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Thread: The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

    The current Digital Journalist has a report on the Holi Festival in
    Mathura, India. Danish Photojournalists, Klavs Bo Christensen and Carsten Snejbjerg cover it. The Holi Festival is a public riot of colored powders and water thrown about with great abandon. To protect their 5DMkII's in this envirnoment they took the following steps:

    "In the end we wound up using gaffer tape to protect our Canon 5D mk2's. In the morning a fully charged battery and a 16 GB flash card were loaded into the cameras. After the cameras were turned on, they were completely covered in gaffer tape. We both used a fixed 35mm/1.4 lens that was now not possible to change during the day. Even though the camera was completely covered in tape, we could still use the most important buttons and operate the camera."

    But one of the cameras severely malfunctioned upon returning to Denmark.

    Full story here.

    I still keep thinking the 5DMkII's (at least some) don't deal well with moisture.

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    Re: The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

    Quote Originally Posted by johnastovall View Post
    The current Digital Journalist has a report on the Holi Festival in
    Mathura, India. Danish Photojournalists, Klavs Bo Christensen and Carsten Snejbjerg cover it. The Holi Festival is a public riot of colored powders and water thrown about with great abandon. To protect their 5DMkII's in this envirnoment they took the following steps:

    "In the end we wound up using gaffer tape to protect our Canon 5D mk2's. In the morning a fully charged battery and a 16 GB flash card were loaded into the cameras. After the cameras were turned on, they were completely covered in gaffer tape. We both used a fixed 35mm/1.4 lens that was now not possible to change during the day. Even though the camera was completely covered in tape, we could still use the most important buttons and operate the camera."

    But one of the cameras severely malfunctioned upon returning to Denmark.

    Full story here.

    I still keep thinking the 5DMkII's (at least some) don't deal well with moisture.
    (cheerfully) did you read the article? come on

    its like saying they went over niagara falls in a padded barrel and were surprised at the bruises.

    In my lamentable opinion Michael Reichmann is to blame for this, and the internet, with his ridiculous field report that has now become mainstream opinion.

    It's a partially sealed camera. It's not a pro sealed camera. You can debate whether in this day with Pentax selling fully sealed entry level dslr's if Canon should do the same (they should) but you can't expect a product to do what it is not designed to do, duct tape or no.

    A dive housing/bag would have solved their problems. It is silly that they didn't use one, especially since the 5DII has live view. thats the real story.

    (cheerfully)

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    Re: The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

    Very interesting festival. In the article, they said that they had considered other means to protect the gear, but preferred to move more fluidly with the action. Their choice, but for a couple hundred bucks, one of the Ewa-Marine bags would have probably not been all that intrusive/obtrusive, yet protecting their gear against the sort of problems that eventually happened.

    Seems like anybody having even an inkling of taking the 5DMkII out into any possible weather, should make the investment and stash the protection somewhere in their bag to be able to pull it out to use. Let's face it, there is NO sealing of much worth on the 5DMkII, and folks should really know and understand this going in. Let's hope Canon finds a way to address this, besides advocating folks get a 1DsMkIII instead ;-)

    Sure did look like an interesting and colorful festival, and a challenge to capture.

    LJ

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    Re: The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

    A friend takes her family to Standford University's observation of this festival every year. Her kids and husband love it, but she keeps her 5D at a bit of a distance (or uses a less expensive VDO cam). Great fun for them (her husband, who is of Indian decent, really gets into it with the kids). http://events.stanford.edu/events/177/17789/

    This year some folks started to come toward her with the powder as she was shooting, and she politely said something to the effect of "come on guys, just taking a few shots here and don't want to mess up the camera". The reply was "yeah, it's 'cuz you have that nice camera that we're coming for you, haha". She wisely stowed her gear. But she always gets a few shots to share.

    I agree with Robert and LJ that a dive housing or similar is the way to go. In fact, having one would probably enhance the photo ops. significantly.

    My head hurts just thinking about all of the colored powder up my nose.

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    Re: The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

    Did we even think about this with film cameras? F1-n, F3, FM2, M7, etc? I had the F1-n and iirc it was the first with seals to protect the internals? But it was not sealed in the way we expect now, and would have been just as vulnerable to direct spray. Plus it would have been inoperable with duct tape! No autofocus...
    The EOS-1 was not fully sealed either. You have huge door where the film goes in. I remember these aftermarket rubber stickers you put on the top buttons to keep moisture out.
    Canon is definitely at a competitive disadvantage by not matching the D700 in terms of environmental seals. But it is debatable whether or not they are required when generations of cameras never had them. Moisture would have bricked any of them. Maybe they dry out and work again. Maybe not.
    Going back to LL and MR, you take a group of well heeled amateurs (sprinkle in a pro?) down to one of the most extreme environments on the planet and then total up the failures of cameras that are not spec'd to operate in these environments and then shame the manufacturer. I don't really get it. It makes for good website traffic but it is not a service.
    Am I off base?

