Lens heaters: Why you need one for astrophotography
Astrophotography usually involves taking your device out into the cold and leaving it there, which can cause some problems. The first is foxes stealing your camera and having fun with it, but a more common and serious problem is condensation. Your camera and lens may be cooler than the surrounding air, which causes water to condense on its surface. Get enough of that, and as your lens tilts skyward, gravity causes water droplets to flow directly toward the camera body or the lens’ objective tip to blur it. Both of these situations are not good.
Cameras and water don’t mix, although there have been advances in rubber seals and other seals to keep sensitive areas moist. Gladly, there are several things you can do about this. Just as astronomers near telescopes use heaters to keep condensation out of their expensive tubes, so owners of the best cameras for astrophotography can preserve protect their glasses and camera bodies with the same thing, preventing the accumulation of fog and condensation by gently heating the body of the lens.
Modern lens heaters are a simple and affordable solution that no good astrophysicist can do. They usually take the form of a buffer strip that can be wound around the lens and then plugged via USB into a power supply or other power source. They typically offer some degree of incremental temperature adjustment to suit most environments and, when used properly, lens heaters can make the difference between a rewarding night of astrophotography or a wasted effort with results spoiled by frost and dew.
You can try making your own with heated gel packs or similar products, but these don’t reach the right temperature or often don’t last long enough, especially for exploration sessions. stars all night. So here are some of the best camera lens heating solutions we’ve seen.
Looking for more camera kit tutorials? We have guides to the best lenses for astrophotography and the best camera backpacks, to keep all your kit safe.
The best lens heater
A simple neoprene band that slides around your lens, with a USB plug to draw power from a rechargeable power supply (or phone charger, if you have an extension cable far enough) lens heater This will keep your lenses fog-free. as long as its power supply is active.
Suitable for lenses up to 41cm in circumference, the 3.5cm wide band is fixed with velcro. The heater also has a thermostat on the power cable that, through low, medium and high modes, allows you to change the amount of heat generated. This means you can also use it to prevent your water bottle from freezing in really cold weather.
This is a 72cm long strap with 56cm of heated area, allowing it to be used on even the largest lenses and many telescopes. It draws power from a battery that puts out 1.6 to 1.8A and has three heat settings: low, medium, and high.
Aluminum alloy heating elements allow for rapid, even heating, while three layers of insulation prevent contact between the heating elements and your device and help prevent heat dissipation into the air night.
A shorter, cheaper version is available, but we like the universal fit and future resistance provided by the longer strap. Since the heater goes around the lens or lens at its widest point, you always have a little extra length in your bag in case some new and unwanted gear becomes available.
This anti-fog belt from Haida is extremely easy to install thanks to its simple velcro design. It’s also made from graphene which – according to Haida – allows the belt to heat up quickly, so you can rescue your lenses from fog in no time.
Like most lens heaters, it comes with a USB port, is best attached to some kind of external battery backup, and it has three ‘heat’ settings for you to try. A little LED indicates it’s on and active – this can ruin your night vision when you’re out taking astrological photos, so it’s best to find a way to shield it. It’s not the largest lens heater on this list, but it should fit any camera lens 110mm or smaller in diameter.
https://www.space.com/lens-heaters-the-best-for-astrophotography Lens heaters: Why you need one for astrophotography