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I am kinda torn between buying a Sigma 18-35mm f1.8, Nikkor 17-55 f2.8 and Sigma 17-50 f2.8 for my D3100 and D7100 cameras. The reason for confusion is that the Nikkor one has a weather sealing ring at the rear whilst the Sigma ones don't? Does it really matter that the Sigma doesn't have a sealing ring? How effective are these rings anyway?

Then there is also another factor to consider with zoom lenses that of sucking in dust simply due to zooming in and out, which means that internal zooming lenses will probably fare better than the ones which extend physically when zooming. So with regards to this, Sigma 18-35 and Nikkor 17-55 seem better but not the Sigma 17-50.

Any help is hugely appreciated! Thanks

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    possible duplicate of What makes a camera 'weather sealed'? – dpollitt Sep 6 '14 at 2:11
  • Not an exact duplicate, but I agree. – TFuto Sep 6 '14 at 11:13
  • What's the weakest link in weatherproofing in your camera-possible lens combo? If your camera isn't weather sealed, then why bother getting a lens that is? – JenSCDC Sep 19 '14 at 0:50
  • but the D7100 is weather sealed, isn't it? I know its not to the level of pro cameras like D4 or something but still weather sealed to some extent. My D3100 isn't, that much i know but its my secondary body anyway. – Amn Sep 23 '14 at 14:16
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I use Canon Cameras and at first, I was also in the same dilemma as you. That is until I went shooting with a client in what I considered heavy rain. He just went ahead popped his camera and started shooting, leaving me find shelter. later he explained what I had witnessed, the benefits of the Weather Seal. However, we must remember, these seals are weather proof and do stop the moisture from getting into the camera, but it is worth taking note, it is equally as important that the camera is also weather proof.

Its made a massive difference to my photography and given me lots of confidence to shoot instantly and not have to wait for the weather to settle or find a sheltered area to take a photo. It is always worth noting, weather sealing is generally a selling benefit and is therefore generally mentioned with the product. If it is not mentioned, I generally take that as no seal.

Regarding the sucking in of dust, during my years I have only found this to be an issue with lenses that are telescopic push lenses. The ones that you have to physically push out to zoom. The Canon 100-400mm L Lens is one such lens. However, this lens does not suffer from dust, but cheaper lens in the past have.

The screw type thread lenses are generally fine; protrude or not. I say fine as some cheaper lenses are just not made well! however, even then, some cheap lenses such as the Canon 50mm 1.8 at £90 although completely plastic, is simply awesome!

To summaries, Weather sealing definitely works with the right type of camera, and dust is mostly an issue with push type zoom lenses. Hope this helps

  • I have noticed that the pro grade lenses neither extend too much while zooming in or out nor suck in any air (well, I didn't feel any drafts) whereas the more pro-sumer level ones do. Either way, I do carry a plastic cover to throw over my camera if I might find myself shooting in the rain, it surely is very cumbersome that way but some protection is better than no protection, weather seal or no weather seal. If the rain is too much, then I will just wait for it slow down. Having said that, I will still prefer to go for a lens that has some degree of protection built in. thanks. – Amn Oct 30 '14 at 13:58
  • Hi Amn - Check this video out. youtube.com/watch?v=3h1bDf9YYIkOnly saw it yesterday, it made me smile. – Abdul Quraishi Oct 30 '14 at 14:03
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I recall one of the Canon reps giving a talk at B&H (the talk is on Youtube, but I'm not sure which one; probably the 5DIII/1DX videos) and he addresses the weather sealing. His advice was that it's weather "sealing" and not weather "proofing" so if you need a jacket, so does your camera.

Personally, it doesn't matter. This is a somewhat useless feature because the lenses are so expensive I can't afford another one and therefore will protect it from any weather.

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