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Roger Hicks
10-27-2010, 14:33
How many M8/M9 users have had their cameras written off by rain? Or, indeed, any other camera written off by rain or spray?

No-one I know who actually uses their digi-M (or any other decent camera) in the rain has ever had a long-term problem:just the occasional steamed-up viewfinder. Sure, you don't want to get your M9 soaked, but then again, you take reasonable care that any camera won't get soaked (except Nikonoses and the like).

For most people, 'weather sealing' is a fantasy: shooting in the monsoons, without taking any care of the camera, is a macho fantasy. Take an iota of care, and you don't need to worry. Rain running down the front of your lens will render the pics blurry long before the camera gives up the ghost.

Or am I wrong?

Cheers,

R.

Pablito
10-27-2010, 14:42
All things being equal, I'll take the one with the weather sealing. I live and work in the field, not in a macho fantasy land. But honestly, I don't even know if my cameras have it or not. I just try and protect them however I can but not at the expense of doing my job.

rover
10-27-2010, 14:54
You can always test one. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpjPqIE7e6s)

sig
10-27-2010, 14:57
You are right, without weather sealing using your M9/8 in the monsoon without taking care of the camera is a fantasy and very stupid

wgerrard
10-27-2010, 14:59
It's not something I consider or think I have a reason to consider. If the weather is bad enough to threaten a camera, I'll be staying indoors anyway.

Lenses fogging up due to the transition from hot, humid summer weather into the AC, and vice versa, can an issue for me. A few years ago, I stepped out of my nice cool air conditioned car into a muggy August afternoon and the nosepiece on my allegedly titanium-framed eyeglasses instantly broke in half.

tlitody
10-27-2010, 15:06
Can't say I've stood in the pouring rain for extended periods taking photos to find out.

But I have had rain get in a lens and cause grease or whatever there was in there to run onto a lens element.

And I have had sea spray ruin a hasselblad causing jamming and corrosion.

Apart from that I rekon you're safe as the san andreas fault.

My advice would be to look after your equipment in harsh conditions. Pretty dumb not to when you don't need to risk the camera in the first place. Yes I learnt the hard way.

JayGannon
10-27-2010, 15:11
I regularl leave Nikon D series (D2 ,D3) DSLR's out overnight in hurricane like conditions, never been the worse for it.
You can get hydrophobic glass to go into front of the lens:
Example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_5lj9qV0CE

As for spray and light rain, anything more sealed than a P&S digicam will be fine in my experience.

Brian Sweeney
10-27-2010, 15:17
My friend waded into our pool with his M9 and Noctilux to photograph our water fight. His camera got soaked, no problem.

I tend to bring an older "beater" in for such shots. I have never had one quit because of water damage, but I have seen water damaged cameras.

I dropped a Retina Reflex Curtagon 28/4 into a marsh, into 3ft of water. Balancing too many things on a thin boardwalk. I went in after it, fished it out. No water got into it. The Retina mount is overly-complex, overly-engineered, bizarre F-Stop coupling- but it is watertight. One of the few camera systems that you set an F-Stop, change the lens, and the F-stop is retained after the lens change.

Jim-st
10-27-2010, 15:19
I've been dreaming there might be a hydrophobic filter - wow!! - and I'll take my chances with the rest

emraphoto
10-27-2010, 15:20
the music in that video left me expecting a slightly more exciting ending.

lynnb
10-27-2010, 15:23
Most people take sensible precautions in the rain. I think dust is a bigger problem for digital sensor equipped cameras (even non-interchangeable lens models - I speak from experience). Also some zoom lenses have a reputation for being dust pumps.

JayGannon
10-27-2010, 15:29
I've been dreaming there might be a hydrophobic filter - wow!! - and I'll take my chances with the rest

There is but its 102 mm ring and very awkward to use. A few of them were coated for the motion picture industry.

Jim-st
10-27-2010, 15:32
There is but its 102 mm ring and very awkward to use. A few of them were coated for the motion picture industry.

Guess I missed my vocation then :bang:

Keith
10-27-2010, 15:34
There is but its 102 mm ring and very awkward to use. A few of them were coated for the motion picture industry.


There's a product on the market called 'Rainex' ... treat your car windshield or motorcycle helmet visor with it and water runs off exactly as shown in that clip.

No reason why it wouldn't work on a filter I'd imagine!

On cars it's that effective that once your moving at a reasonable speed you can switch your wipers off.

Jim-st
10-27-2010, 15:45
There's a product on the market called 'Rainex' ... treat your car windshield or motorcycle helmet visor with it and water runs off exactly as shown in that clip.

No reason why it wouldn't work on a filter I'd imagine!

On cars it's that effective that once your moving at a reasonable speed you can switch your wipers off.

Looks like the underwater guys have been there before us (http://wetpixel.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t36337.html), done that, and gone back to using bodily fluids

charjohncarter
10-27-2010, 16:00
I recall reading something from (early) Canon 5D users that the had problems in Hawaii and another topical climate, no rain just high humidity. But apparently, that problem has been solved. But it makes me wonder if some entry level camera users are have this problem and are not reporting it on RFF.

Nikon Bob
10-27-2010, 16:11
You are right in that it is a fantasy because the vast majority of camera users really don't go out in monsoon type weather. Those that do, I would think, take reasonable precautions to prevent the ingress of water. Part of those reasonable precautions might be to give priority to a camera with some type of weather sealing over one without. Weather sealing has not been a priority for me as I rarely go out in such weather.

Bob

Avotius
10-27-2010, 16:33
I recall reading something from (early) Canon 5D users that the had problems in Hawaii and another topical climate, no rain just high humidity. But apparently, that problem has been solved. But it makes me wonder if some entry level camera users are have this problem and are not reporting it on RFF.


I have used an 5D here for a couple years. The humidity here is always high, summer or winter, in fact sometimes in the summer its 90% humid around 40-45C for months at a time. No problems.


As for M8's....the last thread I wrote about it you can see in the photos that one of the old towns I went to one day was pretty wet. All day it rained and drizzled, I did not take and special precaution to cover the camera except to occasionally wipe it off, no problem. When I got back I just let it sit in the dry box for a couple days and that will suck the moisture out nice and neat.

That said I would sleep better at night knowing my cameras and lenses were weather sealed in some way. Especially the Zeiss Planar 50 which seems to suck dust into it.

stupid leica
10-27-2010, 16:45
I spent 4 months in Iraq last summer, and let me tell you- weather sealing is real, and i don't trust cameras without it (in conditions that would warrant it).

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3614/3638448583_6a1919d4b9_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mx5chris/3638448583/)
20090618-DSC_3440 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mx5chris/3638448583/) by Chris.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/people/mx5chris/), on Flickr
This is what my D700 would look like after a light dust storm (almost a weekly occurrence, see below).

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3624/3611324446_9e81fea6bf_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mx5chris/3611324446/)
20090609-CRL_2709 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mx5chris/3611324446/) by Chris.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/people/mx5chris/), on Flickr
Me, in light dust storm.

sig
10-27-2010, 17:50
I have a 4 door car with 5 seats.
That is all I need.
In fact everyone who thinks they need anything else live in a fantasy world.

For some people there is a 'weather sealing fantasy' as in they think they need it but do not, but for many others there is no 'fantasy', they just need it.

Mister E
10-27-2010, 17:55
Here's my D700 after several hours of shooting in the rain:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3563/3351704112_97c00e9ee8_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mx5chris/3351704112/)
CRL_2946 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mx5chris/3351704112/) by Chris.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/people/mx5chris/), on Flickr

I had it soaking wet many times in the two years it traveled around the world with me. Constant monsoon downpours in Cambodia, etc. I had a drunk sexpat spill beer on it in northern Thailand and it still is running like a champ.

Harry Lime
10-27-2010, 18:04
Weather sealing is very, very real and a must for a pro level body. I'm not even sure why this is up for debate. Leica building a $7000 digital 'pro' body without sealing is pretty absurd and makes you wonder if they've forgotten their heritage.

A few years back I shot with a Canon 1Ds in the desert. Dropped it in to dust as fine as talcum powder. The first thing that went through my head, as it sank a few inches in to the sand, was "Oh, sh*t! Good thing it's sealed...". To clean it up I simply poured a bottle of water over the camera and dried it off.

