F100 for Shooting in Rain (Drizzle)?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by rdeanda, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. Hello,

    I would really like to shoot b/w in light drizzle. Can I safely use
    an F100? What concerns should I have about the lens attached? Would
    a 50 1.8 D be ok?

  2. I've had mine out in pretty heavy rain and have had no problems. Just dry it off well after
    you use it. Drizzle should be no problem.

  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The real issue is for how long you are exposing your camera to a light drizzle. If you shoot a few shots, wipe it dry with a towel and then cover it up with something like a plastic bag until you shoot again, it is unlikely that your F100 will be damaged. If you leave your F100 out in a light drizzle for an hour, you are asking for trouble.
  4. I’d use an umbrella or a bread bag but then I’m a
    coward. If it’s windy forget the umbrella. You can put the
    bag over the camera and screw on the eyepiece and filter then
    take a very sharp pair of small scissors and cut out inside the
    marks then reassemble it. Leave room for your hands. Don’t
    pull the bag down tight on the camera. The plastic bag will form
    a gasket seal in the threads. This worked like a charm for my
    first camera, a Nikkormat FTn.<br>
    My first camera had a meter defect when new and the day I got it
    back from repair it was drizzling steadily. I must have been out
    for about one and a half hours with no problems. I remember I
    shot Kodacolor II or 100 whatever it was called at the time. I
    decided I&#146;d be damned if the weather stopped me. <br>
    Oh, I did have a problem but not with water penetrating my shield.
    I kept getting water on the filter. I think I carried a wash
    cloth for this. Also I&#146;d been given a broken tripod and
    repaired it with epoxy. When I went to leave my final shooting
    location the water got to the epoxy and I walked a way with only
    two legs! The third one was stuck in the mud. I had to go back
    and get it. A very close call.<br>
    Remember the back on the F100 is not air or water tight. Once
    again I&#146;m a coward where water and cameras are concerned so
    I&#146;m not contradicting others here.<br>
    Dave Hartman.
  5. Never had a problem with mine, but if you don't have the F100 yet you might look for an F5. They're sealed better and you'll find a decent used one for less than the price of a new F100. Whichever you use, be sure to dry it off with a towel and store it out of the camera bag overnight so it really gets a chance to dry itself out.

    Aquatech makes rain covers for cameras, Kirk sells them. Several years ago I bought a simpler version and it seems to work pretty well, as long as it's on a tripod - mine's a little trick to operate the camera hand held with.
  6. Robert, Had my trusted F100 hiking in Scotland last year for three weeks - it rained (and/or sleeted or snowed)every day but one. No problem. Just be careful with it as you would with any camera equipment. And I did use the 50 1.8D as part of my gear. Enjoy.
  7. I once left my N80 in the field and went off to some urgent errand. Before I was back, it started to pour heavily. The camera was fitted with the 105/2.8 micro. I promptly took the camera off of the tripod and dried it off the best I could. Thanksfully it was turned off. I took the battery out and did not attempt switching it back on in 8-10 hours. I did take off the lens and there was water between camera and lens mounts. After I switched it on, it continued working as if nothing had happened. The lens was jut fine, too but I could feel some slippage in the normally mushy aperture ring which went away soon.

    An F100 should be able to do at least as good if not better. But then, I may just have been lucky. I would still not feel compelled to take my camera out in the rain willingly.
  8. I don't worry too much about drizzzle.As has been reccomended just wipe it off now & again.Take a bathroom hand towel with you to soak up the moisture now & again. The only Nikon I had fail due to water was a Nikonos;I was choked.
  9. I got a 500$ CAD repair bill after shooting in drizzle. I used it before for hours under all kinds of rain without problems though. The F100 is not sealed.
  10. The F100 is not sealed, but holds up quite well in my (and many here) experience. The 50mm is NOT sealed at all and would probably choke before the camera.
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I sure hope nobody gets the false impression that it is "OK" to leave the F100 out in a drizzle for a long while. Maybe a number of people have done exactly that without any problems, but even though there is, for example, merely a 10% chance that your F100 will be damaged under such conditions, why take such a chance? The F100 is certainly not sealed and there are a lot of little gaps water can get in.

    If I must shoot under such conditions, I would use my backup camera. For a while I had an old N8008 for that type of purposes. Use a plastic cover, a towel, etc. as mentioned earlier. Worst comes to worst, in case you get unlucky, it is only your backup camera.
  12. You need to protect the F100 and lens bodies from rain. Fog or an occasional drip won't hurt, but streaming water is a disaster in progress.

