What do you think of weather sealed lenses?


#1

Dear Fujifeed Community,

I only introduced myself here yesterday but I already have a question on your recommendations towards weather sealing in gerneral and more specific to my situation.

In general: Do you think whether sealing is useful or just marketing?
Do you think it makes sense to have a WR Body when you use it with a non WR lens?
Can the body be damaged by something leaking through the lens into the body?
Do you think the main issue are the buttons and wheels on the body anyways?
Is there a smart solution for a do it yourself seal that does not involve wrapping up the whole camera in some kind of plastic bag?

More to my situation:

Since half a year I am using my X-Pro2 with a 35mm F2 WR lens to take pictures whlie out in the mountains. So far this was mostly skiing and I enjoyed this a lot! But to do so the camers just goes into my backpack with just a little neoprene wrap or without it. In winter this means snow melts and the whole thing gets a bit wet for quite some time. So far no problem.

As the season change I would like to take my X-Pro2 climbing and this makes me wish for a wider angle in the lens. First I considered the 16mm F1.4 but it is too large as jet again my space in the backpack or even hanging from my harness will be very limited. Now it would be down to the 18mm F2 or the 23mm F2 but I am also eying on the Laowa 9mm F2.8 ZD or a Rokinon 12mm as next addition to the arsenal.
I read a lot about the different lenses and currently the 18mm is on top of the list for the low price, wider angle than the 23mm and it’s compact size that is very important to me. I think I can deal with the potential drawbacks (or do you think the AF is to slow for ski action? sorry i have no experience with different lenses and I will not be able to put one through such a rough field test without buying).

Now my only concern remains if I might break the lens soon because of the conditions it will be exposed to while shooting in bad weather and occasional heavy rain and storing it in a sometimes wet pack and if so if this might also affect my otherwise WR body.

Does a lens without AF (like Rokinon) get into trouble with the weather at all or is the AF motor the main cause of trouble?
Are the WR lenses more resistant to punching and physical abuse than the non WR?
Maybe you even know about some lens or upcoming lens that would be as compact, wider angle (20-25mm focal length equivalent) and weather sealed -> if so: please let me know.

Sorry for the long text but I feel that this is a question many people taking photos in the outdoors may have and I think that the capabilities of the Fuji X System apply for climbing / skiing shots as muh as for street photography.

Thank you for your input!
/Leo

PS: Here is an extreme example that gave me a lot of hope for the Fujinon 18mm F2 but has mostly to do with temperature (snow does not penetrate seals as does water): http://danbaileyphoto.com/blog/yes-the-fujifilm-x-t2-works-just-fine-in-the-cold/


#2

It’s both useful marketing and a useful feature. I asked fuji about weather sealing, and it’s effectively rated as splash proof and they advised that it wasn’t good to leave water on the camera, ie to wipe it off asap

Yes a wr body is a good thing, and in many cases the lenses are cheaper than the cameras with less electrical components, so a splash proof camera is a good thing

Yes the camera can be damaged by something leaking through the mount. The shutter and the sensor are there

The main point of potential water ingress will be every single button, wheel, dial, lens mount and door (eg battery, SD card ports) along with the seems from where the camera is assembled

A plastic bag or clingfilm is pretty smart, it’s that or trust the manufacturer or buy a underwater housing

If you buy a non sealed, non electrictal lens like a Rokinon, then water can still eff it up, think sticky aperture blades, and focus rings along with stained glass elements

The 23/2 is really about 21mm and the AF is fast

The 18 isn’t the fastest or the slowest. Colossal DOF is easily achievable on the 18 so I wouldn’t worry too much…

WR lenses aren’t really tougher than non WR lenses, they just have rubber seals in them. You can still break them by banging them into things

The trouble with these ‘I did xyz to my camera with water, snow, etc and it’s fine’ posts is that there’s a degree of luck involved (maybe the water got inside but didn’t short anything out) and also a degree of the damage not being apparent until rust and corrosion rear their head some weeks (or even months) later

Based on your post I’d definitely keep my camera inside a plastic bag when it’s having melted snow getting onto it whilst it’s in your backpack


#3

Thank you for your input. I will reconsider not only on what lens to buy but also on the plastic bag - for storage I don’t see an issue, I just don’t want to get my nice Fuji usability and shooting experience wrapped in a plastic bag.

Nice input on the focal length as well, I read through you blog on the issue, too. (nice blog!).

I would be happy if other people would give their opinion, too. As you mentioned that a single example is not reliable at all. So speak up whoever shoots in rain without umbrella?

PS: Thank you @zellersamuel for editing the title.


#4

After a lot of consideration and reading around @AdamBonn s great page I opted for the 23mm f2 as I found the better deal on this lens than on the 18mm and still like the Idea of it being WR very much.

Also Fuji has announced a 16mm around the same size, that I might get at some point. So in the long run I think the focal length will get spread out nicer with the 23 for me: 35, 23, 16 (maybe some 12) sounds just like perfect.

So thank you for helping!