July 25, 2014, 03:21:01 AM

Author Topic: What happens to a non-sealed speedlite when getting wet?  (Read 2406 times)

Marsu42

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4356
  • ML-66d / 100L / 70-300L / 17-40L / 600rts
    • View Profile
    • 6D positive spec list
What happens to a non-sealed speedlite when getting wet?
« on: April 15, 2012, 08:16:38 AM »
I've got a 430ex2 which is absolutely sufficient for almost everything I do. The only thing I miss is flash exposure bracketing which marketing has cut (thanks, Canon!). And it's not weather sealed...  thus I'm wondering:

Recently I was shooting in the rain with remote flash. Since I need the IR sensor to be visible I cannot wrap the flash in a plastic bag. What happens if the 430ex2 gets wet? Does it just stop to operate until dry again? Does it take lasting damage? Any techniques to reduce the risk?

Thanks for sharing your experiences...

canon rumors FORUM

What happens to a non-sealed speedlite when getting wet?
« on: April 15, 2012, 08:16:38 AM »

FunPhotons

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 405
    • View Profile
Re: What happens to a non-sealed speedlite when getting wet?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2012, 08:32:44 AM »
The only thing I miss is flash exposure bracketing which marketing has cut (thanks, Canon!).

Can't help you with the getting wet issue, but why would you use flash exposure bracketing? That seems like a film days hangover to me.

Marsu42

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4356
  • ML-66d / 100L / 70-300L / 17-40L / 600rts
    • View Profile
    • 6D positive spec list
Re: What happens to a non-sealed speedlite when getting wet?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2012, 08:40:26 AM »
but why would you use flash exposure bracketing? That seems like a film days hangover to me.

... because for bounce flashes, I'd have three test shots in one go. And for critical shots, I'd be on the safe side when using bounce without the need to calibrate first. When using macro on something that moves, it's always a gamble what bounce fec looks right in combination with a fill flash. I'm already poking the magic lantern devs to do this in software.

chrisdeckard

  • Power Shot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 45
    • View Profile
    • Velvet Lotus Photography
Re: What happens to a non-sealed speedlite when getting wet?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2012, 09:49:11 AM »
I would think that a flash would respond the same any other precision electronic device would.  Not necessarily well.  If it does get wet, put it in a ziplock bag with dry rice for a few days.  Certainly it could be bad now, but you never know.  As long as nothing shorted.  You could probably send it to Canon for repairs.
5D Mark III, 7D, 60D, 70-200 f/2.8 L IS, 24-70 f/2.8, 100 f/2.8 L Macro, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, 17-40 f/4 L, TS-E 45 f/2.8

Marsu42

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4356
  • ML-66d / 100L / 70-300L / 17-40L / 600rts
    • View Profile
    • 6D positive spec list
Re: What happens to a non-sealed speedlite when getting wet?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2012, 10:04:51 AM »
I would think that a flash would respond the same any other precision electronic device would.  Not necessarily well.  If it does get wet, put it in a ziplock bag with dry rice for a few days.  Certainly it could be bad now, but you never know.  As long as nothing shorted.  You could probably send it to Canon for repairs.

To make myself clear: My flash didn't get wet because I stopped shooting - but I was wondering if continuing to shoot would have broken it beyond the need for drying. So if anyone *actually* has experiences to contribute beyond the usual theories, feel free to share.

I am asking because my 60d body seems to take rain much better than many people would think (or maybe it's just luck), so there's a gap between theory and practice when thinking about what weather conditions equipment can take.

keithfullermusic

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 371
    • View Profile
    • k2focus.com
Re: What happens to a non-sealed speedlite when getting wet?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2012, 10:16:22 AM »
Electronics don't like to be on and be wet, that's a pretty simple rule.  However, once my 430exii tipped over into a huge thing of water, then it fired when it got wet.  I was terrified and yanked it out and took out the batteries immediately and it ended up still working.  So, that's about as wet as it can get and it still worked.
5Diii - 50D - 100mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4, 20mm f/2.8, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS, 430 EX II, YN560
---
Pics - http://k2focus.com | Tunes - http://keithfullermusic.com | For Fun - http://thewalkingdeadrumors.com

Marsu42

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4356
  • ML-66d / 100L / 70-300L / 17-40L / 600rts
    • View Profile
    • 6D positive spec list
Re: What happens to a non-sealed speedlite when getting wet?
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2012, 10:34:16 AM »
So, that's about as wet as it can get and it still worked.

