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Camera System

A Comprehensive Guide to Weather Protection for your Camera Gear

Rain, shine, snow, dust, humidity, high altitudes – whatever your situation, this article explains how to protect your expensive camera gear.

Gear is not made for display at home in a glass case. It is meant to be used, abused and exploited. To survive, professional gear has a lot of weather protection built in – but there are always weak links in the chain. Consumer or Prosumer gear subject to the same abuse needs a lot of TLC to work.

No matter what your situation, this article explains what steps you can take to safeguard your gear, and get it back home in the condition it left it.

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First, a quick primer on weather-sealing bodies

You can’t seal each circuit chip individually, so camera manufacturers resort to wrapping their camera bodies instead. They protect their circuitry with a metal chassis (usually stainless steel or magnesium alloy) treated to be resistant to corrosion.

However, there are always ports, lens mounts, battery compartments, card slots, etc that are weak links in the overall weatherproofing design. So over and above a weatherproofing body, there are weather seals. Higher end DSLR bodies like the Nikon D4 and Canon 1DX are expected to perform under the toughest conditions. What are their weather ratings?

You might be surprised to know that professional cameras, still or video, are almost always rated at:

  • 0°C-40°C (32°F-104°F)
  • Humidity – Less than 85% (no condensation)

Guess what the rating for an entry-level consumer DSLR is? It’s the same. Nobody guarantees 100& weather protection, and many professionals and enthusiasts are disappointed when their ‘weather-sealed’ cameras stop performing exactly at that moment for which they had bought the camera in the first place!

For this purpose, professionals resort to protection:

Different conditions require different methods of protection. I’m going to divide this article into three groups:

  • Constant Conditions
  • Varying Conditions
  • Camera Material and Construction

Constant conditions are when you have constant weather, good or bad. Varying conditions are those situations where the weather is unpredictable, and non-negligible changes are expected during a single day of shooting. Camera material and construction will deal with different materials, and how they react under different weather conditions.

Constant Conditions

Rain

Rain is supposed to be pure water. It begins as water, but by the time it lands on earth it might have already reacted with gases in the atmosphere and become decidedly acidic, alkaline or basic. It isn’t as bad as concentrated chemicals, of course, but constant abuse over a period of one year or so will strip away the outer coating of your camera, no matter what it’s made of.

Let’s assume it’s pure water. What could possibly happen? Water will seep through the imperfections and reach the inner circuitry. Water damage isn’t usually covered by your warranty, and even if it were, how would you feel about testing it?

The important thing to realize is that the camera has to be covered with something. This cover must be light, cheap when compared to the camera, and must not interfere with the camera’s or videographer’s operation in any way. Is there such a thing? Not really.

For light rain, you can try something like this:

For heavy rain, you have two options:

Get the point? There are too many weak links for water to seep into – you cannot plug every one of them without a full cover. Stay away from rain, unless you have an assistant with a canopy on your back. And even he can’t protect you from sideways rain.

Sub-zero temperatures

Most weather-sealed professional cameras will work at -20°C (-4°F), even though the manufacturer might not mention it (the Arri Alexa does). If this weren’t so, most of Europe, North America and Russia wouldn’t have any live broadcasts during the winter. Professional-grade DSLRs are used at -40°C without issues, and most high-end video cameras can be stretched to about -30°C.

As long as the temperature is constant and the camera is used at a constant rate (to keep the temperature generated by the camera constant), it shouldn’t pose too many problems. The internal circuitry can weather the elements a lot better than the human body can.

But what if you don’t have professional-grade gear? Carry extra batteries, and keep them close to your body so they stay as warm as possible. Wear something like the Manfrotto Lino Men’s PRO Field Jacket. Other than that, you can’t do much if your camera doesn’t want to operate after a certain point. Worry about your batteries more, and keep equipment stored in padded bags.

Within the operating range, though, the camera can stay ‘naked’ – as long as it’s not snowing. If it is, run for cover. Not only is your camera in danger of being exposed to condensation, but might also be in physical danger if what is falling happens to be hail.

If you do happen to be shooting at -20°C or so, please carry eye-piece warmers, otherwise your breath might freeze on the viewfinder/eyepiece and make shooting hell.

Heat

There are places on earth that have never seen snow or sub zero temperatures. These places are usually unlucky enough to see the other extreme – temperatures that can reach 50°C and higher. If the internal heat generated by the camera helps it in cold climates, it makes it worse in hot climates.

