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Thread: Camera + Ocean = watery eyes, wrecked camera and lens?

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    Ausphotography Veteran Geoff79's Avatar
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    Camera + Ocean = watery eyes, wrecked camera and lens?

    Good evening all. Recently, with the end of daylight savings and an hour more to move in the morning before work, I have been getting out most every day and either surfing, of if the surf is no good I've been taking a few pics. This week was pretty poor on surf so I got in 3 solid days of some great photos. On Thursday, however, disaster struck:

    IMG_5646.jpg

    IMG_5647.jpg

    IMG_5648.jpg

    IMG_5649.jpg

    You're probably thinking, how the heck did he let that happen? Why was his reaction so slow and why was he still shooting as his camera toppled to it's death? All very valid questions I have asked myself too. The only answer is that I was in a stupid daze, eyeing off my next potential photo - a big panoramic shot from from Bungan to Warriewood. It looked awesome in my mind. Only problem is you need a camera to take such photos, and following what happened above my camera was soaked. I stopped the fall just before the camera impacted with the rockpool / rocks, but it got soaked by the wave you can see in the snaps.

    Holding back the tears I retreated to the cliff and tried to dry everything but it was a horror scene. 2 days later my camera and lens have been left to dry out. Amazingly, it looks like my camera will battle on wounded but working. The ol' Canon 40D has sadly lost all shooting details through the viewfinder - exposure, aperture, shutter speed etc. The electronics are stuffed but I can still use the top of the camera to play with and view all these settings. So that's manageable.

    The worst thing that happened, and the reason for this post. My very expensive and new Sigma wide-angle lens seems to be the main casualty. It originally would not register with the camera at all. Now it does, but it cannot auto focus anymore. It just does not communicate at all. No hint of auto focus at all. I think I can manually focus, but I have no interest in pursuing that.

    So my question is this - has anyone ever had this problem? Is it fixable? Is it expensive if it is fixable? Any do-it-yourself tips?

    If anyone can help I will come to your house and hug you. Any tips on what to do with my beloved lens would be most appreciated. Can't bear the thought of having wasted all this money.

    And while we're at it, is there any fixing the electronic display in the viewfinder of the camera? Or is that wrecked now for good?

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    Saltwater and electronics equals paperweight usually. Fresh water gives you a chance, but salt is deadly. My condolences.
    Last edited by camerasnoop; 13-04-2012 at 9:37pm.

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    A shame about your camera and lens and sorry I have no idea how to fix it. It is defiantly worth going into your local camera shop to ask for a repair quote though. BTW your first shot is excellent.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    sorry to hear this, not uncommon. salt water is the dearth of electrical gear. cheaper to replace than repair, sorry.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    It is often a good idea to rinse the stuff in fresh water if it has been immersed in salt water, then take it apart as much as you can and let it dry in the shade.
    Getting the salt out quickly is the key to giving it any chance of survival as salt is an electrolyte and will short out the contacts and grow green crystals which will only make it worse.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
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    Ahhh i understand your pain. My old Nikon f75 suffered the same fate hence why i was without a cam for a while.




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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    re rinsing in fresh water. The process as I understand it.

    Remove all batteries. (batteries/electrical current and salt water = corrosion!)
    rinse thoroughly in fresh water.
    Get rid of excess moisture
    Place in a bucket of rice (uncooked) for several days.

    The rice absorbs moisture and helps dry out the electrical/electronic gear.

    This has to be done as soon as possible after the initial soaking. The longer it is left the higher the risk of corrosion. So Geoff's camera might partially work now, but more than likely, the salt deposits, with electrical charge will see it corrode in the near future and fail completely. (sorry Geoff).
    Last edited by ricktas; 14-04-2012 at 11:38am.

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    Quote Rick : Remove all batteries. (batteries/electrical current and salt water = corrosion!)

    Note what Rick said, All battries !! Not just the main power one that wer're all used too, There is the little one like a watch battery that powers the time and date also, I would'nt have thought of that till I saw someone dunk there camera in a fresh water stream , He was a computor guy , That was the first thing he did , I would'nt even know where to find the little one , Better check the manual today PS : Sorry for your loss Geoff
    Canon : 30D, and sometimes the 5D mkIII , Sigma 10-20, 50mm 1.8, Canon 24-105 f4 L , On loan Sigma 120-400 DG and Canon 17 - 40 f4 L , Cokin Filters




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    Member FallingHorse's Avatar
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    The small back up battery is usually found in the main battery compartment but is housed in a plastic slide out 'tray'. At first glance, it is quite well camoflagued but easy enough to get out. By the sounds of things, it may be too late anyway
    Jodie

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    Formerly user: Arzuhl
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    Cannot add any advice to what the others have said but I do feel for you. I take a lot of Seascape shots and this accident that has happened to you is my biggest fear. Hope all works out for you.
    Cameras: Canon 5D MkIII, Canon 7D gripped.
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    Thanks for the posts and tips, guys. Had no idea at all about that second battery.