Shot with my analog M bodies in New Orleans after Katrina. Dried black mud everywhere that turned in to ultra fine dust, when you stepped on it. I ended up taping the camera bodies with gaffers tape. Believe me, I wished those bodies were sealed, but at least the mechanical film bodies won't fry themselves if they get wet.

Had to send a Leicaflex SL in for service, after it got drenched in a storm in Hastings (UK). The sealed F3-P was fine. I wrapped a handkerchief around the lens.

Shot with my D700 and Canon 1-v HS in some ferocious downpours without a hitch, while the M bodies stayed in the bag.

Know someone who took an unsealed Canon 20D to the tropics. It died of internal corrosion a few months later.

To be frank I find it very difficult to take the question posed serious, because the answer is so obvious.

kshapero
10-27-2010, 18:06
My friend waded into our pool with his M9 and Noctilux to photograph our water fight. His camera got soaked, no problem.
Want to see photos of you "water fighting".:D
I shot a football game last week in Miami Pouring rain for 15-20 minutes. had a great time and the M6 would come out from my jacket to catch the "shot".

Mister E
10-27-2010, 18:49
I don't remember where, maybe on PhotoNet, reading about an excursion to Antarctica where at least one 5D died due to very high humidity.

I used a 5D along with a pair of 1D Mk IIn's for 3 years and feel the 5D is not nearly as resistant to foul weather as are the pro line Canons. I no longer have to cover hurricanes but I would have no problem carrying either a D3 or a D700 in storm conditions.

Way back in the day, the N90S would quit working when it got too wet and after a couple of hours on the dashboard with the defroster blowing warm on them they would come back to life.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/antarctica-2009-worked.shtml

Bob Michaels
10-27-2010, 18:49
How many M8/M9 users have had their cameras written off by rain? Or, indeed, any other camera written off by rain or spray?
<snip>
R.

Roger: I don't think I have had a problem caused by rain. But sweat wicking down the shutter button has caused a corroded shutter release switch on my Zeiss Ikon. My camera repair friend says that is a common problem here in FL with just about all cameras. He says the exceptions are the Canon and Nikon high end DSLRs which are actually well sealed. He says that film Leicas are no better than any other camera in that regard.

Interestingly my ZI still worked but would go through batteries quickly because of the short caused by the corrosion. Thankfully the replacement shutter release switch was free as my friend got it from a parts camera that one of his repair friends had.

Freakscene
10-27-2010, 18:55
I live on the edge of a desert and the environment here is very dusty. My M8s have both been rendered inoperative by dust twice. One by beer once. They routinely have serious dust in the viewfinder. I want weather sealing.

Marty

semilog
10-27-2010, 19:02
An M with a small lens is easy to carry under your jacket; a larger camera or zoom is not. If you live in, say, Seattle and shoot in pretty much all weather, and not infrequently in salt spray, sealing is darned nice, especially on larger bodies and lenses.

Mister E
10-27-2010, 19:09
An M with a small lens is easy to carry under your jacket; a larger camera or zoom is not. If you live in, say, Seattle and shoot in pretty much all weather, and not infrequently in salt spray, sealing is darned nice, especially on larger bodies and lenses.

I live on a tropical island and basically don't own a jacket. Never had a problem with my D700 and a hooded lens in all kinds of rain. Most of my film cameras have been fine too. I shot my Ikon in the rain the other day and the shutter lock jammed up the next day after sitting in my dehumidifying box. It doesn't even mater because once the finder gets wet it's almost impossible to focus an RF lens and none of the RF hood are deep enough to keep rain off of the front element.

noimmunity
10-27-2010, 19:24
I backpack regularly in alpine terrain and always take a camera. Last summer I deliberated about whether to take the M8 with me on a two week hike, finally deciding to leave it at home and just take the Bessa T. Four days into the trip, Typhoon Morakot struck with record rains. I have several rolls of black and white taken at the height of the storm that have streaks across them from inundation by the rain, in spite of best efforts to shelter and protect the Bessa T. Yet the T's shutter fires even without batteries, and I'm really glad to have shots from that priceless time. If I'd taken the M8, the disaster wouldn't have been just a subject for my photos, but a factor preventing me from taking photos at all.

Frank Petronio
10-27-2010, 19:29
My weather-sealing (and business) strategy is to not own any camera worth more than I afford to replace relatively painlessly.

That's about a $500 threshold as you can see from my signature.

But it true, and liberating, not to have to worry about stuff so damn much.

Keith
10-27-2010, 19:33
This thread would be so much more palatable if it had been called 'the weather sealing debate!'

What's with all this 'fantasy' stuff that Roger keeps hitting us with? :D

I think we should remove the windscreen seals on his Landrover and see how wet he gets before he begs us to put them back! :p

dof
10-27-2010, 19:42
I don't think weather sealing falls into the realm of fantasy at all. As anyone who's been to Burning Man will attest, it's very useful for keeping not only water, but dust out one's camera.

My playa cameras are a Holga and my "beater" FM2. I just can't bring myself to subject the M8 to the alkaline dust of the Black Rock desert.

rxmd
10-27-2010, 19:51
For most people, 'weather sealing' is a fantasy:

Anecdotal evidence aside, the keyword here is obviously "most", and unfortunately the rest who really need it tend to be professionals with money.

That said, what's up with the crusades against fantasy lately?

Nikon Bob
10-27-2010, 20:13
This thread would be so much more palatable if it had been called 'the weather sealing debate!'

What's with all this 'fantasy' stuff that Roger keeps hitting us with? :D

I think we should remove the windscreen seals on his Landrover and see how wet he gets before he begs us to put them back! :p

Good point, with the words fantasy and hysteria in the last few threads it sure does provoke debate with an edge. Most don't really need it, weather sealing on cameras, but some do. It is the opposite with windscreen seals, for most that is.

Bob

charjohncarter
10-27-2010, 20:23
I think the upshot of electronic cameras is; they better be weather sealed, which most are now. Old mechanicals could put up with anything. I have related my story of the Nikon F that was carried out of the Cong area in a bucket of water that was eventually rehabilitated.

tlitody
10-27-2010, 20:35
This thread would be so much more palatable if it had been called 'the weather sealing debate!'

What's with all this 'fantasy' stuff that Roger keeps hitting us with? :D

I think we should remove the windscreen seals on his Landrover and see how wet he gets before he begs us to put them back! :p

It's the Absinthe, favourite tipple of artists and writers. He'll be seeing green fairies next ;)

igi
10-27-2010, 20:51
All things being equal, I'll take the one with the weather sealing. I live and work in the field, not in a macho fantasy land. But honestly, I don't even know if my cameras have it or not. I just try and protect them however I can but not at the expense of doing my job.

+1

Since I live in a country where half of the year is flooded with monsoon rain, I guess owning an M9 is the more "macho fantasy land" scenario

ederek
10-27-2010, 21:24
One word folks: poparellla

It's real and available now. Hoping Santa delivers one this year. :angel:

http://ederek.smugmug.com/photos/1067110857_r98Us-S.jpg

amateriat
10-27-2010, 22:55
I've had only a few occasions where my cameras were put directly in harm's way, weather-wise, in the name of Getting The Picture. All involved snow. Lots of snow. First there were my Minolta 9xi do-everything AF SLRs, which were, in fact, heavily weather-sealed. Never a hiccup from either camera body in nearly ten years of heat or rain, but they got buried in snow, where I was most worried about them, and they survived.

Next, years later, were my Hexar RFs. In their literature, Konica mentioned, perhaps a bit too casually for my taste, that the RF was "weather resistant." At any rate, I was caught in a blizzard with both of them. They got buried too. Came out just fine, although I sent them off to K/M (while they were still around) to be checked just in case.

I feel that, regardless of what some camera company tells you, it's probably wise not to look for trouble, since even for cameras like the Canon 1D series, Nikon D3/D700 et al, they still tell you, right in the Owner's Manual, not to get the thing wet. Yes, it's a CYA maneuver, but also a kindly bit of advice.

Also: There was a company that made what amounted to a heavy-duty zip-lock bag with a large, optical-quality piece of circular glass molded into it. That was a nice bit of genius. That's the cheap-and-cheerful ticket to shooting under hostile natural conditions. Does anyone know if it's still being made?