Funnily (only to those not having to shoot at these temperatures) the human body is better suited to high heat than the camera sensor circuitry. Heat also reduces the viscosity of lubricants within the lens, camera assembly, etc.

What do you do? You could hug the camera to stabilize the temperature – but that might burn you if you do it suddenly. Sharing the heat brings down the actual camera temperature. Okay, this isn’t always practical.

Higher end cameras have internal cooling fans. For the rest, you could use a fan:

You can also use a laptop cooling pad (not very efficient), a wet (not dripping) cloth dipped in water, a parasol or the shade of a tree or human.

High humidity

The rated maximum relative humidity of most gear is 85%. Most of them can be stretched to about 95% if the change isn’t very drastic. The weather sealing on a camera body stops large particles, but it can’t stop air and water vapor. Humid air (air transporting water) always enters and comes in contact with the circuitry. Now, condensation will not occur even when the humidity is 100%, as long as the temperature remains constant. But at such high humidity, even a small variation in temperature (which is bound to happen many times during the course of the day) can cause serious havoc – not something the camera can recover from.

If you’re working indoors or in a controlled environment, you could use dehumidifiers:

When storing gear, always use desiccants:

Silica gel can adsorb 15% of its weight in water vapor in a couple of hours. Instead of using one big sachet, buy smaller sachets to increase the surface area of absorption. As a general rule of thumb – when in a hermetically sealed box (no air can get in or out), 5 grams of silica gel are required per cubic foot of the box’s volume. The actual calculation is quite complex and depends on many variables, so it is always a good idea to add a little more than required.

When outdoors, there’s nothing practical that you can do that’ll work at 100% humidity, well, maybe luck. Some things you could try:

  • Use weather proof lenses
  • Better yet, don’t change lenses, filters, cards or batteries at all
  • Wipe your gear regularly, but not so much that it causes a temperature change!
  • Don’t try a ziplock bag – what is that? An extra filter for your lens?
  • Wipe your hands often
  • Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner when available

When storing gear in humid places (usually close to large water bodies like seas or lakes, etc), use a de-humidifying cabinet:

Lesson? Stay away from high humidity if possible.

Low humidity

Low humidity also affects gear. The human body needs at least 20% to stay comfortable. What happens when there’s no moisture in the air?

  • It gets dry, and there are lubricants in your camera that need the moisture
  • Static electricity becomes a serious concern

Just like cold dry air can crack skin, it can also impair the functioning of lubricants in your lens, shutter, etc. Much more serious is static electricity, which builds up when air becomes drier – all it takes then is for something (like your hand) to touch your gear, and – say goodbye to your circuit.

Usually, cameras are rated at a minimum of 25% relative humidity. If your working environment has humidity lower than this, try opening a window or boiling some water! Can’t do that? Then look for a humidifier:

When storing gear at low humidity levels, you’ll be better off using sophisticated anti-static devices like :

It also might be a good idea to wear one of these – one for each wrist!

Belkin Anti-Static Wrist Band with Adjustable Grounding

Snow

Ideally the same rules apply for snow as for rain. In the case of rain, water droplets, being more viscous, will ‘stick’ to the gear. Snow should just fall off, being much drier. A plastic sheet wrapped around the lens is all you need, or you could go for one of these if your setup is particularly expensive:

Aquatech Sport Shield 300

Wind

When I mean wind I don’t mean a soothing romantic breeze. I mean at least an 8 on the Beaufort scale. That’s about 72 kmph or 45 mph minimum. A life-threatening situation is an 11 on the Beaufort scale (108 kmph or 67 mph). Above this you are in twister land.

Are there any serious concerns that need to be addressed when working below 10 speeds? Yes. If you are recording sound, even small winds will ruin your day. For microphones, you need these:

K-Tek KR50180 Fur Windsock

Sennheiser MZW66 Grey Foam Windscreen

For slightly stronger winds, you can protect yourself with this:

6 ft Solar Guard Dual Canopy Beach Umbrella

What about storm winds? An umbrella won’t really hold, and one item to consider seriously is:

Coleman 6-Person Instant Tent

At really high winds, the wind speed might match the resonating frequency of your tripod setup, and cause vibrations while recording. Keep in mind, never protect yourself from only two or three sides – you will be creating a wind tunnel and make it worse. If you leave only one side open, you will create an outward pressure on you and your equipment. It’s one side or four sides. Remember that.

