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Question about ""weatherproof lens.

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by jfdana, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. jfdana

    jfdana Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 23, 2013
    South Portland, ME
    I went out today in a storm to photograph waves and came up with this:

    View attachment 260628
    Stormy Wednesday by John Dana, on Flickr

    I like the photo, but the rain drops on the lens are clearly visible. My question is, how would a weather proof lens (I was using the PL 25 with uv filter and lens hood) make a difference? The PL25 worked great, got sort of wet to no ill effect. Short of built in wiper blades or Rainex I'm just wondering how weatherproofing would help with the image.

    Thanks, John
  2. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    The truth is that if you're not unlucky, then you can get away without having weatherproofing in almost all situations. However, since there are no seals, if you are unlucky, the water will seep into the lens and bad things will result. Weather-sealed lenses have seals to prevent that sort of thing. Granted, those seals can fail too, but it's a lot less likely.
  3. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    My GH2 + m.ZD 12mm just got 'sort of wet' and is now sitting on my desk as a very expensive paper weight... If nothing else a sealed lens and body will give you peace of mind.

    In terms of water droplets on your lens, a lens hood will help avoid them and a good microfibre cloth will clean them away. If you're working around salt water I highly recommend a good quality protective filter - you do not want salt residue on your front element...
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Salt can be dangerous. One advantage of a fully sealed system (body and lens) is that you can hose them down with freshwater to get rid of salt water residue.
  5. mangomonster

    mangomonster Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 10, 2012
    Weather sealing won't give your images any advantages, it's there to safeguard your electronics from water/dust/salt/etc...
  6. jfdana

    jfdana Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 23, 2013
    South Portland, ME
    So I went back to the drawing board, so to speak, and redid the raw with no compression and lower contrast. I'm not as happy with the wave, but the lighter sky tends to de-emphasize the circular raindrops. A good reminder that every image results from many compromises.

    Thanks for all your suggestions and I am very careful around salt water. When I was a kid, no one bought oceanfront property around here because cleaning the windows was such a hassle. If I knew then...
  7. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 All-Pro

    Weatherproof / Waterproof / Splash Resistant?

    These terms are definitely used w/o considering all the facts. Let's use the GH3 as an example. It carries an IPX2 rating compared to the Oly (E-M5) which I believe is only IPX1. On page page 116 Oly states, "Equivalent to IEC Standard publication 529 IPX1 (under OLYMPUS test conditions)". Under their test conditions probably says that the camera is tested under very specific conditions and not in open weather.

    IPX1 = Protected against falling water Equivalent to 3-5mm rainfall per minute for a duration of 10 minutes. Unit is placed in its normal operating position.

    IPX2 = Protected against falling water when tilted up to 15 degrees - Same as IPX-1 but unit is tested in 4 fixed positions - tilted 15 degrees in each direction from normal operating position.

    As it was explained to me, in the real world this is equivalent to a "very light rain", perhaps only a mist. It would only apply to the camera when the lens also carries the same rating, AND, when the flash is closed. If we add salt to the mixture (as was previously mentioned) you introduce a completely new dimension which could contribute to long term damage.

    Unless my camera says "waterproof", as in "can be submersed in water", I always use some sort of protective rain cover - just to be on the safe side. I consider such a rating to be a minor insurance policy in the event I get caught in a light rain. Would I continue shooting unprotected in the rain - probably not.

    Here's a link that defines each IPX rating:
    Waterproof Specifications
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