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I am having problems with my Panasonic Housing (not a diving housing-a 10Metre housing)
The problem i have is, when i put the silica gel packs in, they stop the housing itself from fogging up for a while, but as soon as i take the camera into the water, the front lens part of the housing fogs up. It may be the material the lens is made from is different from the rest of the housing therefor making it fog up quicker. Eventualy the whole housing gets bits of fog in it, but the lens is fogging almost instantly on contact with the water. I will get some new silica packs for the housing, but my quesstion is, can I purchase some kind of liquid solution to apply to the lens to stop it fogging up. I would still use silica, but would like this liquid on the lens to stop the fog.
I have also heard of guys using the air out of their tank to blow into the housing. With the moisture being removed from the air in the tank it takes care if the fogging problem IF the housing is dry to begin with. The hairdryer idea would help make sure that the water is out.
You might try moving the gel pack closer to the area that is fogging, if this is possible.
The problem i have is, when i put the silica gel packs in, they stop the housing itself from fogging up for a while, but as soon as i take the camera into the water, the front lens part of the housing fogs up.
How old is the silica? I have the gel packs where you can see the beads, which change colour from blue to pink when they need drying out.
If you're not sure if the packs are already saturated, then put them in the oven (175degrees or so) for a few hours. Double check these cooking times (google it). Then store the packets in a zip-lock until needed, otherwise all that work will be for nothing.
What has worked for me is to keep my camera close to the temerature of the water. I dive mostly in warm water. I never take may camera into an airconditioned environment. A hotel room or boat can be close to 20f degress lower then the water temp. I don't use dessicant packs in my housing and so far I have never had fogging problems. I haven't had any in my limited colder water efforts either.
I have not had any problems with fogging. I use the loose re-chargeable desiccant which I purchase from Preservesmart.com.
I place this desiccant in cut-off pieces of nylon stocking and tie them off with small twist ties. This desiccant is dark blue and turns pink when re-charging is necessary. That can be done in a toaster oven at a low temp.
I also place small cut up sections of a female panty liner in the housing in the event there is a small leak.
Desiccant will handle condensation but not a leak and the panty liner will handle a leak but not condensation.
IMO the key to preventing condensation is to keep the camera/housing in a soft beverage cooler. The cooler is insulated and prevents the outside temperature from heating up the housing. I keep my camera/housing in a cooler in direct sunlight on my kayak while paddling to a dive site and have never had it fog up.
I apply SeaQuick spray to the inside of my camera port prior to the first day of the diving trip. I wipe off as much as I can with a lint free cloth or a qtip. Just make sure that you wipe all of the moisture out of your housing and that the port appears clear. Also be sure to get a defogger that doesn't require rinsing as that will only increase your problems. I have heard of people using defog meant for ski goggles or sunglasses.
I also had this frustrating problem . My solution is firstly to put the camera into the housing the night before I go diving - the silica needs time to work . Before I leave to go to the dive site I put the housing into a soft beer cooler with a cooler brick or two to keep the temperature close to that of the water .The trick is to slowly lower the temperature .I only remove the camera and housing from the cooler just before entering the water . It works extremely well for me , no more fogging . I find that I only need to do this in the summer months when the air temps and that of the water have the greatest difference.
Fogging can also occur if you leave your camera/camcorder in the sunlight.
TIP: Bo to the craft store and purchase compressed sponges, you know, the ones that are 1/4 inch thick and expand to full size when wet. These obsorb moisture and can help prevent camera damage due to small leaks. I cut up these sponges and use them instead of teh silica packets. Works great!