Winter, Moisture... camera protection

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Jess, Jan 22, 2005.

  1. Jess

    Jess TPF Noob!

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    I have been hesitant to take my camera outside as it's winter and even when it's not raining it's awefully moist. I have noticed though that there are plenty of photo's of foggy, moist or rainy days and I wanted to know what people opinions were on this.

    In fact, I'm taking a day trip to San Francisco tomorrow and judging by the weather where I live today, I expect it to be rather wet. Will my camera be ok if I want to do outside shooting?

    Any precausions I should take?

    thanx :)
     
  2. rmphoto

    rmphoto TPF Noob!

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    ya if its raining...
    this is my setup, homemade, 100% dry, reusable, can use a lenscap, plastic tightly surounds the eyepiece, hole for tripod not blocked.

    [​IMG]

    takes a while to make but only takes maybe 30 seconds to put on... its worth it. ive taken it out in pouring rain and came back completely dry underneath.
     
  3. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    You are using a Canon AE-1P? While that camera does have some electronic components, it's mostly mechanical compared to modern SLRs, and not as weather fragile. Try to keep it from getting soaked, and when you get home take off the lens and open the back to let it dry out if any moisture creeps in. You can get pouches of silica to put in your camera bag to help with moisture.
     
  4. rmphoto

    rmphoto TPF Noob!

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    thats true,,, i used to take my old yashica fr1 in the rain unprotected and had no problem.
    silica packs are a good idea.. if you cant find any go to the shoe store and snatch a few of of the boxes...
     
  5. Jess

    Jess TPF Noob!

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    Thank you both. I had actually had something like your plastic wrap in mind if I ever need to shoot in the rain. Glad to know it works. I'm also glad to know it's not necessary on just a foggy or misty day. Guess I'm just being overprotective of my new toy, hehe :)
     
  6. Rogue Monk

    Rogue Monk TPF Noob!

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    My understanding of it is that sea water will do crazy amounts of damage and should be avoided (sea spray and accidental drops in the ocean).

    Unless it's an absolute downpour, you're usually pretty safe taking it out. Just dry it off as much as possible when you come back in.

    In a pinch, I've used a ziplock bag with a hole cut in the bottom. Protects against sand at the beach too.

    Also, be aware that if its cooler than usual outside, when you bring it in you might get condensation forming (this also applies in an opposite way moving from air-conditioned rooms to sweltering hot summer days). This can slow down your shooting if it forms on the lens itself. Another plastic bag can help here (moisture forms mainly on bag instead of camera). You don't want to wait if you're staring at a critical shot.

    The cold can also make film brittle. It usually has to be pretty cold though When it drops below 0 degrees (celcius) in Canada is when I start to pay attention to this. If it is cold, don't use an auto winder. Instead, wind the film slowly by hand.
     
  7. Shinnentai

    Shinnentai TPF Noob!

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    rmphoto: How did you go about making the camera baggie you pictured? I have some ideas looking at the pic, but it'd be cool to have a description or tutorial.



    Oh, a general question regarding condensation: is there a reccomended way of transporting a digital camera from one enviornment to another so as to entirely avoid condensation? Is there a safe way to allow or encourage the camera to equalize in temperature? My setups & shots tend to be preplanned (I'm a film student), so I'm not usually rushing out anyway, and I like to play things safe.
     
  8. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    I put my stuff in a plastic bag as soon as I get in and seal it up tight, so any moisture will condense on the bag, and not my eq. My 50mm got moisture on the inside of the lens one day after coming in from the cold. I took off both caps and let it air out for a day and it's fine.
     
  9. rmphoto

    rmphoto TPF Noob!

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    just take a large enough bag, like a thick ziploc freezer bag, and cut the corner about an inch off. with that hole you will be able to stretch it over the very tip of your lense. the plstic will strech just enough so its a nice tight fit... then seal it on with some packing tap, which will be sticky for many uses.
    for the rest of the opening, just cut the size hole you need and tap it on the camera around the hole. i even cut a small slit for my cable release to go through!

    they ya go... a dry camera
     
  10. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I keep a couple of big zip lock baggies and a trash bag in each of my gear bags. Useful for dealing with bad weather shooting and the condensation issues discussed above. Also comes in handy when you get caught miles from the car in a rain storm.

    I also have specific cameras that are my high risk photography cameras. Gear that I can use in harsh conditions, and not worry about: blizzards, rain, mountain climbing, rowdy bars, etc... My choice is a Pentax Spotmatic. It's completely mechanical, except for the light meter (the meters are all broke on mine anyway). Built like a tank, takes great photos, and dirt cheap ($35 to $70).
     

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