Getting the camera wet

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Guns/Zen4, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. Guns/Zen4

    Guns/Zen4 Guest

    There was a fire on the street last night. And it was pouring rain. I took
    my D70 out to get some shots and got it wet.

    Here's my question: how bad is that? I didn't submerge it, I just took some
    pix in the rain. When I got inside, I dried off the camera with towels and
    paper towels, unscrewed the UV filter and cleaned it and put it back on the

    Should I be anal about not getting the camera wet?
    Guns/Zen4, Nov 28, 2005
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  2. Guns/Zen4

    Ian Tindale Guest

    I wouldn't worry about it. The camera might need replacing, but you'll
    be perfectly alright as long as you didn't catch a cold.
    Ian Tindale, Nov 28, 2005
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  3. No.

    You did well now don't worry about it. Getting them very wet or getting
    them wet often is not good.
    Joseph Meehan, Nov 28, 2005
  4. Guns/Zen4

    Ron Hunter Guest

    It might be a good idea to carry an umbrella in the future. Rain is
    pretty pure water (most places), and probably won't do any damage.
    Ron Hunter, Nov 28, 2005
  5. Guns/Zen4

    PTRAVEL Guest

    Cameras shouldn't be gotten wet. Even high humidity (over extended periods)
    can damage a camera. Take a look at Ewa Marine's products -- they make rain
    capes for virtually any camera and these work very well. I use one with a
    VX2000 digital camcorder. This is a $2500 camera, and I'm not about to ruin
    it. I've used it, with the rain cape, in torrential rain and it stays dry
    as a bone.

    As for all these people who said, "go ahead, take it out in the rain," ask
    them if they'll replace the camera when it is destroyed.
    PTRAVEL, Nov 28, 2005
  6. Ask me if I take my camera into the rain forest. Yea, that camera is
    over $1,000.

    It is possible to damage a camera in the rain, but frankly it is rare.
    I am expecting a cheap camera to take with me in situations where damage is
    more likely than most and where the quality of the results are not

    Some people would not dream of leaving the house without a skylight
    filter on their lens to "protect" it. I have never used a skylight filter
    for that reason (except when expecting salt water splashes) and in over 40
    years of photography I have never had a lens damaged in such a way that it
    effected the image.

    If the risk bothers anyone they should make their own decision.
    Joseph Meehan, Nov 28, 2005
  7. Guns/Zen4

    Jim Guest

    Yes, we know how you feel about this issue quite well by now. I must add,
    however, that exactly once in well over 60 years has a filter kept one of my
    lenses from getting hurt. To make a long and tedious story bearable, I will
    just post that I dropped an F3 and 100-300 zoom lens down on the ground
    while photographing in Yellowstone Park. Neither camera nor lens was hurt,
    but the filter was destroyed (the setup hit the ground lens first).
    Jim, Nov 28, 2005
  8. Guns/Zen4

    m Ransley Guest

    Pouring rain, probaby no damage since it was short in time, Did you
    remove the batteries in case of a short. But you never know. I left my
    A1 out for hours in the rain , took it apart opened it up and put it in
    front of a dehumidifier and I sill got rust under the aperature dial.
    Open it up and look for moisture and try to get it in a non humid
    environment. A dehumidifier will help. Equipment lasts longer at low
    m Ransley, Nov 28, 2005
  9. Guns/Zen4

    salgud Guest

    Widely varying replies here! I agree with those who advise you to keep
    the camera dry. I'm just guessing here, but I've handled cameras off
    and on since the 50's, film and now digital. I think you'd probably get
    away with getting it "a little wet" several times. Maybe more. But I
    also think that sooner or later, one tiny drop of moisture will get
    someplace that doesn't tolerate it, and your camera could be ruined. If
    you're lucky, maybe only an expensive repair. The cost of a waterproof
    bag for such occasions in miniscule compared to the cost of repair or
    replacement. I've even used a plain old plastic bag, with a hole cut in
    it for the lens to shoot thru, taped around the end of the lens and
    covering the rest of the camera. Used to carry one in my camera bag,
    just for this purpose.
    Hope this helps in your world.
    salgud, Nov 28, 2005
  10. Guns/Zen4

    Dirty Harry Guest

    On the same topic what kind of rain gear does you people recommend for a
    Dirty Harry, Nov 28, 2005
  11. Jim wrote:
    If you like them fine. However if I had been told that I would destroy
    one lens over 60 years of use if I did not use Skylight filters, I don't
    think I would use them. Just not worth it.

    BTW I have had lenses chipped from drops that would have likely
    destroyed a filter had there been one, but those chips are easily covered
    with black ink and the lens works as good as new. Of course I don't know
    it you would have been so lucky. Had it cracked the lens, then that would
    have been a whole different matter.
    Joseph Meehan, Nov 28, 2005
  12. Guns/Zen4

    Donald Gray Guest

    First off, I suggest that you pack a couple of plastic bags in the
    camera case - I went on a shoot - a long day in constant drizzle. The
    camera (An EOS 5 ) was in a plaki bag with the lens just poking out of
    a hole.I got soaked but the camera stayed dry...

    The main damage you are likely to get with any bit of kit that gets
    wet with ordinary water (not salt or other corrosive liquid) is by NOT
    drying out as soon as possible. Place the equipment into a drying or
    airing cupboard...

    When I was involved with service and repair of two-way radios, we
    often washed a printed circuit board , complete with call components,
    down in soapy water - rinse with fresh warm water and dry overnight on
    a luke warm radiator.

