Saving a Camera and lens damaged by water
I’m the kind of photographer who tend to broke is photo equipment, call it bad luck or i’m goofy but it happened to me on some occasion over the last 25 years. But i outdone myself this time, i dropped my 3 months old Canon 7D and 400mm/5.6L in the water 😦
I was photographing frogs and just put my 7D with 400mm/5.6 L and with an Extension tube on my tripod, i put my camera bag on the ground and saw my kit falling in the pond , i quickly grabbed my lens by the hood but the ext. tube unlocked from the lens and my 7D did fall back in the water and was now fully vulnerable and making bubbles 😦
The first thing i did was to turn the camera OFF, remove the battery and CF card. I was about at a 10 minutes drive from my home, so i was able to put my camera and lens quickly in plastic bags with silical gel. I went to my local camera store and they said that Canon wouldn’t repair them because of the water. After that i got help from forum members (DPReview and Nature Photographer Network) that suggested rice, so i put rice also and transferred the lens and camera in separate plastic containers. I also removed the back cover on my 7D and unscrewed the lens mount on my 400mm lens to help air circulation.
I changed the rice everyday, and after over 48 hours i decided to try my 400mm lens which looked dry (no more water in the scale distance window), it didn’t get deeper than the scale distance window in the water. To my surprise the AF worked like a new lens, i tested it on a Canon XS, here is one of my first test shots:
This is a 100% crop from a shot taken in JPEG on a Canon XS.
After testing it i put it back in the container with rice to be sure that any remaining humidity would be eliminated. I didn’t touched my 7D for a full week, the top LCD was half filled with water, it took 3 days to completely dry out, even after 5 days there was still water droplets in the VF.
Well tonight i looked at my camera and the VF is now fogged, so i decided to try a battery in the camera (in fact 3) ….. well nothing happened. I declare my 7D officially dead 😦
I’m now waiting news from my insurance tomorrow, after that even if they don’t pay i will have to buy another 7D. At least i saved my lens, the camera took too much water to survive.
Hope that my post will help others save their equipment if it ever happens.
I found some tips here a couple of days later: