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How rugged is the Nikon D200?

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#1 chewie70


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Posted 05 July 2006 - 05:34 PM

I thought I would share my experience with my D200. I decided to spend July 4th hiking and taking pics at a local marsh. It was an unreal day as far as wildlife activity, basically got alot of money shots. At around 5pm, they the weather went from 95 degrees and sunny with no clouds in sight to a black sky with 30-40mph winds, all within 5 mins. At this point, I decided it was probably time to get the hell out of dodge since I had a 1 1/2 mile hike back to my vehicle. Within another 5 mins, I was in 50mph winds with microbursts of 60-70mph +, horizontal rain and heavy localized lightning. With trees and limbs coming down every 10 seconds and lightning all around me, I realized that I was in the worst possible place that I could be in at that particular moment and decided to bed down under a cluster of stable fallen trees. I sat there for almost 30 mins before the weather let up enough for me to see an opportunity to get out of there. At this point, I was soaked and so was all of my gear. 5 mins into the hike out, lightning struck 10-15ft from me, knocking me off of my feet and giving me a slight electrical jolt. I immediately got back up onto my feet and got out of there as if I were and olympic sprinter.

Now for the end results.

The D200, all though completely soaked, survived. I made sure to immediately take the battery out and not power it up. I dried it and put it in a very warm and dry place until tonight when it was fired up without a glitch. Everything seems to be working perfectly.

The $2000 lens didn't fair so well. It had a 1/4" of water in the barrel at the front element. I removed the front element assembly and dried it. It appears that all of the water stayed in the front third of the barrel (probably due to the way I was carrying it). Everything is still apart with disecant pouches in it and sealed in a way to allow it to breathe but not let dust or contaminants in. I guess only time will tell for this one.

Cell phone - fried

Keyless entry for vehicle - fried

Sekonic light meter - fried.

Over all, I was extremely impressed with the way the D200 held up. I can only hope that my lens survives, but more importantly, I'm glad I wasn't injured or killed. The only after effects are muscle spasms in the lower extremities that just won't seem to go away.

#2 Rocha


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Posted 05 July 2006 - 05:40 PM

Hey, you forgot about you, good to hear you survived! Which one was the $2000 lens? I was rained on some time ago with my D2x and 17-55 and both survived, although my storm wasn't nearly as bad as yours.


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#3 MikeVeitch


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Posted 05 July 2006 - 05:52 PM

great story... lightening too! dang....

Now can i interest you in a $15 dry bag?

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#4 chewie70


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Posted 05 July 2006 - 05:55 PM

The lens is a Sigma 500/5.6. I get rained on all the time, but for some reason, we've had some really bad storms over the past 2 weeks. This was one of the worst that I had physically been out in, other than hurricanes and typhoons.

#5 chewie70


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Posted 05 July 2006 - 06:06 PM

Hey Mike,

The lightning is what took out the electronics, not the rain. I tried to get my cellular company to replace my phone today. I told them it had just stopped working. The guy took off the back and was like "no signs of water, that's good". Then he took it apart down to the circuit board and immediately look at me like I was on drugs. I don't no what the big deal was. It was just a couple of fried resistors. Anyway, they won't cover it.

BTW, I own a couple of dry bags. I was just trying to go light since it was 95 + degrees and 10,000 percent humidity:)

#6 anthp



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Posted 05 July 2006 - 07:17 PM

Fantastic story - glad the lightening missed you.

Sorry to hear about your gear.

Hope you can resurrect your lens.
Anthony Plummer
"It's much better down there... It's a better place..." Enzo, Le Grand Bleu.

#7 Kelpfish


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Posted 06 July 2006 - 05:09 AM

Dry bag, dry bad dry bag....It is a life saver. I'd give you my dry bag but I'd have to divorce her. :)
Joe Belanger
Author, Catalina Island - All you Need to Know

#8 chewie70


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Posted 06 July 2006 - 05:32 AM

I know, I know..... I have a couple of dry bags. I've been doing this for a long time and just got comfortable and lazy. On that particular day, I was just trying to pack as light as possible since it was so hot out.