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How to Prevent Lens Fogging

Photo of lens fogging

Summer is here and the time is right for…fogged camera lenses. Yes, when the weather turns hot and we move from air conditioned indoors to steamy outdoors with our photo gear, our lenses can get fogged up.

While not the end of the world, a fogged lens can certainly ruin a photo or two, particularly if you’re in an air conditioned vehicle and spot something, such as wildlife, you want to photograph quickly. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to “beat” fogging – aka condensation on the lens – and pro nature photographer Steve Perry shares his tips in the below tutorial.

“In this video, I’ll cover why lenses fog and what you can do to prevent it,” Perry says. “We’ll look at steps you can take to keep fogging from happening in both hot, humid conditions and when you come inside in the winter. We’ll also look at field-tested tips for clearing a fogged lens quickly when it does happen. Don’t let a fogged lens ruin your next photo outing.”

#1 Keep Room or Car Warm

“So many times, I see people turn down the temperature to a level that would make a Frigidaire proud and then complain about fogged lenses,” Perry says. “Instead, keep the temperature as warm as you or your spouse can tolerate. Remember, the cooler the gear, the more condensation.”

#2 Store Gear in Place without Air Conditioning

“We often tell our Costa Rica workshop participants to place their gear into the bathroom and shut the door or in a closet and do the same. It may only buy you a few degrees in temperature, but it does help. At home, storing it in a closet against an outside wall or a room with all the vents shut can help in the warmer, more humid months. A secure garage that stays about the same temperature as the outdoors is also a great way to go.”

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#3 Warm Up Your Lens

“If you think your lens is going to fog before you go, usually because you checked the dew point and you know your gear temperature is cooler, you can use a hair dryer to gently warm up your gear. Don’t make it hot, just kind of comfortably warm it up. If you raise the temperature of the gear to higher than the dew point, it won’t fog.”

#4 Set the Gear Outside (But Be Careful!)

“You can always set the gear outside to warm up gradually, maybe 30 minutes to an hour before you need it, but you’d have to be in an incredibly safe area to do so.”

Watch Perry’s full lens fogging prevention video below where he also shares advice on what to do and what not to do, if your lens is still fogged even after trying all his tips and tricks.

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