During rain season, most of the photographers do not shoot very frequently and store their camera gear at home or in office for longer period of time. Believe or not, butThis is the most critical time for your gear. Though your gear is safe from any physical damages or wear and tear, there is more dangerous and unseen threat and that is FUNGUS.
Fungus is micro organisms which can grow anywhere if they find suitable conditions for their growth. They can grow inside your camera, on your camera sensor, inside the glass elements of your costly lenses. Surprised ? .. Worried ? you need to be ...
Check you lenses now if you find something like this inside -
If its there on the outer surface its still ok, but if its inside then its time to get worried.
There are 2 factors which help fungus to grow and grow faster.
2. Absence of light.
What Fungus can do ?
Fungus on the glass elements on the lenses eat up the coating on the lens making it more vulnerable to UV and lens flare. It directly affects the contrast and sharpness if it grows all over the surface of any glass element.
Fungus on sensor will even do the more damage as it directly affects the image recording area and pixels.
There is a fungus on my lens.. What to do now ?
If fungus is only on outer surface of the outer element of the lens, then please wipe it off with clean moist soft cotton cloth and see to it that it does not grow again. If its on inside glass elements of your lens and its its a lot of it which is causing the degradation in sharpness and quality then visit service centre and get it cleaned immediately.
Oh man !! Its on my camera sensor ?
If its on the sensor, It will look more or less similar to the picture on the left depending upon the amount of it grown.
Fungus on the sensor shows up directly in the images captured. You will be able to see web like structure in the image.
It can damage the pixels and spoil the sensor completely.
Visit the nearest service centre immediately and get it cleaned, in the worst case you might have to get the sensor replaced.
Unfortunately any fungus cleaning is not covered under warranty.
How to prevent fungus from growing ?
To prevent fungus from growing you need to take care of two factors -
Control Humidity -
Silica Gel packects ? BIG NO.
Silica Gel packets fail to deal with the humidity especially in rainy season. It can control it only temporarily and once its absorbs humidity, it itself becomes source of it unless you heat them again.
Try this instead -
Absorbia or Mr. NOMO
These are the best to deal with greater humudity as they can control the humidity of bigger areas as big as rooms and they last for 60 days.
1. Buy one large size transparant plastic box with the lid on the top. Put your camera gear inside the box with one container of Absorbia or Mr. NOMO. Close the Lid.
2. Put one LED lamp lit continuously outside the box.
3. Replace the Absrobia container once the lower compartment of the Absorbia container with water. (approx it lasts for 60 days)
Purchase a Dehumidifier/ Dry Box - which runs on electricity