Dust/Sandstorm

Sand and dust is dangerous – not only for your gear but also for you. You have no choice but to fully wrap everything. Consider the tent:

Coleman 6-Person Instant Tent

No tent? Let’s talk about gear first. For DSLRs, you can use something like this:

Pro Underwater, Waterproof, Rain Sand Proof Marine Housing Case

For bigger cameras and gear, you’ll need something like this:

Portabrace QS-2 Quick Slick

For audio gear, try this:

Portabrace QSA-2 Audio Quick-Slick

Make sure your lenses have filters on them, and it’s a great idea to have lens hoods as well:

Fotodiox Dedicated (Bayonet) Lens Hood

To protect yourself, you’ll need these:

Oakley O-Frame MX Goggles with Clear Lens

Lightweight Arab Tactical Desert Keffiyeh Scarf

Howard Leight by Sperian 154-1013461 Folding Earmuff – Wire

Survival Air 2985 Dust Mask

Remember, if you are caught in a sand storm, stop and get to high ground. When in doubt, cover everything and wait.

Industrial Dust

If sand is dangerous, then industrial dust can be deadly. Different chemicals react to gear components differently, and corrosion is the greatest danger. You’ll need these for sure:

Portabrace QS-2 Quick Slick

For audio gear, try this:

Portabrace QSA-2 Audio Quick-Slick

To wipe your equipment (and yourself) clean, you will need these:

Zwipes Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

Digital Survival KIT

Giottos AA1900 Rocket Air Blaster Large

D-SLR Sensor Cleaning Brush

Black & Decker CHV1510 Dustbuster

Always cover your nose and ears:

Survival Air 2985 Dust Mask

MSA 454-10061535 Xls Cap Model Earmuff

Before you get into an industrial environment, know what you’re dealing with. Is it fine metal particles? Is it chemicals? Is it radioactive or toxic? Is it corrosive? Is it poisonous or allergic? When in doubt, follow the safety precautions recommended by the safety engineer/manual for that particular environment.

Volcanic Ash

Volcanic ash is not something to take lightly. It can be abrasive and chemically corrosive. You need protection similar to what was outlined in Industrial Dust above.

Always vacuum to remove ash. To clean up ash residue, it is first good to moisten it a bit, but too much moisture will make ash stick rather than come off. When in doubt, send in the gear for professional servicing.

Low Pressure/Altitude/Flying

Low pressure specifically affects moving parts – especially motors or drives. Instead of recording on spinning drives, it will definitely be better to use SSDs. DSLRs record on solid state media anyway – so there aren’t many issues. High altitudes have negligible effects on manual shutters, too.

Fans on high-end video cameras are usually for cooling, but that isn’t an issue at high altitudes. For hills, follow rain protection advice. For mountains, follow sub-zero protection advice.

High Pressure/Underwater

Waterproof cameras can be submerged in a bath tub or swimming pool – though you wouldn’t do that with professional gear unless it is housed in waterproof gear. There are two scenarios here: within 150 feet and deeper.

Sea level to 150 feet

All you need is an underwater housing solution for your particular camera. Good products must support at least up to 150 feet. For DSLRs, you can use this:

Ikelite eTTL Underwater Housing

If you are using a camera like the Arri Alexa or the Red Epic, etc, you’ll need a high end solution like a Hydroflex Remote Aqua Cam.

Professional underwater solutions also account for lighting, monitor, battery and cable support among others.

Deep sea diving

You’ll need a custom-made rig in a pressurized mini sub.

Mist/Fog

Mist and Fog are water particles suspended in air. It is fog if the visibility is one kilometer or less. Otherwise it is known as mist. For misty conditions follow advice as outlined under high humidity. For fog, follow rain protection guidelines.

Haze

Haze is dust, smoke and other particles suspended in air. If it is brownish it is haze. Follow advice for dust protection.

Airport Scanners/Radiation/Solar

Airport Scanners have negligible effects on gear – it isn’t something you can completely avoid or do anything about. Solar phenomenon effects on cameras during air flights are negligible for infrequent fliers. Frequent fliers can ‘ship’ their gear instead, but there’s nothing else that can be done reliably. Cosmic radiation doesn’t affect most commercial flying.

Radiation affects everything. It can ruin your sensor – but if you are in such an environment, your gear is the last thing you should worry about. Anyway, to shield from radiation, especially particle radiation, use a dense material – the denser the better. The traditional material used is lead:

Other acceptable materials are steel and concrete, but you need a much greater thickness. Any material will shield from radiation, as long as it is thick enough to absorb it.

