How to Store Camera Lenses When Not in Use?

This article will discuss the different ways to store your camera lens and keep them from harm when not in use.

I do not know about you, but I always properly store my camera and lenses when not in use. If not, I risk damaging the lenses during their inactivity period, which can significantly reduce resale value. Keeping my lenses properly stored can also ensure that they are ready to use when I take them out for a shoot again.

However, I also know how confusing it can be to utilize actual storage rules. That is why I made this article to list the guidelines you might want to follow.

Below, I will share some tips on how to store camera lenses and prevent irreparable damage. I will also discuss the factors that can harm your lenses.

Continue reading on if you want to learn more about these and more!

How to Store Camera Lens at Home?

If you want to go one week or more without using your camera body and lenses, it is essential to store them properly. Below are some steps you can take to keep your lenses in optimal condition when not in use.

Invest in a Dry Cabinet

Camera lenses and camera bodies are sensitive to moisture. And when you do not use them for so long, they could suffer from severe damage caused by sustained humidity levels.

Fortunately, investing in dry cabinets can solve this humidity issue.

A dry cabinet is specially built to keep humidity out from your camera equipment storage. It ensures that moisture never touches any of your photography gear, whether it is a camera or a lens. Thus, a simple dry box stops harmful fungal growth and saves you thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment.

Furthermore, these dry boxes also prevent dirt and dust from entering your cameras and lenses. They can ultimately minimize the amount of time you need to clean your photography gear.

Use Pelican Cases

Besides dry boxes or cabinets, pelican cases are also go-to storage boxes for unused camera lenses. They are among the most rugged cases available today and are built to withstand blunt force. 

A pelican case usually features foam filling or real inserts. These interior materials can protect your lenses from rugged environments.

This storage case is also watertight to keep your camera body and other gear dry.

Furthermore, pelican cases are relatively lightweight despite their tough exterior. So beyond their storage abilities, they are also ideal for bringing when you are traveling. They are handy if you own an interchangeable lens camera because they can fit a camera body together with lenses. 

Go for Silica Gel Packets

If you cannot afford a specially sealed dry box, a pelican case, or a simple airtight plastic container, you can go with a more temporary storage solution. Place silica gel packets near your camera gear to help reduce the amount of moisture in the air. You can also put a desiccant inside a camera bag to avoid humidity.

These silica gel packs absorb moisture, similar to a sponge. Thus, they can prevent condensation and fungi from forming inside your lens, similar to dry boxes. 

Keep the Lens Cap On

When buying a camera or lens, you will get a lens rear cap and hood cap that are already included in the package. You will receive them for free for a reason. Thus, treat them as mandatory and bring them whenever you are traveling.

Always keep the front cap on the lens when you are not using the focal point. Doing so will keep your cameras and lenses safe from dirt, dust, fungi, and moisture.

Choose the Right Storage Room

If you do not choose to store your camera gear in a simple dry box, it is essential to be mindful of the lens storage location. The last thing you want is damaging thousands of dollars worth of camera lenses. 

Hence, make sure to select an area that is away from direct sunlight. You should also look for spots that would not be prone to extreme temperatures, cold, or humidity. And if possible, avoid storing cameras and lenses near any electronic device that produces a magnetic field. If you do, you risk harming the camera’s LCD screen and other similar components when they are exposed to a high magnetic field.

What Can Damage Your Camera Lens?

By now, you have an idea of how to store your camera lenses properly. However, it is also important to understand what you are protecting them from.

Below are the factors that can damage your camera lens if you leave them unused and not properly stored for a long time.

Blunt Force

Blunt force is among the biggest dangers to your cameras and lenses. This factor includes dropping, cracking, or smashing your photography gear accidentally. Hence, you must be careful when handling your lenses to prevent them from taking blows.

Fortunately, it is relatively rare to drop your gear if you do not use them for a long time and store them instead. With that said, improper storage can lead to cracks and scratches. For instance, if you simply place it with other stuff, you risk damaging the lens exterior.


Besides blunt force, humidity can also severely damage your lenses.

Moisture can cause fogging on the lenses. They can also create a breeding ground for fungus and mold if you leave them untouched for long periods. These microorganisms can affect the electronic circuits of lenses and even the camera sensor. Furthermore, they look disgusting if they have fully grown.

Fortunately, it is relatively simple to combat humidity during long-term storage. You must store them in an airtight plastic container inside a simple dry box. As previously mentioned, the best way to achieve this is by using a dry cabinet. However, you can also take advantage of pelican cases, desiccants, and other types of simple dry boxes.

You should also be careful with lens cases or sleeves because they can worsen humidity. For one, a leather camera case may look beautiful, but it offers minimal protection against impacts. They also tend to collect a large amount of moisture, compared to simple dry boxes.


Constant exposure to direct sunlight can also harm your camera lens. It can damage the internal components, which affects image quality.

UV light from the bright sun can also degrade the rubber used on cameras and lenses.

Thus, it is best to store lenses in a dry area away from direct sunlight.

Are Dry Cabinets Worth It?

Now that you understand the importance of keeping your lenses dry and safe, you might be wondering if it is worth investing in special storage solutions. For instance, you might have heard about the benefits of a dry box but still have reservations about spending a few hundred dollars on it.

In my opinion, dry cabinets are worth the purchase if you want to ensure your lenses are properly stored when not in use.

This particular storage place offers an airtight and water-resistant environment. Thus, such a container eliminates the need to worry about humidity or moisture entering your lenses.

Since a dry cabinet keeps humidity out, it can help retain the value of your lenses. So if you plan on reselling your lenses in a few years, you can rely on a dry box to keep them in optimal condition with almost no depreciation factor. Of course, keeping the lens rear cap on and cleaning the lens with a soft cloth before storage can also help a lot.

Overall, dry cabinets provide a safe storage area for your lenses when not in use.

Should Camera Lenses Be Stored Upright?

It is best to store unused lenses with the front element side down. The reason for keeping the lens down is to prevent oil from leaking into the aperture blades. If oil reaches the blades, it can gum up and affect the way you change your f-stop in the future.

Nowadays, though, most modern lenses with sophisticated autofocus features use less oil in their manufacturing. Thus, they can reduce the risk of oil entering the aperture blades when storing the lens upright. With that said, it is still better to be safe than sorry. You have nothing to lose anyway when you store unused camera lenses upside down.


If you will not use your cameras and lenses for a long time, it is recommended to store them. Doing so can prevent moisture and sunlight from inflicting irreparable damage. 

There are several ways to store your lenses properly. The best method is to find the appropriate storage area for all of your camera equipment. Consider using a dry cabinet, which can prevent humidity and fungal growth. You can also invest in pelican cases if you live in an earthquake-prone area. Finally, those with a tight budget can try using silica gel packets to absorb moisture.

I hope this article helped you understand why proper storage is important for your lens. Feel free to share this content if you find it informative!