- Barrett

Chriscrawfordphoto
10-27-2010, 23:44
Regarding weather sealing: I was out shooting an abandoned schoolhouse on a very foggy day about 10 years ago near Fort Wayne. I had an Olympus OM-4T on a tripod. Suddenly, with no warning, the clouds opened up like a broken dam. The water came down on me and my camera so hard I could barely see in front of me. I snapped off a couple shots in the rain, figuring the camera was gonna be toast anyway so might as well get the shot.

Got back to the car and dried off the outside of the camera with kleenexes and guess what? It kept working! The OM-4T is weather sealed with gaskets around the buttons and around the top plate. 7 or 8 years later, that OM-4T developed an electronic problem...switching it between auto and manual sometimes didnt change the camera's mode! I sent to John Hermonson and he said it was just a dirty contact, caused by age, not the water from years earlier. Camera was in perfect condition, no corrosion inside! He cleaned it and its worked great ever since.

Weather sealing is WORTH IT

http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com/fine_art/portfolio/abandoned/images/pics/foggy-school.jpg

Phantomas
10-27-2010, 23:51
I'm going to Borneo next week and weather conditions are a single deciding factor for me to bring my D700 instead of an RF or something else. Humidity and proximity to monsoon season mean I'm much more confident shooting digital first of all because the camera is built for more extreme conditions and second of all because I can get instant feedback and know nothing inside is screwing up like film getting condensation or whatever freaky stuff can happen to camera/film/lenses in such humidity.

250swb
10-28-2010, 00:09
I have a weather sealed Olympus E3 and weather sealed lenses and when you realise its possible to stand outside for a full day in torrential rain and not have it fog up, and keep shooting, weather sealing becomes worth its weight in gold.

With my M9 on the other hand its a balancing act. It will get water in it so how long can I balance the expected life before it fogs up with knowing other things need photographing later on in the day. I'm not saying an M9 or the next M10 should be weather sealed, but having an alternative waterproof camera should be a priority for anybody who wants to enjoy a bit of British weather. Nowadays we have an amazing range of outdoor clothing available to keep us out in all weathers and all times of year, but very few fully featured cameras that can compete with a Gortex anorak.

Steve

oftheherd
10-28-2010, 00:40
I have shot in bad weather; I wanted photos and it was raining, so I had no choice. I always tried to protect the camera and lens. Sometimes that was with plastic bags, sometimes with an umbrella, others with clothing to cover it when not in use, and a big brimmed hat when at my eyes. I have never dunked my camera or intentionally exposed it to more moisture than I had too. So far that has been enough.

That said, I would probably choose not to shoot over damaging one of my cameras. I am not a pro that must get the photo or lose work.

thegman
10-28-2010, 00:45
I've used my ZI in the rain, was careful and it was fine. I've also used it on a lovely day, but it got splashed with sea water, so off to Zeiss it went with a power switch which was very stiff and made a slight grinding noise when it moved.

It's all much better now, ZI fixed free of charge, but weather sealing would likely have prevented the problem I think. I don't worry about it though, I'll just be more careful.

HKHoward
10-28-2010, 00:51
Last March I went shooting tigers in India, primarily with my D700, and the dusty conditions really required good sealing. The D700 performed flawlessly. Please see:
http://gallery.leica-users.org/v/Howard+Cummer/TigerPeople/JeepDustw.jpg.html
to understand the conditions.
Howard

emilsand
10-28-2010, 00:56
Or am I wrong?

Cheers,

R.

IMHO opinion you are wrong. Weather sealing is one of those "objectively good things" in life. Lack of weather sealing have made me not use my Leicas (and other cameras) outside more than once. For all I know, they may have been perfectly OK, but I'm not interested in becoming the guinea pig :D

Ade-oh
10-28-2010, 01:00
I used an Olympus OM2n, Leica M6 and Nikon D100 for six months in Iraq with no real problems (one of my CF cards for the D100 would occasionally cease to function when it got really hot); and I used an Olympus OM4 for more than a year in Belize with no problem at all. Having said that, I'm reasonably careful with my cameras: in Iraq, I avoided taking them out in dust-storms, not least because there wasn't much to photograph. Nowadays, if going out in really adverse conditions, I take my Nikonoses or my little Fuji waterproof digital P&S. Really, cameras are just the same as any other mechanical implement: if you take care of them they'll work, if you don't, they won't.

Roger Hicks
10-28-2010, 01:08
The point about dust is entirely reasonable, which is why I specifically referred to rain; the thread was prompted by the thread asking who uses their cameras in the rain.

The windscreen seals leak anyway -- hey, it's a 1972 Land Rover -- but only after quite long, quite heavy rain, and before that, there's another leak that piddles all over my right boot.

Why use the word 'fantasy? Because that's what it is, for most people: as rxmd said, the clue is the word 'most'. I'm not running a campaign against fantasy. Rather, I'm interested in how many people live in fantasy land, and how many in the real world. And, of course, in how many really have a problem with rain (or even dust, or, and I was surprised, sweat in Forida), as distinct from those who fantasize about it.

When I handled (and stood on!) the latest weather-sealed Olympus DSLR at photokina, I thought, "Wow, this is really great, I wouldn't ever have to worry about where I used it." Then the fantasy wore off and I thought, "Actually, how badly do I need this? Not very!" And I travel more than most -- though not, of course, as much as many full-time professional phtojournalists. We all have fantasies. Some of us are better at recognizing them than others.

Sure, given the choice, I'd prefer a camera I could use in a sandstorm and hose off afterwards. But I've been in one sandstorm in my life, in the Sahara decades ago, so for me (as for most people) this is not a major concern, and I've been in the monsoons a couple of times and once experienced monsoon-type rains in (to my surprise) New Mexico. In other words, yes, for some people, living or working in some places, weather sealing is a real concern, but for most of us, the occasional rainstorm ain't really a problem, and even the risk of dust can be overstated: I lived for 5 years on the edge of the Guadalupe Dunes.

There are at least two companies doing the plastic-bag-plus-port trick, the long-established Ewa-Marine (www.ewa-marine.com) in Germany and the more recent DiCaPac in Korea (www.dicapac.com). Their bags would, I suggest, suffice for those of us who don't face extreme conditions all the time.

To suggest that weather-sealing is a sine qua non of professional cameras is indefensible on two grounds. First, it is essential only for certain kinds of cameras, used for certain kinds of reportage, and second, weather sealing is a relatively recent innovation, before which there were plenty of non-weather-sealed cameras, and plenty of careful photographers.

EDIT: As emilsand says, weather sealing is an 'objectively good thing', but (a) so are small, light cameras deliverig high-quality images and (b) that wasn't actually the question, which was, how many people have actually had their cameras damaged by rain?

Cheers,

R.

Jamie123
10-28-2010, 01:20
EDIT: As emilsand says, weather sealing is an 'objectively good thing', but (a) so are small, light cameras deliverig high-quality images and (b) that wasn't actually the question, which was, how many people have actually had their cameras damaged by rain?

Cheers,

R.

I think weathersealing in a camera is like an airbag in a car. It's good to have in case something happens but most people will hardly ever be in a situation where they need it.

Phantomas
10-28-2010, 01:22
I really, really do not understand the point of this thread... can you please summarise it in one sentence? They should stop weather sealing cameras? We should buy non-sealed cameras only? What is your point?

Arjay
10-28-2010, 01:23
My Nikon D300 has also gracefully survived an extended shoot in heavy northern European Rain without any problems. *knocking on wood*

For other cameras, however, some protection could be beneficial, e.g. using rain/underwater covers by German manufacturer EWA-Marine (http://www.ewa-marine.com/index.php?id=7&L=0) (I'm not affiliated with them - but I've heard positive reports from other users about these products). These covers are not made for serious diving, but offer protection against rainstorms or heavy condensation under abrupt temperature changes.

EDIT: Roger was faster...

RichC
10-28-2010, 01:29
"Weather-sealing fantasy"? Don't think so! I'd like the worry about shooting in adverse conditions to be removed: weather sealing would help in dusty environments as well as wet ones (as pointed in the Irag post earlier).