Lightning

Cameras cannot usually withstand direct lightning strikes, and they are not designed to. Most cameras can withstand minor secondary voltages due to the large electromagnetic fields produced by a lightning strike in close proximity – but there are limits.

To take care of secondary voltages, you need a surge protector between the power supply and the camera:

Belkin Surge Protector

You need to properly ground the camera but a camera in motion is not likely to have proper earthing protection. A lightning air terminal – like the ones found on tall buildings – can also be used, but are not practical for a moving camera.

The best that can be done, if lightning threatens and you feel you are threatened outdoors, is to get into a car and wait. For your gear, a properly grounded metal container should protect your equipment.

Space/Cosmic Radiation

Radiation cannot be avoided – the sensor must have a clean line of sight during exposure, and NASA usually uses one camera per mission because that’s the most a single sensor can withstand.

Certain gear, like flash units, will need to be enclosed in thermal blankets to use as they are designed to. Lubricant modifications are also made to withstand the temperature and pressure conditions in space. Click here for more info on how NASA does it.

Here’s a piece of gear that will tell you exactly what kind of weather you are experiencing:

Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 Weather Station

That’s it for constant weather conditions.

Now let’s deal with varying weather conditions. These are scenarios to consider when moving from one type of weather situation to another, and where the change is sufficiently different to create problems of its own.

Varying Weather Conditions

From cold to hot/humid

I wear glasses. When it is hot or humid outside, there is a sufficient amount of water vapor in the air. If I’m sitting in an air-conditioned room which is at a lower temperature, the air is also less humid. If I suddenly open the door and step outside my glasses fog up instantly. Why?

When water vapor in the air come into contact with a cold surface, it turns into water – or condenses. Water, being a sufficiently viscous liquid, sticks to surfaces. This is dew. The victims can be gear, lenses, electric contacts, batteries, metal parts, etc.

A quick wipe can in most instances solve your problems – the key is to:

  • Not let water come in contact with electric/electronic circuitry.
  • Not let water stay on the gear, which may cause corrosion.

Can condensation be prevented at all? Yes.

First find a reliable weather service. Most services tell you the temperature and relative humidity. What you want to know is the ‘Dew Point’. There are apps out there that claim to tell you the dew point in your location – but no weather service can tell you the exact characteristics of the location you are in. The only reliable way is to use something like this:

Extech 45158 Mini Waterproof Thermo Anemometer and Humidity Meter

So what is the Dew Point? The temperature at which the outside water vapor will condense is the dew point. How low can it be? For human comfort, the dew point should ideally be less than 20oC (68oF). There are many places on earth that have constant humidity levels far higher than this, sometimes about and over 90%. At these levels the dew point is greater than 26oC (79oF).

If your gear is in a hotel air-conditioned at 21oC (70oF), and the temperature outside is 40oC (104oF) with a dew point of 26oC (79oF), you are sure to get dew on your gear as soon as you step out.

So how can knowing the Dew Point save you? The idea is to keep your gear at a temperature equal to or above the dew point. How is this done?

For one, switch off the air-conditioner if possible an hour before leaving. If you have no control over the air-conditioning, then try opening the windows slightly and let the temperature stabilize slowly. If you are in a difficult situation with no control, use this:

Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets

As soon as you finish shooting, put your gear in your bags, and wrap them while it’s still warm. You can also use sealed plastic wraps but for a lot of gear this is not a happy routine.

For most gear, though, if dew settles down, don’t freak out. Just wipe them off immediately with these:

Targus LCD Screen Cleaning Kit with Anti-Fog Cleaning Gel & Microfiber Cloth

Try to get your gear into direct sunlight, and remember not to switch on your gear until you are certain it is completely dry.

From Hot to Cold

Condensation also happens when you go from hot to cold climates. This is a more dangerous situation. Here, the warm air is inside you gear, and might also condense inside.

Before you step into a warmer area, seal your gear with this:

Ziploc Big Bags, XXL

Also throw in silica gel to absorb any moisture:

Pelican 1500D Peli Desiccant Silica

Don’t forget to organize your gear in separate bags – bags within bags offer better protection for critical components like batteries, memory cards, etc:

4″ X 6″ 4-mil Clear Resealable Zipper

Once you are inside a warmer room, wait for a few hours and slowly open your gear. The idea is the same as above – keep your equipment warmer than the dew point.

