shooting in the rain

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by van_do, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. Hey guys, i had a question and i was hoping that you guys may be able to help me out!
    I was just wondering how safe is it to shoot Film outside in the rain? I've always wanted to shoot during the rain but i didnt know if it would be safe or not. Would the rain damage the body or the lens of my camera in any way? I shoot with a Nikon N80 and have an AF Nikkor 50mm 1.8D lens and an AF Nikkor 28-85mm lens.
    I would also like to know the same about digital. How safe is shooting digital in the rain? Im sure its much more risky but im curious to know.
    Please let me know soon, thanks a bunch!
    -Van Do
  2. Use an umbrella? Watch out for humidity. Depending where you are, taking a camera from a very humid environment to a dry one, or vice versa, can damage it more than getting some drops of water on it. I've shot in Seattle during the rain with an umbrella pretty successfully, but I try not to when I can help it.
  3. thanks a lot dave!!! i will definitely keep that in mind and ill be sure to bring an umbrella!
  4. Van Do, People have done it for a long time, especially photojournalists. When I was shooting movie sets, there would often be a lot of water. I placed my cameras in a plastic bag, and placed a slightly smaller hole where the lens would go, and screw in a filter, leaving room for my hands to go in the opening. I've noticed gear is for sale on BHPhoto (and probably others) made by bag manufacturers, that cover the camera and lenses. It is safe so long as you dry out the camera afterward.
  5. thanks a lot dave!!! i will definitely keep that in mind and ill be sure to bring an umbrella!
  6. great info michael!! i really like the plastic bag idea!! its cheap and seems like it would work!
    thanks a bunch man!
    -van do
  7. There are protective housings both hard and soft sold for SLR's. I have an Olympus 35mm P&S with a 28-100mm lens that is weatherproof. There are several weatherproof 35mm and digital P&S available new and used. The 35mm ones can be gotten in good used condition dirt cheap.
  8. Van,
    Use an umbrella!
  9. as this posting has nothing to do with Nikon, I expect the mods to move it to Casual Conversations...
  10. it's quite often that I shoot in the rain and quite honest, it's never been a problem. Having said that manual cameras as a rule can take a lot more abuse than the electronic ones because they were or are better sealed. Lenses are a bit more tricky though.
    Rain sleeves are probably a good idea when using a camera in a heavy shower but I've never used them myself. An umbrella is not such a good idea though since it will leave you one-handed.
    Given that you use a N80 I would suggest that if it rains too hard for you to step outside unprotected it will rain too hard for your camera as well. On the other hand rain can create the most fantastic opportunities.
  11. It has to do with Nikon equipment as implied in the question is whether it is safe to use the Nikon equipment mentioned in the rain.
    You can get some parts to rust if you shoot unprotected in rain a lot. However, I think a few drops here and there should be ok. I use an umbrella, plastic bags attached with double sided tape, as well as a more elaborate commercially available rain cover for bigger camera+lens setups. I haven't had camera failures due to this but I did get some rusty screws early on on some film cameras when I didn't protect the camera in any way. But no actual functional failures so far.
  12. I used a rain sleeve to photograph Niagara falls with a D700 and a 14-24. There were a few spots of water on the camera even so, and it was certainly humid, but everything survived. My big recommendation is make sure you've got a protective filter on the lens (if you've not got a UV there anyway) - the 14-24 doesn't take one, and getting the water spots off involved sending it to Nikon.
  13. I've shot in an absolute downpour with no problems, in heavy fog on a boat in the bay, in spray on the ocean, etc. You can get some amazing saturated color in the rain. My rainy shots are some of my best, IMHO. Have done this with film and digital SLRs (Nikon F100 & D200).
    In the worst weather, raining cats & dogs, I had a long raincoat on, with the hood up, an umbrella with a U-handle that I could hold with my neck & forearm, and I had a plastic bag on the camera but not covering the lens. I had a jacket under the raincoat that held a lens and some extra film in the pockets. The umbrella and big coat effectively gave me a "tent" in which to change lenses or film if need be. This outfit was fine for short walks from the car, but would have been cumbersome and too hot for a hike.
    On the road in Indonesia, far from home, I had one of those special camera sleeves mentioned in another post above. It was sort of a hassle to shoot through it, and I felt like it limited my motions due to its heaviness and lack of flexibility. But it probably protected the camera more thoroughly than my prior method. It rains there all the time, so if one wants to take pictures, one must prepare for it. I combined the camera cover with a rain-cover on my photo backpack and went all over the place like that. Note that the folding travel umbrella is a real joke to work with in this kind of scenario. If you're hiking, wear a hat and just resign yourself to getting wet. The less you have to carry on a wandering trail through the rain, the better - there might be muddy slopes to climb, for instance.
    Most importantly, take one or two towels with you. A small soft one, like a facecloth or a microfiber towel, should be kept in an inner jacket pocket to wipe your camera lens periodically or to get the water off ASAP should the camera get wet. The other is to dry you off when your hands or face get wet. You need to dry your face or your camera gets wet looking through the viewfinder, and you need semi-dry hands to operate the equipment too. Don't mix towels - keep your camera cloth clean and mostly dry so it is ready to do its job. Its job is to keep your lens drip-free and possibly save your equipment from water damage.
  14. at


    You have been given some very good advise. But keep in mind the camera/lenses you mention are NOT waterproof in any way. Maybe "splash proof"...maybe. A few drops of water in the wrong place
    could ruin your gear. Be careful and listen to what others have posted.
  15. All good advice but does not apply to sea spray which has a high salt content. Beware!

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