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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?

Gradual acclimatization

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.

Remove filters

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.

Additional lens

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.

Outcome

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!

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