We figure out how to solve an urgent winter problem.
Why does the objective lens fog up?
With a significant temperature difference between the glass lens and the air, water vapor condenses on the glass: water passes from a gaseous state to a liquid one. As a result, tiny drops of water form on the surface of the lenses, which we see as a fogged lens.
Condensation usually appears on the outer surface of the lens. However, condensation may also form inside the lens and camera, which may cause corrosion, mold, or other damage.
Most often, the lens fogs up if you quickly move the camera from a warm and dry environment to a cold and humid environment, or vice versa. For example, when you go outside from home to take a picture of the sunrise on a cold morning.
High humidity also promotes this process. The lens may fog up if you take the camera into a dry, air-conditioned room in hot and humid weather.
How to avoid lens fogging?
The best way to avoid lens fogging is to ensure a slow transition between different ambient temperatures and humidity. Give your equipment time to acclimatize. This will take no more than ten minutes.
Don’t jump out of your car to take a quick photo of something. Instead, roll down the window and take a picture from where you are. Or, turn off the heater in the car, open the door, and let the camera slowly adjust to the outside temperature.
Maintain a constant temperature
Another way to avoid lens fogging is to keep the camera at a constant temperature and humidity.
For example, if you are in a warm and humid environment, don’t keep your camera at home — leave it on your balcony or outside in a safe place. If you are in a cold environment, keep your camera and lens in a ventilated compartment instead of a soft, insulating backpack. For example, a car trunk is a more suitable option than a warm interior.
Don’t Forget About Humidity
To keep your gear dry, invest in a high quality camera bag and microfiber cloths. Wipe the camera and lens periodically to keep them free of moisture. If you place a few silica bags next to your gear, they will absorb moisture and keep it dry.
Consider additional equipment as well. For example, you can protect the camera with a rain cover. There are raincoats even for telephoto lenses, and if you are a nature photographer, then, for example, you may need a raincoat with a camouflage pattern.
Be patient and wait
In general, nature can do its job. Natural “cleaning” of the lens takes about 20 minutes on average. You can help this process by occasionally wiping the lens with a microfiber cloth.
If your lens has filters, remove them. Sometimes only filters fog up. Also, you may get condensation between filters or between the last filter and the lens. So take them off one by one and wipe them separately.
If you are shooting outdoors and there is no way to wait, use another, already acclimatized lens.
Improvise and create
You can improvise and take a good shot with a foggy lens. For example, it can create a unique atmosphere for winter morning landscape photography.
It can also promote even soft light and add a wistful touch to your images. Some details of the photo will be lost, which is useful if you want to hide the uploaded background. Create abstract compositions and experiment with camera movements, panning and creative focusing.
Shooting nature and landscapes requires careful planning and knowledge of environmental conditions. The scenery here changes quickly, so you do not have time to think and adjust the camera.
Be sure to consider temperature and humidity. Give your camera and lens time to acclimatize, or let your imagination run wild — you can create even with a foggy lens!