I'd be happy with "shower-proof" - full weather sealing would be impossible on the digital M without a major redesign (and the lenses aren't waterproof, so fully waterproofing the camera would be somewhat redundant...)

I like travelling to interesting places like deserts and mountains, which can be harsh on equipment - and it's be nice to take my M8. In fact, I did take my M8 up Mt Etna: it was windy and abrasive volcanic ash was being blown around - I used tape and Blu Tack to seal any points of ingress on my M8, and was glad I did. I tested Match Technical Thumb's Up on that trip (http://matchtechnical.com/CustomersCameras.aspx), and part of my review's below.

The camera survived fine, but it would have been more convenient not to have had to use tape and Blu Tack. (My tripod, sadly, will never be the same!)

So, yes, I for one would like better weather sealing. And it's doable without too much effort if it's at a basic level (i.e. not absolute waterproofing), just a few seals here and there and minor design tweaks that wouldn't affect the form factor/size. I'm sure Leica could do it if they had the will...
"... I was using my camera under particularly harsh conditions, and it was subjected to several days of wind-blown, abrasive volcanic ash. By the end of my trip, the black chrome on my Leica was scuffed, and the tough paint had worn through on the edges of Thumbs Up to show the underlying brass – which actually looks attractive in its own way (Figure 3). I’m sure that in normal use the paint on Thumbs Up would prove more durable."

http://matchtechnical.com/images/thumbs_04.jpg
My Leica M8 looking less than pristine after being scoured by volcanic ash.

http://matchtechnical.com/images/thumbs_05.jpg
Steam and sulphur dioxide on the summit of Mount Etna."

rxmd
10-28-2010, 01:30
weather sealing is an 'objectively good thing', but (a) so are small, light cameras deliverig high-quality images

There's nothing preventing manufacturers from building small, light, high-quality cameras with weather sealing (Pentax K7, the Olympuses) - it's just that some high-quality manufacturers choose not to do it.

Is this thread directed at the, in your opinion, too many people who complain about something they don't really need?

250swb
10-28-2010, 01:54
To suggest that weather-sealing is a sine qua non of professional cameras is indefensible on two grounds. First, it is essential only for certain kinds of cameras, used for certain kinds of reportage, and second, weather sealing is a relatively recent innovation, before which there were plenty of non-weather-sealed cameras, and plenty of careful photographers.



Yes, there were lots of careful photographers, but also there were lots of cameras that didn't have the same level of circuitry inside. My Leica film cameras have all been on the radiator drying out at some time or other, but water evapourating out of a film camera with a few grease covered gears isn't the same as water evapourating onto circuits. Water trickling into the film winder would never have stopped my Nikon F, but water trickling onto the film winding part of the circuit might bother a modern Canon 1000D. You just aren't comparing the same things, just as keeping an older Land Rover going needs a hair grip and a bit of string, now you need a PC to diagnose a Discovery's problems. The world moves on.

Steve

Roger Hicks
10-28-2010, 02:14
There's nothing preventing manufacturers from building small, light, high-quality cameras with weather sealing (Pentax K7, the Olympuses) - it's just that some high-quality manufacturers choose not to do it.

Is this thread directed at the, in your opinion, too many people who complain about something they don't really need?

That's overstating it a bit, but close to the question. I was (and am) genuinely interested in whether people have had many problems with so-called non-weather-sealed cameras. Ade-oh's response about Iraq, and RichC's story about Mt. Etna, to say nothing of Brian's story about the water-fight, suggest to me that even a 'non-weather-sealed' camera can, with a little care, intelligence and foresight be used in surprisingly harsh conditions.

It's the refusal to exercise care, intelligence and foresight that I regard as the macho fantasy. In the late 80s or early 90s, when I lived in Guadalupe, California, I saw a young reporter wandering around at the Passion Play wih no lens on his Nikon. Guadalupe is pretty dusty. When I asked if he wasn't worried about dust getting inside the body, he chewed his gum with elaborate nonchalance and said, "Nah, Nikons are tough" -- with the implication, of course, "And so am I. I'm a hard-bitten reporter, and not, contrary to appearances, a stupid kid." In other words, sure, weather sealing is a good thing. But so is intelligence.

Fifteen or twenty years ago, a major US camera importer told me, "You can sell cameras using the fear factor. Say to someone who is perfectly happy with his camera, 'Yes, but can it do this?' (which the camera you're selling can, and the one he is using or considering can't), and regardless of what 'this' is, even if he's never thought of doing it or needing it before, you've planted the seeds of doubt in his mind." Weather sealing is, I suspect, for most people, the fear factor in action. So I was trying to gather some evidence on one side or the other.

Let's face it. Technically, photography ain't that difficult, and composition is something you learn with practice. Wherever possible, I'll try to help someone with technical issues, because we all have to learn sometime. But I'm increasingly interested in how and why people take pictures, and even with what cameras they choose and why, which explains threads like this.

EDIT: Steve's point is well taken, but again, I wonder how much actual evidence there is of electronic cameras being less reliable.

Cheers,

R.

Brian Sweeney
10-28-2010, 02:34
I think most cameras are more rugged and reliable than many owners believe. Certainly do not need to be pampered to maintain operation. I've seen an M8 that had been through the war in Iraq and the worst of it was the thumbwheel was jittery. It was used in dust storms, no special care taken.

Impact damage is probably worse for most cameras than some rain or dust. That does not mean to go around in a dust storm with the lens off.

Harry Lime
10-28-2010, 02:52
To suggest that weather-sealing is a sine qua non of professional cameras is indefensible on two grounds. First, it is essential only for certain kinds of cameras, used for certain kinds of reportage, and second, weather sealing is a relatively recent innovation, before which there were plenty of non-weather-sealed cameras, and plenty of careful photographers. Cheers,

R.

That may have held true in the days of film cameras, but digital has has changed the rules considerably.

Obviously we are not talking about a 4x5, but DSLR and RF bodies.

As we all know most mechanical cameras can survive a good soaking and function without much trouble after they dry out. Obviously a CLA is recommended in severe cases.

Digital or is a whole different story.

The worst case scenario is that the camera shorts out and fries itself.
Letting it dry out overnight is obviously not going to bring it back to life.

Maybe you get lucky and the electronics are not immediately damaged by contact with water. But now you face the threat of corrosion. Unless you drop it in a bucket of distilled water, traces of salt and other minerals may be left behind on the internal components, once it evaporates. Over time this can lead to the corrosion of electronics and their failure.

I suppose you could look at this in monetary terms.


Is it the end of the world if you fry your $500 LX-5?
Probably not, but unfortunate.

How about a $7000 M9?
I guess it depends on how many digits your bank balance contains.

But regardless of how much money you have a pro camera should not be at the whims of a downpour etc.

BillBingham2
10-28-2010, 03:40
..... if you take care of them they'll work, if you don't, they won't.

True of so many things in life!

B2 (;->

Jamie123
10-28-2010, 03:52
That's overstating it a bit, but close to the question. I was (and am) genuinely interested in whether people have had many problems with so-called non-weather-sealed cameras. Ade-oh's response about Iraq, and RichC's story about Mt. Etna, to say nothing of Brian's story about the water-fight, suggest to me that even a 'non-weather-sealed' camera can, with a little care, intelligence and foresight be used in surprisingly harsh conditions.

It's the refusal to exercise care, intelligence and foresight that I regard as the macho fantasy. In the late 80s or early 90s, when I lived in Guadalupe, California, I saw a young reporter wandering around at the Passion Play wih no lens on his Nikon. Guadalupe is pretty dusty. When I asked if he wasn't worried about dust getting inside the body, he chewed his gum with elaborate nonchalance and said, "Nah, Nikons are tough" -- with the implication, of course, "And so am I. I'm a hard-bitten reporter, and not, contrary to appearances, a stupid kid." In other words, sure, weather sealing is a good thing. But so is intelligence.

Fifteen or twenty years ago, a major US camera importer told me, "You can sell cameras using the fear factor. Say to someone who is perfectly happy with his camera, 'Yes, but can it do this?' (which the camera you're selling can, and the one he is using or considering can't), and regardless of what 'this' is, even if he's never thought of doing it or needing it before, you've planted the seeds of doubt in his mind." Weather sealing is, I suspect, for most people, the fear factor in action. So I was trying to gather some evidence on one side or the other.