Thanks, this is the information I was looking for! It proves that there's no part in it that instantly breaks when coming in contact with water, so potential problems seem to boil down to the usual corroded pcb issue.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: What happens to a non-sealed speedlite when getting wet?
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2012, 10:34:16 AM »

Timothy_Bruce

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 116
    • View Profile
Re: What happens to a non-sealed speedlite when getting wet?
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2012, 11:59:49 AM »
Every time I use my flashes in dusty or wet conditions I just put them into a plastic bag close the bag whit  some duct tape and then they are waterproof too nearly everything.  I never had any problems to remotely trigger them trough the bag. I have used every combination of 7d, 430ex I/II and 580exII. Just be aware that the bag does not direct touch the Flashhead because it will melt at hi output values.

superpsilo

  • Guest
Re: What happens to a non-sealed speedlite when getting wet?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2012, 12:00:44 PM »
I have spilled beer on my 430exII several times.. (party photography) Some buttons aren't working anymore. But it still flashes.
A Canon tech guy told me that the broken flash could transmit too much power to the camera via the hotshoe and that I should stop using it.
I don't use it anymore and have upgraded to 580's..

Mt Spokane Photography

  • Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 8247
    • View Profile
Re: What happens to a non-sealed speedlite when getting wet?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2012, 12:20:06 PM »
There is a large and very high voltage capacitor in the flash that can push voltage at a high current enough to pop almost any of the internal circuits, so anything is possible if it gets wet.  However, I have not heard of serious damage happening.
 
It  is virtually impossible to get a good photo using flash in the rain, the light reflects from every drop so you have your image full of ugly streaks and reflections.  Its just a matter of covering the flash with a plastic bag to keep it from getting wet, you can keep one in your pocket and slip it on if it starts to rain.
 

Marsu42

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4356
  • ML-66d / 100L / 70-300L / 17-40L / 600rts
    • View Profile
    • 6D positive spec list
Re: What happens to a non-sealed speedlite when getting wet?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2012, 12:36:31 PM »
Its just a matter of covering the flash with a plastic bag to keep it from getting wet, you can keep one in your pocket and slip it on if it starts to rain.

I never had any problems to remotely trigger them trough the bag.

Thanks, I didn't expect this to work at all! But maybe it reduces the IR transmission distance even more when outdoors, but it sure is worth a try.

CanineCandidsByL

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 208
    • View Profile
Re: What happens to a non-sealed speedlite when getting wet?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2012, 04:16:13 PM »
It all depends where the water goes. As was said, the high power capacitor has enough stored energy to do damage the electronics. Its probably even enough to be dangerous, but I'm doubtful that a complete path could form from the capacitor to the end user.

That said, I'll use my 580 in "damp" weather. A cover of some type is a good idea. Rip a small hole and tape it down so IR light can make it to the trigger.

Seanlucky

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 60
    • View Profile
Re: What happens to a non-sealed speedlite when getting wet?
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2012, 11:49:49 AM »
Ya definitely avoid getting it wet at all times... While you can get lucky, and it might surivive, it's a much different animal than a 60D which has something like a 9V maximum current running through it at any particular time. Flashes need much more power.

Working at a rental house in Vancouver, BC (A very wet part of the world in winter especially), this is always a matter of contention with our more professional equipment. Unfortunately most of our stuff has fans and therefore can't be bagged terribly well...

canon rumors FORUM

Re: What happens to a non-sealed speedlite when getting wet?
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2012, 11:49:49 AM »