Creators who need professional storage options for sensitive photo and video equipment should consider Ruggard Electronic Dry Cabinet. This industrial storage solution features a sturdy metal frame, locking glass doors, and humidity controls. And in testing, the larger capacity model, the EDC-600L-S ($1949.95), proved to be a solid choice for storing both old and digital cameras. It is especially useful for photographers who live or work in old buildings without central air, because controlling the humidity in the cabinet can prevent mold from growing in the lenses and keep electronics in good working order.
How do you store your cameras?
There are plenty of valid ways to keep your gear safe in storage: basic shelving, pelican bags, and high-quality camera bags are all good options for many. These methods also provide a level of convenience, especially for hobbyists who may only own one or two cameras and a handful of lenses. For most creatives, especially those who keep their equipment in modern climate-controlled buildings or who live in temperate climates, racks and cases make a lot of sense.
The shelves of the Ruggard 600L hold a lot of equipment – here we see three ILCs with attached lenses occupying half of one shelf (Photo: Jim Fisher)
But what if you live in an old house without air conditioning or in a part of the world with sticky, humid summers? It is the position I am in; An old house in the middle of the Atlantic where everyone goes on vacation in August. As the term says: It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.
After doing some research, I decided that a humidity-controlled storage cabinet was essential to protect my old film cameras (most mechanical film models have foam seals and leather wraps that can degrade or crack over time), to prevent fungi from growing on old glass lenses Manual, to prevent moist air from shortening the life of sensitive electronic components.
Choices in brands and sizes
Humidity-controlled cabinets are an extreme category—not absolutely necessary for every innovator, but worthwhile for those with special needs. Ruggard locker is similar to the ones you can get from brands like Forspark, Sirui, and Slinger. Forspark models are usually a bit more expensive than Ruggard’s, Sirui counterparts are in the same ballpark, and Slinger options are underpriced.
There is plenty of room for systems that use smaller lenses (Photo: Jim Fisher)
Ruggard safes are available in a variety of sizes based on volumetric storage capacity. I opted for the larger 600-liter model, and had no trouble filling its shelves with photographic equipment I’ve collected in my entire life; I even found room for customization for borrowed gear on hand for review. This model comes with six shelves (four of which are adjustable), and it’s a perfect fit if you’ve got more photo gear than you know what to do with. Suggested retail price is pretty high at $1,949.95, but B&H sells it for even less — it’s high, but more reasonable, $1499.95.
Smaller options are available for creators who don’t need to stock dozens of cameras and lenses. The 18L mini version is suitable for a single camera and is even cheaper at $129.95. The more storage you need, the more you pay: 30L ($149.95), 50L ($199.95), 80L ($249.95), 90L ($333) and 125L ($399.95) ), 180 liters ($559.95) and 230 liters ($799.95) are gradually becoming priced. .
The holes in the shelves help reduce weight (Photo: Jim Fisher)
All Ruggard models, except for the 90L, include key locks; Instead, this model has a biometric fingerprint sensor. However, we haven’t tested it, so we can’t speak to how well it works. Most have a single control panel to control the dehumidifier, but the taller 180L and 600L tanks offer dual-zone control.
form and function
The Ruggard 600L is an imposing piece of furniture. It measures 72.0 x 33.5 x 16.9 inches (HWD) and weighs 158.7 pounds. It took three people to get it upstairs to my second floor home office. For single floor moves, you should have an easier time, because the cabinet is based on four locking casters.
Foam cushions are included for adjustable shelves (Photo: Jim Fisher)
Both frame and shelves are of steel. 600L has a two-level cabinet with two fixed shelving positions; You get four adjustable shelves and mounting brackets included in the box. Bare metal shelves aren’t exactly solid—they have small holes typical of all-metal shelves—but they are sturdy. Filling, in the form of gray foam sheets, is also part of the package.
The aesthetics are very industrial. The dark gray steel didn’t quite fit in my home office building in the late 19th century. I can live with conflicting styles, but consider looks if you’re more into interior design. In any case, the closet is absolutely at home in any of the New York studios I’ve photographed in, many of which have an industrial vibe.
Metal door handles with keyed locks (Photo: Jim Fisher)
The glass doors (600 liters have four of them) give the house a great look. Each door has a silver handle – you need to install it during setup with a Philips screwdriver. Because the cabinet controls humidity, the doors have rubber seals that protect your appliances from dust buildup. You can lock each door individually for added peace of mind and theft prevention.
If you want to take advantage of the humidity control feature, you need to plug the cabinet into a wall socket. The 600L uses a single AC power cord that ends with a standard three-prong (120 volt) grounded conductor. Of course, you can also use the closet as an enclosed storage option if you don’t need year-round humidity control. Single zone cabinets consume about 15 watts and dual zone models double that to about 30 watts; Energy costs are rising, but they should add(Opens in a new window) Only a few dollars to the utility bill each month.
The control panel displays temperature and humidity, sets target humidity, and toggles LED lighting (Photo: Jim Fisher)
You can set the target humidity via a digital control panel; The 600L model has two, one for the upper and lower shelves. The lowest available option is 40% RH; My closet dropped to 41% a few days after I plugged it in, but the humidity jumps to about 44% when you open the door to pick up a lens. However, it is an improvement over the 60% relative humidity in my home office. Recommend HowToGeek(Opens in a new window) Store electronic devices at a humidity of between 40% and 60%.
The panel also displays temperature readings, although the cabinet does so Not Conduct heating or cooling. The dashboard also toggles an internal LED light strip—the light is a thoughtful addition if you want to display gear or use the cabinet as part of a YouTube broadcast group.
Ruggard 600L moisture reading (Photo: Jim Fisher)
Scalable storage and protection for photo equipment
Whether you want to store an old camera (like a classic Leica or Nikkor) or modern digital photo equipment, the Ruggard EDC-600L-S Electronic Dry Cabinet can prevent long-term dust and moisture damage. As a reviewer who works with equipment on loan from manufacturers, cabinet locks also give me some peace of mind when I’m away from home. This storage solution works for more than just photography gear, too: it may appeal to game console and vintage PC collectors as well as audio enthusiasts who want to protect their favorite tube subwoofer.
The 600L is a large cabinet with four doors and dual-zone control, but there are smaller options available (Photo: Jim Fisher)
We haven’t tested other size models in the Ruggard lineup, but this one is well-made, has enough room to accommodate a wide range of cameras, and the humidity control works as advertised. More affordable models, such as the 600L Slinger(Opens in a new window) The cabinet ($999 at press time) also offers some level of climate control, but we haven’t tried these alternatives yet.
Thanks to B&H Photo(Opens in a new window) To provide the Ruggard EDC-600L-S for review.
The Ruggard EDC-600L-S Electronic Drying Cabinet features moisture control to help keep mold out of lenses and closes doors to deter thieves.
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