Just giving in to some queries about my DIY Dry Box I posted here at my Photography Gear Setup. I guess with the onset of the rainy season, for a tropical country like us, a lot of photographers are keen in protecting their gears from humidity and moist. Moist inside your lens and camera body, left alone can damage your gear either with fungus, even rust. Especially now with the rains, there will be a time that our gears will remain longer in the storage than usual. So here’s a detailed look on how I built my DIY Dry Box.
There are basically three things you need:
- An airtight, anti-bacterial container
- A desiccant
- A Hygrometer
An airtight container is easy to find. You can easily buy one at department stores and hardwares. I would recommend either Biokips or Lock & Lock since it has a very good quality and anti bacterial construction. Why airtight. Aside from maintaining the temperature and humidity condition inside the container, it’s also a protection against dust. There are various sizes available. I got a big one which can fit several lenses ever 2 camera bodies.
A desiccant can be a silica gel or a dehumidifier. You can easily buy one at hardware stores. There are also electronic ones which you can buy and those which you re-heat to use. I use a disposable humidifier. A piece is good for more than a month or six weeks use. They are very cheap. You can buy a pack of six at the nearest japan home centers.
I guess the trickiest item to find is a hygrometer. I found one in a car accessory shop for around Php 200. You can also a buy a more expensive digital Hygrometer at Infomax for 700+. Some cigarette shops also carry hygrometers if you are lucky. Medical supplies also have those analog hygrometers.
Now in use, just place all your gears inside as well as the Hygrometer and Dehumidifier inside the container and tight it shut. In some cases, like when I just got back from a trip, my Hygrometer would spike up to 80-90 RH%. The ideal RH% would be around 40-60 RH%. Make sure that if the RH% drops below 40 RH% you can open the lid and let some humidity in. A too dry temperature may damage or dry up the liquids and lubricants on some of your gears and lenses. You can also remove the dehumidifier and seal it shut again. The temperature and humidity would remain the same for some time. Even days when not opened.
That’s it. You already got the basic care and protection for your gear. If it’s a hassle for you to getting the items to build one. There are already ready made ones and even electronics dry boxes you can buy. Cheapest I found is at Kameraworld for 1200+. It already has a hygrometer and electric desiccant but the container is a bit small and fragile by the looks of it.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.