Long Term Storage/War/EMP

How is storage a varying weather problem? You have to store your gear for years while the world changes outside – each change impacts your gear. The cheap way to store gear is in air-tight plastic containers with desiccants thrown in, like this:

Snapware MODS Medium Rectangle Storage Container

But this isn’t really ideal for a lot of gear. For proper control, you need something like this:

102L electronic automatic digital control dry box cabinet storage

These dry cabinets come in various sizes. They usually have in built hygrometers for automatic control. Just to be sure it isn’t broken, you can throw in an independent device:

Ambient Weather WS-1171 Wireless Advanced Weather Station with Temperature, Dew Point, Barometer and Humidity

The idea for long term storage is to keep the enclosure moisture-free, at a constant temperature (as cold and dry as possible), with a pressure close to sea level. If you are extra paranoid, you can throw in a lead or concrete vault and store everything underground!

To electrically isolate your gear, in addition to the above, you can use Faraday cages:

EMP Cover EMP Bags Kit

LEWISBins+ Conductive Divider Boxes

Salt/Sea Water/Sweat and other chemicals

Prevention is the key here. Most salts are good conductors and can short circuit internal electronics. Chemical solutions, like alcohols or acids, are to be avoided – unless you like camera cocktail.

What do you do if your gear comes into contact with salt water? First, switch off your camera and remove the batteries IMMEDIATELY. Also remove cards and any other accessories or attachments. From this point on you have the following options:

DIY (at your own risk!):

Wash the gear with fresh water and leave to dry for a few days (not in sunlight!). If you have a reliable refrigerator you can dry it there. Keep the battery separate.

Professional Cleaning and Repair

The only reliable option. If you have high end gear used professionally, then you can’t have them die on you.

Under no circumstances should you continue to use gear once it has come into contact with salt water or sweat. In either case your batteries, LCD screens, etc are the most vulnerable. Especially the batteries – salt water corrodes batteries, and most batteries are not waterproof.

If you know you are going near liquid bodies, follow advice as per guidelines under rain and use something like this:

LensCoat LCRCPGR RainCoat Pro

Mechanical Forces

Gear gets dropped – sometimes from great heights. It also gets knocked about. Most professional padded bags made of cloth protect gear from small jolts and falls, and are usually weatherproof as well. But nothing offers as much protection as these:

Pelican Storm iM3075 Shipping Box with Cubed Foam

Lowepro Pro Trekker 300 AW Camera Backpack

Tenba Transport Computer Equipment Air Case

Always use the best quality foam, with a minimum thickness of two inches for best protection. Don’t rely on cheap brands – even though they might use the same materials, it is the design that makes the difference. If the design is perfect, the loads are distributed ‘around’ the gear. But there are limits to every bag!

That’s it for varying weather conditions.

Now I’ll try to outline some important properties of common materials used in the construction of professional audio and camera gear.

Camera Material and Construction

Magnesium Alloy

What it is
Magnesium is the lightest structural metal, and magnesium alloys are alloys in which the primary component is magnesium.

Strength and Weight
Magnesium alloy is used when weight is of greater importance than strength. Modern video gear is not designed to withstand great loads, and low weight is important. As such, its strength is comparable to steel alloys, so no major compromises are made. Due to its low density, its strength depends on its thickness.

Against temperature
Its strength reduces as temperature increases, but within the usual rated temperature range of most professional gear, which is about -10oC to 40oC, it shouldn’t affect performance.

Against Corrosion
Most magnesium alloy bodies are coated to resist corrosion. It performs similarly to steel against corrosion. Salt water is its nemesis.

Silicon/Semiconductor

What it is
Silicon is an element, and when used in electronics, it is more than 99% pure.

Strength and Weight
Silicon cannot withstand great stress while used as wafers. It has to be protected against dust or glass particles, or the surface might get damaged.

Against temperature
Silicon is a good conductor of heat, and therefore should be protected against high temperatures.

Against Corrosion
Being a semiconductor, contact with water or salts is suicide, especially while in operation.

Copper

What it is
Copper is a metal that is extremely ductile – which is why it is used in wires.

Strength and Weight
It isn’t very strong, and is mostly used in cables and connectors.

Against temperature
It isn’t very resistant to heat, and needs to be protected from it with shielding.

Against Corrosion
Copper does not react with water, but corrodes just being in contact with the atmosphere. You might have seen the green coatings that form on old copper structures. To prevent this copper is usually mixed with other materials to form alloys.

Steel/Stainless Steel

What it is
Steel is an alloy made by combining iron and other elements, usually carbon. The most commonly used type of steel for electronics is stainless steel. It is a type of steel that has a percentage of chromium in it.

