We experienced another unexpected downsides of living in a cold weather climate after our taking our first family Christmas pictures yesterday.
Shortly after returning home we discovered a severely fogged camera lens from the temperature change between 20 degrees outdoors and 70 degrees inside our apartment.
We’ve known about the problem with fogged camera lenses for a while, but when we got home Arya looked especially cute in her Santa outfit and we forgot to check the lens before taking a picture.
Fogged camera lenses are apparently very common. The problem seems to be condensation forming on the glass due to the change in temperature. While there is a theoretical commercial solution available, most amateur photographers have to rely on free methods. One, often-discussed method, involves two steps with a gallon-size ziplock bag:
1) Place the camera and lens into the sealed ziplock bag before leaving the house or returning home.
2) Keep the camera and lens in the sealed bag until the temperature of the bag matches the temperature of the environment.
We have tried the ziplock bag method to great success in the past. Now I even keep two extra gallon size ziplock bags permanently stored in our camera bag.
When we leave the house, the ziplock bag gets to the stable outdoor temperature within the 15 minutes it take to walk from our apartment to any photo spot. As long as we remember to refrain from using the camera immediately after returning home that should give it (and the ziplock bag) long enough to reach a stable indoor temperature.