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Old Oct 17, 2004, 12:06 PM   #1
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I took a diving trip down to Cozumel this last week, and every morning my camera (Digital Rebel) would be seriously fogged over. Even if I wiped the condensation off the front lens (a UV filter actually, so I'm not too concerned with scratching it), my pictures would all come out with a hazy "soft focus" feel to them until some of the excess moisture of the AM burned off.

Of course, everything looks nicer first thing in the morning light, so it would be desirable to get non-fogged pictures then. Is there some trick to doing this? The owner's manual recommends putting it in a sealed plastic bag, and letting it get up to temperature, but I didn't have one or the manual with me :-) I considered trying some of my dive-mask defog on it, but it really didn't seem to be the external elements causing it any longer so didn't. Any other pieces of practical advice for next time?

Is having exposed the camera to such a humid environment something that will require action now on my part? (cleaning internal mirror/sensor, etc)? I don't notice any degradation right now, but would be interested in hearing anyone's advice on this. The owners manual does recommend that I wipe it down with a damp cloth now, since I exposed it to salty air. It also recommends I never use it if condensation has formed on it, but instead open it up and let it all evaporate (could have been HOURS in cozumel). Did I hurt anything not obeying these rules this time? Are these bullet points just to cover liability so they don't have to replace it if things go bad due to that, or real?

Seth :?:
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Old Oct 17, 2004, 2:38 PM   #2
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It's possible that a dramatic temperature change might cause condensation on the exterior lens or between the lens and UV filter (I've had this happen when I owned a DRebel) - but this doesn't sound right. Almost sounds like moisture is getting in the camera.....but I'm no technical wiz. Is the camera still under warranty?
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Old Oct 17, 2004, 5:58 PM   #3
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Its probably not under warrantee (due to firmware modifications). I'd have a devil of a time reproducing it to show somebody what was wrong, since it doesn't give any problems now that I'm back in relatively reasonable humidity levels.

I've got to imagine that there is some degree of moisture in the camera - the lens does get removed from time to time, and not always (ever) in perfectly dry enviornments. So I could see the mirror fogging when I went from AC to warm humid mornings, or condensation forming on the CMOS sensor too. So I'm guessing I should probably give them a swab just to keep em clean?
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Old Oct 18, 2004, 1:02 PM   #4
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I can think of a couple things to try. First, when you go out in the morning, remove any filters from the lens and remove the lens from the camera. Leave the camera body and lens "open" for 10-15 minutes to acclimatize to the change in temperature and humidity. The second thing is to seal the camera and lens in a ziploc or similar sealable bag while still in the warm environment before retiring for the night.
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Old Oct 18, 2004, 5:01 PM   #5
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I would try to keep the air inside the camera and lens as dry as possible. If it is necessary to change lenses in a veryhumid environment I would suggest drying it out at your first convenience. When I want to dry something out here in Hawaii I let the sun warm it up for a few hours (or more), that seems to work.Of course choose a dust-free place.

It is common in these humid climates for lenses to become hazy and require disassembly to clean all the elements. I don't know exactly what gets on the lenses, probably mildew. I suspect this is caused by storing a lens with humid air inside. If your lens is fogging you probably have humid air inside. I suggest drying it out before storing it.

BTW, if using a zoom lens (non-internal), you are pumping air in and out of the lens every time you zoom. Seems to me this is bound to introduce humidity into the lens even if you don't change lenses. I don't know what kind of filters and seals they have to prevent this; probably none on cheap lenses.
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Old Nov 20, 2004, 1:32 PM   #6
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I just had this same problem last week. I was aboard a ship in the Caribbean (hot and humid outdoors) and the stateroom was air-conditioned. The first morning at sea I took my D70 out to the veranda to take a pic and it immediately fogged over. I put it in a plastic bag and left it out for about an hour and that fixed the problem.
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Old Nov 30, 2004, 11:41 AM   #7
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Observerguy...you have described the etiology of fog perfectly

Cool object ("glass" , i.e. lens) will have warm, humid air condense on it.

Once temperature of cam glass and air have equilibrated, fog will cease to occur.
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