BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Matthew Cannedy
 

Does cigarette smoke damage lenses?


I'm curious if anyone has any information on whether cigarette smoke can get inside SLR lenses and make them cloudy causing damage. I'm beginning to accumulate a large collection of expensive lenses that I would like to keep for a long time. However, I live in a place where my roommates smoke heavily. Two to three packs a day inside the house, with no ventilation becuase the air conditioning is on. I've seen what smoke can do to things such as mirrors, TVs, white paint, etc... It leaves a cloudy yellow residue. I'm worried that the same residue will accumulate in my lenses. Putting the lenses in a plastic bag may reduce the exposure to smoke, but may increase the liklihood of fungus growth. Does anyone have experience in this area? Known cases of lens damage or clouding? Ways of storing lenses with adequate ventilation without subjection to smoke? Obviously, the best solution for the health of my lenses and myself is to move into a non-smoking environment, which is in the works.... Any help or experience on this matter would be appreciated. Thanks. -MC


To love this question, log in above
7/4/2006 9:56:04 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Greater threat to the outside obviously, but it probably could over time. Dust can get inside thru the lens barrel going in and out, but that's a loose particle, not a sticky thing like the tar in smoke. So I'm speculating that after it attaches to the outside, especially with glass' affinity for a static charge, it's more likely to coat the outside and stay there more than loose dust or humidity.
You can keep it in a lens case, or with a plastic bag, always keep a supply of silica gel packs and routinely replace them.


To love this comment, log in above
7/4/2006 10:13:53 AM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Cigarette smoke damages many things. I'm more worried for the lenses in your eyes and for your interior (lungs). Second hand smoke, especially when you live in small, unvented rooms with two heavy smokers, is very dangerous. Better to live outside in a tent than in there.

As far as your camera goes, the smoke will stick to it and it's lenses, too, causing them to smell, and after time, duller images. Is your room very moist, and is there history of fungus growth in there? If not, I wouldn't worry about plastic bags.

Remember, you need to keep yourself longer than your cameras! Cameras and lenses are replaceable, you're not.

Ariel
ScrattyPhotography


To love this comment, log in above
7/4/2006 11:59:54 AM

 
anonymous 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/7/2005
  Matt

By the sounds of it, you won't have to put up with it long, if your room mate is smoking that much - he'll kill himself shortly! Then you'll have a nice smoke free room.

Also, I would be careful, if you are around that much smoke all the time, you are at risk just as much as he is - your life is definiately more valuable than a lens!

My advice - move out for the sake of your lungs and lenses!


To love this comment, log in above
7/4/2006 4:51:37 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  YES, YES, YES! Natalie is right on!


To love this comment, log in above
7/4/2006 5:41:23 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
 
 
 
Instead of writing 1000 more words, enlarge this image.


To love this comment, log in above
7/4/2006 5:42:52 PM

 
Jagadeesh Andrew Owens   Come off it, Ariel!! Move on!! LOL!Even the smokers here (including myself) know it's not good for you!!!
Matthew - Gregory's advice about the plastic bags and dessicants is spot on!


To love this comment, log in above
7/5/2006 5:50:46 AM

 
Brenda  D. 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/27/2005
  Matthew, I wont go into the smoking thing ,because I smoke too but I do protect all my lenses and camera things by putting all my lenses and cameras in those soft crown royal pouches and I purchased a few pistol cases (on clearance) at Wal-Mart, they have the egg crate foam inside it can be cut to custom fit your gear, it is a breathable foam so no worries about fungus, if you wanted to you could get the cases with a rubber seal also , plus I use a tack cloth to wipe down everything before storing it because of oils in your fingers will eventually break down the rubber on your lenses , and those little foam rubber wedge sponges are great for lens smudges, I live right on the river so humidity is a problem , but once I started storing everything in these cases there hasnt been a problem .


To love this comment, log in above
7/5/2006 8:01:56 AM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Oh, Sipho, judging by your beautiful picture, I though that you were trying to advocate against smoking! ;) Okay, I don't need to go on - it's everybody's own decision if they want their addiction to lead to an early death.


To love this comment, log in above
7/5/2006 9:16:05 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  The Bird Flu vs Emphysema Avatar Shootout.


To love this comment, log in above
7/5/2006 10:34:25 AM

 
Jagadeesh Andrew Owens   LMAO!!!!!!!!! Still LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!


To love this comment, log in above
7/5/2006 10:46:19 AM

 
Slim Brady 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/1/2006
  buy them some weed to smoke, so they spend more time eating and sleeping.


To love this comment, log in above
7/5/2006 11:53:17 AM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  ;-P

At least if they get some weed, they'll be out of your apartment sooner, lol!


To love this comment, log in above
7/5/2006 12:12:02 PM

 
Slim Brady 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/1/2006
  don't hold out on us Ariel, do you score?


To love this comment, log in above
7/5/2006 12:16:33 PM

 
Slim Brady 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/1/2006
  I meant did you score?


To love this comment, log in above
7/5/2006 12:17:25 PM

 
Jagadeesh Andrew Owens   ROFLMAO @ LaShady!!!!!!!! Too funny.


To love this comment, log in above
7/5/2006 12:17:33 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  I don't read you Brady. What do you mean?


To love this comment, log in above
7/5/2006 3:20:55 PM

 
Log in to respond or ask your own question.