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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    2

    Weathersealing; Important or Not?

    Im planning to do alot of canoe trips, hiking(all four seasons) and travelling across the globe IE australian outback, and some other places

    Should weathersealing be a deciding factor when im buying a DSLR? Or would a non weather sealed DSLR do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Illinois
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    If you're taking a camera into rugged environments, you're going to want some type of protection, especially canoing. I've never used a weather sealed body but I know they aren't completely weather proof. You don't want to take a weather proof body and flip the canoe over (correct me if I'm wrong.)

    Keep in mind weather sealed cameras need weather sealed lenses so you are looking at some big bucks. Nikon D200 is weather sealed and it's at a reasonable price. If you're looking at Canon, then you have to look at the 1 series bodies which start at around $3 k. Another option would be to get a good underwater housing for a camera. They run around $1000 and would allow you to take the camera underwater, so you'd be fine if you were in the desert or in a moist environment as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Northern Colorado, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by pagnamenta View Post
    If you're taking a camera into rugged environments, you're going to want some type of protection, especially canoing. I've never used a weather sealed body but I know they aren't completely weather proof. You don't want to take a weather proof body and flip the canoe over (correct me if I'm wrong.)
    Weather Sealed is not waterproof. Basically, it means you can use it in the rain, and you are less likely to have a problem. No dSLR can be submerged in water without being in a protective enclosure. If the camera could go in the water, then a proper enclosure is recommended, even if you don't intend to submerge the camera. A floating enclosure with a tether is a personal recommendation. The floating part may be a bit of a pipe dream, but for kayaking and canoeing, I would not be without some sort of tether on my $$$$ equipment.

    Keep in mind weather sealed cameras need weather sealed lenses so you are looking at some big bucks.
    This is a bit of a fallacy. Any weather sealing is beneficial. But, for full protection, full weather sealing involves the lens as well. In particular is the seal between the lens and the camera body.

    Nikon D200 is weather sealed and it's at a reasonable price. If you're looking at Canon, then you have to look at the 1 series bodies which start at around $3 k. Another option would be to get a good underwater housing for a camera. They run around $1000 and would allow you to take the camera underwater, so you'd be fine if you were in the desert or in a moist environment as well.
    I have a D200, and the weather sealing is merely part of the robustness of the design. I don't really plan on shooting in extreme conditions, so I'm not particularly concerned with weather sealing. However, if you do want to shoot in extreme conditions, then this is a subject you should research very carefully so that you can make proper decisions about protecting your equipment.
    Last edited by erichlund; 08-15-2007 at 04:47 PM.
    Eric Lund
    Nikon D200
    Nikkors: 17-55mm f2.8, 18-200mm f3.5-f4.5 VR, 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 VR, 35mm f2, 50mm f1.8, 55mm f2.8 AI-S micro, 105mm f2.8 VR micro
    Other Lenses: Tokina 12-24 f4, Tamron 75-300mm f4-5.6 LD macro
    Stuff: Nikon SB800, Nikon MBD200, Gitzo 1327 Tripod w/RRS BH-55LR Ballhead, Sekonic L-358 meter

  4. #4
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    May 2006
    Location
    Illinois
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    erichlund, Good I never said weatherproof and water proof are the same thing. What's the point of a weather sealed body if you're not going to take advantage of full protection using the weather sealed lenses? If you're shooting in harsh environments with a sealed body but not a sealed lens, you run the chance of ruining both the lens and the body. I don't see it as a fallacy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
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    9,560

    Lightbulb Thinking ahead and considering the benefits ...

    Everything has its limitations ... and going into a hostile environment requires some forethought.

    After doing the "Boundary Waters", in Northern Minnesota, via canoe ... I feel the best solution is "backup". Having just one heavy DSLR camera and several unprotected lenses is just asking for it ... so I would suggest either a couple Canon S5 ISs or the SONY DSC-H7s as good solutions. Pack them in "watertight" casings (they sell these things in high-adventure equipment stores, for cellular telephones, GPSs and radio devices) and just use the two cameras at will. The cases have lanyards attached, so they aren't going too far ... if you secure them to the canoe. That way, if your canoe should flip ... the "water proof" enclosures" will float right to the top of the water and be entirely protected for the whole trip. The cameras are quite light, compared to a heavy DSLR.

    Attachment 27614
    Voyager Dry Flex Case - for a Cell Phone

    Honestly, doing this with a DSLR is just tempting fate. You have to ask, are your images requiring that level of optical quality, where you need f/1.8 lensing? The zoom on these smaller cameras is nearly 500mm and the sensors are equal inside to the better DSLRS. That should be plenty for a trip of this (pardon the pun) nature.

    The pioneers of photography dragged View cameras into the wild because there simply wasn't any choice. Today's digital choices make the idea of dragging a big rig with you into the wild look ... well, kind of foolish and like overkill.

