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WR, how relevant is it?


Felipe Bosolito
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I am taking pictures since almost 40 years a lot, often when raining. Although i have never owned a weather resistant lens/camera until recently i never ever had a problem. When reading in this forum and blogs some people say WR is a big plus, others say it is overrated. Thus, my question: Who ever had problems with a non-WR or a WR-lens when raining?

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I am taking pictures since almost 40 years a lot, often when raining. Although i have never owned a weather resistant lens/camera until recently i never ever had a problem. When reading in this forum and blogs some people say WR is a big plus, others say it is overrated. Thus, my question: Who ever had problems with a non-WR or a WR-lens when raining?

Same here, you are so right! I never had any real problems in 30 years... And even with WR, I am protecting my gear with simple methods against direct and massive influences.

 

 

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All camera bodies WR or not have a massive hole in the front of them.

 

a bit of light rain has never damaged any camera I have owned, you just need to be sensible.

 

Is the WR worth the premium between the X-T2/X-Pro 2 and the X-T20 not in my opinion; but, are all the other upgrades between them combined worth the premium, maybe.

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...or useless and irrationally expensive if you don’t do any of this ( the majority don’t, methinks)..

 

If you run a risk you insure yourself against it, spending a lot more just in case, is not rational, like insuring yourself against hailstorms when you go on holiday in the sahara. Of course everything might happen!

Edited by milandro
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I find even with the WR i am paranoid, so when the rain gets to coming down even a little I tend to get headed to a dry area with a nice warm cup of coffee.  

 

OK, I'm a wimp, but gear is expensive and I like to play it safe.  I probably don't need the WR but I do like to have it.  If nothing else for the sake of confidence when the weather gets rough and coming in out of the weather is not an option.  That does occur at times as well - you can't stop a downpour when it starts in the middle of a four mile hike.  The better suited the camera is for bad weather the more confident I am about not having problems later.

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well, as for so many things that we discuss here, some people like to have insurance, even for things they never do.

 

like those who must have 4K video ( and the grip that goes with it) but don’t own the software to mount 4K video or have a 4K TV or monitor or a computer powerful enough to handle 4K.

 

In the regions of the  North of Italy there is a colorful expression about people bandaging their head just in case they MIGHT break it...

Edited by milandro
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If you've been shooting for 40 years, as I have, then you know that "way back then" we did not have water resistant, water proof anything -- except maybe for the old Nikonos.  I used my Minolta camera bodies (which still function to this day) and my Minolta lenses - from 16mm 2.8 Fisheye, to a Celestron 1000mm Telephoto in ALL weather.  I lived in Anchorage AK, and shot in rain, fog, snow, blizzards, you name it, I shot in it.  One of my Minolta's even took a swim with the fish - my SR-T101, while shooting a beaver pond.  The zoom lens was ruined but the body? Still works to this day.  Yes, these were basically manual cameras, not a computer, but still.  With regards to lenses the only WR lens I own is the 16 1.4. A fantastic lens.  However, I have used ALL my lenses in ice storms, rain, mist, and I've had no issues.  Once I used my 18-55 on my X-T1 while photographing a water fight between my grandkids.  One of them shot a blast of water from a water canon directly into the lens itself.  The only problem I had was a bit of condensation on the lens, and when I removed the lens from the camera I found some water on the camera flange - which I very quickly dried up.  I then put the lens back on and kept on shooting.    I've also shot in the Florida Keys, Dry Tortugas, heat and humidity abound and have not had a single issue.  So, to answer your question IMHO the WR is irrelevant to me.  But that's just me. Some folks fear for the equipment, I do not. I use it, and I expect it to perform and last.  Again, that's just me.

Edited by jlmphotos
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Well, for one thing, WR is a bit like a double edge sword. Whatever goes in needs to be "professionally" removed. It's not a 100% seal.

 

In that respect, you do need to care for WR lenses, a little differently at that.