    Codicil: If you wash electronic kit, ensure that you remove all
    batteries etc...
    Donald Gray, Nov 28, 2005
  13. Guns/Zen4

    wilt Guest

    I've even used a plain old plastic bag, with a hole cut in it for the lens to shoot thru, taped around the end of the lens and covering the rest of the camera. Used to carry one in my camera bag, just for this purpose. <<

    In fact, I carry one of those inexpensive clear plastic ponchos in the
    camera bag specifically for those days where you get caught
    unexpectedly in a downpour. Camera bag and camera under the poncho
    with me, nice and dry (except the face or the lower portions of my
    trouser legs).
    wilt, Nov 28, 2005
  14. Guns/Zen4

    Scott W Guest

    I have had remarkably little problems due to getting my cameras wet. I
    have had my F828 soaked with salt water any number of times and whereas
    I try not to let this happen it comes out fine. Last year I
    photographed the Molokai Hoe canoe race, which is an open ocean race.
    I was in a small escort boat and we were getting a lot of spray from
    waves breaking on us. I had a dry towel and would dry off the camera
    every time it got wet. The camera is pretty resistant to splashes. I
    have taken a bit more care with the 20D but it also has been splashed
    with no ill effects.

    BTW this is what the race looks like from the escort boat.
    The waves were not all that big in 2004 but with the wind blowing we
    got soaked often.
    let it stay wet for more then a minute or so.

    Scott W, Nov 28, 2005
  15. Guns/Zen4

    Scott W Guest

    One more item, the video camera I had along did not do as well, it
    worked for the race but it died a few months later. I can't say for
    sure it was the salt water but I would guess it was.


    Scott W, Nov 29, 2005
  16. I drowned a Minolta Dimage X. We were fresh water canoeing in Fiji on a
    very rainy day. We had rain coats and my wife put the camera in the
    rain coat pocket to keep it dry. Later she discovered that the pocket
    was full of water and the camera was covered with water. When we got
    back to our hotel I dried out the camera thoroughly, even removing
    condensation inside the lens. Everything worked for one day. Then it
    quit. Since it was new, I sent it to Minolta for warranty repairs.
    They returned it saying that the damage was caused by water which isn't
    covered by the warranty. We did get a new camera through trip insurance
    and the Minolta statement that the camera failed due to water damage.

    What amazed me was that they could tell if a camera had gotten wet with
    fresh water. Apparently the fine metal circuit paths are not protected
    from electrolysis and fail rather easily when the circuitry gets wet. I
    have heard the same story about other cameras.

    Today, we take water proof bags and boxes when we go on vacation and
    don't take any chances.

    By the way, travel insurance is a good buy. We get it so that if a trip
    is cancelled due to illness or terrorist activity, we can get our money
    back. However, we have had two camera claims. The second one was when
    the steward on a South American airliner stole a camera. He took off
    with it when the plane landed. We reported him but all we got was a
    police report. The travel insurance replaced an old digital camera with
    the purchase price. That gave us a much better new camera.
    Stephen Henning, Nov 29, 2005
  17. Guns/Zen4


    How did the pictures turn out? :)
    , Nov 29, 2005
  18. Guns/Zen4

    Guns/Zen4 Guest

    Thanks for asking. So-so. I was really tired -- too tired to go back in the
    house for the tripod, so I handheld. The best 4 images are at the site
    below, but I'm not ecstatic about them. Could have done better.

    Interestingly, I just bought a Nikkor VR 24-120 lens on eBay and I'm
    anxiously awaiting it in the mail. It would have been an ideal test for the
    image stabilizer since I lost a lot of frames due to camera shake. Best
    exposure was 1/10 sec at f/4, ISO 200. Maybe I'll have to set fire to my
    neighbour's house one night after I get it. {Note to Thought Police: that
    was just a joke...}

    Comments are welcome.
    Guns/Zen4, Nov 29, 2005
  19. Nice photo, Scott.

    I wish I could help about cameras getting wet, but all I can say
    is try to avoid it unless the camera is advertised as sealed to
    some degree. There are a few that are that way. I think a light
    spash that doesn't soak into the cracks and is wiped up quickly
    shouldn't cause too much damage, but I can't guarantee anything.
    I haven't had my new camera for very long, but I've already set
    aside a day's shooting because it was raining slightly and could
    have gotten worse before I returned home. I may have missed some
    shots, but I still have a functioning camera. I may also have
    been too cautious in that case.
    Carrying a dry towel, perhaps in a plastic bag, seems like a good
    idea. Putting a plastic bag over the camera and just taking it
    out for the time it takes to set up a photo and snap the picture,
    then dry it off and back in the bag, is better than lugging it
    around in the rain. The measures you take should be in accordance
    with the value of your camera and your ability/willingness to
    replace it.
    Maybe we need something like a backpack with an attached umbrella
    that extends over the camera for shooting in the rain.(?) Maybe
    we need a camera bag that keeps a constant 70 degrees F. for
    shooting in the winter, perhaps it could run of a car battery or
    I have gone out in the car and just rolled down the window when I
    saw the shot I wanted. Just watch which way the wind is blowing.
    Fred Williams, Nov 29, 2005
  20. I dunno, that's why I bought an Olympus E-1 with weather sealed lenses. I've
    taken it through Niagara falls, and shot in a pouring rain for an hour.

    However to answer you question, hopefully you were lucky. If not, it might
    mean an expensive trip to Nikon (warranty usually doesn't cover things like
    water damage). There are ways to dry out electronics if you were unlucky.
    Michael Meissner, Nov 29, 2005
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