Damp and condensation

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Damp and condensation

Post by Meekyman » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:09 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00

Hi Folks,

Finally got round to using my new Chamonix 045N-2 at the weekend and took my first large format images.

It was a damp (mist, fog then heavy rain) day but not especially cold. I am not a particularly heavy person or heavy breather, but my god I spent so much time wiping condensation off the focus loupe or ground glass that every photo took me absolutely ages. I am using the BTZS hood and at least if I kept my head back from the screen when composing I could breath out the head-hole, but as soon as I went close to the ground glass everyone misted up. Now, they were OK compositions but not worth getting that excited over! Ended up throwing a filter cleaning cloth inside the hood, taking many breaths in, then diving in and trying to hold my breath.

Is there an easier way?


Paul Mitchell
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Re: Damp and condensation

Post by Paul Mitchell » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:14 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00

Welcome to the wonderful, if not frustrating, world of LF. I'm afraid there's no easy solution to this age old problem. I normally carry a few sheets of kitchen towel with me to keep the GG clear but for more sensitive surfaces such as lenses and loupes I use a lens cloth. Breathing through your nose sometimes helps when under the darkcloth!

When people ask what equipment I use - I tell them my eyes.


Sal Santamaura
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Re: Damp and condensation

Post by Sal Santamaura » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:44 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00

Living here in the dry southwest US, I haven't experienced that problem. However, posts elsewhere by others in humid climates suggested breathing through a swimmer's snorkel. That would also help make you look even more unusual than simply using a large format camera already does. :)

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Re: Damp and condensation

Post by dave_whatever » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:20 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00

I have had this problem a lot - my darkcloth is a couple of t-shirts sewn together, waist end elasticated around the camera back, and head in through the neck-hole. The solution is to keep your nose mouth out of the neck-hole - just your head and eyes need to be in. I don't know if this is applicable to your BTZS cloth (I'm not familiar with that design) but short of wiring up a heating element to your camera back and loupe there's isn't another solution.

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Re: Damp and condensation

Post by Meekyman » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:54 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00

Thanks everyone.

I reckon a snorkel is out of the question!!!

I should try to see if I can somehow contort the focusing cloth so that my nose is out of it. Certainly was frustrating.



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Re: Damp and condensation

Post by numnutz » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:41 am Etc/GMT-1+01:00

In some car accessory shops you can purchase a cloth especially for clearing the inside of the windscreen when misted. It may be worth while trying one.

Never tried one myself though, (I'm too mean) :shock: .

nn :)

Andrew Plume
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Re: Damp and condensation

Post by Andrew Plume » Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:28 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00

I have the 10 x 8 BTZS focusing hood, I've never completely hit it off personally, it's a little awkward to use

I just stick to the old style heavy darkcloth plus a pocketful of bulldog clips to attach the cloth to different parts of the Camera body

The only way to avoid condensation etc, imo, is to totally ditch the lupe, stand back seven or eight inches and work the composition from there. Various commentators say that this method should only be contemplated with a minimum sized gg of 10 x 8, I couldn't disagree more

Also, if your images are anywhere like mine, i.e. I'm not looking for sharpness at all, more abstract and softness, then anything additional in terms of sharpness that is potentially gained by a lupe, is pretty well neither here nor there

just my few cents worth, fwiw

good luck anyhow


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