 

I think that WR should not even be an "option". It should be a standard feature on all lenses and not have a price differential. We're all guilty of driving this market by merely discussing it!

 

It's just like smartphones. To me, all smartphones should be WR. We shouldn't have to worry about dropping one in the wash momentarily and face a static screen thereafter. For all the technological advancement they boast, a little moisture and poof!

 

Food for thought.

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I have found the desert with its sand and dust on windy days harder on cameras than the rain for the most part. I have had cameras shut down due to too much moisture (modern electronic non-WR, not older mechanical) but they always recuperated once dried out.

 

Doing journalistic work one is just at the mercy of various elements and not just the weather. While filming protests, I've had my cameras get pepper sprayed by police and sometimes the police also use water cannons to disperse crowds and I've been caught up in that. Sometimes at festive events, suddenly water is spraying around from an unexpected source. And in large crowds, it is easy for cameras to get bumped, shit spilled on them etc.

 

I find a bit of extra peace of mind from the added protection of WR. 

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I have found the desert with its sand and dust on windy days harder on cameras than the rain for the most part. I have had cameras shut down due to too much moisture (modern electronic non-WR, not older mechanical) but they always recuperated once dried out.

 

Doing journalistic work one is just at the mercy of various elements and not just the weather. While filming protests, I've had my cameras get pepper sprayed by police and sometimes the police also use water cannons to disperse crowds and I've been caught up in that. Sometimes at festive events, suddenly water is spraying around from an unexpected source. And in large crowds, it is easy for cameras to get bumped, shit spilled on them etc.

 

I find a bit of extra peace of mind from the added protection of WR. 

 

Sounds like a scenario where one cannot afford the camera to suddenly stop working.

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  • 6 months later...

Like many here I have not had problems with non-WR cameras in 40+ years. That said as an IT specialist I am only too aware that electronics is more damp sensitive than mechanical film cameras. The only problem I have had due to water (apart from condensation fogging lenses or viewfinder) was a shorted Sunpak flash gun in the 1970s, I was photographing city centre cycle racing in the evening and there was a torrential downpour. These days if it is that wet I am more inclined to head somewhere warm and dry for my own comfort, I rarely HAVE to be shooting in such conditions.

 

I am more comfortable with WR than without but not having WR would not stop me buying a lens or body I needed.

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I think it is a bit overrated by most people. Regular lenses can withstand some abuse pretty well is my experience.

However, if it comes in as a bonus, or for a slight extra, I'm in. It is not just protection from rain, but also from dust and sand. On windy locations around a beach, that is definitely a useful feature. But I have never abstained from shooting pictures with my kit at those same locations.

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Once I had to stay 1.5 months in Kolkata, India, where the humidity was off the charts, worse than what I have seen even in Florida. I remember my glasses turning completely white from the condensation every time I was leaving the hotel. The air itself was soaked in water.

 

First of all, changing lenses in this environment would be suicidal for modern camera. But even if the lens stays put on, you need WR, and you still need to put your camera in a plastic bag when you leave air conditioned room.

 

And even after these precautions I would not be surprised if something would corrode after prolonged use in your camera.

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It's relevant. WR is not fool proof, but it minimizes the chances of water/sand damage. I shoot outdoors almost exclusively and often in rainy, steamy, moist, humid conditions (nature photography). I fried a Nikon D90 once when water got into the battery compartment. And I had a camera 'raincoat' on it. Since then, every body I've gotten is WR. And most of my lenses as well.

 

I spend quite a bit of time in limestone forests here on Guam - these are basically jungles with lots of rocky substrate. It's hella humid there, and then you have the corrosive ocean air on your way to and from. Not had any repeat leakage since. And I don't usually shoot in rainstorms, but I get caught in them - the WR gives me peace of mind that a short time before I get the camera into the bag won't be a problem. And yes, condensation - when I come outside, my cameras usually get covered in a thin layer of it. None of my WR Nikons or Fujifilm bodies or lenses have ever had internal condensation (not noticed it at least). 

