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12-07-2010, 07:59 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I think it mostly has to do with internal-focusing mechanisms. It's only possible to really SEAL an internally focusing lens which is limited to the DA* line. Lenses that extend while you zoom tend to pull the external atmosphere in... which is not ideal when water is around.

The WR line is better than nothing in light rain or at the beach I would bet, but you need the DA* to survive the elements.
The DA* 16-50 and 60-250 are not internal zooming; they extend a significant amount. The 16-50 notably has a dual-cam zoom, like the 18-135. The 18-135 is also internal focusing. Thus, this is not the difference.

12-07-2010, 08:57 AM   #17
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The end of DA* as it is overkill???

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I think it mostly has to do with internal-focusing mechanisms. It's only possible to really SEAL an internally focusing lens which is limited to the DA* line. Lenses that extend while you zoom tend to pull the external atmosphere in... which is not ideal when water is around.

The WR line is better than nothing in light rain or at the beach I would bet, but you need the DA* to survive the elements.
Just found a nice quote in the DPR K-7 review....
QuoteQuote:
The new DA 18-55mm WR and DA 50-200mm WR lenses are being offered as kit lenses with the K-7. Both include a series of seals to offer a similar level of environmental sealing as the new body.
WR = K-7 level sealing??? that means it can endure what I used my K-7 and DA* lenses for.... Ned must be one tough guy, wearing just a sweater in very tough weather....
12-07-2010, 09:33 AM   #18
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I would trust Ned over DPR when it comes to describing internal build quality of Pentax equipment. I think that all DPR was trying to say is that these consumer-grade lenses have some environmental sealing, which is not found elsewhere in that price range.

As far as the actual level of sealing goes, I think the only way to find out is to tear down the lenses and see what kind of sealing is used. Beyond that, all we have is marketing--which hasn't told us anything beyond DA* is better than WR. How much better? We don't (yet) know.
12-07-2010, 10:07 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
I would trust Ned over DPR when it comes to describing internal build quality of Pentax equipment. I think that all DPR was trying to say is that these consumer-grade lenses have some environmental sealing, which is not found elsewhere in that price range.

As far as the actual level of sealing goes, I think the only way to find out is to tear down the lenses and see what kind of sealing is used. Beyond that, all we have is marketing--which hasn't told us anything beyond DA* is better than WR. How much better? We don't (yet) know.
we have only Ned's subjective statement (subjective as in "one man's sweater weather is another man's raincoat weather") that the WR is not as good. the only offcial thing is that is is "simplified". And sompliefied or less complicated could be a better thing altogether and maybe even offer better protection.

12-07-2010, 11:00 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cannikin Quote
The DA* 16-50 and 60-250 are not internal zooming; they extend a significant amount. The 16-50 notably has a dual-cam zoom, like the 18-135. The 18-135 is also internal focusing. Thus, this is not the difference.
I stand corrected. I was led to believe that internal-focusing lenses were the ones that stood up best to the elements.

I personally wouldn't bother investing in weather resistant lenses unless they were internally focusing, but that might be based more on superstition than fact. They are simply too expensive for me to be making mistakes in that regard, though.
12-07-2010, 06:00 PM   #21
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This video demonstrates the K7's water resistance


Apologies if it is a repost.

Be sure to watch the end of the video. I suspect I’d find it hard to do that myself after years of taking great care not to get my camera gear wet.
12-07-2010, 08:08 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by janneman Quote
Just found a nice quote in the DPR K-7 review....


WR = K-7 level sealing??? that means it can endure what I used my K-7 and DA* lenses for.... .
No not exactly....as someone mentioned this is a marketing thing, as if you read in other places like I found in my K-7 magic lantern guide it explicitly notes "though the WR series provides good protection against snow and rain they are not rugged like the DA* series" and the introducing of the 18-135 somewhere said "though WR for standing up to inclement conditions please refer to the DA* series for full weather-sealing to match the fully sealed bodies".

