Condensation in a modern Nikon

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by john bently, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. john bently

    john bently Guest

    Some forty years ago when I started taking photos I was taught to shield the
    camera wrapping it in something when either going from a hot room to the
    cold outside or coming in from the cold into a warm room.

    My son who has just brought a good Nikon camera doesn't seem to think this
    is now necessary.

    Has modern design improved sufficiently that cameras that now don't have the
    old style metal shutters and diaphrams are not so effected by such
    temperature changes? Thanks for any advice on this issue.
    john bently, Feb 9, 2010
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  2. john bently

    Bruce Guest

    I'm not sure that there's much to worry about when going into cold air
    from a warm room, but taking a cold camera/lenses into a warm humid
    room virtually guarantees condensation.

    I think it is just as important to guard against this as it was forty
    years ago. Not only are there metal shutters (they have hardly
    changed!) and iris diaphragms to go wrong, there are digital sensors
    and complex, expensive electronics.

    Only the top of the range pro cameras (D3, D3s, D3X) are fully sealed
    against moisture and dust and only a few of the lenses are. So with
    all other Nikon gear, your son should be taking just as much care as
    you did.
    Bruce, Feb 9, 2010
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  3. john bently

    Rob Morley Guest

    I think the idea there is that air inside the camera will contract,
    potentially drawing in contaminants.
    That may be a bit of an overstatement, but it's certainly something
    to bear in mind.
    I'm not sure that "wrapping it in something" is particularly useful
    when going from cold to warm, unless the it forms a significant
    vapour barrier e.g. water resistant case, Tesco carrier bag ...
    Rob Morley, Feb 9, 2010
  4. From a damage POV condensation is really only a problem if it is repeated
    frequently or if the moisture is allowed to hang around for a long time.
    I'd not worry too much about condensation on the outside as it should simply
    evaporate as the temperature of the camera equalises with the environment.
    I'd certainly try to avoid changing lenses while the camera is cold as that
    would trap moisture inside it and while it would eventually evaporate it
    might take a while.

    Things are different from a usage POV. My understanding of the old rule was
    that you wanted to avoid taking pictures onto film which might have
    condensation on it. The same is of course true for digital sensors.
    Fogging of the lens is of course cleared by wiping with whatever cloth comes
    to hand, no matter how abrasive :)

    One further thought, while general electronics doesn't really have too big a
    problem with moisture a camera flash operates at high voltages so excessive
    moisture could cause problems there.
    Calvin Sambrook, Feb 9, 2010
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