/500;
Jupiter-36B 3.5/250;
Jupiter-21M 4/200 (4 copies);
Front row:
CZJ Biometar 2.8/120, Flektogon 4/50, 4/20 zebra, 4/20 black, 2.4/35, Biometar 2.8/80, Tessar 2.8/50;
Pentacon 1.8/50, 2.8/29;
MIR-26B 3.5/45;
Volna-3 2.8/80;
Tair-3A 4.5/300 (defective)
Rightmost:
Canon EF 50/1.8, EF-S Macro 60/2.8, EF 100/2, EF-S 18-55 II


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
What is that instrument you have there, does it measure humidity?

The one doubt I have about your system is: lenses need ventilation. Moving air. This is said by all recommendations I have read. You don't get much ventilation in a box.

Perhaps drilling holes in the boxes?


Yes there is a humidity meter, if air is dry enough don't need any moving air.


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
if air is dry enough don't need any moving air.


Orio, dealing with humidity, dampness and condensation problems in buildings is a part of my job. I agree with Attila, up to a point. Fungus will not germinate without dampness (and sometimes it needs darkness too). Moving air is not vital as long as the air is always dry, but keeping it dry is not easy. Humans create moisture just by breathing. The reason people recommend good ventilation is that it's often the best way to get rid of moist air.

But there's another factor - temperature. Cool air cannot hold as much water vapour as warm air, so when warm and humid air becomes cooler it has to dump the water vapour somewhere, and this happens on the coldest surfaces first. This is why in winter you get condensation on cold windows. Try to keep all your equipment at normal room temperature. If you store anything near a cold wall or window there is a danger it could become colder than the air in the room and so attract moisture. The really dangerous time is when you bring a lens (or camera!) back into a warm humid room after being outside in cold weather. It will become covered in condensation, both inside and out. It needs to equalise temperature in a well ventilated place, so NOT in the camera bag!


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Peter!
Very useful information!

Perhaps you can answer a question I have been thinking about for quite a while.

If you have a humidity of 50% in a 25C warm room, does that mean that there is effectively more water than in a room with 18C and 50% humidity?

If yes, is it "better" (e.g. for lenses) to be stored in the second room?


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peterqd wrote:
Attila wrote:
if air is dry enough don't need any moving air.

Orio, dealing with humidity, dampness and condensation problems in buildings is a part of my job. I agree with Attila, up to a point. Fungus will not germinate without dampness (and sometimes it needs darkness too). Moving air is not vital as long as the air is always dry, but keeping it dry is not easy. Humans create moisture just by breathing. The reason people recommend good ventilation is that it's often the best way to get rid of moist air.
But there's another factor - temperature. Cool air cannot hold as much water vapour as warm air, so when warm and humid air becomes cooler it has to dump the water vapour somewhere, and this happens on the coldest surfaces first. This is why in winter you get condensation on cold windows. Try to keep all your equipment at normal room temperature. If you store anything near a cold wall or window there is a danger it could become colder than the air in the room and so attract moisture. The really dangerous time is when you bring a lens (or camera!) back into a warm humid room after being outside in cold weather. It will become covered in condensation, both inside and out. It needs to equalise temperature in a well ventilated place, so NOT in the camera bag!


Thank you Peter. Very useful info!
What about the food? In an article about lens fungus, I read that probably most if not all of our lenses are already infested with some spores, but they don't germinate because they don't have the conditions, which is surely humidity, darkness, but also, enough food. They can eat the excess cement glue that attaches lenses to barrels for instance (and this is the reason why they often grow on the edges), but if the lens is manufactured properly, they may not find enough food. In that article they wrote that the dust is one of main food for the fungus.
So this is why I hesitate to leave lenses uncapped in an open place. I have just done it now, as I was afraid about the darkness induced by the caps.
But without caps, the dust will fall on the lenses and also in the little spaces between lenses and barrel, where fungus mostly grows.
So my question is: provided that the lenses are stored in an ambient that is kept dry, illuminated, and warm, what is better? To leave the lens capped, and therefore blocking the light (on the glass, not on the barrel), but keeping also dust away from the glass, or, to leave the lenses uncapped, and therefore allow the light inside the lens, but at the same time, allowing dust to fall on the glasses???


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

50 % humidity is too much store lenses, fungus start growing super fast if humidity reach 60%. I suggest to keep bigger distance. Most important factor is dry air, I bought many lenses from photographers. I found lenses with fungus only if owner has family house and stored with caps in leather case. If owner stored lens in flat part of communist style large block house (air is very dry here around 20-30% ) also stored with caps in leather case, lenses were always clean no fungus at all. So believe me if you can keep them on dry place you never get fungus even if you stored in leather case with caps. Another important thing don't left finger print or other dirt on lenses. To growing fungus need to essential thing right environment and food. Finger print enough for fungus. Clean lenses first with 50% ammonia + 50% Hydrogen-peroxide mixture , this liquid kill all living creature. In second step use 100% alcohol, finally clean with microfibre cleaning clothes. This receipt 100% safe for lens and 100% avoid to left any food for fungus and kill fungus itself perfectly.


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio, if you store in box, you don't get dust. Anyway in dry place dust no problem I bought many lenses in really dirty condition without fungus and I saw many mint lenses with fungus.


