Dealing With A Fogged Lens

foggy-lens

Every day while I was in Mexico my lenses would fog up (as would my glasses of course) when exiting a building to the outside.  The humidity was intense and even with a lens cloth, the fog would return instantly.

So what do you do when your lenses keep fogging up?

Keep the lens cloth handy and keep wiping as needed.  It takes 5 minutes or so before the lenses will stop fogging.  After that, you should be good to go.

What I wouldn’t recommend

Do not remove the lens from the camera.  If you do, and there is debris in the air, it will wind up sticking to your mirror and sensor due to the fog which is acting as glue.

Know of a different trick?  Comment below with your thoughts.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,

Scott

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. I have heard that it’s not good to let your lens fog up in the first place. So what I have done is put my camera and lens all together in a large ziplock bag. Instead of the lens fogging up the outside of the bag does. It means that no condensation is forming inside the lens. In about 5-10 minutes the lens has acclimated to the exterior temperature and then you should be ok to remove and shoot. If you have other loose lenses then smaller ziplocks can so the trick.

    Remember – the larger the actual glass the longer it takes to acclimate.

    1. It’s not ideal to let the lens fog up, but it can be unavoidable at times. Ziplock bags are a good idea, but what if you don’t have one? I know that I didn’t bring any on my trip to Mexico. I should have, but did not.

  2. There are glass cleaners that contains anti-fog agents. With the Nikon lens cleaning kit you get one that Nikon “approves” of for use on their glasses. Keep in mind that you should not clean the lens afterwards with other cleaning liquids or you remove the antifog protection. Of course there are other makes and brands, you local eyeglass Dr probably sells one for normal eyeglasses. Just keep in mind that many new lenses have a special coating so probably best sticking with manufacturer approved/recommend agent.

    1. Depending on the lens, I wouldn’t recommend using solution when the lens is already fogged. At that point you are just adding liquid to moisture. However, using good solution is always important.

  3. I have an underwater camera (Lumix TS2) and the inside of the lens gets fogged up, so wiping on the outside doesn’t help at all. What can be done then? Does it mean moisture is leaking to the inside of the camera?

    1. If you’re getting moisture or liquid on the inside then I would have Panasonic check it out because there is most likely some form of leak in the camera.

  4. If it sunny and you are worried about leaving streaks on the lenses, just face it at the sun and the sun will warm it and “burn” it off — just like fog in the morning. That may take less time than wiping and re-wiping the lens. I live in Florida so this happens often.

    1. That is what I wound up doing in Mexico, letting it naturally evaporate and dry.

  5. Marcus nailed it. A large ziplock bag is your best friend.

    1. Very true, but what if there are no ziplocks around? :-)

  6. When I lived in Tampa FL we would just have an assistant take a camera or two before we started shooting outside and hang out in the doorway with the door open. They would just stand there slowing moving outside, if the lens fogged up then they would move back inside a bit towards the cool air and the fog disappears, then slowly start moving forward again. This would take 5-10 minutes, is annoying and is not energy efficient for the AC, but during a wedding you can’t sit around 20 minutes or more waiting for lenses to acclimate.
    Hope that makes sense and is helpful for somebody out there.

    1. Useful tip Ron, thanks for sharing it with my readers

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