Dry gear out after being wet

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I had an unusually wet weekend of photo taking, but couldn't resist the great scenery. As a result most of my camera gear became very wet, including my wooden field. I'm wondering if there are special precautions I should take to dry things out. I've unloaded everything to dry at room temps, and extened the bellows of my camera. I'm wondering if I should work the shutters of my lenses or move the aperture blades or if there are other measures to be taken? I'd obviously like to avoid getting everything so wet, but am wondering if occational situations like this are especially bad for things to the degree I should take better precautions or avoid exposing my gear to these extremes? Suggestions appreciated.

-- Roger Rouch (rrouch@msn.com), October 23, 2000


Roger: I think I would remove the lens cells from the shutters and let the air circulate. If it were me, I would remove the cells and use a hair dryer on low heat to blow out the shutters. Work the shutters and aperatures to make sure there is no moisture on the blades. You might get condensation on the blades. The camera should be o.k. Why not stick a large garbage bag in your pack to use as a camera rain shield. The garbage bags weigh practically nothing and are an effective rain barrier. An extra one will also make a raincoat for you if split down one seam. I carry a couple in my gear bag and also my fishing tackle box.


-- Doug Paramore (dougmary@alaweb.com), October 23, 2000.

Doug, Thanks for the suggestions. I will indeed remove the lens cells for better drying. Good thought.

I do carry trash bags for my camera (great for poor man's rain coats as well) and have my lenses and film holders in sealed rubbermaid containers. This helped a lot. Most of the wetness came from when I took things out for photos.

-- Roger Rouch (rrouch@msn.com), October 23, 2000.

Roger, If you have a wooden camera, you should be extra careful not to get it wet. The obvious reason is that wood warps with moisture and a warped camera looses it's precision. It's the sudden moisture changes that are the worst (ie avoid blow drying wet wood) You should carry with you a large golf umbrella and have an assistant hold it or attach it to the tripod while you take your stuff out under it. I use this system with an 8x10 and i can shoot in the rain. The only thing to remember is to not have the unbrella attached to the tripod during exposure as camera shake will result. All my holders and gear are either in garbage bags or in air tight containers, they don't have to be pelicans, I've found generic brands that are effective for rain and are far cheaper. To dry your lenses, maybe place them in a tupperware container and use dry silica to get all the moisture out.

-- Dave Anton (daveanton@home.com), October 26, 2000.

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