Best Weather Sealed Body?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by snegron, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. snegron

    snegron Member

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    Rainy season is in full swing here in Florida now. I plan to visit the Orlando theme parks soon and I'm debating what body I should take:

    - F with Ftn Photomic metered prism
    - F2A
    - F3HP
    - FM2N

    My issue is that I will be doing plenty of walking. Camera will be knocked around a bit due to large crowds, getting on and off the rides, etc. I'm expecting daily afternoon rain no matter what day I go. I am trying to travel as light as possible (one body, a 24mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 105mm 2.5). While I won't be shooting in the rain, I would like to feel somewhat safe with a body that can withstand at least a bit of rain drops (gives me time to put it away in the bag when it starts raining). Humidity after the rain is pretty intense though; that is my real concern. Which of the bodies I mentioned above would have better weather sealing?

    p.s. While I have used these cameras for many years, I never really had the need to test their weather sealing (except for the FM2N when I fell into knee-deep bat guano while doing a shoot in a cave near a rain forest back in the mid 1980's).
     
  2. Nathan Riehl

    Nathan Riehl Member

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    I brought my FM2n with me to Disney. Worked out really well.
     
  3. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I always thought about getting a Nikonos V for this kind of terrain.
     
  4. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    I had a similar problem and at the time had a F2AS and FE2. I didn't really think either one was anything near waterproof and really didn't want to chance a soaking. My answer was a Pentax IQ90WR which I bought new just for this occasion. It had a 38-90mm zoom and I was very pleasantly surprised be the job it did. I would rate it's lens as extremely good for a P&S camera. The camera allows the user to do many setting manually and I appreciated that. It's not a Nikon,but it's darn good. Oh, my FE2 and F2AS are long gone, but I still have that IQ90WR zoom. I freaked my deer hunting buddy out when we got back to the cabin by washing my camera in the sink. The Nikonos, which I've also own, would be a very good choice also. Of course it's a little more bread. JW
     
  5. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I use my Nikonos V out of water a lot with the 35mm lens. Actually more out of the water in harsh environments than under water. I also bought a $35 Nikon N75 a few years ago for a Disney vacation. Compared to the cost of the trip the camera was like a 'disposable' item. Turns out not only did the camera survive, it has become one of my favorite cameras to carry around.
     
  6. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    I lived in ARIDzona for a few years and they have gully-washer cloudbursts and wind storms that will knock the stuffings out of you. Two local schools called themselves the "Dust Devils" in honor of the mini-tornadoes in that neck of the...not woods, but rocks and cacti. When I had to go out and photograph these conditions for the local newspaper I would take my all-mechanical Nikkormat rather than newer electronic Nikon SLRs. The 'Mat never failed me.
     
  7. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I'd be more concerned about the lenses. That said, I go with the least electronics. A little water isn't going to kill a manual camera that is properly maintained.
     
  8. fotch

    fotch Member

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    I would think any moisture would be a problem. With any camera, maybe rust where you cannot see it? I got a Nikonos for this reason. YMMV
     
  9. MartinCrabtree

    MartinCrabtree Member

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    If you shoot in those difficult conditions F5's are available cheap these days. And they are built like the proverbial brick s*#thouse. Sealed lenses are needed to complete the job though.

    Then again you do see all those images from the Vietnam "conflict" that shot thousands of frames in the rain forest that is Vietnam via a Nikon F.
     
  10. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    The Canon New F1 has internal neoprene weather seals and so do the L series of Canon F.D lenses.

    Sent from my KFOT using Tapatalk
     
  11. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    I understand the Pentax LX is weathersealed. The only issue is that the only leans that will truly seal it is a 100mm Macro. My DA* 55 F1.4 would be perfect but it has no aperture ring.
     
  12. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    The best non-nikonos is the Nikon F3P or the F3T, both have the same weather sealing treatments of silicone applied to seams and joints as well as solder end connections. The Canon New F-1 neoprene seals have long crumbled and I would not trust them, neoprene is vastly inferior for this type of sealing long term and those cameras are quite old now.
     
  13. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    Of the one's mentioned, I'd go with the F3. Just based on the fact that they were used extensively by press photographers who could not control the weather. And a bit lighter than the F2A.
     
