How to Store Camera Lenses When Not in Use

Bret Leon Avatar
Bret Leon
18 January, 2023 • Updated 7 days ago
How to Store Your Camera Lenses
Camera lenses are, without a doubt, quite pricey. You likely spent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on the equipment you currently possess. However, some factors can drastically reduce the worth of camera lenses.

The presence of fungus, scratches, rust, or oil on the aperture or other forms of wear and tear can seriously dampen your spirits. The sad truth is that even reliable equipment might suffer damage from time to time. Misuse, improper handling, and incorrect storage are all potential sources of significant damage.

Taking certain precautions to protect your items can avert most of these problems. And the good news is that taking care of your camera and lenses isn’t as complicated as you think. A little bit of care and maintenance goes a long way toward extending the life of your gear.

Many different alternatives exist for safely stowing your camera lenses.  If you’re looking for ways to protect your investment, many options exist. Here are some tips to consider:

1. Don’t Let Your Gear Get Wet

waterproof bag for camera and lenses in the rain in the forest

Keeping your lenses dry is essential if you want to prevent mold growth or damage caused by water infiltration. While waterproofing is usually achieved via special materials such as rubber gaskets, foam pads, and neoprene, you can also opt for less costly methods like sealing off your bag or case with packing tape. The key here is to ensure that no moisture gets inside because once it does, it’s almost impossible to stop it.

If you plan on bringing your gear along on trips, you’ll want to protect your gear from getting wet. A waterproof bag is ideal for this purpose. Most of these bags are constructed with fabrics that allow water to pass through but prevent moisture from seeping in. Look for products that feature seals and zippers that won’t let air in and ones that use multiple layers of material to ensure maximum protection.

Helpful Post: How to Get Water Out of Camera Lens

2. Use Proper Storage Methods

camera and lenses on a shelf

While you can certainly store your camera gear anywhere, there are specific locations that work better than others. One of the easiest places to store your gear is in a closet or under a bed, but if you have limited space, you’ll probably want to look into other options. A good place to start is to find a sturdy shelf or cabinet that you can install above your desk or table. This way, you won’t have to worry about losing access to your gear while working.

3. Keep Your Gear Organized

photo equipment laid out in order

The first thing you’ll want to do is organize your gear. This includes taking inventory of what you already have, whether it’s digital or film. If you don’t have a lot of gear, you might consider buying a small bag or pouch that’s specifically designed to hold one or two items.

It’s best to avoid plastic bags because they tend to collect dust and dirt over time. Instead, look into purchasing something like a Pelican case or similar product. These types of cases come in many sizes and shapes, allowing you to find the perfect fit for whatever you’re trying to carry around. Here are other great tips for sorting and storing your photography gear.

Separate Large Tripods From Small Items Like Lens Filters & Batteries

Keeping large tripods and light stands together, separate from smaller pieces like lenses or batteries helps keep them safe from falling down the holes in the larger pieces. This way, you won’t end up with lost screws, scratches, or even worse, broken parts.

Sort By Functionality

If you’re looking for something specific, start by sorting your equipment into categories based on what they do. For example, if you want to find a flash, look through all the lights first. If you need a tripod, go straight to that section. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and frustration this way.

Group Similar Items Together

When organizing your gear, group similar items together. For example, if you have multiple camera bodies, put all of them together so they’re easier to access. If you have several different types of lenses, place them near each other for easy comparison. And if you have a lot of accessories, such as memory cards, battery packs, etc., then put them together in one area.

Label Everything

Labeling your gear makes it easier to find what you need later. Just write the name of the item on a piece of paper and tape it onto the box. Or, use an adhesive label maker to create custom labels.

4. Get Rid of Those Dust Bunnies

lens cleaning process

Dust bunnies aren’t just unsightly; they can actually damage your lenses. To combat this problem, try investing in a lens cloth. Lens cloths are used to clean off the front element of your lens. They’re usually made of microfiber and should be cleaned regularly to reduce the chance of damaging your optics.

