Protecting our photography equipment with scratch proofing and water resistance: a review of I-coat nano tech’s new offering.

Let’s get this out of the way first.

Yes, photography is cheap to start but definitely not cheap to grow.

Ask anyone who craves that F0.95 lens vs the kit F3.5-F5.6 lens or someone who craves that 14 fps capability vs a 6 fps ability and you understand.

It is true that one can purchase a working camera for nothing more than a $100 today but it still doesn’t change the fact that as one invests more, one will soon hit a point where the depth of out pockets doesn’t seem deep enough.

And let’s be pragmatic, as a friend said to me before.

“Good, Cheap and Fast will never appear together, if you want Good and Fast, you have to forgo Cheap and so on”. 

No, I am not going to nag about how much one should spend on one’s equipment, that totally barking up the wrong tree. Its only obvious the idea of value depends wholly on oneself’s perceptions and biases.

So instead of that, I am going to focus on something else that second closest to our minds.

Assuming we have done all due duty in protecting our equipment, is there anything else to prevent Murphy’s Law from getting to them?

www.antiquelilac.com
source: antiquelilac.com

I’ve quite a bit of equipment, and I do lend them around my peers and obviously I use them. However a feeling that’s always nagging is how can I protect them so they last as long as possible so I may maximise my returns on investment (ROI).

Personally, I never really liked half cases, full cases or whatever they call them. Its akin to the sheer sadness one feels when one pays $1688 for an iPhone X to only have it fully  suffocated in a thick acrylic case.

Protective cases = Just not that sexy.

Taking a risk? Yes, even my daughters (1 and 3 year old) do handle my equipment they way they are.

Untitledand I really prefer it this way but now it seems that I have finally found what I always wanted – a perfect solution.

A friend introduced me to this newly formed company, I-Coat (the sole distributor of Nano-Coating Technology in Singapore that originated from Taiwan) and so well, we decided to try it this newly purported service that claims to provide a scratch proof and water resistance cover to your photographic equipment. 

The test subject.
33anyway, you get the drift.

The Fujifilm X100F is a wonderful pretty tough camera that gets the job done , but it isn’t weather resistant, and its pretty prone to scratches especially on the base plate so that’s my choice for this test. Moreover, the pull-up mechanism on the ISO dial is another challenge level of test to see whether this spray will affect handling.

UntitledSome background you deserve to know:

I-Coat Nano Tech’s studio is around a month old locally and uses a 3 step process to provide a zero thickness and invisible protective layer around your camera equipment that makes it scratch proof and yes, water resistant for close to 3 years per application.

Frankly I was skeptical , but well – i had nothing to lose other than my time , money and a $2099 X100F camera so that’s still quite all right.

Here’s sharing the process as permissions allowed by the fine folks at I-Coat Nano Tech studio.

Disclaimer : *I paid out of my own pocket for this service and wasn’t paid in any form by I-Coat. I mean like, there’s not much point getting paid to write a review about a product right? 

DSCF5550My X100F lying on the operating mat before the procedure.DSCF5554
Jack preparing the chemicals needed for the process to gift the X100F water resistance and scratch protection.

DSCF5557DSCF5556
I-Coat is pretty serious about what they do, they are fully prepared equipment wise and serious about investing in the right hardware. Pictured – the air-tight compartment to apply the water-resistance coating.

Step 1: Cleaning your photographic equipment.
DSCF5567The X100F gets a complete chemical clean-up, here it is all hand-done to ensure completeness.DSCF5568
DSCF5571
fact: my X100F was really kinda grubby I guess.

Step 2: Applying the scratch-proof coating.
DSCF5575DSCF5573
This was done again fully by hand to ensure every nook and cranny was seen to. Respect.

DSCF5581Allowing the scratch-proof layer to ‘cure’.DSCF5583
There were many checks along the way to ensure a good job.

Step 3. Applying the water resistance layer.
DSCF5588Here was where the air-tight compartment was a necessity as the chemical used were basically unsafe. This step also ensured uniformity of application.DSCF5596
Ensuring every layer was done right before the next.

And surprise, the full process took around 30 mins, way shorter than I expected. And, what’s a good ending without a proper test?

DSCF5600 Direct onto the edges of buttons for sure, no point doing it on the leather right? DSCF5602
Thats a complete water bubble all over the menu button. The whole camera is now water resistant with water being repelled.

DSCF5606
ok, we were bored.

Moreover, as tribute to the kiasu Singaporean mentality, I-Coat Nano tech stands behind their SGS certified 9H hardness test. In this test, a 9H level of ‘hardness’ tipped pencil of weight 1000g is pushed back and forth the protected surface at 10cm/s for a total of 1000 times. To achieve this certification will require the surface to be scratch free at the end of the test – so you really gotta work very hard at scratching this X100F now.

DSCF5609
The X100F now, street-proof from scratches and water as it should have been from the beginning. 

To end off,

I-Coat Nano Tech can be found at :
Marina Square,
Raffles Boulevard #03-203
Singapore 039594.
+65 8862 1378
their Facebook page is here.
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