First look of the new Ruggard electronic dry cabinet for camera and lens storage



Here is some additional information on the new Ruggard electronic dry cabinets used to prevent fungus on lenses and cameras (initially reported here):


The new Ruggard electronic dry cabinets are exclusively sold by B&H. Two different models are available:

This post is about the smaller 30L Ruggard electronic dry cabinet which I think is enough for Leica shooters (if you own a DSLR camera, I recommend getting the bigger 80L version).

Some basic information: this dry cabinet is silent (no fan or compressor) and dripless (no need for water tray). It also protects your gear from dust. It comes with a 5 years warranty. The rubber-sealed glass door is lockable. The base and the adjustable sliding shelf are padded (top shelf is padded for horizontal lens storage):


This is how the 30L model looks when filled with Leica gear:


You can easily fit five Leica M cameras on the top shelf (in my case I only got four with enough space to easily fit another one):


On the bottom shelf you can fit at least 16 Leica M lenses (4x4) maybe even more:


The top shelf is adjustable. The 30L dry cabinet can accommodate the longest M lenses on the bottom with enough space above to store the cameras:


The Ruggard electronic dry cabinet is equipped with a fast-acting TE cooling wafer that regulates the interior humidity from 25% to 60%. It can only bring down the humidity to 25%, but I've seen the RH (relative humidity) inside the cabinet go all the way down to 15%. Humidity adjustments take place over a 1 to 3-hour period. On the top right you have a dimmable LCD that displays the temperature (in Fahrenheit or Celsius) and relative humidity:



How do I know that all this works? When you open the door, the humidity RH % starts slowly going up indicating that humidity from the room has entered the cabinet. After closing the door, the humidity inside the cabinet goes down. My Nest shows that the humidity inside my house is above 40%, while the dry cabinet shows the inside humidity to be around 20%. Obviously the RH inside the cabinet can only be lower than the RH of your room. How all this relates to the development of lens fungus? I don't know. If you live in an area with high humidity, this gadget may make sense.

The Ruggard electronic dry cabinet is equipped also with internal LED lights that you can turn on or off:


My favorite part: you put some soda and water bottles in the front and the electronic dry cabinet looks just like a small fridge - nobody will bother to open it and see what's inside:


The 30L Ruggard electronic dry cabinet costs $139.95 and can be purchased exclusively from B&H. The bigger 80L version is $249.95. Here is a recap:

  • Electronically controlled dehumidifier
  • Reduces humidity
  • Protects stored items from dust and dirt
  • Adjustable shelf with padded liner
  • Can be locked for safety
  • Sealed door with handle
  • Adjusts relative humidity from 25-60%
  • Interior LED lighting
  • Includes multi-voltage power supply
  • Includes two keys
  • 5-years warranty

Specifications:

Closure Method Door lock with two keys, handle
Volume Capacity 30L
Power Multi-Voltage Power Supply: 110 to 240 V, 50/60 Hz
Relative Humidity 60-25 % (±3% RH)
Dimensions 16.5 × 11.5 × 13.5" / 42 × 29.2 × 34.3 cm
Weight 14 lb / 6.4 kg
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  • RonBraithwaite

    I was a US Air Force Combat Documentary Still Photographer in U-Tapao Thailand during 1973-74 and we NEEDED one of these. We ran about 20 rolls of 36 exposure film through each Niking FTn body each day and basically retired the bodies after a year or so. The lenses would last even less time if we didn’t keep them in a dehumidifier. There were funguses (fungusii?) that would eat the coating of the lenses in literally weeks. A month outside the little storage room and the lens was ready to be tossed. None of the lenses seemed to last longer than about a year. So this cabinet would have been wonderful!

    • Michael Callahan

      I know what you mean about Southeast Asia and humidity. I was a combat photographer with the 1st Infantry Division and used FTn and M2Rs in the jungle. I pounded those camera but they never gave up!

  • TomV

    I live in a humid area and am seeing humidity go from about 75-85% environmental down to 32%, which seems pretty great to me.

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