Let's face it. Technically, photography ain't that difficult, and composition is something you learn with practice. Wherever possible, I'll try to help someone with technical issues, because we all have to learn sometime. But I'm increasingly interested in how and why people take pictures, and even with what cameras they choose and why, which explains threads like this.

EDIT: Steve's point is well taken, but again, I wonder how much actual evidence there is of electronic cameras being less reliable.

Cheers,

R.


Ah, now I get your point. Yes, there are quite a few people who have this ''macho'' attitude towards their gear. They think not taking care of their equipment show's that they're serious about photography and it makes them feel like they're tough war photographers.
Personally, I take care of my equipment as much as I can. I might want or have to sell something down the line and the better it looks the more I can get for it. Of course I would never compromise the integrity of my work when I'm on a job just to pamper my gear but, as I usually work in very friendly environments, that's hardly ever a concern.

Now as for weathersealing, I do think that it's a reasonable concern with electronic devices. Corrosion occurs much faster than you'd think. Often the device continues working but in time it adds up.
Let's take mobile phones as an example. A while back I saw a news segment about how Apple in my country refused to repair iPhones under warranty due to water damage even though they were fully functional had been sent in for other reasons like a loose button on the side. Apparently almost every mobile phone that has ever been used outside on a rainy day (even if it didn't get wet) has minor corrosion inside due to humidity. Most people get a new mobile phone every two years so it probably never gets to a point where it's a problem but cameras are a different matter as we'd all like them to last for a long time.

Roger Hicks
10-28-2010, 03:54
Digital is a whole different story.

The worst case scenario is that the camera shorts out and fries itself.
Letting it dry out overnight is obviously not going to bring it back to life.


This is what I'm asking: have we, in fact, much evidence that this is true? Or is it the 'fear factor'?

Cheers,

R.

rxmd
10-28-2010, 04:03
The worst case scenario is that the camera shorts out and fries itself.
Letting it dry out overnight is obviously not going to bring it back to life.

This is what I'm asking: have we, in fact, much evidence that this is true? Or is it the 'fear factor'?

What, that soaked electronics may be beyond recovery? This is definitely not the fear factor. I've lost a Leica digital compact and several other pieces of electronics that way over the years.

Often it's not really frying itself as much as having conductive residues in the water that are left after drying, leaving conductive paths on the circuit boards in places where they shouldn't be. Sometimes I got things back to work by cleaning them using alcohol etc., but not always.

Roger Hicks
10-28-2010, 04:05
Ah, now I get your point. Yes, there are quite a few people who have this ''macho'' attitude towards their gear. They think not taking care of their equipment show's that they're serious about photography and it makes them feel like they're tough war photographers.
Personally, I take care of my equipment as much as I can. I might want or have to sell something down the line and the better it looks the more I can get for it. Of course I would never compromise the integrity of my work when I'm on a job just to pamper my gear but, as I usually work in very friendly environments, that's hardly ever a concern.

Now as for weathersealing, I do think that it's a reasonable concern with electronic devices. Corrosion occurs much faster than you'd think. Often the device continues working but in time it adds up.
Let's take mobile phones as an example. A while back I saw a news segment about how Apple in my country refused to repair iPhones under warranty due to water damage even though they were fully functional had been sent in for other reasons like a loose button on the side. Apparently almost every mobile phone that has ever been used outside on a rainy day (even if it didn't get wet) has minor corrosion inside due to humidity. Most people get a new mobile phone every two years so it probably never gets to a point where it's a problem but cameras are a different matter as we'd all like them to last for a long time.

Now, the mobile 'phone story is intriguing, and probably accounts for the increasingly erratic behaviour of my own mobile 'phone -- though it is a good few years old now, as I bought it before I left the UK in 2002. What we need now is a camera repairer to tell us if the same thing is true of digital cameras - and if so, of which digital cameras. I wonder, too, if the humidity may not be the result of 'phones being kept in humid pockets.

It also occurs to me that actually, many autofocus film SLRs had a truly impressive amount of electronics inside them, as do light meters, and that the only problem I've personally encountered is bad switches: if the SLR or meter wasn't used for several months, you might have to operate the release or reading button several times before it worked reliably. This leaves me somewhat less convinced that digital cameras really are all that different from film cameras. Sure, they may be; but I'd be interested to hear more evidence of their actually dying, rather than 'fear factor'.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
10-28-2010, 04:09
What, that soaked electronics may be beyond recovery? This is definitely not the fear factor. I've lost a Leica digital compact and several other pieces of electronics that way over the years.

Often it's not really frying itself as much as having conductive residues in the water that are left after drying, leaving conductive paths on the circuit boards in places where they shouldn't be. Sometimes I got things back to work by cleaning them using alcohol etc., but not always.

No, I know that's the case. But there's a big difference between soaking a camera and using it in the rain, which was the original question: has anyone actually had an M8/M9 or other good-quality professional camera die from being used (sensibly) in the rain?

Cheers,

R.

Frank Petronio
10-28-2010, 04:19
Unsealed....

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/rffgallery/gallery/20258/U20258I1288271089.SEQ.0.jpg

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/rffgallery/gallery/20258/U20258I1288271087.SEQ.0.jpg

Brian Sweeney
10-28-2010, 04:35
Years ago I moved an old CPM computer into the basement, a Xerox 820-II. The basement was pretty much the cat's domain. Nina asked a technical question that could only be explained by wiring up two computers with an O-Scope between them. The cat, Nina's favorite, vied for her attention- was annoyed that the computer was getting it.

Later that night, as we were sleeping, the cat peed into the keyboard. I cleaned it out with alchohol, it worked fine after that. Try not to let cats pee into your electronics, but if they do- clean them as quickly as you can.

sig
10-28-2010, 04:47
I am confused..... weather sealing that stops dust is valid and not in fantasy land, but the ones that stops water is a macho fantasy thing we do not need?

I have had 2 cameras that have been affected by dust/sand, 1 died the other one needed to have the lens or the sensor replaced. But since it was not water or rain I guess that does not count, still confused

Turtle
10-28-2010, 04:51
Got dust into the lens of a Pentax MZ-5 some years back and ruined it. Went all graunchy and crunched when focusing, seized... all sorts.

Its real. Only a tiny minority really put cameras through serious weather tests on a regular basis but for pros working in rain, sleet, snow, dust and heavy rain regularly i dont think there is any substitute. There i no comparison between most amateur users and the requirements of pros who, for example, would regularly photograph while helicopters are moving and vehicles kicking up dust (gets into everything) and standing in pouring rain.

eddie1960
10-28-2010, 04:57
I'm reasonably careful to protect my cameras from rain, but not to the extent that I will miss a shot. My K10 pentax has been hit by beer and sweat more than once when shooting in the pit at concerts I wipe it down and keep shooting. If I was lucky enough to own an M9 it wouldn't be my concert camera though.
as for resilience of the old cameras my first camera was a Zenit. I shot ski racing with it in the middle of Blizzards, Football from the bench in the rain and mud (dropped it in puddle more than once after dodging being hit by a running player) and it never failed surprisingly enough
I doubt i would risk any camera i couldn't replace easily in the same scenarios though

Ade-oh
10-28-2010, 05:00
Not a camera but... about 14 years ago I blew a sizeable chunk of a book advance on a laptop computer which, back in those pioneering days, was about £2000. I'd been happily using it for a few months and was actually sitting on a sofa in my living room downloading emails on the impressive, built-in, 28.8kbps modem, when my two year old son spilled most of his plastic beaker of Ribena into it. It stopped working with an audible 'pffst' sound. Undaunted, I took the battery out and set the computer to dry in an airing cupboard for 48 hours, and it worked fine afterwards particularly after I'd got a technician to clean up the keyboard properly.

Which proves... not very much. Except that I would suggest that consumer electronics are often more robust than we would usually give them credit for, and that if you look after them, environmental factors shouldn't be too much of an issue.

sevo
10-28-2010, 05:05
Its real. Only a tiny minority really put cameras through serious weather tests on a regular basis but for pros working in rain, sleet, snow, dust and heavy rain regularly i dont think there is any substitute.