Strength and Weight
Steel is very strong, with the disadvantage that it is heavy as well.

Against temperature
Steel is perfectly fine for normal operating temperatures.

Against Corrosion
Stainless steel is highly corrosion-resistant, and this is one of its strongest properties.

Plastic

What it is
Plastic is usually made from organic materials, but can also be mixed with inorganic materials to give it a wide variety of properties.

Strength and Weight
Consumer plastic is usually brittle and unreliable for heavy loads. However, plastic mixed with carbon fiber or other such materials increases its strength dramatically. There are endless possibilities due to which it becomes difficult to classify consumer grade plastics.

Against temperature
Cheap or poorly made plastics don’t perform well under temperature extremes – cold or hot.

Against Corrosion
Plastics are usually designed to resist corrosion.

Glass

What it is
Glass is usually made from silica (SiO2), and as we understand it, is transparent. Due to its wide availability (it’s basically sand), it is cheap and is used in lenses.

Strength and Weight
Glass has good strength but is unfortunately very brittle. It is also heavier than plastic.

Against temperature
Glass performs excellently in high or low temperatures, which is why it is still the preferred material for lenses over plastic.

Against Corrosion
Glass is highly resistant to corrosion.

Magnets in Microphones/Speakers/Headphones

What it is
Any material that produces a magnetic field is a magnet. Speakers and Headphones usually employ a permanent magnet.

Strength and Weight
Magnets are usually made of metals, and as such have good strength. However, if magnets are dropped, or subject to heavy shock, they lose some of their magnetic ability. A great shock can completely eliminate it. This is why it is advisable not to drop microphones or speakers.

Against temperature
Magnets lose their magnetism at high heats, but within the operating range of the equipment they are fine.

Against Corrosion
Magnets should be kept away from water and salt. Most magnets are metallic, and corrosion is a huge concern.

Chrome/Chrome plating

What it is
Chrome plating is a method of electroplating a thin layer of chromium over metal or plastic surfaces.

Strength and Weight
Industrial chrome is strong, but consumer-grade chrome is a very thin layer, and can be scraped off under a large stress – but it isn’t that weak either, and can take most normal day abuse.

Against temperature
Chrome usually has no problems in the normal operating range.

Against Corrosion
The primary reason why chrome plating is done is to protect the underlying metal or plastic from corrosion.

Cloth/Textiles

What it is
It is a flexible woven material that can be made from synthetic or organic materials. It is usually used for bags.

Strength and Weight
Cloth is not meant to be strong, and low weight is the prime consideration.

Against temperature
Cloths tend to catch fire easily. Even when ironed at high temperatures, it can lose its physical shape.

Against Corrosion
Mostly a non-issue, unless you use cloth made from specific materials that have its own corrosive properties.

Leather

What it is
It is a flexible material made by tanning animal hide or skin. Being organic, time is leather’s greatest enemy.

Strength and Weight
Leather is stronger than cloth, but heavier.

Against temperature
High heat for prolonged periods can ruin leather. Slight exposure is okay.

Against Corrosion
Leather can lose its value in low humidity. Being organic it is subject to degradation unless maintained with conditioners. Water is anathema.

Rubber

What it is
Rubbers are elastomers – materials that change shape under stress but return to their normal state when the stress has been released. Rubber can be natural or synthetic.

Strength and Weight
Rubber, as used in tires and such, can be quite strong. Rubber used in camera and audio gear are made to withstand falls, rough grips and knocks – and are used as a cushion over the alloy chassis to help grip the camera.

Against temperature
Different rubbers have different responses to high heat. On average, rubbers perform well under the normal operating range.

Against Corrosion
Rubbers are designed to resist corrosion, and this is borne by the fact that weather sealing gaskets are made of rubber.

Aluminium

What it is
Aluminium is a metal. It is the third most abundant element on earth after oxygen and silicon.

Strength and Weight
Pure aluminium isn’t very strong, and is light and malleable. But alloys can be made that make it a very tough metal. Its use in the aerospace industry bears witness to its phenomenal strength to weight ratio.

Against temperature
Aluminium is a good conductor of heat, about half as much as copper, but within the normal operating range of gear, it is fine.

Against Corrosion
The really cool property of aluminium is its corrosion resistance. However, in alloy form, this resistance can be weakened, especially with the contact of salts.

That’s about it. By now, you have enough information about various weather conditions – both constant and changing – and its effect on each material that makes up your gear. I hope with this knowledge you can better protect your gear!

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