    A clear shower cap, with the lens sticking through the elastic works well, as does a Zip-Loc bag with a heavy rubber band around the lens. The front element is reasonably well sealed, but I wouldn't leave the camera pointing up.

    You need to protect your camera bag as well. I use LowePro AW bags, which work well even in a downpour with the cover deployed.

    Kama makes camera rain-suits for the less improvisationally inclined. That's on my short list for Europe this summer (I'll be on foot a lot). I always carry 3 or 4 1-gallon Zip-Loc bags and rubber bands too.
  13. I would use my backup camera.
    Murphy's law... I had sold my back-up two weeks before the F100 broke.
  14. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Erick, always have at least one backup camera, always. Besides shooting in the rain, sometimes I go on canoe trips, etc. I always bring my backup camera in those occasions, with cheaper lenses too. In case the thing overturns, my loss is somewhat limited. Especially if we are talking about canoeing on sea water; no type of sealing can prevent serious/total damage. Fortunately, so far I haven't had that kind of accidents.

    Hopefully my good old D100 will fit that backup role in the near future.
  15. These are all great responses. I thank all of you for this valuable feedback. I did not know that the F100 was not sealed. My main camera is an N80. I was thinking of getting an F100 and demoting the N80 to backup.

    I do pamper my gear and always keep it in my Tamrac backpak or Tamrac Messenger bag. Both of these have given me great protection under pouring rain.

    I live in Southern California so rain is really not an issue normally. However, it appears that we have been getting the rain that is normally destined for Seattle. After seeing a photo in the F6 catalog of farm workers in the rain, and another one of James Dean walking in NY in the rain, I was bit by a bug...
  16. I just spent the evening shooting in the rain with my F100 and a 50 1.8D attached. I protected it under my jacket when I was not using it for a moment and everything went fine, as it always does. The ability to shoot in the rain is one of the reasons that made me upgrade from a N75 to the F100
  17. Mike McCurry's standard cameras for several years have been F100's. He works extensively in places like India and Afghanistan, rather harsh climates. If his cameras didn't perform reliably he'd probably choose another model or brand.
  18. do you mean Steve McCurry?

    although I think it might be a stretch to speculate about how he treats his gear and how that would apply to anyone else. Nor is the south / southeast Asian climate uniformly harsh, there's plenty of good weather too...
  19. What about just using a little electrical tape on the back of the F100 for those rainy days? ... or dusty days?
  20. Oops, sorry, Andy. I was talking about boxing while writing that reply and thinking of former welterweight champ Mike McCallum. Somehow I got those names confabulated.

    Anyway, I'm basing my opinions about the F100's durability under adversity on Mr. McCurry's own statements. He seldom describes his photographic journeys as strolls through gentle meadows.
  21. Now I'm really in a bind. I have been trying to decide between an F100 or a D70. I want "semi pro caliber" but surely don't want to spend $2000 on a D2H that is already obsolete based on MP count (for those that are counting anyway)

    Now rumors are flying of a D50 and/or D70s. This means that Nikon is willing to pump out cameras at both extremes and nothing in the middle. I would be happy with a Digital F100.
  22. Robert, why worry about a dSLR becoming "obsolete"? They'll all become obsoleted every year - or sooner - through incremental changes and, mostly, marketing hype.

    Look at it this way: By sticking with 35mm for so long (as most of us have, otherwise we wouldn't be participating on a Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Minolta, etc., forum), we've already tacitly agreed to a compromise. Otherwise we'd all be shooting large format or, at least, medium format.

    How large do you plan to print? How much post processing are you willing or able to do?

    There's a lot more involved in choosing a dSLR than megapixels. If you keep chasing that rainbow you'll never get to the end.

    Meanwhile, there are photos to be taken.
  23. Sounds to be like you really want (but don't know it) an F4s.

    The upside, if you find yourself in a bad neighborhood, you have a conveniently brought along a club.

    The downside, is the damn thing weighs a ton, but rugged? I can't compare it against other machines, but once I climbed out of a hole half my size on the side of a cliff in the Negev desert after exploring some Nabetean ruins that were sliding into time forgotten. I was filthy, the camera COVERED in dirt.

    Dirt and dust? Rain? Nothing phased that machine. Another advantage, it's already obsolete, so you don't have to worry about that aspect.

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