Even for pros there is no substitute for rain covers unless the job is so well paid that it covers sending in the inundated gear for service right after the event.

wgerrard
10-28-2010, 05:17
Here in the U.S. and elsewhere, four-wheel drive vehicles are sold on TV with video of them racing over wild hills and canyons, miles from the nearest road. Almost no one who buys the things ever takes them off the highway. But the fantasy commercials sell them.

Yet, for people who need them, they are indispensable.

As an amateur, I wouldn't mind if my cameras were really weather sealed, but it is not at all indispensable. Unless I'm caught in a sudden storm, I'm simply not going to be out in weather bad enough to threaten a camera. Perhaps I'm a weather wimp, but there you go.

So, I wouldn't avoid a camera because it is sealed, but I would not buy one for that reason, either.

Professionals and others who cannot, or will not, simply decide to stay indoors need weather sealing.

Bob's comment about sweat damaging the shutter mechanism on his Zeiss Ikon makes me wonder if humidity is more of a potential threat than we might imagine. After all, most cameras are made in countries that are not known for being muggy. [EDIT: On second thought, that's doubtful. But, the point remains. Protecting a camera from rain and dust is not the same as protecting a camera from humidity.] I wonder about the long-term impact of alternating a camera between a warm humid environment and a cool dry air conditioned environment.

As for dust storms, unless you are a pro on an assignment, if you are outside in a dust storm taking pictures, someone should probably take the camera away from you. :)

Roger Hicks
10-28-2010, 06:16
For those who still don't get it, or are 'confused', here is the original question:

How many M8/M9 users have had their cameras written off by rain? Or, indeed, any other camera written off by rain or spray?

And from post 51:

The point about dust is entirely reasonable, which is why I specifically referred to rain; the thread was prompted by the thread asking who uses their cameras in the rain.

No-one denies that weather sealing is a good idea. Nor does anyone deny that for a war reporter photographing a helicopter taking off in the desert, it is pretty much essential. I'm just trying to find it if it is quite as important as some people seem to think in normal use, or whether they're buying into a fantasy.

Bill's comment about fantasy selling 4WDs is a good illustration of the same thing. Personally I can't quite see the point of running a serious 4WD unless you go off road sometimes, but even if you do, it's mostly still fantasy: I don't need to go exploring abandoned Spanish villages accessible only via washed-out roads, or driving on Hungarian logging roads, but it's something I do from time to time.

My suspicion is that many people buy weather-sealed cameras on the basis of pure fantasy. Some buy them 'just in case' (which is fine), but others, frightened that their 'non-weather-sealed' cameras wouldn't stand up to perfectly normal usage, are scared out of using those cameras because they think that only 'weather-sealed' cameras can be used in the rain.

And, to repeat, some buy weather sealed cameras because they really need them, just as some people really need Land Rovers. But quite a lot of people are either buying a fantasy, or are scared off using other cameras because of that fantasy.

No-one has yet answered (or indeed attempted to answer) the original, very clear question: How many M8/M9 users have had their cameras written off by rain? Or, indeed, any other camera written off by rain or spray?

Cheers,

R.

tlitody
10-28-2010, 06:26
do you have a snorkel on your landrover? When I bought mine the salesman tried to sell me one. I made him give me me a better discounted price on the landy just for the insult or I'd go buy it somewhere else.

rover
10-28-2010, 06:29
No-one has yet answered (or indeed attempted to answer) the original, very clear question: How many M8/M9 users have had their cameras written off by rain? Or, indeed, any other camera written off by rain or spray?


Because it is a huge minority of people, even member here, who actually have these cameras, never mind as you imply, members with them who actually use them in conditions where it actually matters if they are sealed or not.

rover
10-28-2010, 06:30
do you have a snorkel on your landrover? When I bought mine the salesman tried to sell me one. I made him give me me a better discounted price on the landy just for the insult or I'd go buy it somewhere else.

You should have asked him to allow you to test drive it with the snorkel under water and then go to another dealer to buy the vehicle.

Roger Hicks
10-28-2010, 06:32
do you have a snorkel on your landrover? When I bought mine the salesman tried to sell me one. I made him give me me a better discounted price on the landy just for the insult or I'd go buy it somewhere else.

Quite. As you might guess, no, I don't. Yes, I ford rivers occasionally (there's supposed to be a piece scheduled in a couple of months in Land Rover World called 'Fords and Land Rovers'). But to need a snorkel, you've got to be doing something pretty extreme -- the Land Rover equivalent of photographing helicopers landing in a desert, from close up.

Cheers,

R.

tlitody
10-28-2010, 06:48
But sealed lenses and camera body seem like a good idea to me. The only disadvantage I see is cost. Do I need it? Mostly not. Might it occasionally save my equipment from water damage? Yes. Is it worth having? Probably. What else is there to say? My guess is a lot. Will it be worth hearing? We'll see....

Paul Luscher
10-28-2010, 07:10
To be frank, I don't use my M9 under conditions which require me to worry about weather sealing. It's more of a "people-shooter" camera for me.

If I'm going to be shooting landscapes, etc, outdoors, I grab my E-3, sorry to say. For one, I prefer the more precise framing of an SLR when I'm doing this kind of work. And yes, the E-3's weather sealing comes in very handy at times.

And let's face it: I'm not comfortable with possibly destroying a $7,000 camera, when I have a cheaper SLR that will do the job better, under the circumstances...

kshapero
10-28-2010, 07:16
I think weathersealing in a camera is like an airbag in a car. It's good to have in case something happens but most people will hardly ever be in a situation where they need it.Well not exactly. I value my life more than my camera (although sometimes I think they are the same).:D

wgerrard
10-28-2010, 07:22
Well not exactly. I value my life more than my camera (although sometimes I think they are the same).:D

Yeah, we're not likely to get T-boned by a Nikon running a red light.

Fraser
10-28-2010, 07:33
Just make sure everything is insured:D (including your land rover!)

Nikon Bob
10-28-2010, 08:11
But sealed lenses and camera body seem like a good idea to me. The only disadvantage I see is cost. Do I need it? Mostly not. Might it occasionally save my equipment from water damage? Yes. Is it worth having? Probably. What else is there to say? My guess is a lot. Will it be worth hearing? We'll see....

+1 on that from me.

Bob

Ben Z
10-28-2010, 08:41
To answer Roger's original question, for the last going on 20 years I live in what's considered a tropical climate, a few miles from the ocean. It rains frequently and hard around here, and even when the sun is out it's always humid and there is always salt in the air. I have not yet had any camera problems due to lack of weather sealing.

In principle I agree that for $7000 a few gaskets and grommets doesn't seem like asking too much. But to do more than just give a false sense of security, they would need to also seal the lens mount. They could redesign the body flange with an O-ring, and institute a program to replace lens flanges with new ones engineered with a groove and O-ring, but I don't know how they could do either and still maintain the 6-bit coding.

Recently I met up with Brian Bower in Germany, and there happened to be a light but fairly steady rain outside. I asked him if he could be candid about just how protective I ought to be with my new M9, and he replied that it rains a lot worse in England and in 4 years of heavy use with 2 M8's and now 2M9's he's never had a problem.

For myself, I'm not a huge fan of being outside in the rain (don't like being soaked, and Florida is notorious for lightning striking people dead) so there are times when I'm happy to use the camera as a scapegoat for why I had to get in out of the rain :D

skibeerr
10-28-2010, 09:09
When I handled (and stood on!) the latest weather-sealed Olympus DSLR at photokina, I thought, "Wow, this is really great, I wouldn't ever have to worry about where I used it." Then the fantasy wore off and I thought, "Actually, how badly do I need this? Not very!" And I travel more than most -- though not, of course, as much as many full-time professional phtojournalists. We all have fantasies. Some of us are better at recognizing them than others.


Cheers,

R.

Dear Roger,

look at my avatar, I kayak on the sea a lot and had one camera ruined by salt water spray. I would like a good weather sealed camera so I can shoot from my cockpit in moderate waves or stand in the sea to get a good perspective.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4133/4963179109_6b1f8f482f.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/wim_b/4963179109/)
P8301397 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/wim_b/4963179109/) by wim_b (http://www.flickr.com/people/wim_b/), on Flickr

This was the shot I was taking on my avatar.


cheers,
Wim

JayGannon
10-28-2010, 09:48
In conditions like that your going to need a pro level sealed body, be in SLR or whatever else.

