A swift temperature change and then suddenly everything is blurry. Fog has just formed on your camera’s lens. Don’t panic; follow these useful tips to protect your camera from condensation or to get rid of it quickly.
Where does the fog come from?
Condensation is a natural phenomena that occurs when temperature changes suddenly. As with glasses, fog generally appears on the lens when your camera was used outdoors in the cold before being taken inside. Part of the water vapour in the much warmer ambient air is deposited on colder surfaces, including your camera’s lens.
It’s useless to try and wipe it off since it will reappear as long as your device has not reached room temperature.
Waiting time varies a lot depending on the temperature difference between inside and outside, as well as the type of camera and lens used. If it’s a phone, small camera or if your lens is made of plastic, the fog will dissipate quickly. On the other hand, for the professional lenses on DSLR cameras, it’s a much longer process because they’re made of metal. You will sometimes have to wait up to one hour. Thankfully there are other solutions to accelerate the process.
A few tricks for fighting fog:
It’s kind of the photographer’s home remedy: the technique is crafty, but it’s tried and tested. Before going inside, place your lens in a hermetically sealed plastic bag. The condensation will settle on the bag and will disappear when your lens has reached room temperature. Inside the bag, the air coming from the outside is drier. As a result, condensation on the lens is limited and the evaporation time is much faster.
You didn’t anticipate temperature change? Take your lens out of your bag and case, remove the liner and place it near a heat source, such as an electric baseboard. However, be careful not to place it too close to the source, especially if your lens is made of plastic.
If you’re really pressed for time, you can try the very effective hair dryer solution. Still, be vigilant and only use this method for professional-level lenses.
Avoid wearing your camera slung over your shoulder
Aside from sudden changes in temperature, condensation may also appear on your lens when you wear it slung over your shoulder. During physical activity such hiking, heat produced by the body’s perspiration will inevitably create a temperature difference, which leads to fog. The solution: place your camera in a bag as far away from the body as possible by using a tie on the side of your backpack.