Here is how to clean inside camera lens like a Pro.

5. Keep Your Equipment Away From Pets & Children

child with a toy photo camera

Keeping your camera gear safe from children and pets is one of the easiest things you can do, but it’s also one of the most important. When kids play with your gear, they might accidentally knock it down or break it, and pets can chew on parts of your gear.

While there’s no way to completely eliminate the risk of someone breaking into your house and taking your stuff, you can minimize the chances of this happening by placing your gear somewhere that’s difficult to access. This includes locking doors, putting your camera gear in a cabinet, and hiding your camera bags under beds and dressers.

6. Protect Your Gear With a Case

 Case фор photo equipment

While we don’t recommend using a case as an impenetrable barrier against thieves, a good quality hard shell case will help protect your equipment when not in use. These cases are usually made of plastic or metal and have a zipper closure so you can easily open them up and get to your gear without having to remove the entire case.

Hard cases provide added protection against bumps and scratches and come in many different shapes and sizes. They often include compartments for accessories such as lenses, filters, and batteries. Some models even feature built-in lighting systems that allow you to see what’s inside. Most manufacturers offer cases with padded inserts for additional protection. These cases are usually very durable and provide excellent insulation against temperature changes. However, they aren’t particularly lightweight, and they tend to be pricey.

If you plan on keeping your equipment for a long period, consider investing in a hard-shell case. These cases are designed to withstand extreme temperatures, and they’re built to last. Some cases are completely waterproof, allowing you to keep your gear dry during outdoor activities. Others feature vents that allow hot air to escape, preventing damage to sensitive equipment.

7. Use a Lens Cap

Sigma lens cap in hand

Another thing that you should consider doing is putting on the caps. These coverings prevent dust particles and moisture from entering the inside of the lens. They also prevent dirt from getting into the interior of the lens.

You should make sure that you keep your lens caps on at all times – this may seem obvious, but many photographers neglect this crucial step.

8. Shelving

racks for photo inventory

This one might be obvious to most people, but shelving is actually a really good idea for keeping your gear safe. Shelves are pretty easy to install and can be a cost – and space-effective way to safely store your equipment.

9. Use Wraps

lens in wraps

If you’re looking for something simple, cheap, and effective, look no further than a protective wrap. Wraps come in all shapes and sizes, but most fall into one of three categories: padded nylon, foam, or neoprene. They can protect anything from a lens cap to a DSLR body, from a filter holder to a tripod head. Just remember – they won’t provide the same level of protection as a padded bag, but they’ll do the job for less money.

10. Camera Backpacks

Camera Backpack, photo equipment and laptop

If you’d prefer something more portable, consider investing in a camera backpack. Backpacks offer additional padding and support for larger items like cameras and tripods. Many models also include pockets for carrying smaller accessories like memory cards and chargers.

If you’re looking for a stylish alternative, opt for a soft bag. Soft bags are typically constructed of durable canvas materials that make them both tough and comfortable. Depending on how much weight you carry, you might find yourself needing multiple bags. For example, if you plan to travel frequently with your DSLR, you might want to invest in a small duffel bag that fits into the trunk of your car.


The most important thing to remember when storing your camera lenses is that they’re delicate items and don’t take kindly to being left exposed to the elements. Learning how to care for your camera’s lenses properly becomes second nature with practice.

When you make safety a habit, you can always ensure investment is protected. Protecting your photography gear is essential if you care about extending its life, maintaining its condition, and maximizing its resale value.

To that end, I’m hoping you’ll find some fresh inspiration and methods for safeguarding your camera lenses in the recommendations given.

Bret Leon Avatar
Written by
Bret Leon
Bret Leon is a photography enthusiast who indulges in all matters cameras, lenses, gears, themes, editing, trends, and the latest product releases. If he's not trying to freeze time by capturing moments during his grand ventures, you can bet he's looking for the next big content idea.
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