It is clear after my research that either the DA* is better sealed or Pentax wants us to think it is better sealed. I think it is so frustrating that they won't explain the difference. As someone else pointed out, although I am sure now that the DA* is better sealed or supposed to be anyways, "simplified weather resistant construction" isn't what lead me to this, as simplified could just mean a simpler lens requiring less seals to be fully sealed (though WR is not fully sealed).

As a result of pentax's ambiguity and keeping it's users in the dark, there is a ton of misusage of terms out there, with people calling the K-7 and K-7 bodies WR, and saying the WR lenses are "fully sealed", and a perpetuation of misinformation that is not the fault of the posters but rather Pentax's marketing. Many don't have any idea there is a difference in the level of sealing/resistance. In conclusion I think it is correct to say that the K-7 and K-7 bodies are "fully sealed" and so are the DA* lens, while "WR" is a specific designation for "weather-resistant", to describe the 4 consumer and prosumer lenses, which confusingly, although having a series of "seals", are not in fact "fully-sealed". Too bad we don't get to know WHY for all of this! HOW are the DA* 16-50 and 60-250 "fully-sealed" even though they are telescoping and not internally-focusing..this I would like to know! Because if Pentax found a way to accomplish that then why not make the DA* 50-135 smaller and easier for travel by making it telescope....

I have seen videos on youtube though of people talking about their K-7, not mentioning the lens, and sticking the 18-55 WR under the sink. Are the WR resistance lenses just as sealed as the DA* lenses and it is all a marketing hoax? I doubt it, but then again have never heard of someone having a problem with a WR lens because of dust (or water) intrusion. Someone needs to take an 18-55 WR, a 16-50 DA* telescoping lens, and a 50-135 DA* internal zooming lens, and put them to the test! The point of weather-sealing though is reliability, and as I've said before, I'd rather have a weather resistant lens that works than a weather-sealed lens that has a motor that is going to crap out on me!

my .02 -LE

Last edited by Loren E; 12-08-2010 at 10:17 PM.
12-08-2010, 08:28 PM   #23
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Dunno about Ned, but I would call this more than "sweater weather":



The rain was coming down pretty hard (for Seattle), with winds 15-20 mph. The 18-135 laughed it off, which was more than I could say for myself. When I zoomed, I could see distinctive lines of water on the barrel, where the seals were keeping it out. The inside of the lens is still bone dry, and I didn't even bother to wipe the water off. I wouldn't go swimming with it, or put it under the bathtub faucet, but this is enough proof for me that WR can handle any kind of weather I would be willing to go out in (camera or no).

That spot on the top is not flare, by the way, but water on the front element.


Last edited by Cannikin; 12-08-2010 at 08:35 PM.
12-08-2010, 10:02 PM   #24
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Forgive me for asking an only partially related question about something I've been wondering since getting my K-7 --
How much does the weather resistance of the body depend on the lens? If I have a non-weather-sealed piece of glass on my K-7, and it gets rained on or snowed on or splashed, does the vulnerability of the lens endanger the innards of the body? The reason I ask is that sometimes if I'm out in, say, moderate to medium-heavy rain, and I don't have the WR kit zoom on (my only weather-sealed lens) I might risk the glass if I don't care about it that much (I have a really crappy old Sigma 24mm manual focus that I think of as "sacrificial glass" and don't mind if it's damaged, as well as an old Pentax 50mm that's actually not bad, but inconvenient to use and redundant) -- but I worry about defeating the weather sealing on the K-7 if I don't have WR glass on it. Any thoughts on this? Thanks.
12-08-2010, 10:22 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentup Quote
Forgive me for asking an only partially related question about something I've been wondering since getting my K-7 --
How much does the weather resistance of the body depend on the lens?
Good question.

This is what I always found surprising about Pentax's flagship LX body in the old film days. It was always advertised as water and dust resistant and yet Pentax had no weather-sealed lenses back then. What was the point?
12-08-2010, 11:53 PM   #26
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If you splash water on the back of a sealed camera when it has a non-sealed lens mounted, you are probably ok. If you get lots of water inside the non-sealed lens it could make it into the camera...
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