Weatherproof and Durability

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davidfung

Hi. Been using my Contax stuff and truly enjoying the craftsmanship and quality of the cameras. However, I am thinking of taking it out into the wilderness (deserts, etc). I am concerned mainly with the durability of these lenses under harsh conditions. Has anyone had experiences using Contax gear in the desert, mountains or forests?

In particular the following issues:
- How well are the lenses sealed against dust and particle penatration.
- How well do the surfaces protect against the environment? Will it rust quickly, or is it well protected?
- Does the lens to camera mounting relatively well sealed?
- How do the bodies compare in this regard? Which is the best, which is the worst?
- How reliable are they generally.

Anyway, thanks for all your experiences, David.
 

sml

Member
David,

I've been using my MF and AF contax gear in the past few years under very harsh conditions such as rainy forest, sub-zero landscape works, dusty situation etc. They've been performing very well just as any other first ranked gear e.g. Canon, Nikon. However, I think many people, including me, have those bad experience that machine will fail you sometime, somewhere disregard of the brand name. So use your proven set of gear and hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Good luck.

Simon
 
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davidfung

Simon, thanks for that. By that experience, I should really get some backup bodies. I know that there has been plenty of discussions about Yashica bodies, but to distill, what would be an ideal backup body? Conditions being, fully mechanical, light and cheap.

On another note, do you take extra steps in further sealing your bodies and lenses? Like putting sticky tape over small buttons, etc?

Thanks, David.
 

sml

Member
David,

For extreme conditions, such as continuous rain and snow, I would use a camera rain jacket for further protection. However, that may not work under windy situation due to more vibration and instability caused by wind drag. For moderate rain and snow, a small piece of cloth covering the camera seems to be a primitive solution but rather practical. BTW, changing of film and lenses would be quite challenging.

I got a Yashica FX-3 body many years ago and it worked pretty good. I now used a Contax S2 as back-up and it never fails me in extreme condition. Its titanium body was deformed due to heavy impact during a harsh trip but it is still working.

Simon
 

pkipnis

Well-Known Member
check out the EWA marine bags. They have an optical port and hand glove to operate the camera once it's in the bag. They are waterproof (!) to about 4 meters. Note: as in my earlier post, I found this bag very usefull in high dust and sandy conditions too.
 
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sol74

You don't need water proofing with the later Contax models. I have trekked round Japan with RX and 2 lenses - tropical downpours, well humid hikes, dusty cities, dropped, scratched... I have even had a strap break and have the thing fall from chest hight on to pavement - prism half lept out from camera... Nothing damaged -some tweezers put it back in position. The only problem i have had is PINAPPLE JUICE..... stupidly spilled on the rx's top plate - the citric acid in the juice had eaten into the rubber seals on the program/mode wheel - the thing now sticks and i am gonna have to get it services sometime in future. But this was my mistake .. BUILD QUALITY IS UNBELIVABLE. german/porche/japonese craftmanship at its best (and what mirror d&ening!!)
 
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