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    Re: The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

    Did you ever shoot the Nikonos?

    I think people are trying more and different things (photographically) now, looking to stand out a bit. Loss or damage to the gear becomes an acceptable risk at times, at least for some. I know that I stand in more deep water than I did long ago. And I always travel (road trips) with chest waders. I would not have schlepped my gear out into ponds or rivers when I was a kid, but I have fun looking for a different (for me) perspective. Maybe that line of idea is part of what is affecting these choices. (?)

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    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

    Quote Originally Posted by robertwright View Post
    Am I off base?
    No, I don't think so.
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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    Re: The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

    No, Robert, IMO you're not off base at all. People do expect too much.

    And as for the high failure rate on MR's trip, a lot of that was due to those using rain covers improperly (from what I can deduce from simply reading). Placing a camera, especially a modestly "sealed" one in what effectively becomes a terrarium is asking from trouble IMHO.

    I have shot my 5D (mk I) in rather heavy rain (Thailand monsoon) by simply protecting it when not shooting, laying a cotton handkerchief over the top when taking a few shots, and then returning it to my shoulder bag under the rain cover. Never a problem. It may not always work out that way, but this is how I handled my old film bodies too.

    Mixing temperature deltas with humidity in a sealed, tent-like encasement isn't a great practice for any kind of equipment, and the folks in Antarctica got a good reminder of this.


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    Re: The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Allyn View Post
    Did you ever shoot the Nikonos?
    Yes, and I probably still have a couple old Nikonos IIs laying around here if I look hard enough. Absolutely outstanding small beast of a camera.....but it uses film. No way to get more than 36 shots at a time before having to reload, and then no easy way to post images unless you carry wet chemistry (or have a nearby lab to help), and a scanner with you. There are some recent entries on the digital side, but nothing that shoots full-frame, and surely nothing with the capabilities and exposure latitudes of the 5DMkII. This capture exercise by these shooters called for different gear, or the preparation to let their gear become somewhat disposable. They appear to have opted for the latter.

    Most folks that would attempt this sort of shooting would probably take a similar approach....seal your gear to protect it and allow you to get the shots, or shoot with it until it fails and hope you got what you wanted. Even pros that do this kind of coverage a lot either protect the gear, or pull out the back-up of the back-up body and know it will probably be toast. I think of the folks that go out down here in hurricane country when a big storm comes ashore and expose their gear. Most use cheaper digicams. The pros and experienced shooters use underwater cases. A few get lucky with limited exposure of their gear, but most of those wind up sending stuff back to Canon, Nikon or wherever to get it "repaired" afterward.

    With respect to problems or precautions with old film cameras....I shot my old Nikon F2s in some of the worst conditions a lot. I frequently had the prism fill with water where I could not see to shoot, but the mechanicals kept working. As long as things did not get totally immersed, it was not too much a problem to dry things off and out. Never had a film door leak, but then I was always really careful there. Todays' electronic marvels just have so many vulnerabilities with respect to temp and moisture, and tons more contacts in so much of the circuitry to almost guarantee problems. Just the way they are built and what they have to protect.

    I do think that these guys could have shot the same way with a case or good bag and would have gotten everything they did get without having the cameras trashed. Gaffers tape is not waterproof, where some duct tapes are. The duct tape residue afterward would be as big a nightmare, I think. Just seems like there were so many viable options and preparations that made more sense. In the end, they got the shots they wanted, and that is great, but one has to wonder if it was worth the sacrifice of the gear to get them? If somebody else was picking up the tab, maybe.

    LJ

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    Re: The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

    LJ, I agree with your comments. Today's gear is different. Exposing it to the elements, natural or otherwise is a choice.

    In Thailand it is currently Songkran which is the Thai water festival to welcome the new year (Thai new year). Traditionally, it was not a raucous water war, but today it is no environment for unprotected gear. I typically don't take my gear out during the days of Songkran Festival, though a housing or good rain cover would be OK in most cases. Actually, a 1DsIII would likely be OK, but for the Holi Festival which John started this thread on I'd rather have my gear completely encased.

