Don't Melt Your Lens - Literally

From the Field: Photos of a Melted Lens & How to Avoid Frying Yours


Don't Melt Your Lens - Literally

From the Field: Photos of a Melted Lens & How to Avoid Frying Yours

Text: UWPG |  Photos: Anonymous




Divers on a recent Bluewater Photo boat trip had quite the surprise after lunch when one photographer picked up his camera to find the lens melted. Yes, you read that correctly… melted.

The camera was a Canon S95 in OEM housing with one strobe and one video light. But none of this caused the lens to melt. So how did it happen?

There are two culprits that melted the lens: the sun and the +10 diopter. A diopter does nothing more than magnify the subject in front of it – it’s basically just a magnifying glass. Any diopter would give the same "results" in the sun.

Many Swiss Army Knives feature a built-in magnifying glass. Why? Because it magnifies and narrows the intensity and heat of the sun, and if you hold it at the right angle to the sun with dry kindling underneath, is fairly easy to start a fire. Young boys who spend time outside also know that a magnifying glass and sun are great tools to melt plastic army men.

So when we apply this thinking to a camera housing left lens side up in the sun with a diopter on, it’s easy to see how the sun could pass through the diopter to melt the plastic lens on the other side.





On-Boat Camera Maintenance Tips


Keep your gear out of the sun!

The sun brings life and everything we have. But it also destroys the materials of our dive and housing gear. After you’ve rinsed your housing, put it in an AO Cooler bag in the shade or under a towel. Not only will this protect your housing from the sun, but also help prevent condensation from forming on the inside of the port.


Get your camera out of the rinse tank!

Known as “camera demolition derby,” this is the easiest way to scratch your port or to have a latch pop open with someone yanks their tangled housing rig out of the bucket. Dip your housing in the rinse tank and then put it in a safe place. If you do scratch your port, look into getting a micro-mesh kit to repair it.


Don’t put your housing anywhere it can slide!

Boats rock. When boats rock, things slide. The easiest way to keep your housing from sliding is to put is somewhere safe. You can read more awesome underwater camera maintenance tips here.


Further Reading


Where to Buy

Please support the Underwater Photography Guide by purchasing your underwater photography gear through our sister site, Bluewater Photo & Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!




The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear


Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips


Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.