    I actually had the camera out and about for about 6 hours today and about 500 photos, with my 18-200mm. I'm worried after seeing Rick's post that this is maybe short-lived partial glee? The camera is still missing the viewfinder display, but otherwise works fine.

    The real problem - the thing that's eating me vigorously from the inside - is my poor Sigma 10-22mm wide angle lens. I paid many dollars for it and have only had it for a few months, and it just won't focus. When I put it on the camera it is a dead weight. You can adjust aperture and shutter speed etc, but it just doesn't focus at all. There is no link there to the camera.

    Has anyone got any tips for this at all?

    I've resigned to the fact that if the camera body dies I will upgrade and not lose too much sleep over it as I have got a LOT of use out of this 40D. But it pains me to think that I have really ruined this wide angle lens. Any tips, guys? Anyone here ever had the same problem?
    Last edited by Geoff79; 15-04-2012 at 12:29am.

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    Claim the camera and lens on insurance??

    Another way to remove moisture is to immerse in Metho for 24 hours. Then the rice bath. Works on iPhones!
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechawombat View Post

    Another way to remove moisture is to immerse in Metho for 24 hours. Then the rice bath. Works on iPhones!
    I really don't know whether the "metho" method should be recommended without some truly professional advice, sensors and the AA filter in front of them are rather sensitive to the types of fluid that can be used on or near them but i suppose if the camera is that far gone you may as well take a chance on destroying a few more bits. I wouldn't be too keen on metho being in contact with plastics in the body and wiring for an extended time either.

    As for iPhones, may as well do it anyway as they are a bit like toilet paper in the disposability stakes, people seem to flush them away every year or so.
    Andrew
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    So true I@M

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    Ausphotography Veteran vharperv's Avatar
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    i had the perfect solution for a while. had all my camera gear insured separately on my suncorp insurance policy and had a really small excess $50. had a couple of accidents and had Nikon completely wreck one of my cameras which was only slightly damaged. suncorp paid up happily and then this year my excess suddenly increased to $550 and my policy went up about 30% so now i am back to praying that i dont drop or damage anything.
    sorry for your loss. With the wide angle lens using manual focus shouldnt be too bad a problem (well it wouldnt be with my nikon 7000)
    Vera

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    Is it still working Geoff or has the creeping corrosion killed it by now? Enquiring minds need to know.

  17. #17
    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Really sorry to hear of your mishap, Geoff! I can only imagine how awful you must have felt as I know I'd be sick to the stomach!

    Would your household insurance cover it, or do you have specific insurance?

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    Member Coriena's Avatar
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    Love the colours in the first one, sorry to hear about the salt water though
    Canon 7D, 40D and 17 - 85 is usm, 100mm f2.8 macro, 50mm f1.8, 50mm f1.4, 70 - 300 is usm, Sigma 10 - 20mm, 70 - 200mm f2.8L

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    I have a question for you Geoff. Have you tried the 10-20mm on a different camera? It may well be that the autofocus won't work with the 40D as all of it's electronics are shot. Might be worth a go to see if it works. That way you won't have to replace the lens
    Regards
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    Member koputai's Avatar
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    As others have said, once salt water is in there your gear is effectively dead.

    It may work a bit, or for a little while, but as soon as the salt water hits the metal bits inside, whether mechanical or wiring, be sure the end WILL come.

    We recently lost a G12 to fresh water. My wife was out running and had it in her backpack. She was caught in a torrential downpour and the backpack
    tuned in to the worls biggest Camelback. She fished the camera (and iPhone) out of the pack, but it didn't look good. When she got home we put them
    in rice for about 12 hours, then into the oven on 45C for 12 hours. The iPhone came good (but never regained all functions and died a couple of days
    later. The G12 never woke up. I took it apart (I'm an electronics guy) and found several issues. There was one circuit board that sufferend corrosion
    of components and ribbon connector. In the end it was uneconomical to repair. And that was fresh water, salt is much worse.

    Cheers,
    Jason.
    7D, 350D and some glass

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