Jamie123
10-28-2010, 11:06
Well not exactly. I value my life more than my camera (although sometimes I think they are the same).:D

Well like every analogy it only works up to a certain point. :)

But the point is for most people weathersealing is a safety net 'just in case'. Just like with an airbag the fact that most people will never actually use it doesn't mean it's not good to have.

Somehow I get the feeling, though, that Roger's Land Rover does not have an airbag :)

Brian Sweeney
10-28-2010, 11:07
A simple plastic bag with an optical port on it can be bought, or made. Ritz camera used to sell one with a Latex glove built in for operating the camera. I remember them at ~$50 or so. There are a lot of ways to keep the climate from affecting a camera and still shoot. So- salt spray, dust storms, mud storms, etc- some easy ways of weatherproofing exist, if anyone wanted additional measures over what the camera provides.

Bob Michaels
10-28-2010, 12:36
I envy those of you who live in areas where you have certainty that is is or is not going to rain while you are out photographing. I live in FL. If I only photographed when I knew there was no chance of rain, I could only photograph about 60 days each year. Our rain probability is almost never less than 10%, almost never more than 70%.

Roger: No, I have never had a camera destroyed by rain. Yes, I have had several repairs due to moisture.

Yes, a more robust weather seal on a RF would be a selling point for me. No, it would not cause me to replace the working cameras I have.

In the meantime, I will just carry a large ziplok plastic bag in my pocket so I can put my camera in it when there is a heavy downpour. And know that carrying the camera in my hand all day during the summer continues to work in minute amounts of sweat.

Ronald M
10-28-2010, 13:41
I read about someone who took his M8 to Iceland. Fellow travelers with unsealed lessor camera were still shooting and the M8 died. Cost of repair was too high to do.

Basicly when electronics get wet, they can be dried or replaced but there is frequently hidden damage that does not show until later. This makes repair warrantee a problem so most companies will not touch it including Leica.

charjohncarter
10-28-2010, 17:23
Stay with film in wet, humid places. I have a NikonosII and a Canon AS-6 for the wet stuff. This is the lowly AS-6:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4050/4667461830_90e14c668f.jpg

Although not that hot underwater, but it does have a flash:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4012/4666841009_ac0fd69a5e.jpg

alistair.o
10-29-2010, 04:09
Last Saturday I was covering a demonstration against the spending cuts in the UK. It was grey and overcast at dawn and so I took a Nikon F3 and used a Nikkor 35mm F2 & 105mm F2.5, all housed in a Domke F2 bag.

As it all got underway the heavens opened and I found myself sheltering in a doorway until the main speaker arrived. Also in the doorway was a reuters agency photographer with two digital bodies and long lenses and a reporter & camera man from the local TV station. At that point we were 'damp', but when it all got going and we were all busy, we and our gear were soaked. The F3 shook it off (I literally had to keep shaking the rain off it) I didn't see too much of the others after that except when we crossed in the crowd after pictures - what a sorry sight we must have looked.

As for my gear, when I got back, I wiped it down, then broke it down into component parts and put it in the boiler room along with mini silica gel bags in the body cavities. I took it out 24 hrs later - not one sign of damp and or any ill effects

Regards

Al

PS The Domke was surprisingly dry also (resilient material)

Bob Ross
11-04-2010, 18:19
When I handled (and stood on!) the latest weather-sealed Olympus DSLR at photokina, I thought, "Wow, this is really great, I wouldn't ever have to worry about where I used it." Then the fantasy wore off and I thought, "Actually, how badly do I need this? Not very!" And I travel more than most -- though not, of course, as much as many full-time professional phtojournalists. We all have fantasies. Some of us are better at recognizing them than others.

Cheers,

R.

I have used the Oly E-1 (& E-3) and the weatherproof lenses since Oct 2003 and have only done shooting in heavy rain a half a dozen times. No problems, of course.....and no worthwhile pictures either......:bang:
All the stuff about weatherproof bodies usually misses the importance of weatherproof lenses..........having my favorite cron filling up with acid rain while my new M9W is shedding a shower is not a pleasant thought.
Bob

ederek
11-04-2010, 18:47
I was caught in a bit of rain this evening walking to the train terminal. As I tucked the camera under my cotton overcoat and shielded it with my arm, I did wish it was weather sealed. Ahhhh fantasies fantasies fantasies.

Nikkor AIS
11-13-2010, 13:56
I often shoot in less-than-ideal weather conditions. Last winter, I froze my Leica M3 almost every day, and my fingers along with it :). The same for my D3 X2. And the Leica M7 near the end of the winter.

When it's really wet, like snow that melts, I use plastic bags and I even bought a Sport Shield. Not cheap but very cool.
Last winter I was in some of the worst snowstorms of my life and I was glad to have the Sport Shield.

I'm sure soaking a Nikkor 300 2.0 IF-ED AIS wouldn't do it much harm but I really don't see the point if I can help it.

I'm thinking of getting a couple for the MP/ M7 this winter as I'm going to be shooting while skiing with the Leica M. And they're going to get sprayed as I'm going to be using the 12 mm ASPH up close and personal.

And as a bonus, they put a layer between your skin and the metal which is very nice if - like me - you like to shoot with bare hands.

For me, fogging up is by far a bigger problem ... going out into the cold, back into a warm car, then out into the cold, then back again.
Bagging is the only option or keeping the car cold.

Which is not going to happen. I only come in to change locations and warm up :o. It gets cold here.

When I finally do come in from the cold, I plastic bag all my gear. It's a pain in the ass, but I do it.

Sorry, my examples are not as sexy as Frank's unless you're a cow. Then this bull might be pretty sexy :p.


http://rogaltacdesign.smugmug.com/Other/Nikkor-300-20-IF-ED-AIS/AAC9748/851479264_ka7hs-L.jpg (http://rogaltacdesign.smugmug.com/Other/Nikkor-300-20-IF-ED-AIS/10930112_QtzwA#851479264_ka7hs-A-LB)


http://rogaltacdesign.smugmug.com/Other/Nikkor-300-20-IF-ED-AIS/AAC9754/851479579_78tZ6-L.jpg (http://rogaltacdesign.smugmug.com/Other/Nikkor-300-20-IF-ED-AIS/10930112_QtzwA#851479579_78tZ6-A-LB)


http://rogaltacdesign.smugmug.com/Other/Nikkor-300-20-IF-ED-AIS/DSC0732/851495570_ctX25-L.jpg (http://rogaltacdesign.smugmug.com/Other/Nikkor-300-20-IF-ED-AIS/10930112_QtzwA#851495570_ctX25-A-LB)


http://rogaltacdesign.smugmug.com/Other/Nikkor-300-20-IF-ED-AIS/AAC9719/851479033_Hgiw7-L.jpg (http://rogaltacdesign.smugmug.com/Other/Nikkor-300-20-IF-ED-AIS/10930112_QtzwA#851479033_Hgiw7-A-LB)

Nikkor 300 2.0 IF-ED AIS on D3 with Sport Shield hand held.

I don't think getting most cameras a little wet now and again is bad. It's if you're doing it every day, like I intend to, that you could run into problems.

ederek
11-13-2010, 19:51
There have been greater fantasies than the "weather sealing fantasy". Witness The Fantasy of Flight..

http://ederek.smugmug.com/photos/1089547809_s54WV-M.jpg

http://ederek.smugmug.com/photos/1089547537_dpqps-M.jpg

Still trying to figure out why "dust storms" aren't "weather events"..

zerobuttons
01-08-2011, 06:31
.....
For most people, 'weather sealing' is a fantasy.
.....

In my experience, not so fantasy-like after all. Shooting at a racing track with a Nikon D200, I got caught in a drench in the far end of the track from the pit. I decided to let it be the test of camera´s weather sealings (and the lense´s). In between the worst showers, drivers actually came out from the pit. Here´s one shot from that day:
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5204/5335507177_66980bd0f6_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/zerobuttons/5335507177/)

Another shooter with a Canon with a push-pull zoom as his only lens, ran for cover, since the push-pull would work like a water pump in those conditions :p

atlcruiser
01-08-2011, 16:53
Quite. As you might guess, no, I don't. Yes, I ford rivers occasionally (there's supposed to be a piece scheduled in a couple of months in Land Rover World called 'Fords and Land Rovers'). But to need a snorkel, you've got to be doing something pretty extreme -- the Land Rover equivalent of photographing helicopers landing in a desert, from close up.