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  15. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I'm thinkin' the F3 also.
    None of the other cameras you mentioned are "sealed". The cameras are pretty snug and usually the areas around dials, rings and buttons have stepped surfaces so liquid doesn't just pour through. Unless it's a real soaker any one of them should do the job.
     
  16. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Canon's EOS 1V would tip my list for the best weather sealing of camera body, but also the most enduring. Sealing breaks down over time from many cycles of exposure to heat, cold, humidity and dryness, and all cameras that are sealed will usually have replacements made at the time of a major service. My EOS1N has been through patently atrocious conditions since 1994 and has never been serviced. It is sealed along the prime control area and back cover. Remember that a camera is only as good as the lens on the front -- this is where the consideration of weather resistance should be and is more important, all things else being equal.
     
  17. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    My Miranda Sensorex even worked in Vietnam, but I never took it out in the full monsoon months either. Many of the Nikon F's I saw used over there had just a standard prism and no electronics at all. I'm sure, knowing the military, that those cameras were brought in/rotated and serviced with the photog getting a serviced one in exchange. If not, they'd rust solid in a few months of use I'm sure. As cheap as most 35mm's are now you could almost treat them as throw-away-cameras and have several spare bodies on hand. JW
     
  18. ambaker

    ambaker Subscriber

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    I carried a Yashica TL Electro X for almost two years, in Vietnam. Never a moment of trouble.

    Sold it in 84, still working fine.
     
  19. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Unless you use an underwater camera and you use an ordinary camera consistently in heavy rain whatever weather protection it has you need to be prepared for some hefty repair bills.

    Sent from my KFOT using Tapatalk
     
  20. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    Mind you the Canon 1V came after the 1N which didn't quite fix the moisture issue from the 1; so Yeah, I would expect that Canon 1V would be quite sealed. My buddies at the other papers using 1 and 1N had those little top vinyl sticker covers over the top cover especially the left as a factory approved fix/preventive measure. A standard F3 is as sealed as you'd probably need getting wet at a water park excepting full submersion and very bad luck. Speaking from experience in shooting in pouring Hawaiian rain (its dumping right now as I type) the F3p and F3t are sealed beyond what most normal shooters (especially now I think) would be comfortable in shooting. The F4 maybe not so, I've had a few go funky in the wet; the seal (Neoprene BTW) at the front of the prism can let water in and cause a funky connection to the DP-20 which can effect the metering used in AUTO. If you catch the exposure shift/errors the F4 still functions correctly on Manual with at least spot metering. In regards to this area the F5 is better, a better and firmer connection and seal on the front prism area. I suspect the F6 with its non-interchangable prism has an extremely high sealing tolerances; Nikon has learned a few sealing tricks since the days of the F2.
     
  21. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    When I last worked as a PJ in the 80s I covered Africa, my last Nikon was F3 J, never had any issues in the rain. When I returned to Arizona my J stood up in heavy rain and dust storms. I have not seen many Js for sell, although both the F 4 and F 5 are weather sealed, I don't know if either are as well sealed as the J. My F3 J was ripped off from check baggage after 911 at LAX, I did not replace at the time, but later got a Minolta Weathermatic 35 with the 35 and 80 duel lens, and a Konica Off Road point and shoot with a 28mm lens for shooting in bad weather.
     
  22. snegron

    snegron Member

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    Thanks everyone! Looks like most votes are for the F3HP. Hopefully the weather sealing on my F3HP is still good!
     
  23. trythis

    trythis Subscriber

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    I think they were suggesting the f3p which is a little bit different.
     
  24. snegron

    snegron Member

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    In my original post, I only mentioned 4 bodies I currently own: F, F2A, F3HP and FM2N.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2014
  25. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    I have owned and used 3 of the 4 cameras listed. The FM2N is the only one I have never owned or used.

    I cannot comment on the weather sealing of the three cameras because I never used them under rainy conditions. I used a backup camera instead. The first backup camera I tried in the rain was a Nikon EM.

    When the rain caused the EM to short circuit, I replaced it with the waterproof Nikonos. The 35mm wide-angle and 80mm telephoto lenses I mount on the body can be used under or above water.

    https://flic.kr/p/8WWa9S
     

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  26. Pioneer

    Pioneer Subscriber

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    Ah, just go buy an LX. :smile: