Podcast Episode

The Lensrentals Podcast Episode #56 – Why You Can’t Trust Weather Sealing w/ Chris Gampat of The Phoblographer

Published April 28, 2022

Each week Roger Cicala, founder of Lensrentals.com, hosts conversations about the art and science of capturing images. From photography to videography, film, history, and technology, the show covers a wide range of topics to educate and inspire creators of all kinds.

Why You Can’t Trust Weather Sealing w/ Chris Gampat of The Phoblographer

This week on the Lensrentals podcast, we touch on a topic that Roger has discussed for a number of years here on the blog – Why You Can’t Trust Weather Sealing. And to help bring the point home, we’re joined with The Phoblographer’s own, Chris Gampat.

Sit down and enjoy as Roger and Chris go through all the intricacies of the topic, from why they think the phrase ‘weather sealing’ is fundamentally misleading, to why all water isn’t created equal, what tricks you can use to keep your gear protected, and techniques to implement if your gear does get damaged by water or other weather.

Being the largest rental house in the United States, we’ve also likely seen more damaged gear from weather than anyone else in the world, and as a result, we’ve learned just about everything there is to know when it comes to weather sealing, and how to save your gear from the environment.

And as a special guest for this episode is Chris Gampat – Editor-in-Chief at The Phoblographer. The Phoblographer is an excellent resource for photographers everywhere, from gear reviews to DIY hacks, and everything in between.

Gear Mentioned In this Episode:

Resources Mentioned In this Episode:


0:45 – Our guest for this episode is Chris Gampat, Founder and Editor in Chief of The Phoblographer.
1:45 – Roger explains why he prefers the term “weather resistance” to the term “weather sealing.”
4:00 – All water is not equal. What types of liquid/precipitation are the most potentially damaging to cameras?
7:35 – While most manufacturers’ marketing claims aren’t backed up by third-party tests, there is one “water resistance” rating that is independently verified.
10:45 – There are several cheap and easy steps you can take with your own gear to mitigate damage in cases where you can’t avoid conditions like rain or dust.
16:00 – Chris and the other writers at The Phoblographer have reviewed tons of weather gear. Is there anything that works better than a simple plastic bag?
20:00 – Are there any manufacturers that put a higher priority on weather resistance than others?
27:30 – Break
28:30 – Joey is the Quality Control head at Lensrentals, so there’s a solid chance he’s seen more weather-damaged cameras than anyone else in the world. Here he gives some warning signs to look out for on your own gear.
30:35 – Is rice really the best option we have? What to do in the inevitable event that your camera or lens gets wet.
34:20 – Could manufacturers be doing more or is some amount of dust and water intrusion just a sad reality of physics?
41:05 – Vintage gear with minimal electronic parts can be a great option if you need something that’s going to be durable in tough conditions.
45:00 – Chris has a ton of exciting articles coming up on The Phoblographer, and they have a great app as well!

The Lensrentals Podcast is a production of Lensrentals, founded by Roger Cicala. Our production staff includes Drew Cicala, Ryan Hill, Sarah McAlexander, SJ Smith, Julian Harper, John Tucker, and Zach Sutton. Other contributors include Roger Cicala, Joey Miller, Ally Aycock Patterson, Joshua Richardson, and Philip Robertson.

Thanks to Jacques Granger for our theme song.

Submit a topic idea, question, or comment, leave us a voicemail at 901-609-LENS, or send us an email at podcast@lensrentals.com.


Author: Lensrentals

Articles written by the entire editorial and technical staff at LensRentals.com. These articles are for when there is more than one author for the entire post, and are written as a community effort.

Posted in Podcast Episode
  • Alex Greenfield

    One area that they are just starting to do is using electro-magnetic switches for buttons and control rings. This allows them to not have any opening to the inside of the camera and still pass control input using detectable changes in magnetic field. Other areas of interest are hydrophobic sealants and epoxy sealed electronics + heat pipes to carry heat away without needing air transfer.

    If a manufacture could achieve a IP56 rating with a body + lens that would be good enough for me.

  • Alex Greenfield

    Outex housing with silicon packs in side is the best, all around, option for difficult conditions from fully submerged to dust and rain and even condensation. I’ve used them in the past and I will be picking one up for my R5C.

  • Trey Mortensen

    Super late, but I’ll let you know what I did for my 6D (not weather sealed) + Tamron 24-70 VC (some gaskets). I grabbed a freezer zip lock bag, cut a hole in it, put the camera in, and poked the lens through, then gaffer taped the bag to the lens. Then I grabbed a rain baggie and gaffer taped the end of the bag to my lens hood (which I also gaffer taped to the lens to make sure it covered. I screwed a UV filter on (and tried to tape the end of that) as tight as I could.

    I took the set up to a Hari Krishna festival of color and it did great. I still have both camera and lens 8 years later and they’re doing great (though they had to go in for unrelated maintenance… cough Dropped cough).

    So rain sleeve and gaffer tape are good friends for sealing.


  • Athanasius Kirchner

    Roger doesn’t have any more NDAs!? Does that mean he’s retiring? ?

  • Athanasius Kirchner

    I know it’s pretty late, but, my recommendation would be to go with some sort of underwater protection, if you’re that worried. Something like a Dicapac bag, or an Outex housing if you’re super-paranoid. Plastic bags with rubber bands are good against rain, but saltwater and dust are mean, mean, super-duper mean, extra-awful SOBs. You need to have an entirely greater level of protection against them.

  • Henry Winokur

    You all mentioned simply carrying silica gel packs in one’s bag. Can you give some specific suggestions, on Amazon, since they have lots of them? For example, would you recommend the 2-gram, 5-gram, 30-gram, or 50-gram sizes or something else? Thanks. And as always, great show. Loved listening!

  • Karl Fiegenschuh

    Saltwater spray and gypsum dust (e.g., White Sands NP) do worry me, but I still want to make photos there. Your suggestions about wrapping your cameras in plastic bags with rubber bands makes sense. I can’t imagine how to do this: have a hole for the lens and another opening so I can operate all the buttons and dials, and still keep the water and dust off. Could anyone post a snapshot of a camera and lens wrapped as discussed?

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