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Old April 18th, 2005, 09:24 AM   #1
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salt manufacturing docu and XL2 protection

Hi everyone,

I am about to shoot for a documentary project regarding salt making. I suppose the location is somewhere near the sea. The salt making process i was told is that they endlessly boil salt water in large containers . I suspect that the place where they do that is covered and a lot of steam and salt will be present (they use firewood and giant pans - it's a traditional way of making salt). How do i protect my camera in this condition. I will surely be shooting a lot of close ups. I don't have the money nor the time to purchase the Kata rain cover. I was thinking of just improvising with a trash bag - put the camera inside and make holes where the lens, view finder and the mic are then seal them with rubber strings. will that do?

Another option is to destroy mr $2 raincoat that my mom bought for me, its made out of pvc material, more durable than a trash bag.

Will not the trash bag or the pvc rain coat cause moisture to build up inside? What should i do after the shoot? How do i clean my camera after shooting is such conditions. Or will it be necessary for me to go to canon center for some preventive maintenance and cleaning after the shoot? My XL2 is only 2 months old.

Thanks in advance.
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Old April 18th, 2005, 10:16 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlie Nava
Hi everyone,

I don't have the money nor the time to purchase the Kata rain cover.
But you have the money to buy a new camera or pay for repairs? To me the more you can do to prevent will save much pain and suffering after you are done. Even if you have to spend a little money why not do it right? Better to spend some money up front then pay for expensive repairs/maintenance afterwards. And what will you shoot with when you get the next job and your camera is in the shop. Sometimes not spending a little extra while getting set up can cost you a whole lot more down the road.
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Old April 18th, 2005, 11:13 AM   #3
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You have a good point kevin. But the problems are:

1) i won't have money before the shoot i spent most of it for the last project and won't be able to collect bfore the next shoot which is 4 days from now.

2) even if I have the money, the shipment won't arrive on time.

I definitely would like to buy the right gears but not all at once. That's why I am working to earn, like most of us i think.

As of now, i have to think of a work around. But your point is well taken. Thank you.
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Old April 18th, 2005, 05:07 PM   #4
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If they're boiling salt water then mostly steam will be in the air, not salt. The idea is to end up with as much salt as possible in the pans.

About the only protection you might use is to wrap your camera in a towel just to keep anything from splashing onto the camera. But even that's not really necessary.

Otherwise, just stay out of the steam.

In the long run, and for other field shooting where you might be in the weather, get a Porta Brace cover. It's worth the investment against getting rained on or splashed.
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Old April 18th, 2005, 06:39 PM   #5
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I would totally wrap your camera in a towel or buy a poncho and some velcro. Make yourself a rain jacket.
Better than nothing.

Buy Two big ponchos (plastic), Trace outlines of camera componenets. Cut and glue seams with hot glue or epoxy. Use Velcor to make putting it on easy.

Wee!

Matt
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Old April 18th, 2005, 09:32 PM   #6
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Yeah, I think the main problem will be excessive moisture. Dang, you're already in the tropics, how can it get more moist?

If you can't get the rain cover, maybe gaffer tape and a heavy duty trash bag would be good. Clear, or white trashbags, so you can see through and be able to hit buttons on the camera and see the display. This may also be a time where you screw a clear, or UV filter on the front of your lens. Protect your investment.
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Old April 20th, 2005, 01:30 AM   #7
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Excessive moisture can also be a big problem with the MiniDV tape. The tape's mechanism chamber is not sealed well against moisture at all. The tape's surface can absorb mositure and can stick to the tape head as it travels. The tape can experience inconsistent tape speed causing drop outs or it can stick to the head all together. I spoke to the panasonic engineers about this and they called it "stick-tion" (similar to "friction"). I've never experienced this as I live in very dry climate.
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Old April 20th, 2005, 03:45 AM   #8
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so waht do you do about tape moisture. this is getting more and more scary.
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Old April 20th, 2005, 09:37 AM   #9
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You wait for it to evaporate. This can be a big problem in your part of the world especially if you, for example, take the camera into an air conditioned building and leave it there overnight and then take it outside. Because cold air is at lower pressure than warm the inside of the camera is at lower pressure than the outside, the warm, humid air will force its way in and moisture will condense on the interior parts of the camera and tape. I had this happen to me in Indonesia on one occasion - moisture condensed on internal lens elements and it took hours for the camera to warm up to the point where it evaporated enough that the lens was clear.

