Weather-sealed gear and lens front element

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Henry Richardson Forum Pro • Posts: 17,040
Weather-sealed gear and lens front element
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I know that weather-sealing is very popular and considered a very important characteristic for many people here. Cameras and lenses. Flashes too? Some won't buy without it. I, of course, can think of many photo scenarios when it may be difficult or even impossible to keep the camera dry. Rain, splashing water, etc. Over many years I have often been outside taking photos in the rain, but usually it is me wandering and walking for long periods. Just like I do when it is not raining. So, I am not constantly taking photos. I might take a few, continue walking, and then soon or much later take another one. Mostly in urban environments. I usually will carry my umbrella and that mostly keeps me and my camera dry as long as there is no strong wind. With strong wind then usually no umbrella. It, of course, can sometimes be a bit awkward to take a photo trying to hold the umbrella while also using 2 hands for the camera. Yet, I have done it countless times. When in the rain I just make a reasonable attempt to keep the camera and lens dry, but don't get anal retentive about it. When water gets on it then I try to wipe it off as soon as I can. Same for the front filter. Never had any problem. In very light rain then no umbrella.

My thoughts about weather-sealing after 45+ years of using many ILC cameras (SLRs, DSLRs, m4/3) is that I have never had any weather related problems with any of my cameras so this isn't a big deal to me. The E-M5 was the first I have ever owned that was weather-sealed, but none of the lenses I owned when I was using it were. My PEN-F, E-M10II, E-M10, and G3 are not weather-sealed. My experience is that in most cases having weather-sealed cameras and lenses are not of much use for my photography anyway because the biggest problem with shooting in the rain is keeping the front element clean. I use a lens hood and protection filter, but unless there is no wind and you keep the lens always pointed downward when you take photos you are still often going to get drops on the front of the lens. Actually, even if you try to keep the lens pointed down I still regularly get drops on the camera. Rain splatters and bounces off other people's umbrellas, raincoats, walls, signs, and even my own clothes. I have to walk around with one hand covering the front of the lens hood. Even doing that and using an umbrella I often get stray drops on the lens when I am trying to take a photo.

For those of you who shoot a lot in the rain or in conditions where water is splashing a lot (on a speed boat, wind-driven ocean surf, etc.) and you use weather-sealed gear how do you manage to not have problems with water drops on the front of the lens? Do you not care and just shoot with the drops there?

I have seen videos of people spraying their weather-sealed cameras and lenses with a water hose and I even saw one of someone who dunked it in a bucket of water.

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Henry Richardson
http://www.bakubo.com

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Olympus PEN-F
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