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Archive 2013 · Lens choice for dusty environment?
  
 
JimT57
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p.1 #1 · Lens choice for dusty environment?


In a couple of weeks I am going to be visiting Phoenix. One afternoon I will be taking a group dune buggy type tour of the desert. Will have a group of about 4 vehicles and plan on photographing some action shots of the vehicles plus we’ll be doing stops a few places to take pictures – landscapes, cacti, etc. Should even have a chance to get a nice sunset, if the clouds cooperate.

Obviously while the cars are running there will be significant dust kicked up. I am worried about getting dust in lenses. I plan to avoid any lens changes, unless things calm down for the sunset. The two choices I am considering are the 18 – 200 VR 1 on my D300 for the action shots, and the D800e with the 70 – 200 VRII as an option. Maybe renting a 24 to 70 f2.8, or some other lens, might be good to consider as well. The versatility of the 18 – 200 or the 24 - 70 would be great, but I am concerned about lenses that are not internally focused since there seems to be more chance for dust to enter. Thoughts or recommendations would be appreciated.



Jan 14, 2013 at 03:30 PM
binary visions
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p.1 #2 · Lens choice for dusty environment?


I'd probably be more worried about selecting internally focused lenses than avoiding lens changes.

Whereas the lens on the camera will be exposed to the dust all the time, you can probably find a quiet moment or a bag to swap lenses in.

Plus, dust on the sensor can be cleaned. Dust inside the lens is a lot more expensive and difficult to fix.



Jan 14, 2013 at 03:34 PM
RoyC
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p.1 #3 · Lens choice for dusty environment?


An internal focusing/zoom lens with an appropriate application of gaffers tape to all seams on both the lens and body that you will not be using should work.




Jan 14, 2013 at 03:39 PM
ct8282
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p.1 #4 · Lens choice for dusty environment?


The prospect of doing this shoot gives me the woolies, but, perhaps the best approach would be to look at buying a rain cover for your camera and lens as this should keep most of the dust away from your gear entirely. Whilst the D800 and 70-200 vr2 are supposedly weather and dust proof I would rather keep the stuff away from my expensive gear altogether.

I don't think rain covers are too expensive. I once made one from the sleeve of an old rain mack/coat. Cut the sleeve off from the body leaving enough material on the body of the mack to wrap around your camera body too. And if the mack has elastic cuffs on the sleeves even better as you can make this fit nice and tight to the end of the lens barrel.

Food for thought....



Jan 14, 2013 at 03:50 PM
BenV
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p.1 #5 · Lens choice for dusty environment?


Get one of those lens/camera rain coats, it'll save you tons of headache of worrying about dust and stuff. As for changing lenses, I'd recommend not doing it. Sand can be a horrible problem.


Jan 14, 2013 at 04:05 PM
JimFox
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p.1 #6 · Lens choice for dusty environment?


Hey Jim,

Defintely get a raincover, or even better if you want, a waterproof cover for the camera and lens? If it will protect the camera from water, it will also protect it from dust.

Jim



Jan 14, 2013 at 08:17 PM
JimT57
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p.1 #7 · Lens choice for dusty environment?


Thanks Roy,

I had to look up gaffer's tape. Did not know what it was. Looks interesting and I'll have to try some. Do you have any specific brand you recommend that will not leave adhesive residue on the equipment?



Jan 15, 2013 at 12:02 AM
 

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JimT57
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p.1 #8 · Lens choice for dusty environment?


Thanks CT, Ben and Jim,

I have some rain covers, both the cheap plastic kind and a good one made by Storm Jacket. Great suggestion. I will certainly use them.



Jan 15, 2013 at 12:06 AM
ckcarr
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p.1 #9 · Lens choice for dusty environment?


I made that mistake only once in a sandstorm. Took months to clean the lens and stop the wierd grinding noise. and I was using a raincover on the lens.
Good luck.



Jan 15, 2013 at 12:50 AM
Jammy Straub
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p.1 #10 · Lens choice for dusty environment?


A solution
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=17357&is=REG&Q=&A=details

Not easy to operate the controls though.

Make sure you have gear insurance



Jan 15, 2013 at 01:12 AM
JimT57
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p.1 #11 · Lens choice for dusty environment?


ckcarr - I hope this is not as bad as a sand storm. Been in a couple of those in the Middle East. But I take your warning seriously. What kind of lens was it and what did you have to do to clean it? Thanks,


Jan 15, 2013 at 01:14 AM
JimT57
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p.1 #12 · Lens choice for dusty environment?


Jammy Straub wrote:
A solution
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=17357&is=REG&Q=&A=details

Not easy to operate the controls though.

Make sure you have gear insurance


Thanks Jammy - have you used this thing before? Certainly looks secure enough, but as you say, operating controls looks like I miss more shots than I get. However, it woudl keep the lens clean. Insurance is a good idea!



Jan 15, 2013 at 05:18 AM
James R
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p.1 #13 · Lens choice for dusty environment?


The key is not changing lenses. So, use the lenses that get you close to the action and concentrate on the race and forget the dirt. You can periodically use the internal sensor cleaner. Now if it is fine dirt, such as one of Phoenix's famous dirt storms, then put everything under wraps, including yourself.


Jan 15, 2013 at 05:32 AM





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