The camera has a humidity sensor which will warn you if there is internal condesation at the level which can damage the tape. The camera will not pull tape under these conditions.

If you can manage it, it's a good idea to bring the camera outside from an airconditioned space in an air tight bag preffereably one which contains a dessicant. Only when it is warmed up should it be taken out of the bag for use and should be returned to it when filming is complete.

There would be particles of salt in the air around large vessels in which salt solutions are being concentrated by boiling. When bubbles break the surface droplets of saturated salt solution are flung into the air and some of them will dry out on the fly leaving salt crystals floating on the air. This same phenomenon occurs near the sea where some spray droplets lose their water and is responsible for the fact that, for example, metals tend to corrode faster at the beach than inland. I'd keep a filter of some sort over the lens at all times and be sure to carefully wipe down the camera with a damp cloth after each exposure. Examination of the surface of the protective filter should show you how serious the flying salt problem is.

That said, are you sure boiling is involved? That requires a heck of a lot of energy. Most salt production facilities of which I have knowledge admit sea water to shallow beds where the water is allowed to evaporate using the sun as the source of energy. I can't comment on how it may be done in the Phillipines but to do it by boiling would require moving a lot of fuel from the forrest to the seashore and it would seem foolish to do this when the sun will do the job for you.
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Old April 20th, 2005, 11:29 AM   #10
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That's right, condensation on the lens can be troublesome if the condensation occurs inside the lens barrel on the glass elements. When it evaporates, it can leave a film on the lens elements that can only be cleaned by taking the lens apart. We have those condensation issues here when we photograph in the cold winters, but they are easliy avoided by simply tossing the camera in a plastic bag until it warms up. The bag acts as a vapor barrier. With a bit of caution and planning, there shouldn't be any problems doing your shoot. If you can't afford a commercially made camera cover, just make one out of a plastic bag.
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Old April 20th, 2005, 01:29 PM   #11
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Thanks to all of you for your replies.

Yes A.J. salt in the air is what i am worried about, I mean in addition to the moisture, i am worried big time.

And yes, boiling is involved. That's what I was told. Why? - that's what I want to find out.

Dave, I would probably make a rain cover out of my PVC rain coat. and perhaps its really time for me to get a UV filter.

Do i have to put my camera in an airtight bag everytime it enters an airconditioned room or is it only if it stays there overnight nad longer. I use an old VHS camera hardcase to for my XL2 with 3 bags of dessicant - are all hardcases for cams air tight? I asked this because I keep my camera in an airconditioned editing room, it's inside the case most of the time though.

thanks again
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Old April 20th, 2005, 08:12 PM   #12
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Regarding Condensation:
the only time that you need the camera in an airtight enclosure is when the camera is changing temperature from cold to hot. So if it is in the airconditioned room you can leave the camera as is. It's only when you exit with it that condensation can occur if the conditions are right. The moisture in a warm humid environment will condense on any cold surface. Simply placing the camera in a plastic bag until it reaches the ambient temperature is all it takes.

Regarding Moisture:
Dessicant is a good idea for storage of the camera. An airconditioned room, if it's somewhat closed off, will also have less moisture in it than the air outside.
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Old April 21st, 2005, 03:24 PM   #13
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You don't need to put the camera in a sealed bag when going into an air conditioned space from outdoors. In fact you probably want to leave it out for a while so that some of the warm air entrapped within it which is at higher pressure than the cool air in the room can escape. After it's been in the cool area long enough to have equilibrated it is probably a good idea to put it in a sealed container with dessicant which will eventually absorb most of the moisture remaining within the camera from its trips outdoors. As the previous poster said it is when you take it outside that it needs to be in the sealed bag until it warms up.

Most camera cases are not airtight but they don't have to be especially if dessicant is being used. A good indication that the case is airtight is the presence of a pressure equallizing valve on the outside of the case.
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