Dry Box Alternative

Dry Box Alternative

by Esmeraldo Jr Guimbarda – emerging member of Academy of Photography

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By definition a dry box is a storage container in which the interior is kept at a low level of humidity. It may be as simple as an airtight and watertight enclosure, or it may use active means to remove water vapor from the air trapped inside.
In photography term, a dry box is a tool which prevents moist getting in your lens & camera. And for us photographers moist is the source of the molds and fungus which forms in our lenses if we do not take care for our cameras and lenses.a Dry box is a must investment that every serious photographer should have in his home, studio or office.
Fungus is the camera’s worst enemy. It is not only difficult to clean or take off; it can also damage your camera, specifically the 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 of time 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. Once fungus is attach to the camera or lenses it will cost us to get rid of it or unless you know how to properly open and clean outside and inside of the lenses and camera.
If buying a dry box is must then how will you buy one if a dry box cost around $200? especially if you are on a low or more likely out of budget?
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My Quick temporary solution is use an air lock container and put some silica gel on it.
The air lock container will keep moist outside and prevent it from coming inside. While the silica gel function is to absorb the moist inside specially while closing the container. Choose a container that is transparent so that the lights can pass inside since fungus lurk around in dark and humid spaces. Scientifically proven that UV light kills bacteria. UV lights cause mutations in DNA, which results in bacteria being unable to reproduce properly and in result dying off after time. Therefore keep the container away from the dark places 😀
The air lock containers will cost around at least 1$ depending on the size and durability of the container. Make sure the air lock container has a good quality seal(rubber sealing) to prevent air coming inside the container.
Avoid storing the lenses and camera in one container to avoid the mixing of the lenses which infected with fungus and the lenses that are clean. Its like putting a rotten tomato and in a basket of ripe and fresh tomato which eventually in the end every tomato will be rotten. I think the same case will happen to our lenses and cameras if we let our lenses with fungus mix with the clean one.
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After a while and we have enough money to buy one, then we should or must invest on a good quality dry box/dry cabinet to keep our lenses and camera clean and away from fungus.
So keeping the cameras, lenses and other photography stuff in good condition and to get the best out of our investment, find a good dry box or dry cabinet. It might be a little too much for our budget, but it will serve our cameras, a lot of good. We won’t need to worry about our equipment getting all dusty and moist; We won’t worry much on how to battle fungus. All that you will be thinking about is how to create beautiful pictures that speak a lot of stories.

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