Weather Sealing Review and How to Photograph a Cycling Race

Weather sealing has been an anxiety of mine over the years (before I became a studio bunny) and I was never sure how far I could push it. A few weeks ago I decided to find out by shooting in the rain for two hours.

Long before I was a professional food photographer, I wanted to be a professional cyclist, so when a friend of mine asked if I would photograph his cycling race, I jumped at the opportunity. Originally the video was shot just before coronavirus lock downs came into play in the U.K., but rather than canning the footage I have used it to talk about weather sealing, which is something that a lot of photographers worry about. 

Before the job the weather forecast was not looking good, so I decided to take a few mitigating steps as discussed in the video. Thankfully everything came back in one piece, and hopefully the information can help you decide how much adviser weather conditions to put your cameras through. Camera brands are really vague when it comes to discussing what exactly their weather sealing is, and rightly so as it only takes one awkward rain drop to his the wrong part and you suddenly have a very expensive paper weight. 

Following on from this, I go on to discuss how I went about photographing the cycling race, how many shots I took, and the camera settings that I went with in order to cover the full event. 

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8 Comments

Robert K Baggs's picture

The thumbnail for your video makes me deeply uncomfortable.

Leigh Smith's picture

Almost exactly a yr ago. For the Little 500 Indiana University qualifiers. Twus a rainy day...

Sony A7ii

Leigh Smith's picture

Got a little muddy

RP UT's picture

Great shot, Leigh!

bluepanik's picture

I t tend to trust the weather sealing of my camera, but I don't trust at all the weather sealing of flashes... I suppose is good practice to cover them with a transparent plastic.....

Ziggy Stardust's picture

Olympus publishes the IP rating of some of its cameras - IPx1. Not much.

Imaging Resource did a home grown comparison that didn't look too good for Sony.
https://www.imaging-resource.com/articles/2017-weather-testing-nikon-d85...

Nick Bentley's picture

Awww shooting in the rain. As some one who shoots cycling professionally trust me the rain can become your friend. I do mostly mountain bike races and last year in Fort William we shot for 3 days in 55mm of rain each day. But I love the images the puddles made some amazing shots. We run Nikon kit witch is pretty hard to kill but a really simple cheep £4 rain cover is all I have in my bag for when it gets bad. But learning how to be able to use your bag to hold an umbrella over you is a top skill.

But some amazing shots and a good video ! My only criticism and it’s not so bad with the road stuff but people please don’t use flashes when covering cycleing. I have seem some very nasty crashes with the flashes putting riders off or blinding them momentarily. And as some one who used to race trust me it’s annoying.

I do second though if you shoot outside take a back up and always have a back up plan if the weather goes bad !! I’m also a big fan of a prime for when it gets dark

Also it’s taken me many attempts to choose a picture from Fort William but this one I think gets the point across.

Nick Viton's picture

I use a rain cover when shooting in the rain. It works brilliantly.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1500839-REG/movo_photo_crc01_wate...