    Oh yeah, use smaller memory cards (several 32MBs), change them often and keep them water-tight and separate ... just in case the camera is dunked, while in use. You don't want to lose a 2GB card in one fell swoop. It's just not prudent.

    Remember, you can always sell the extra camera(s) when you get back ... but, with your trip is safely recorded.

    Overall, this a much safer and much cheaper method of "getting the shot." When I'm backpacking in the wild, I want a backpack full of survival gear ... not camera equipment. When I'm backpacking through Chicago ... well, survival comes in a little plastic wallet-sized card ... and the backpack is full of camera gear. I let the situational requirements dictate the pack's contents. There may be times you might just want to pack along a 9mm-attachment, for personal security reasons.

    Good luck on your high adventure.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 08-16-2007 at 09:27 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by pagnamenta View Post
    erichlund, Good I never said weatherproof and water proof are the same thing. What's the point of a weather sealed body if you're not going to take advantage of full protection using the weather sealed lenses? If you're shooting in harsh environments with a sealed body but not a sealed lens, you run the chance of ruining both the lens and the body. I don't see it as a fallacy.
    If your telephoto is weather sealed and your wide angle is not, and you need the wide angle for the shot, then you just have to use the wide angle. There are plenty of alternative methods of protecting a camera from the elements that cost a heck of a lot less than a new lens, and there just aren't that many weather sealed lenses.
    Eric Lund
    Nikon D200
    Nikkors: 17-55mm f2.8, 18-200mm f3.5-f4.5 VR, 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 VR, 35mm f2, 50mm f1.8, 55mm f2.8 AI-S micro, 105mm f2.8 VR micro
    Other Lenses: Tokina 12-24 f4, Tamron 75-300mm f4-5.6 LD macro
    Stuff: Nikon SB800, Nikon MBD200, Gitzo 1327 Tripod w/RRS BH-55LR Ballhead, Sekonic L-358 meter

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Illinois
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    Exactly, there aren't many weather sealed lenses. The ones that are sealed cost a ton of money.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    6,590
    Weather sealing is mostly a marketing mimmick. You do not need it, but it does sound "sexy".

    The two DSLR manufacturers that do have a lot of weather sealed lenses only weather seal their pro DSLR models (Canon and Olympus), they know it is important for some pros (photo journalists, sports photographers and such who need to be in sand storms and rain storms while making photos).

    A Weather sealed DSLR is not made for submerging it in water, it is made to withstand a lot of rain and dust/sand from getting into the camera seams.
    If you happen to be a person that actually would shoot in streaming rain, then maybe a weather sealed camera + weather sealed lenses are for you.

    Otherwise... have you ever have a camera break on you for lack of weather sealing? I have not. My non weather sealed 1970's Nikkormat works fine. So does my 2000 Canon EOS 300 and my 2005 EOS 350D.
    So... it is likely a non weather sealed DSLR may be fine.

    On the other hand, if you do want a weather sealed camera (if you are worried about water spray and dessert sand), then do also get weather sealed lenses. Tricky thing there is that I do not know what Nikon lenses are weather sealed (not many I am sure, but actually finding real information about that is impossible.. strange), and Pentax only now is introducing some weather sealed lenses (are there any available yet?).
    Those two maniufacturers have relativily affordable weather sealed cameras.

    The two manufacturers with a good range of weather sealed lenses have either a very expensive pro DSLR (Canon EOS 1D mk II/III) or a very old DSLR (Olympus E-1) that are weather sealed.
    Canon EOS 350D, Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 macro, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC EX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM, Tokina AT-X124 Pro 12-24mm F4, Soligor 1.7x C/D4 DG Teleconvertor, Manfrotto 724B tripod, Canon Powershot S30

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
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    2,225
    OK, here's the dirty little secret. Coldrain's going to have a field day. It's a good thing we're in different countries, because he'd probably kiss me for this little tidbit.

    Nikon doesn't make ANY weather sealed lenses.

    There are a few lenses that have a rubber seal at the mount point, which helps prevent dust entering the camera, but that's it. None. Zip. Nada.

    So, the camera (D1/D2 series, D200) is weather sealed except for that BIG GAPING HOLE in the front where the lens goes.

    Guess what? It works as well today as it did yesterday, when you didn't know this.

    Have a nice day!
    Eric Lund
    Nikon D200
    Nikkors: 17-55mm f2.8, 18-200mm f3.5-f4.5 VR, 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 VR, 35mm f2, 50mm f1.8, 55mm f2.8 AI-S micro, 105mm f2.8 VR micro
    Other Lenses: Tokina 12-24 f4, Tamron 75-300mm f4-5.6 LD macro
    Stuff: Nikon SB800, Nikon MBD200, Gitzo 1327 Tripod w/RRS BH-55LR Ballhead, Sekonic L-358 meter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    300
    I'm surprised non of Nikon's lenses are weather sealed. How do you shoot in misty conditions? Do you have a lens bag or something? I see Canon shooters using weather sealed glass in many conditions... never a Nikon. I guess this might explain it.

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