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Dry box - DIY
Old 07-12-2015   #1
Tonkatsu-Dog
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Dry box - DIY

Hello,

I got a 8 liter plastic sealed box (made for rice/flour etc), some desiccant and a humidity meter. All cost less than 2000 Jpy / 25 Usd.

It works smashingly well - right now its about 80% humidity in the air here in Tokyo and 25% in the box with all my gear in it.
Is that too low? I read on internet that 35-45% is ideal. What are the downsides of too low and how big of a risk is it? Also any ideas of adjusting it upwards? ( the desiccant I currently have comes in set portions so hard to reduce the amount.)

Thanks,
Toby
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Old 07-12-2015   #2
john_s
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Too dry can dry out leather if there's leather on your cameras, and i've read that it can hasten the drying out of lubricants. I don't know if that applies to all lubricants.
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Old 07-12-2015   #3
Huss
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Too low humidity is bad too. It dries lubricants and, get this, there is a fungus which likes low humidity!
link:

http://www.beyondphototips.com/2008/...ems-solutions/
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Old 07-12-2015   #4
bence8810
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I have a dry box from Yodobashi camera which came with a humidity meter as well, was 2300 Japanese yen. Sounds like a very similar setup to yours just that this is dedicated. The meter on the box shows 3 colors, "Dry" is up to 40%, "Best" is 40-60% and "Wet" is 60% + according to the labeling.

It is about 10-15 liters if I remember well and in the summer I put two silica gels in it and one pack only for winter. This usually brings the needle to just about 40% and when it reaches 55-ish, I open it and replace the packs.

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Old 07-12-2015   #5
jonmanjiro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john_s View Post
Too dry can dry out leather if there's leather on your cameras, and i've read that it can hasten the drying out of lubricants. I don't know if that applies to all lubricants.
I've heard this too, but subjected my photographic gear to low humidity dry boxes for years anyway...

But I finally caved a few years ago and got a Toyo Living Auto Dry Clean cabinet from Yodobashi, and don't regret it one bit. Should really have gotten it years ago, but hey, BLTN !!!

If you have considerable $$$ invested in your photographic gear, and also plan on staying on in Tokyo for a few years, I highly recommend jumping in the deep end now and getting a proper dry cabinet. Totally worth it for the peace of mind.
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Old 07-13-2015   #6
johnnyrod
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You could put your silica gel in a plastic bag in the box, with a small hole in it (once your contents have made it down below 60%). That way the moisture will travel slowly into the silica gel, hopefully around the same rate it leaks in from outside, or when you open the box. Unless you have a near-hermetic seal on the box, moisture will get in over time.
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Old 07-13-2015   #7
Tonkatsu-Dog
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Thanks for all the advice - I hope that too dry is better than too humid! I would love to have one of those camera fridges in the link. However that would take serious negotiations and compromises at home . For simplicity I think I'll stick to the rice box for now - sounds like I need to find better driers that are not so effective. The ones I have now are bigger and made for wardrobes and not those small silica gel packs we get with food sometimes.

I just threw in some liquorice from back home in the box together with the camera gear. I just melts out in the open here otherwise....
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Old 07-13-2015   #8
WJJ3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post

But I finally caved a few years ago and got a Toyo Living Auto Dry Clean cabinet from Yodobashi, and don't regret it one bit. Should really have gotten it years ago, but hey, BLTN !!!

If you have considerable $$$ invested in your photographic gear, and also plan on staying on in Tokyo for a few years, I highly recommend jumping in the deep end now and getting a proper dry cabinet. Totally worth it for the peace of mind.
I second this. I used a Toyo Living cabinet when I lived in Honolulu and the piece of mind was well worth the cost. Besides, who has time to be checking their box and swapping decicant all the time. Just plug it in set it, and open it like a fridge to grab your gooddies
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