water on lens

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on the rocks
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water on lens

Post by on the rocks »

What's the best way to avoid or overcome this problem spoiling a day's photos?

I have an Olympus TG-4. I've heard of something you can apply to the lens to make it water repellant?

Thanks in advance

robhorton
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Re: water on lens

Post by robhorton »

I've heard of people using Rain-X (intended for car windscreens) - not (yet) tried it myself though.

Chris Bolton
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Re: water on lens

Post by Chris Bolton »

I carry a small piece of 'chamois' leather, to wipe the lens with; unlike proper lens cloths, you can wring it out when it gets wet. It's not ideal for the lens coating but nor is sea kayaking.

Sean_soup
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Re: water on lens

Post by Sean_soup »

Hey up.

I used to have this problem with my Fuji XP-80, which was absolutely appalling for this. I tried everything I could think of, and I did eventually find a solution but it seems it's not going to be much help to you: I replaced it with the TG-4 I have now!

The various 'treatments' you can get to apply to the lens seem to be one of two things - they're either detergent or they're alcohol. (I think Rain-X is basically just isopropyl alcohol with an advertising budget.)

I can think of two possibilities why I'm happy with my TG-4 and you're not happy with yours. Either my lens is a bit cleaner (in the sense that there's no grease on it at all), or I have lower expectations than you having had a much worse camera before! I used Rain-X on my old camera and it may have helped a bit, but really not much and not for long. The best I could do was to have a few tissues in a dry bag, and maybe a few in a ziplock bag in my BA pocket or sweetie hatch and accept that there's no way to avoid a disappointingly blur-o-vision photo once in a while.

My XP-80 conked out before I had the chance, but I was just considering gluing a little bit of plane glass or plastic over the lens to give a flat surface I could wipe off with a squeegee, like a miniature windscreen wiper. (Impossible to do with a circular lens at the bottom of a recess.) No idea if it would have worked, but the Olympus cameras do have a removable lens ring so it's potentially something you could try on a spare ring or a filter adapter or something without modifying the camera itself.

on the rocks
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Re: water on lens

Post by on the rocks »

Thanks Sean, and others.
Generally I''m very happy with the TG-4 and have had many great results with it. It's that many of yesterday's shots of very close contacts with seals crawling over our boats and us were spoiled. I like Chris' suggestion of a small piece of Chamois leather and will give that a go

andynormancx
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Re: water on lens

Post by andynormancx »

Rain-X is definitely more than just isopropyl alcohol and works better than just having a nice clean lens.

However, while it is better than nothing, I do still end up with drops on the lens when I use it.

Sean_soup
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Re: water on lens

Post by Sean_soup »

on the rocks wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 10:46 am
It's that many of yesterday's shots of very close contacts with seals crawling over our boats and us were spoiled.
I saw those on FB. Yeah, frustrating, but they're still nice pics. :-)
andynormancx wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 11:12 am
Rain-X is definitely more than just isopropyl alcohol and works better than just having a nice clean lens.
However, while it is better than nothing, I do still end up with drops on the lens when I use it.
Yeah, fair point, my bad: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rain-X#Chemistry

Not only is it not only alcohol, it's not alcohol based at all. The solvent is a mixture of acetone and water. I'm sure that would be obvious from the smell -failing memory perhaps, it's been a while since I used it.

I used it regularly on my old camera, but it didn't really help at all. Mainly to do with the design of the camera I think - once there was a drop on the lens, nothing other than a dry cloth or tissue to wipe the lens with would shift it.

With my TG-4 I haven't tried it because I haven't really felt the need, though now that I've mentioned the idea I am quite tempted to pick up a cheapie Chinese filter adapter for it and have a play. I've sometimes wondered if I'd get better pics in some conditions with a polarising filter anyway, and it's handy having the facility to experiment without messing about with the camera itself.

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P4ddy
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Re: water on lens

Post by P4ddy »

I have a 50/50 dome for my GoPro. I heard of rain X but chose the cheaper option.....lick it.

seawolf856
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Re: water on lens

Post by seawolf856 »

Not sure how helpful this is going to be BUT I have suffered with the random spot of water on the lens of my remote mounted GoPro obscuring the perfect paddling shot just at the wrong time and it is EXTREMELY annoying. Like everyone else, my GoPro is voice activated so I can mount it on my helmet and also on a number of interesting mounting positions around the boat, including close to the waterline for great action shots, the trouble is I can't then reach the lens to make sure it is clear when I am about to take a photo or record a film - wouldn't it be great if you could shout "GoPro clean your lens" :-)
Anyway back on topic, the other night I was watching another crop of kayaking films and I noticed one particular kayaker was very adept at regularly splashing his remote mounted GoPro as he was filming a rough water passage and although the film was punctuated with big water splashes, the lens was repeatedly kept clear of that REALLY ANNOYING random droplet which obscures your most precious moments afloat and the resulting film was extremely clear and very good. With the correct editing tools I suppose you could even delete the lens cleaning splashes if they didn't fit well with the film but at least the footage you got would be clear.
The usefulness of 'lens splashing' can especially be seen on kayak surfing films where the camera is regularly hit by waves or is temporarily submerged only to resurface and carry on filming a clean sequence. Worth a try on GoPros but also the TG-4 and similar action cameras are waterproof so give it a dunk!

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Jim
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Re: water on lens

Post by Jim »

Dry bag and keep the camera dry.
I've only ruined 1 DSLR with this approach, and that was in the back of my river kayak when the bag popped open, not at sea where I keep it on deck. I have another which has a sticky mirror (but hasn't been used on the water for ages so unrelated) and another that has given up autofocus (and I'm pretty sure has never been on the water, I bought it for and mainly use it for astro photography), but never ruined one on the sea when using a dry bag.
I put a bar towel in on top of the camera so I can wipe my hands first - acquired with permission of the landlord many years ago.

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Re: water on lens

Post by Sean_soup »

seawolf856 wrote:
Wed May 12, 2021 9:25 am
Worth a try on GoPros but also the TG-4 and similar action cameras are waterproof so give it a dunk!
I often do with my TG-4, and it seems to work most of the time. With the XP80 it never did, only ever washed off the droplet and replaced it with a new one. The problem is that the lens isn't very big and it's surrounded by a bezel that makes it into the bottom of a 'dish'. If it was more like a plate instead (as it is on a Gopro) it would be easy to push the droplets off the side. You could even use a wiper blade. Eg - crazy idea that just popped into my head - a Vee wipe* on the paddle shaft.

* - Windscreen wiper for a motorcyclist's crash helmet visor. It's designed to be worn over your glove on the index finger of your left hand. But it would only work on a flattish lens without a sticky-up bezel around it.
Jim wrote:
Thu May 13, 2021 10:55 pm
Dry bag and keep the camera dry.
Or perhaps a box if it's on deck - pelicase or similar? Great idea. But that's a different camera and a different kind of photography to whipping a waterproof compact out of your BA pocket with one hand and grabbing a quick snapshot. Your bar towel alone would solve the OP's problem - a dry cloth to wipe the lens with - but getting access to it is not trivial in a situation where you barely dare let go of the paddle with one hand for a few seconds.

on the rocks
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Re: water on lens

Post by on the rocks »

Update
I bought some Rain X and applied it to the TG-4’s lens as instructed. I also attached a small piece of chamois to my camera strap. Had a great day swelly rock hoping followed by a fun session on North Stack tide race. No water drops on lens so no need to resort to the chamois. Very pleased. Two more days paddling this weekend so hopefully some good photos

Thanks for the advice

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