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    Re: The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

    1 experience is a terrible way to judge the quality of anything. That said, every piece of evidence from a good source is worth something...

    We had a guy rent a 5DII last week because his had quit working after a light splash at a beach shoot. The symptom was that as soon as the camera was turned out the shutter was stuck on "release" so that it would take pictures until you turned it off. The next morning the camera worked fine again. I would never expect to see that on a 1Ds III.

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    Re: The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

    MR's Antarctica report from a few years prior also had issues with weather and Canons, fwiw

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    Re: The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

    I agree with most of what everyone is saying here, just wanted to throw in my experiences. I went on MR's '07 Antarctica trip on which some Canon camera's failed after shooting in a light rain/drizzle around the South Georgia Island. First, there were 50 photographers on this trip and almost everyone was shooting Canon DSLRs and ony one or two shooting Nikon and no Sony. Of course MR and few others brought some MF equipment (Phase one) for the good shooting days.
    Anyway, I just wanted to point out that of the people whose camera's failed that day (some were even 1dsmk2s), quite a few were using the 100-400L lens which as we know is not a weather sealed lens and worse, with its infamous push-pull design suck moisture and dust into the lens and camera. It may have been coicidence but I don't think so. Also, it is hard to say how careful people were changing cards and lenses if they had to. I made it fine with my 1d2n that day with my 500L, but I was careful to wipe extra moisture off the camera when I could. Another day we got rained on a little and I was using my 5d and again I was ok. Next time I go I would invest in some Kata rain gear for my camera just for added protection.
    No DSLR is waterproof and they are all just weather resistant and so you take your chances shooting in bad weather. Just bring two cameras and use your backup on the bad weather days.
    Finally it is hard to judge these camera's weatherproofness on such small sample sizes and with many different variables such as different lenses used and care that is taken to avoid problems.

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    Re: The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

    Hi Wayne. Thanks for relating your experiences here. It's great to get first hand info regarding the effects of inclement weather on the equipment. As you say, we typically have too few data points for accurate statistics, but we sure can benefit from the experiences of others.

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    Re: The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

    Welcome Wayne, just wanted to pass on an anecdotal story, in the same vein, about two yrs ago, I was in Paris for a long weekend with my wife. On these trips I travel light, just a XTi and two consumer zooms, a 17-50 Tamron and 70-300mm IS. Anyway, to the point, one night walking back to hotel we were caught in a sudden downpour, no umbrella or cover, most shops closed...anyway, the XTi and lens got soaked, tried to cover up under shirt or armpit, but the camera got drenched to say the least. I was sure it was a goner, got back to room toweled it off, took lens off and used a hair dryer sparingly, the XTi was fine by next morning, some times one is lucky, as I sure wasn't prepared.....I can only imagine how wet these cameras really got in the Antartica, but my guess is even with sealing on some of the 1D series cameras, the weather sealing would hardly have been optimally functional at the temperatures ...shrinkage...etc..

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    Re: The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

    I thought the LL article was useful . Unless you have had a camera die due to weather ,you may not appreciate the need for weather sealing. I am sure that none of the individuals that took the 5DII on the trip thought they would fail. I concluded that the 5DII was a really bad choice for bad weather photography. A number of the cameras failed while still on shore in the city before the crossing?

    Granted for that trip ,considering the cost and probably once in a lifetime nature of the trip, required a weather sealed body and a backup or a waterproof encasement.

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    Re: The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

    I do not get it. People buy a multi grand camera and then put gaffers tape on it and expect it to work after beingin bad weather. Spend a thousands on a camera buy an aquatec rain cover for $200. Would you buy a suede jacket for 500 bucks and wonder why it got ruined in the rain? Even my 1d's get aquatecs or for the 400 2.8 a think tank rain cover. David

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    Re: The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

    well though i'm a green hand in photography,i really apprecate you guys' kindness.

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    Re: The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

    After re-reading the original article, I am more impressed that the other 5D2 DIDN'T get completely ruined. Although I am sure an extensive cleaning etc, was needed. Have to agree with the right tool for the right job, and in this case the 5D2 users were unfortunate to underestimate what they were getting involved in. Wonder also, just how a 1D series would have made out in the same circumstances. Even these are not water PROOF models like a Nikonos.

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    Re: The Friendly War Of Color - 5DMkII's at the edge

    I used my 5D II while kayaking in Antarctica last January....it got splashed with icy water and got quite wet, but had no problems. A few weeks ago I stood in fairly heavy rain and some sleet photographing a parade in Fairview, Colorado with the 5D II and it got very wet, still had no problems. Eleanor

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