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I'm in Hong Kong with my H1 and having a tough time with the extreme humidity. It takes at last an hour for the lens to clear and then I noticed that the mirror in the camera is fogged as well as the focusing screen. Any suggestions? and what should I be careful about cleaning or wiping dry.
Lori, Be careful wiping the lens and focussing screen.
Do NOT wipe the mirror!!
You could try a gentle blowing with a hairdryer with the camera held with the mirror facing the floor.(Don't want to blow dust into it).
Does the mirror fog up even with the lens and viewfinder in place?
Doesn't sound like the camera body is very well sealed.You might want to place some desiccant near the equipment to allow it to absorb the humidity.If you do, I suggest taking off the lens,viewfinder and focussing screen to provide more rapid absorbtion.
The problem is common throughout Asia in warm months (not too many places other than China with cold months). Most people are of the mistaken belief the problem is ALL about humidity in the air; not so it is also very much about temp change (from icy airconditioning in doors to hot weather outside).
Some tips that you might find helpful - 1. hotels homes etc are mostly airconditioned icy cold, so the difference between indoor temp and outdoors is significant - both humidity and temp change causes the fogging. But while humidity causes moisture, the dramatic temp change mostly causes the fogging. So give the camera gear time to adjust to the temp - eg hotel lobbys are often much warmer than rooms, give it time there or similar situation. Or at least leave in your bag for some time to adjust before taking it out. 2. Do the same when you come back indoors - the adjustment is just as dramatic. 3. ALWAYS have heaps of gel packs in the camera bag - in every compartment. You can even buy (here in Australia anyway) large gell packs to put in closets as well. 4. If you have access to the indoor aircon unit - keep the temp a bit higher and just let it de-humidify the air - removing moisture from it only while the body adjusts to the temp. 5. Keep a large micro-fibre cloth handy to regularly wipe the outside of the body as moisure appears on it. 6. Avoid lens changes when the body is colder than the outside temp - wait til it adjusts or you increase the problem on the inside of the camera. 7. Avoid lens changes altogether if the outdoor humidity is extremely d& and even keep the body wraped in a dry cloth allowing the body to sweat into it.
Now you will also have the issue of potential moisture build up in the lens and the potential for growing stuff inside it. The very best prevention (in addition to gel packs) is UV rays - stand the lens in a window exposed to sun for a few hours - UV rays kill algae. You could even buy a UV light and put it in a box with the lenses periodically.
The above have worked for me over 25 years of visiting HK, Singapore, India and Malaysia.
Thanks Colin, I am not sure if the mirror was fogged before I attached my lens. I should have asked this question prior to wiping off the camera. I used a soft lens cloth and did wipe the mirror. It looks fine and I don't think I did damage but I will never touch it again and send the camera to Hasselblad upon my return to make sure all is in perfect condition. I can't find dessicant here but I have opened up the camera to air dry. thanks, Lori
> Simon, Thanks so much for all these great points. I have to try and find gel packs here. I will never again travel without them. As you suggest I am warming up the temp in my hotel room and hopefully the sun will come out to help dry out everything. I did wipe down the camera prior to getting your advice about the hair dryer; won't do that again either. With my traveling all over the world I never experienced this much condensation with my camera equipment. I'm going to Australia this August, to the gold coast. Should I be prepared for any climate issues? Thanks for all your very helpful advice. Lori
>The Gold Coast in August should be fairly dry. Summer can be very humid, >but you should be right. Watch the sand on the beach, though!

>On the silica gel, remember to use it in a SEALED container, or it doesn't >work that well.

My advice is to also get off the coast into the hinterland - the Gold Coast is too built up for me. I live a couple of hundred kilometres to the south.


Just one point, glass stops UV rays, only Quartz glass lets the UV through. What you'll get through a window exposed to direct sunlight are Infra Red which will heat but won't kill algae.
With regards to the Gold Coast, with due respect, I think Nick's comments overstate what you'll experience. August is close to their winter, while warm for southerners, it is quite mild there - mid 20s generally with some days higher 20s from my experience over the years. Humidity levels are also relatively mild, and nothing like Asia until a few months later. Airconditioning is hardly necessary. But the same rules apply, lots of gel packs and some care if there is a big difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures. BUT remember it is not just high humidity to be careful with, it's the sudden large change in temp that must be managed. You should have no problem whatsoever in August up there. By the way remember in some climates cold winters can pose similar issues of humidity (moisture in the air) and sudden large temp changes.
With regard to UV rays and sunlight, I understand there are differing UVs, but a lens technician here told me it is worth doing if you have lenses that get stored for long periods and if you suspect lenses have been exposed to moisture. The UV globe in a box is the most effective remedy but be careful not to do it to excess as rubber seals are adversely affected by long exposure to UV.
>No problems, Simon, but I did check and August is in fact the >DRIEST month on average for the Gold Coast, at least for Southport >(driest month is September here). Mean temperature range 9.8 - 21.4 >degrees, so still cool from winter, but days can be warmer (up to 28 >degrees). Mean rainfall 55.8 mm with a mean 6.9 rain days. BUT it can be >much wetter, that is why I said 'should be right'. Reference: >