Cheers,

R.


A bit off topic here..... the main use for the snorkel is to get the air intake high. High air is generally cooler and cleaner so the motor is much more efficient :)
I have a snorkel on my cruiser and have had use of it more than once

LKeithR
01-08-2011, 19:29
Weather sealing? Who needs it?

http://lkeithr.zenfolio.com/img/s9/v0/p846965431-4.jpg

A friend of mine on the waterfront in Fort Langley on a cold, rainy June day. All Pentax gear; some weather-sealed, some not, but mostly borrowed--he works in a camera store--which explains the 'extra" protection.

I have a Pentax K20D which I happily shoot in the pouring rain--with a weather-sealed lens, of course. We get lots of the wet stuff here in the Lower Mainland of B.C. so I find weather-sealing to be a big plus. In answer to the specific question; have I ever had a camera falter because of rain? No, but in the past I've shot mainly manual cameras and have been more careful. Weather-sealing allows me to "let it all hang out", so to speak...

Roger Hicks
01-09-2011, 01:56
A bit off topic here..... the main use for the snorkel is to get the air intake high. High air is generally cooler and cleaner so the motor is much more efficient :)
I have a snorkel on my cruiser and have had use of it more than once

Cleaner, quite possibly, but that's what air cleaners are for. Cooler... not so sure. Try it: hold a thermometer at normal air intake height and at snorkel height, and see if 3 feet makes a lot of difference.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
01-09-2011, 02:01
. In answer to the specific question; have I ever had a camera falter because of rain? No, but in the past I've shot mainly manual cameras and have been more careful. Weather-sealing allows me to "let it all hang out", so to speak...
Dear Keith,

That's my point, really. How much of it is really necessary, and hw much of it is the 21st century 'climate of fear' (as with terrorism, paedophilia, etc.)?

I'm not saying that weather sealing is never necessary. Nor am I denying that weather sealing can provide a feeing of security or reassurance. I'm just questioning how many people really need it, and how often.

Cheers,

R.

Ronald M
01-09-2011, 02:44
Well Roger, people have had digi M made economically unrepairable with very little water if read some past posts.

The reason is unseen water damage that shows up later under repair warrantee. It is a fact.

Thardy
01-09-2011, 03:10
Weather sealing? Who needs it?

http://lkeithr.zenfolio.com/img/s9/v0/p846965431-4.jpg

A friend of mine on the waterfront in Fort Langley on a cold, rainy June day. All Pentax gear; some weather-sealed, some not, but mostly borrowed--he works in a camera store--which explains the 'extra" protection.

I have a Pentax K20D which I happily shoot in the pouring rain--with a weather-sealed lens, of course. We get lots of the wet stuff here in the Lower Mainland of B.C. so I find weather-sealing to be a big plus. In answer to the specific question; have I ever had a camera falter because of rain? No, but in the past I've shot mainly manual cameras and have been more careful. Weather-sealing allows me to "let it all hang out", so to speak...


Looks like I need to think long and hard about buying "demo" gear from camera shops.

Roger Hicks
01-09-2011, 03:13
Well Roger, people have had digi M made economically unrepairable with very little water if read some past posts.

The reason is unseen water damage that shows up later under repair warrantee. It is a fact.

Dear Ronald,

Possibly. That's why I asked for personal -- not hearsay -- anecdotes.

Cheers,

R.

shadowfox
01-09-2011, 13:54
You can always test one. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpjPqIE7e6s)

Olympus E-3 can do the above already (since 2008), here's what its successor can do in addition :)

http://www.markhumpage.com/Mother-Nature/British-Weather/PC200002web/1132547556_qYS2F-XL.jpg
Of course this is the link to the original photographer's site: http://www.markhumpage.com

bgb
01-09-2011, 14:19
Never had a camera fail due to water either from humidity or rain, I'm careful with my cameras :)
I did have a camera fail as a result of dust when i was traveling in Africa. It was an OM-10 and i guess it stopped working after 3 months. Yes i was careful but there is a lot of dust in Africa and it gets into all sort of places it's not welcome.

atlcruiser
01-09-2011, 14:42
Cleaner, quite possibly, but that's what air cleaners are for. Cooler... not so sure. Try it: hold a thermometer at normal air intake height and at snorkel height, and see if 3 feet makes a lot of difference.

Cheers,

R.


Much cleaner..the majority of dust falls soon after being picked up so it is lower to the ground. Also, most snorkels have prefilters that spin the worst of the dust out prior to hitting the air cleaner. The air cleaner is only good until it is no longer clean...hence the prefilter aspect of the snorkel.

Much cooler...especially on paved roads. Exhaust raises temps considerably at the 5 foot and lower mark. Once you are above 5 foot or so you can see as much as 15' lower temps. This is especailly an issue in warmer climates.

Intakes actually draw from much lower than the apparent location inside the engine compartment. Air is pushed under the car and most of the air goes from low moving to high to help dissapate heat from the engine bay. Usually intake temps are about 10' higher than ambient temps making the differential with a raised intake even more apparent.

I do this for a living :)

jky
01-10-2011, 00:13
Used my old M8 in light rain and snow & it worked out fine... kept it covered in my coat and wiped it down frequently when it got wet. On that note, I wouldn't have used it in the torrential downpour my D700 experienced in Asia last year.

I did try to devise a cover for the M8 using ziplocs but found it cumbersome trying to rotate dials and focusing.

Roger Hicks
01-10-2011, 03:35
Much cleaner..the majority of dust falls soon after being picked up so it is lower to the ground. Also, most snorkels have prefilters that spin the worst of the dust out prior to hitting the air cleaner. The air cleaner is only good until it is no longer clean...hence the prefilter aspect of the snorkel.

Much cooler...especially on paved roads. Exhaust raises temps considerably at the 5 foot and lower mark. Once you are above 5 foot or so you can see as much as 15' lower temps. This is especailly an issue in warmer climates.

Intakes actually draw from much lower than the apparent location inside the engine compartment. Air is pushed under the car and most of the air goes from low moving to high to help dissapate heat from the engine bay. Usually intake temps are about 10' higher than ambient temps making the differential with a raised intake even more apparent.

I do this for a living :)

Dear David,

Fair enough, especially the point about air being pushed under the car. But the dust mostly isn't on paved roads, of course. With a Series Land Rover there's a nice big gap under the bonnet for air to get in, and no doubt you know about Series oil-bath air-cleaners.

Cheers,

R.

atlcruiser
01-10-2011, 07:04
series rovers have nice big gaps all over :)

I just started a resto on a '70 IIA 88 and we will begin a semi resto on a '82 RHD III 109 this month as well.

Paul Luscher
01-10-2011, 07:21
Have to admit, I'm with most of these folks here: I'm not going to go out of my way to shoot in a deluge, just to see how tough the camera is. Anyway, if the weather's that bad, you're not going to have too any good shots.

Shot in Ireland in the rain with a Minolta X-700, and in California in the rain with a NIkon F. Both of them did develop problems which led to a trip to the camera repair shop.

kevin m
01-10-2011, 08:14
I lost a nice Panasonic point & shoot at the beach two years ago. I had finished shooting with it and stashed it in the pocket of my cargo pants. The pocket got splashed with a bit of salt water - not even soaked - and the camera, which didn't seem wet at all, shorted out when I turned it on and it never worked again.

Weather sealing for digital cameras isn't a fantasy, it's the current state of the art for pro-level cameras and lenses.

Ronald M
01-10-2011, 09:12
I believe it was a RF member who lost is digi M on a trip to Iceland and reported it here. The cost of a Solms repair was 90% the cost of a new camera. No I have not personally ruined one and would be very cautious. I don`t even expose my sealed pro Nikons to water.

Andy Kibber
01-10-2011, 09:32
I had a Lomo LC-A that developed serious internal corrosion after a few too many trips to the beach. Not a fancy or expensive camera, but the incident makes me think twice about taking other cameras to the beach.