Cameras and film are sensitive to high humidity. If exposed to high humidity, they will develop mold and rust, which can prove to be damaging. When shooting, however, you can’t completely avoid areas with high humidity. So the best thing that you can do to is to protect your cameras and film very well. And here’s how to do that.
- Have a protective bag. Get a decent, sturdy bag in which you can store your camera and film rolls when shooting outdoors. Make sure the bag can protect your things from humidity. If possible, grab a roomy bag, so you can also put your other shooting items such as lenses, batteries, and filters. You can buy a camera bag from camera supply stores.
- Use silica gels. When you bought your camera, a few small bags of silica gels were most likely part of the package. Use them when shooting outdoors. But if you are shooting in humid areas, you might need to use more silica gels. So make sure to buy extra and put them in your camera bag when shooting. Silica gels work by absorbing moisture.
- Avoid using the camera when it has condensation buildup. If you find condensation buildup in your camera, wipe it dry with a lint-free cloth. You can also open the film and battery compartments to allow these parts to dry. Let the camera dry for a few minutes. You can turn it on only if you are sure it is completely dry.
- Acclimate the film rolls. When exposed to high humidity, film rolls might be susceptible to condensation buildup. Therefore, make sure to warm your film rolls before using them. It will usually take 30 minutes for a film roll to reach room temperature.
- Cover your camera with plastic. If humidity is extremely high in your location, it will be best if you wrap your camera with plastic. Cover it especially if you find repeatedly putting the camera in and out the bag a bit troublesome. In place of an ordinary plastic bag, you can also use a rice bag.
- Set the camera back in the bag. When not in use, place your camera back into the protective bag to prevent it from being exposed to too much moisture. The same goes for the other supplies. The silica gels in the bag will wick away the moisture in the camera and other items, keeping them dry.
Take extra good care of your camera when you are traveling with it. Keep it and the other supplies in the bag. Make sure that all the items are in their proper places, so they won’t bang against each other when the car is running. Also, don’t keep the camera bag in the trunk or dashboard. Instead, seat it on the passenger seat. For more about humid protection and other maintenance tips, refer to your owner’s manual. If you bought your camera without a manual, as in the case of a vintage secondhand unit, you can download the manual from the Internet.