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Author Topic: D700 Water Resistance  (Read 2063 times)

Ray

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D700 Water Resistance
« on: May 12, 2012, 03:39:06 am »


I heard of the announcement of the D800 when I was travelling in Thailand, and immediately wanted the camera, despite criticisms from my friends and loved ones that I am financially irresponsible in always requiring the latest upgrade.

Shortly after hearing this news, I was to embark upon a trekking expedition in the North West of Thailand, near the Burmese border, to visit the ancient Hill Tribe peoples of the Hmong and Karen.

I arranged for my own personal guide and porter, which was not expensive. I'm 69 years old, getting on 70, and have no desire to unnecessarily stress myself carrying my own backpack.

However, on this trek I was not prepared for the waist-deep crossings of rivers on several occasions. I was asked beforehand if I minded getting my feet wet, which I didn't. However, if I'd known before-hand that I would be required to cross a swift-flowing river on 8 or 10 occasions, on slippery stones, waist-deep in swift flowing water, I would probably have declined the offer. So I felt a bit misled.

The first crossings were ankle-deep. No problem. But the first waist-deep crossing was a problem. I'd transferred my wallet and passport to my shirt pockets (I always travel with sensible shirts that have two, large front pockets with buttons).

I carried the Nikon D700 around my neck with 14-24/2.8 lens attached, in case there was something interesting to photograph in the middle of the river. The guide and porter were ahead.

As I reached the opposite bank, within a couple of metres, my guide held out his hand.

I was distracted. Slipped on a stone and fell into the river. I suffered no major injury. Just a cut knee which bleeded for a while. But the D700 with lens got a complete dunking.

My guide immediately dived into the river to save the camera, but alas!, the D700 with lens had been completely submerged for at least 3 or 4 seconds.

After I'd clambered onto the bank, my concern was with the camera rather than my bleeding knee. Was it stuffed? It appeared to be so. Couldn't focus or properly expose.

I transferred my prized 14-24/2.8 lens to my D7000, and found with a sigh of relief that it still worked. The lens is more waterproof than the camera, thank God (although I'm not religious.)

Okay! Now to the technical part. After returning to my hotel, I placed the D700 body in direct sunlight, all day long. At various stages I could see the condensation on the rear preview screen, and on the top LCD screen. After a period of warming, the condensation disappeared and I hoped the camera would behave as normal.

Unfortunately not, but the 'drying out' did improve matters. I was able to use the camera in manual mode with some extreme adjustments, such as -5EV exposure adjustment for a normal exposure. Automatic or manual focussing was hit or miss. Manual focussing was the preferred option. The camera was still usable, and I subsequently took numerous shots in manual mode.

The attached image was taken after the accident. I transferred the 14-24/2.8 to my Nikon D7000 and was able, thankfully, to continue taking photos. That Nikkor zoom lens is not only as sharp as a prime, but waterproof too.

The guy in the water is my guide, and the other guy standing on a log on the right is the porter. I'm obviously behind the porter taking the shot. In the middle, the river was waist deep again.
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Rob C

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Re: D700 Water Resistance
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2012, 05:01:02 am »

Ray, I gave up on Rambo fantasies years before you; however, if you can't let go, have you considered the Nikon sub-aqua range?

;-)

Rob C

JohnBrew

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Re: D700 Water Resistance
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2012, 07:21:37 am »

Ray, I've shot with my D700 in downpours and had no ill effects on the camera. That said I did once accidentally submerge a small LCD television (on a bass boat, but that's another story!). I dried it as best I could and left it out in the sun for a day. Worked a treat.

Ray

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Re: D700 Water Resistance
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2012, 10:40:35 pm »

The great relief for me was the discovery that my prized Nikkor 14-24/2.8 seemed to have survivied the dunking without harm. The first thing I did with the camera was to remove the battery and give everything a good wipe with a dry cloth.

The camera was in autoexposure bracket mode. When I reinserted the batteries, it simply wouldn't work in autobracket mode, and never has since. Instead, on pressing the shutter button, the mirror flips up and I'm in LiveView mode.

I continued on the trek, using the 14-24 attached to my D7000 with no problem apart from an initial misting which soon clear up in the warmth of the sun.

At the time of the accident, I was aware of the D800 announcement and was very certain I'd be getting this camera. Reflecting upon upon the event and circumstances later, I wondered if Sigmund Freud's dictum was relevant here. "There are no accidents, just the subconscious having its way."

This is not to be taken too literally of course. There obviously are accidents that can occur which are beyond one's control. But in this case, I did have control. I knew the stones were slippery.

I expect to get delivery of my D800E before the end of the month. I'm not sure if I should bother getting my D700 repaired. It probably needs a new circuit board. At least that's the advice I got from the technicians in Bangkok. Unfortunately, Thailand had been the subject of extreme flooding towards the end of 2011. There was a long waiting list to get flood-damaged Nikon cameras repaired.

I continued using the camera in Thailand, in full manual mode, as best I could, rather than be deprived of its use. I explored the option of hiring a D700 whilst mine was in for repair, but my status as a foreigner excluded me from such a service. I can only presume that's it's too easy for an uncrupulous foreigner to hire a camera, then leave the country with it, never to be seen again.
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