The Importance Of Using A Dry Box For Your Photography Gear

Dry Box

photo by MIKI Yoshihito

If you want your  camera equipment to stay in good condition for years, you should get a good quality dry cabinet. It’s an investment that every serious photographer should have in his home, studio or office.

The Dry Cabinet

The Dry Cabinet controls the humidity and keep your camera and lenses dry and safe. Ideally, an RH (Relative Humidity) range of 35 to 45% is needed in order for a dry cabinet to provide the best protection for your photography tools. Although dry cabinets are sold in different sizes, shapes and designs, the most popular types are the small ones as they can be easily cleaned and moved. Most models or designs have shelves where you can stack your cameras, lenses and flashes, among others.

Importance of Using a Dry Box

The one word that answers the question “Why do I need a dry box for my camera?” is fungus.

Fungus is your camera’s worst enemy. It is not only difficult to clean or take off; it can damage your camera, specifically your lenses, as it is where fungus grows.

Fungus gets in between and under the lens; on your lens’ glass. When you store your camera for a long period – and without proper protection – it gets exposed to humid environments, which is where fungus thrives. Once fungus grows, it will spread quite fast; so fast that you may not notice how your other tools or equipment have already been infected. This will happen especially if you mix clean and infected lenses together in one area or container.

Another problem caused by fungus is when you force-clean the infected lens. This can damage your lens’ special coating.

Photographers who do not have dry boxes often place their cameras and photography tools in cupboards and drawers. These are dark and humid spaces, so fungus is bound to invade them in no time. To prevent this, they’ll need to use their cameras and lenses, and expose them to fresh air and light as often as possible.

Using a dry box is common to photographers who live in areas where it is humid almost the whole year round.

Eureka Dry Cabinet

Choosing a Good Dry Box

Deciding which type of dry cabinet to go for depends largely on personal preferences, which is mostly dictated by budget, among other things. However, it is also important to consider the kind of photography that you do.

Of course, if your budget is quite tight, you might want to go for the dessicant dry box; or maybe decide on a little Do-It-Yourself project. But it’s important to always look for one of good quality. Size also matter. Don’t choose the smallest one that you see because it’s the cheapest. Make sure that it’s the right size so all your photography equipment will fit inside. Think ahead when deciding on the size, since you’re sure to buy more tools in the future. So choose one that’s not only made of durable materials, but one that has a little extra space.

Having a dry box, however, does not mean you should leave your camera in storage for long periods. You should take it out of the cabinet regularly, like once a month, if you do not plan on using it for weeks or months. This will help make sure that the camera is still working well, and that dust has not gathered around it.

So if you’re serious about keeping your cameras, lenses and other photography stuff in good condition – and if you want to get the best out of your investment – find a good  dry cabinet. It might be a little too much for your budget, but it will do you, and your cameras, a lot of good. You won’t need to worry about your equipment getting all dusty and moist; you won’t have to battle fungus. All that you will be thinking about is how to create beautiful pictures that speak a lot of stories.jj

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