Long term camera storage.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Joseph Chamberlain, DDS, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. Dear group members:

    Since I have now moved entirely to digital I am left with film equipment
    that is still in excellent condition and very dear to me. I don't anticipate
    using film again any time soon. So this raises the question: What is the
    best way to store this film equipment for an extended period of time,
    avoiding premature deterioration due to moisture and other environmental
    conditions ?

    I thought of packing the camera and some lenses in one of those
    vacuum-sealed bags (the type they show on TV where they place veggies inside
    and then suck the air out to maintain them fresh). I also thought of placing
    those silica gel pouches similar to the ones they use inside leather goods
    to prevent moisture build-up.

    What suggestions would you offer for such a task ? Where can I find these
    silica gel pouches and is this really the best way to keep moisture and
    fungal growth away from the equipment ?

    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Best regards,

    Joseph Chamberlain, DDS, Nov 14, 2005
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  2. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    Sheldon Guest

    Your storage ideas are valid, except that most cameras, even the better
    DSLR's, still have a lot of mechanical parts that need to be worked now and
    then. Much like a car or a good mechanical watch, letting these things sit
    for long periods will probably do them more harm than using them. So, IMO I
    would make a schedule and take your old cameras out and use them from time
    to time. That doesn't mean you have to take photos with them, but fire them
    at all shutter speeds and turn and push all the controls. If you have
    lenses you are not using, put them on the camera, too, so you can exercise
    the leaf apertures, focusing rings and any motors that might be in them.
    Also, take out any batteries that might be in the cameras. As you probably
    know, if they leak they can cause damage.

    As a doctor, you should realize that anything that moves, and doesn't get
    used, will eventually start to atrophy -- even cameras.
    Sheldon, Nov 14, 2005
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  3. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    eawckyegcy Guest

    My ever so precious EOS-5 is currently sitting in a statis chamber of
    the finest quality. Magic Elves from Altair were summoned by a medium.
    They were then tricked into fabricating a special
    nickel-iron-chromium-titanium alloy sphere. The inside was coated with
    ultra-pure pyrex, and the camera was placed inside (on a pedastal of
    platinum-iridium, straight from the CT layer!), and then the rest of
    the container was filled with argon, and then it was sealed to the air
    and light. The entire apparatus was then transported under heavy guard
    to Sudbury, Ontario, where it now sits in a bath of liquid nitrogen in
    a very deep mine shaft -- no thermal cycling expected for millions of
    years, and an Elf stands on guard 24/7, decanting more LN2 as the need
    arises (boil-off, you know).
    eawckyegcy, Nov 14, 2005
  4. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    Gormless Guest

    I've had a very elderly Hasselblad just sitting in a cupboard in my house
    for a long long time since I stopped regularly using it. I still use it
    occasionally because it enjoys it, but have never detected any rust, worms,
    mildew, leukopenia, Peyronie's or dry rot in it.
    So what's wrong with just somewhere in the house? Run a roll or two through
    twice a year to keep it interested.
    Gormless, Nov 14, 2005
  5. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    Lorem Ipsum Guest

    There's a lot of impressionism going on here. I've stored equipment for a
    long time, and I have aquired equipment stored. My two-bits worth: Clean the
    equipment of fingerprints. Do not oil or lubricate. Use nothing on the
    surfaces. Remove batteries. Do not store batteries with the equipment. Wrap
    each piece in plain butcher's paper. Use no tape. Place it in military
    surplus steel ammo boxes (you know, the ones with the rubber sealed lip)
    with one-shot dessicant (or reusable, but bake it first.) Close, put away
    and forget about it. It is that simple. Just forget about it. Be at peace.

    Now someone will want to know why it's so simple, so I will list a few Do
    Nots just to appease them. Do Not wrap in plastic. First, you do not _know_
    for certain which plastic will outgas; never mind impressionistic opinions
    regarding freezing bags, and so-forth. You don't know; manufacturers are not
    required to tell you, either. Besides, most plastics, and almost all plastic
    bags breathe - let in gases. There are few economical plastics that do not
    breathe or outgas. Plastic is a waste of time. Plain butchers paper does
    neither. Tape degenerates, too. Don't use tape. Don't use newspaper
    because it falls apart and the ink never dries. So not using tape or
    plastic simplifies things a lot. (The US Military contractors of the 40's
    did the same for a large set of spendy, delicate cameras. They are pristine
    when you open them today. In fact, I just opened one two weeks ago.

    Similarly, do not store in composite (plastic, 'rubber', foarm or any kind
    of padded) cases. Most of those materials outgas, but worse some of them
    turn into something like tar in twenty years. Even the spendy airproof
    civilian cases cheap out on padding. The very worst are the 'cut it
    yourself' padded interiors. Pure trash.

    Lenses made before 1955 might become a little stiff from not being used, but
    exercising them periodically over years is, in the end, silly because when
    you want to finally use them again, you WILL get a CLA anyway. You just
    waste your time unpacking and 'exercising' them. That said, a large,
    well-used Nikon F system (four bodies, three motor drives, eight lenses)
    stored properly for thirty years had no such issues.

    The only 'oops' I've had in forty years was an ammunition box that was
    closed at altitude. It was really hard to open at seal level. Big deal. That
    is no reason to go to spendy, composite, high-tech cases with atmospheric
    valves - as noted above, the innards are a liability anyway.
    Lorem Ipsum, Nov 14, 2005
  6. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    kashe Guest

    This would likely only be the result of dropping the camera
    with a long lens installed onto a hard surface.
    kashe, Nov 15, 2005
  7. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    ASAAR Guest

    As has been confirmed by several observers, the Elf standing guard
    is actually a Troll.
    ASAAR, Nov 15, 2005
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