Gear mishaps are some of the more common tragedies in the photography world and it’s also something most of us will experience in one form or the other during our careers.
Even so, one universal truism remains and this holds for all electronics: Saltwater will end your device’s life and quickly.
That much was proven by the recent destruction of a $USD 10K Fuji GFX100 that got wet and that was that. Interestingly, it was encased in diving housing that should have protected it but, apparently, failed to do so.
The story comes straight from LensRentals. A customer brought in the aforementioned Fuji GFX100 and said that the camera just shut off for no reason in the middle of the dive. After Fuji ruled that the camera couldn’t be fixed, LensRentals decided to do a tear down to show us all what saltwater can do to a camera.
LensRentals founder Roger Cicala explains, “Removing 4-8 screws in most cameras lets you take off the tripod plate. If there has been water, you’ll almost always see corrosion under it; water tends to wick up along metal, often traveling a good ways from where it originally entered.”
The I/O ports are typically a good indication of whether or not the camera can be repaired, PetaPixel quotes Cicala as saying.
“Once you’ve seen that it’s considered not repairable for very good reason – replace the corroded stuff you see, and something that looks OK fails in another month or so. …That’s the general rule of water damage, ‘it’s always worse on the inside,’” he elaborated.
“[T]his should be a great example of what even a little saltwater does inside a camera. Seriously, everything we know about the incident indicates there was just a tiny bit of salt water that got the camera wet. It wasn’t immersed or anything. The camera worked for a couple of hours after that before going belly up. …I’ve seen a lot of claims that the GFX100 does well in the rain, and it may, because it has a big overriding top and rainwater is freshwater. But did you notice all those weather resisting barriers and gaskets in the teardown? Yeah, me neither. I did notice some wide-open areas around the command dials you could shine a light through, and pour water in if water happened to be around.”
You can check out Cicala’s write up by clicking here.
Have you ever had a mishap with a camera? Let us know your story – and your thoughts on this article – in the comments section below.
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