I've seen videos of Matt Granger and other photographers on Youtube having lens and camera bodies on shelves and related in their videos.


Is there any problem displaying your lens or camera body outside on a shelf? Is it preferred to place lens in a Electronically Controlled Dehumidifier or in most cases is leaving it in a camera bag enough? Is it possible for our gear to be impacted by room temperature or perhaps even direct sunlight over a long period of time?

We are ignoring kids or pets knocking them off. We also assume that the lens is not connected to a body and vice-versa, but lens/body caps are used.


3 Answers 3


I take your question to be about environment and not about security, thieves, etc. While the answers about humidity controlled cabinets and physical protection are of course true -- it is better -- I think the question is whether it is "better enough to matter". I think it is overkill for most people and most cameras.

If your normal house is, well, "normal" and has reasonable humidity ranges, especially never has temperature/humidity swings that would cause condensation, lenses will do fine.

Dangers from fungus are real, but are more likely to come from lenses exposed to severe conditions while on a shoot, then put away damp and/or dirty without opportunity to dry thoroughly. I am sure there are homes which are terrible environments, but something tells me someone who would consider a special purpose case, probably does not tolerate their home emulating a rain forest. Think about where mold and fungus grows in houses -- not usually on an open shelf in living spaces.

I believe common sense things are adequate for the vast majority of people: if they get wet, wipe dry and let air-dry in a good, air-conditioned environment. Be sure bags are completely dry if you store lenses in them (not damp from being in rain). Don't store them in high humidity parts of the home (like a room next to a shower). Don't use "breathing" lenses in rain (external focus and zoom that bellows in and out), if they are used in really high humidity, spend even more time caps off in conditioned air, occasionally running them in and out to better circulate air. Be very careful of storage in cases where they are out of sight, and out of airflow (silica is nice, but gets "full" if one is not careful and recharges it regularly -- which most people forget to do).

Also, if you are in a hot, humid area -- move lenses to a hot transition area in sealed cases (so they heat up without fogging up). Avoiding condensation on the lenses also means you are avoiding condensation inside the camera and lens body. For people in cold climates, the reverse problem exists - avoid opening up cold gear inside the warm/moist house until it acclimates. A zero-degree, cold-soaked lens will fog even in a humidity controlled case.

Sure, a humidity controlled cabinet would be better, but I propose as answer that it is overkill.

For what it's worth, my oldest lens is from about 1970 (a 200mm Nikon F4). It has spent the last 40 years almost entirely sitting on a shelf. For unrelated reasons I used it a bit a couple weeks ago, and it is as clear and functional as ever. Your mileage may vary of course, and one data point does not a trend make, but quality gear is not as fragile as people often treat it.


Personally I would not keep sensitive equipment on an open shelf for various reasons, but primarily because of dust accumulation/ingress.

I keep mine in a "Peli Case" which is water and air-tight, with a bag of silica gel to absorb moisture.

If you MUST "Display" equipment I would suggest a closed glass cabinet.


Yes it is advisable to keep your lenses in Electronically Controlled Dehumidifier if humidity is more in your place. Camera bags are safer though, if used with Silica Crystals which absorbs moisture in your bag. But for long duration bags are not safer. Fungus can easily affect your lens if it stays in humid and moist conditions.We use the above mentioned techniques to avoid fungus

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