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10-03-2011, 12:38 PM   #1
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DA* 16-50 : Two rainy days & condensation inside...

Hi all,

I have a DA* 16-50 and I really like it - it give much better picture than my 18-55 AL II.
I have always been a person careful with my gear all the time - I use the K200D w/ 18-55 ALII in Hawaii for 3 weeks with a week of wet weather (rain) and have no problem.

This past weekend I was in the White Mtns (NH) and it was raining all two days. I use the K5 and DA*16-50 without changing lenses at all. I cover the camera with my jacket when it was not in use and only sprinkle of droplets on the camera each time I took out to shoot photo, when I get back in car, I wipe off the water droplets on the lens and body with tower. At the end of 2nd day, around evening, it developed a condensation inside of the front glass. At first I thought it was on the filter, it is not, and not even on the outside of the lens, it is inside, and view through viewfinder is just blurry.

Really surprise and disappointing at the same time (especially I was bragging that my camera and lenses are WR to my gf the whole trip and say "this is why I choose Pentax, I can keep shooting in bad weather...). Even more so when I try to use my K200D that I also bring along to shoot I dropped the K5 battery pack on floor and scratches it.... first time in my camera life I dropped my camera equipment.

To clam myself, I blame it to the Alien - I was at the "Betty and Barney Hill abduction site" (Betty and Barney Hill abduction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) when this happen...

But... have anyone have used DA* lens in severe weather and it was all good? Is it my problem? Or I have a defective WR lens?
(I treat the WR as a layer of protection and certainly not thinking it was water-proof..)

I left the camera and lens 'air dry' outside and the condensation is gone this morning.
Should I send my lens to Pentax for repair? Is there anything I need to do now to reverse the "damage"?


10-03-2011, 01:18 PM   #2
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My DA*16-50 survived this without difficulty...

In case the same happens again I think I would have the lens checked
10-03-2011, 01:46 PM   #3
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I saw some condensation on my LCD screens on my K-5, but they clear themselves out. It's WR, but it's not W-proof, I've found. I take it in the rain, but I don't go out of my way to push it. And anyways I'm glad it's there but over time I've realized that I don't even like shooting in the rain, hahah :-).
10-03-2011, 02:12 PM   #4
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This effect probably happens as a result of the nature of condensation. The starting point is the humidity of the air when you mount the lens on the camera, although the system is probably not air-tight, so prolonged exposure to other conditions may change the moisture content of the air actually contained within the camera and lens. The end point is the temperature that the camera and lens are exposed to when you use it. If the dew-point of the air in the camera and lens is equal to or higher than the external temperature then condensation will happen, no matter what - warm things up again, and the condensation will disappear. You could try keeping a desiccant in your camera bag to limit and stabilise the moisture content of the air in the system, next time, or perhaps blow out the body with nitrogen or CO2 prior to use.

10-03-2011, 02:56 PM   #5
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I've spent two days shooting for 8hrs+ in high humidity and heavy rain with my DA* 50-135 (before I owned the 16-50). The only issue I had was with water getting into the shutter-release button (not really into it) that prevented the half-press action (which I don't use since I use back-button focus, so it didn't matter anyway). To fix it all I did was wrap my lips around the button and suck the water out, then dry the area.

When shooting in the rain, I didn't baby the camera or the lens either. I wanted to really test it before I got into a situation where I was relying on it and have it fail. The camera and lens were soaked for over 8 hours both days (not to mention me being soaked by the end of each day too). To make it worse, it (the camera) was subjected to relatively fine sand and grit because I was hiking the majority of the time.

Anyway, to summarize: two days of heavy rain, relatively fine sand and grit and the K-5 and DA* 50-135 didn't have any issues, condensation, etc.

I should also note that I put the camera back in my camera bag each night which has a handful of desiccant packs around it to dry things up (and I, of course, wiped everything dry before putting it in the bag).

If it was me, I'd send the lens back.
10-03-2011, 03:40 PM   #6
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If you take the camera out in cold and rain then put it under your warm jacket, condensation will occur.
10-03-2011, 04:23 PM   #7
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I don't know if the lens is defective or not. If it's still under warranty, it might be a good idea to go ahead and report the issue to Pentax. Even if you don't send it in now, you'll have it documented that it was an issue you reported even before the warranty expired.
10-03-2011, 06:42 PM   #8
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I tend to agree with "RobA_Oz". And it is fairly weather resistant.
After exposure like this, everything goes inside and gets opened up and dried out of course. It is not waterproof after all.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 11-11-2014 at 05:48 PM.
10-04-2011, 08:09 AM   #9
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The warranty already expired - I don't think we check for its WR before we decided to keep the lens. : ) I will contact Amazon to see.

Also one thing I notice about the condensation is that it appears that the condensation has a pattern that the inner side of the front glass were wiped before - the condensation looks like you blow ur breath onto a surface where you just wipe it clean - it is not uniform. Just strange.

Thanks to all who reply. I didn't even put on the lens on the spot, the lens was on my camera already quite some time. And yes, I do have desiccant packs in my bag too. Looking at all your experiences, my way of 'testing' the WR of DA* 16-50 lens is definitely on the light side.

Another thing to share is that Marumi multicoat CPL (learned from this forum) is pretty nice, it is easy to wipe off the water on it without leaving marks. Better than Hoya HMC filter.

10-04-2011, 10:54 AM   #10
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Always put the camera and lenses in a case, bag, etc before bringing into a warm place after being out in cold conditions and let it warm up slowly while in the bag. If you keep the camera inside your jacket to protect from the elements and extend battery life, take it out for only short periods. I would rather not do the in/out jacket thing, but use a camera bag instead. Again, closing it up and letting the camera gear warm over a couple of hours when going inside. Condensation of this sort is the primary cause of fungus growth inside lenses and can play heck with your electronics.
10-05-2011, 04:17 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
or perhaps blow out the body with nitrogen
That is something to consider and would be very effective. The CO2 .. might not.
There is always the hassle of the bottles to deal with... do you rent or do you own. After-all, you don`t get that stuff at wartmart.

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