Edited by umijin
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Once I had to stay 1.5 months in Kolkata, India, where the humidity was off the charts, worse than what I have seen even in Florida. I remember my glasses turning completely white from the condensation every time I was leaving the hotel. The air itself was soaked in water.

 

First of all, changing lenses in this environment would be suicidal for modern camera. But even if the lens stays put on, you need WR, and you still need to put your camera in a plastic bag when you leave air conditioned room.

 

And even after these precautions I would not be surprised if something would corrode after prolonged use in your camera.

 

Fungus in lenses is probably the biggest problem in such climates, hot and damp. I have had it even in the UK with old lenses.

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YEs, I believe weather sealing is important.  Not important enough for me to move from the small Fuji camera to the larger ones.  I am currently using an X100F. It it always with me.  Rain or shine.  Yes, if it is raining I keep it under my coat as I would with a WR camera.  

I refuse to to give my camera to the power to have me stop taking pictures. :) 

This was taken 1.5 years ago with my X70.  It was raining a bit....

Monty

 20160604ds.jpg

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I think its slightly over-rated mostly because camera makers are either unable to or don't want to submit for ISO ratings which would clear up just how weather proofed something is.  All the same WR or not I use a rain sleeve to protect my gear in really bad weather.  Well ok its a plastic bag but still!

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As lenses now have a significant amount of wires, chips and motors, WR is not a bad idea. It does not affect my choice to purchase or not, but I appreciate the extra steps the manufacturer is making to help prevent an issue with my lens and their hard work. 

Warren

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I am taking pictures since almost 40 years a lot, often when raining. Although i have never owned a weather resistant lens/camera until recently i never ever had a problem. When reading in this forum and blogs some people say WR is a big plus, others say it is overrated. Thus, my question: Who ever had problems with a non-WR or a WR-lens when raining?

 

 

I use a X100T and a FZ1000 and do my best to protect them from dirt, dust and rain with simple means, beeing a lot outdoors. I will certainly upgrade to the X100F or its succeeder just because I love this camera, but I'll also buy a WR (my be the comming GX9 from Panasonic or the X-T2??) unit as well. I think it is stupid not to use WR knowing you are often in the rain and dirt. Best protection and experience in this field has Pentax, but they are miserable in video. 

Edited by WaveDancer
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In 2009 I ran the SF Bay to Breakers and wanted to take a photo in Ocean Beach. I accidentally dropped my Canon point and shoot camera into the sand. When trying to turn it on again, the lenses wouldn't pop out. Camera ruined, I couldn't repair it.

 

Fast forward to 2015 when I traveled to Iceland on a Winter photo trip. Beautiful and extremely wet country. I took several pictures of that waterfall and somehow the spray got into my very well built Ricoh GR camera, damaging the sensor with a spot that just didn't want to go away no matter how much cleaning I attempted. Another camera ruined.

 

So I decided to splurge on a Fuji XPro2 and XF 16mm F1.4 WR lenses.

 

Last year I traveled to Nuqui, on Colombian Pacific coast, one of the wettest places on earth. I spent nearly a week shooting around anything from crabs to jungle views. Typical conditions were persistent 90%+ humidity, rain, breeze loaded with sea salt, etc. I washed my gear every night with clear water - no damage whatsoever.

 

I must say, however, that the seal between the XPro2 body and the XF 16mm F1.4 WR isn't perfect: the inner lense regularly got fogged up, which was mildly annoying and required some wiping before being able to shoot. This seems to have been related to temperature changes going in and out of the jungle to the beach.

 

As a final word, I must confess I miss my Ricoh GR. The XPro2 with anything but pancake lenses is just too big to carry when climbing in the Andes. A WR Ricoh GR - or equivalent Fuji system - would get my money in a heartbeat.

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