Nikon Durability & Rugged Conditions?

CmudogtagCmudogtag Posts: 4Member
edited April 2013 in Nikon DSLR cameras
I am looking for other's experience with Nikon bodies and lenses while backpacking and biking. I have taken inexpensive lenses and bodies backpacking and moutain biking in the past but did not worry too much about damage because of the relatively low value. Well, I have upgraded my lenses significantly and feel the need for more caution now.

I don't beleive backpacking transmits too much shock when equipment is in a good pack designed for cameras. Now for mountain biking, I plan on having equipment in a pack also but there will be constant shaking and some jarring. Also, I do a lot dirt road travelling by bike and carry equipment on a bike trailer. This again creates constant shaking and some jarring of the equipment.

So what say all of you back country photographers? Will my lenses end up out of whack? Will the camera not last?


  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    I took my full complement of Nikons on a year-long motorcycle trip through some very very rough terrains (Patagonia, Colombia, etc.) and they held up fine.

    To give you an idea, the terrain was so rough at times that my bike's headlight bulb shattered from the vibrations, twice. I also crashed a few times. :D

    The cameras+lenses were in two regular camera bags, which were then placed into two pelican cases mounted as side-bags on the bike.
  • CmudogtagCmudogtag Posts: 4Member
    That is far more abuse than I'll ever dish out. I'd love to hear more from others though.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    For biking I store my stuff in an Ortlieb front roller with a selfmade inlay of 1/2 inch polyether foam.
    That was before I put the front element to it.
    So far no probs (what i could relate to the carrying equipment), so I will go for the next size. The front roller sometimes is too small. Ortlieb came out with an office bag of 17×40×30 cm which is waterproof and comes with a shoulder-strap. So again I will do an inlay and be able to carry more lenses. I think, it's best to hold the lenses in place - if there's too much space and the bump around in the bag, that should be more stress for them. I like these bags because there's no sign yelling "expensive Camera gear in, come and grab me!"

    I had good experiences years ago on a bike trip from Southern Germany to Wales and back. Sometimes I got cute hitchhikers...

  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    A few years ago I did a couple of cross the USA motorcycle trips and had the Nikon D90 and D200 in Pelican cases on each side. I used a closed cell foam which we call Kayak foam, but it looks exactly like the foam in JJ_SO's photos. It cuts easily, glues up with yellow contact cement and provides excellent shock protection. Using a few pieces on the bottom creating a small space helped as well.

    I would think the bigger problem might be the dirt. The use of plastic bags can help.
    Msmoto, mod
  • CmudogtagCmudogtag Posts: 4Member
    Thanks for the replies. I think I will continue on with my current setup and not worry.

    Dust is an issue, esspecialy in the deserts and mountains out West where I spend most of my time. I have small waterproof bags that I keep gear in to protect it from dust and water. So far so good in that respect.
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    Check this out to see how much abuse even the consumer end cameras can take!

    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,751Member
    Oh my...he did a great job trying to destroy both cameras. I would never let him near my DSLR's or any lens. But he did make a great point, even the consumer models are extremely durable.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
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