How to deal with the droplets on your waterproof camera

I get crew that contact me from time time looking to work out the age old question on how to keep the water drops off your camera housing’s front port as they tend to reduce the quality of images , especially on smaller camera all the more, such as Go Pro’s etc. There are a couple of tried and trusted methods to be learnt here. If you are using a dome port (curved front element) you will need to spit on the front and lick the port, in order to create a fine membrane across the dome which effectively prevents droplets from forming. When using a dome port, you are just about always using a fisheye lens which will just about always pick up droplets, forming on the outside, so it’s super important to keep that fine membrane of spit doing it’s thing on the front of the port, especially during the 1st -10 minutes of your swim. It’s good to pay attention to the front of the port and see what’s happening there. Those of us familiar with working in the water with domed ports called this the “wet port” It work’s very, very well with super wide lens inside domes especially, but typically all ultra wide lens love a wet port.

A wet port dome fisheye - No  water droplets.

A wet port dome fisheye – No water droplets.

Dome port with a dry port is no good.

Dome port with a dry port is no good.

This doesn’t ring true though for stronger lens like 28mm upwards. They like to see through a dry port. The fine membrane of a wet portmesses with the auto focus system as well and so the focus jumps around a lot. The solution is to go with the “Dry Port” and typically a flat port. Another tried and true method of mine over a 20 year span is to obtain a very small amount of mild car polish. Just a dab and smear it around the port till you have a slight ghosting over the surface, leave it for a few minutes and buff it off with a clean fresh towel or similar. This port will outright repel droplets of water from forming. Beware though as the polished surface eventually gives way and the droplets will again return. There is a remedy for this too though. Simply dab your finger along the bottom side edges of your nose and you will in turn pick up some oils from your skin there. Simply rub this over the port and you will see the repel action return. This is especially good to know when out in the water. You can also get these oils from just inside the outer rim of your ears.

Flat port typically used for a dry port - no water droplets

Flat port typically used for a dry port – no water droplets

* A big thanks to my water camera housing sponsor: Mike Waggoner over at Essex surf housings. Check him out. He makes really good water gear for my cameras.

2 Responses to “How to deal with the droplets on your waterproof camera”

  1. chiz says:

    yo davey i have heaps of oil coming out from my nose and undermy ears, do you get that as well, and do you use that one you ports?

  2. admin says:

    Yeah, you rub the nose from your outside the lower part of your nose, also from the palm of your hands and just inside the rim of your ear/s.

Leave a Reply