Unfortunately many of us will never cover an event like the Tour De France on the motorcycle or photograph penguins in the sub-zero artic. I’ve always wondered how far one can push the equipment before failure.
I myself will likely never push my equipment to right edge, not that I can afford to or have the level of photography that would get me “invited” to, but it be nice to know how much it can take. So, here’s a space for your stories of triumphs and tribulation in the almighty face of gravity and Mother Nature.
I’ve been caught in a 10 minute downpour shooting an outdoor event with my old D2Xs and a 70-200 f/2.8 VR1 with no cover. I kept the camera at my side away from the driving rain when I didn't need to shoot. I finished the event but my luck didn’t end there as I slipped on mud running away and dropped the camera on asphalt from about 4ft on to its head (pentaprism). Other than suffering some scratches on the top of the camera and the lens hood, everything survived!
just 2 days ago while hiking i was caught in a massive 1 hour downpour with my D90 and 100-300 f4, no cover or bag it just had to hang by my side, all is well and not a hint of trouble, not bad for a non wathersealed body
Awaiting a DX D400
Shutter replacement was $250...
After that I decided to upgrade to weatherproof gear and haven't had a problem since. Just the other day I was skiing in a snow shower at about 10 degrees F with my D600 and 50mm f/1.8G (with a B&W UV filter on the front of course!) around my neck. I accumulated quite a bit of snow on the camera and lens... But got some great shots of my family skiing! Camera and lens are both working fine :-)
Each has had a share of drops and bumps along the way as well. The D80 (which I gave to my Dad) survived a hit, when I sat it on the passenger seat of my car and it hit the dash, after a sudden stop (from 100KMH / 60MPH to 0). I've dropped my D700 a few times when changing lenses, no problems seem to have befallen it as a result.
This can be windy, up to 40 mph winds, and the and may be flying. But, well worth the effort.