Happy Tip: What to do when the inner lens of your camera fogs up

Posted on September 2, 2010

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It had never happened to me before. When I took my camera outside in Curacao, it kept fogging up. I kept wiping it. But then, all of a sudden, wiping wasn’t doing anything. I peered carefully into the innards of my Lumix LX3. The problem was clear: fog.

I could see it plain as day; fog on the inside lens, but I couldn’t get to it to wipe it. I had no idea what to do. I asked for help on Twitter and Googled around. Here’s how I fixed it: a hairdryer.

Yes, I blasted my camera with a blowdryer. I mean, the problem was environmental, so even if I couldn’t access the lens directly, it stood to reason that if I created a hot, dry environment around it, it would be affected. Special thanks to Pam Mandel who was the first to suggest this and added “don’t let it get too hot.”

I was definitely afraid I’d damage my new, wonderful, terrifically expensive camera, so I was very timid at first. After about a half an hour of carefully blowdrying from all directions, with some, but not complete, success, I took a tip from a website which said to just blow right at the glass on low speed until it cleared up. I touched the camera body and glass. They weren’t really heating up all that much, even though my hands were so hot and dry I’m surprised they didn’t crack. So, I held my breath and just blew at the glass until — miracle of miracles — the fog was gone.

Now of course, the fear was that this would happen again as soon as I stepped outside into the humid Caribbean weather. Fortunately, some online reading taught me this: the condensation comes from a change in temperature, so if you heat up the camera lens (with a hairdryer) before you step outside the air conditioning to prepare it, it won’t fog up again. Guess what? That works.

So. There you go. Curacao, clear as … Curacao:

This trip to Curacao was sponsored by the Curacao Marriott.

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Posted in: Happy Tip, travel