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
Orio, if you store in box, you don't get dust. Anyway in dry place dust no problem I bought many lenses in really dirty condition without fungus and I saw many mint lenses with fungus.


In fact the Distagon I got two weeks ago was new and boxed, and with fungus.
But still I'd like to know more about that "food" thing.


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Test your self put a lens to closed and humid box with finger prints if humidity over 60% fungus will start growing within a week. First phase like oily spots.

Put one into dry box with same condition. You never get fungus even if put a full pizza for food Smile


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have set up the second shelf similarly to Carsten, but with the back cap off also.
I turned the lenses towards the window, except for the top row because the base is too narrow:

http://www.imageshock.eu/img/lenscoll2.jpg

As you can see I started to put white sheets of paper in order to reflect daylight back into the rear of the lens. I have realized, however, that it will be simpler and better to just paint the whole thing white - which I will do this summer.

I don't know - the lenses look really defenceless this way... but if it's for the best...


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good idea, what about aluminium foil as reflection sheet instead of white paper. Put a humidity meter on the self and if humidity growing up open the window to decrease that.


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LucisPictor wrote:
Thanks, Peter!
Very useful information!

Perhaps you can answer a question I have been thinking about for quite a while.

If you have a humidity of 50% in a 25C warm room, does that mean that there is effectively more water than in a room with 18C and 50% humidity?

If yes, is it "better" (e.g. for lenses) to be stored in the second room?


OK. This is a complicated question. When you say "humidity" I assume you mean Relative Humidity (RH). This is what they use in weather forecasts etc. RH is measured as the percentage of the amount of vapour present when the air is "saturated" at a given temperature.

In terms of the actual quantity of vapour in the room (the Specific Humidity), the warm room has a higher value than the cold room. However, because the temperature is higher, the RH in both rooms is equal. If the SH was the same in each room then the warm room would have a lower RH.

So if you were to allow the warm room to cool down from 25 to 18C, the RH would rise. I can't tell you by how much % now, but it can be calculated. If you were to continue cooling until the RH reaches 100% this is known as the "dew-point" and the vapour in the air would start to condense into water droplets and become steamy or foggy.

In reality there will be surfaces in the room that are colder than the ambient air temperature. This depends upon the rate of heat transfer through walls/ceilings/floors etc. So the dew-point of the cooler air in contact with the cooler surfaces would be reached earlier than the general air in the room and condensation would begin to form on the coldest surfaces first.

If you can guarantee to keep the RH in both rooms constant at 50% then there is no difference for storing lenses - both would go mouldy at the same rate! : Laughing (not really - I'm joking) But the lens in the warmer room is at greater risk should the temperature drop.


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
Very good idea, what about aluminium foil as reflection sheet instead of white paper.


I think white is better for our purpose because it creates a spread diffusion, softer, but reaching all angles. Aluminium has anisotropic reflection and if the light rays don't hit at the right angle the reflection is lost.

Attila wrote:
Put a humidity meter on the self and if humidity growing up open the window to decrease that.


Yes I need to buy an instrument like yours. At least one, maybe two.

Lenses are in my studio which is the brighter room in the apartment. Apartments here are not built with large windows like in the north of Europe, because here we need to keep room darker during hot summers.
In any case I have an air conditioner in the room which can also work as a dehumidifier, so in case of dramatic levels I can turn it on.


PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
Thank you Peter. Very useful info!
What about the food? In an article about lens fungus, I read that probably most if not all of our lenses are already infested with some spores, but they don't germinate because they don't have the conditions, which is surely humidity, darkness, but also, enough food. They can eat the excess cement glue that attaches lenses to barrels for instance (and this is the reason why they often grow on the edges), but if the lens is manufactured properly, they may not find enough food. In that article they wrote that the dust is one of main food for the fungus.
So this is why I hesitate to leave lenses uncapped in an open place. I have just done it now, as I was afraid about the darkness induced by the caps.
But without caps, the dust will fall on the lenses and also in the little spaces between lenses and barrel, where fungus mostly grows.
So my question is: provided that the lenses are stored in an ambient that is kept dry, illuminated, and warm, what is better? To leave the lens capped, and therefore blocking the light (on the glass, not on the barrel), but keeping also dust away from the glass, or, to leave the lenses uncapped, and therefore allow the light inside the lens, but at the same time, allowing dust to fall on the glasses???


Looks like you've got this organised Orio. I know nothing about the kind of fungus that affects lenses - I only know a bit about the different rots that affect timber. But the principle is the same - they all need moisture and food. In the case of Serpula Lacrymans (Dry Rot), this also requires still air and darkness. However, once established, this fungus can survive daylight and fresh air, and it will srvive without moisture as it can manufacture its own from the air - hence its name. It can even go dormant and recover after many years - very nasty stuff.

I think as far as lens fungus is concerned, a dry atmosphere is probably the most important thing, as you can't remove the food. Fungus spores are sub-microscopic and are all around us in the air all the time so keeping the caps on won't be effective at all, and you may as well let the light in. This has other benefits too - particularly with lenses containing Thorium etc. In other words I think you're doing exactly the right thing - just remember about the condensation.

PS If you're worried about dust, it might be worth covering the lenses with a "breathable membrane" that also allows light through. I'm sure you can find something that fits that description! Wink