Digital SLR cameras and their lenses aren’t cheap. In fact the best ones like those from Nikon cost a significant amount of money, so taking care of them and keeping them protected from external factors is a must. Protective cases do their job of safeguarding the equipment from bumps during carrying, but they can only do so much.
Shooting Under the Rain: Are Nikon Lenses Weather Sealed?
One external factor that is often ignored is weather and temperature. Water and extreme cold and heat can do a lot of damage to expensive camera lenses which is why when photographers shop for lenses they often ask: Are Nikon lenses weather sealed?
What Weather Seal Lenses Offer
Before jumping on the bandwagon and going ahead with purchasing weather-sealed lenses, it is important to consider what makes them different from regular lenses. First of all, weather-sealed lenses are best for photographers who often engage in outdoor and travel photography. This is because weather sealing gives more protection from moisture and dirt which greatly extends the life of your camera lens. These lenses have an extra rubber seal and housing that makes them resistant to dust. Although they are neither weatherproof nor waterproof, they are more durable than your average Nikon camera lens.
Are Nikon Lenses Weather Sealed?
First off, not all lenses from Nikon are weather sealed. In fact they are often called “weather resistant” instead of weather sealed to alert buyers that their lenses are not fully equipped for harsh weather. Nikon now have a wide selection of weather-resistant lenses. This includes some that are made for both film and digital cameras and some that are just made for digital DX cameras. It can be tricky to find the right one for your camera, but with a little research into compatibility you can find the right weather-resistant lens that will work well for your camera. Also, watch out because there are some lenses that have been discontinued. Look into those as well during your research.
How To Check for Weather Sealing
Checking the lenses to see if they are weather sealed is actually very easy to do. Just look for a small umbrella icon printed somewhere on the lens to confirm that it is weather sealed. If you cannot find the icon, just do a simple search for the model of your Nikon lens online to see its complete list of specs.
The Truth About Weather-Sealed Lenses
When you first hear the term “weather-sealed lenses” it might seem like a dream come true to finally be able to take your DSLR and camera just about anywhere, right? The truth is that although weather sealing makes your camera equipment a little more durable, you still have to be careful when using them under harsh weather. It is also good to note that even if your Nikon digital SLR and the lenses are given a weather sealed rating you should still invest in a waterproof camera bag and rain cover. This will ensure that your equipment is not exposed too much and reduce the risk of damage. Photographers should also note that although Nikon does advertise weather-sealed lenses, the warranty becomes void when the lens and the camera have been submerged in water.
What Conditions Can Weather Sealed Nikon Lenses Withstand?
There is a lot of argument about how well weather sealed lenses from Nikon fare against different weather conditions. Here is a handy list for you to check before you whip out your Nikon camera with its lens under different weather conditions:
- Light to medium rainfall – low chance of damage when cleaned immediately
- Light to medium snowfall – low chance of damage when cleaned immediately
- High to medium humidity – low chance of damage due to rubber sealing
- Heavy rainfall – high chance of damage due to moisture buildup on lenses
- Full liquid submersion – damage is guaranteed so it is best to avoid doing this
- Dust storms – low chance of damage when cleaned immediately
Some photographers are lucky and their Nikon lenses survived extreme conditions, but this is not true for all. When it comes to weather-sealed lenses, added protection for your camera is important. Keep a waterproof bag inside your camera bag at all times so you’re always ready in case rain starts to pour and there is no shelter in sight.