Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Complete List of Weather-Resistant Nikon Lenses

Yes, this is about Nikon lenses but I'm showing a white Canon because the weather seal (the black rubber gasket around the lens mount) is a lot easier to see here than on a black Nikkor.

Being a new Nikonian, one thing I always wondered was what Nikkor optics were weather-resistant. Unfortunately, I haven't succeeded in finding a concise list of such lenses anywhere. So, seeing a solution rather than a problem, I decided to compile one myself. So, if you're in the same boat I was in, here you go: a concise list of weather resistant Nikkors. Know someone else you think would find this useful? Why not pass it on?

Companies are quick to tout cameras for weather-resistance. Unfortunately, what most beginning dSLR users don't know is this: there might as well be no weather sealing in the camera if it doesn't have a weather-sealed lens to go with it. Why is this? Simple: the lens/camera connection is the best avenue for unwanted junk, whether it be moisture, dust, or something else, to get into your camera. With a lens that has a rubber gasket at the mount, this problem is eliminated.

In terms of lenses, weather-sealing is one of the newer innovations for the simple reason that film cameras were nowhere near a susceptible to the elements as are today's “superior” digital versions. So, to keep their pros happy, camera makers started putting rubber gaskets on their lenses. Below is a complete list of Nikon lenses that have mount gaskets.

14-24 f2.8
16-35 f4 VR
24 f1.4 AF-S
24-70 f2.8
24-120 f4VR
28-300 f3.5-5.6 VR
35 f1.4 AF-S
50 f1.4 AF-S
50 f1.8 AF-S
55-300 f4-5.6 VR
70-200 f2.8 (I and II)
85 f1.4 AF-S
200 f2 VR
200-400 f4 VR (I and II)
300 f4
400 f2.8 VR
500f4 VR
600f4 VR

DX Digital Only
10-24 f3.5-4.5
12-24 f4
17-55 f2.8
18-200 VR (I and II)
18-70 f3.5-4.5
35 f1.8
60 f2.8 AF-S Micro

Now, even with all of these lenses, there is one important catch: Nikon does not market these lenses as “weather-proof,” only “weather-resistant,” which means that they probably won't go servicing your camera/lens that got dropped overboard on that fishing trip when your buddy was reaching for his beer but accidentally bumped your camera instead. If you want true weather-resistance, go buy a tough P&S like my Olympus Stylus 550WP or, if you don't mind shooting film, a Jacques Cousteau-inspired Nikonos film SLR.

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  1. Thanks for posting. I also found an interesting thread regarding this issue, and one of the members emailed Nikon for a list. Here is what was sent back...

    All of our range of lenses are weather sealed and can be used in light rain. Some of the lenses - which are listed below - have a rubber mount seal for extra protection, however.
    If you have any further queries regarding this matter, please click the link above to update your question.

    14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF-S NIKKOR
    24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S NIKKOR
    AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
    200mm f/2G ED-IF AF-S VR NIKKOR
    AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED
    600mm f/4G ED VR AF-S NIKKOR (no rubber mount seal but excellent dust and water resistance)
    500mm f/4G ED VR AF-S NIKKOR (no rubber mount seal but excellent dust and water resistance)

    The thread can be found here if you'd like to read the discussion.

  2. "All of our lenses are weather-sealed?" I'd love to see them put their money (or rather their lenses) where their mouth is on that one.

  3. The nikkor 70-300mm f 4.5-5.6g if-ed af-s vr lens also has the rubber gasket.

  4. just got 18-300 dx, has water sealent rubber ring

  5. I still think that Nikon and Canon have NOTHING on Pentax when it comes to rugged cameras... The K-5 series from Pentax actually has BETTER weather-sealing than the Canon 1D and Nikon D# lines, and the lenses have better sealing as well (Even the 18-55mm WR kit lens).

  6. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you :)

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    Canon ef 70-200mm f/2.8l USM