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07-03-2012, 05:39 PM   #1
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Weather resistance of DA* and WR lenses

Newbie greetings for the Lens list:

I have copied the following from a dppreview forum:

"What is not widely known, something I found out from a Canon representative a few years back, is that to completely make your lens resistant to dust and water you should put a filter on the front of your lens. Filters such as a UV filter and even a circular polarizer helps seal the front elements of your lens enhancing the lenses resistance to dust and water."

Is this recommended for the the DA* and WR lenses?

Thanks very much!

-- Michael

07-03-2012, 05:44 PM   #2
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I would say that is very true from experience. I had a non WR Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 once and it kept collecting dust every time I zoom, it's like a vacuum effect sucking in dust through the front gap. I had to disassemble the lens to remove the dust myself twice. After that I got sick of the dust and added a Hoya filter to the front. It's like magic after that, dust never came back inside. With the DA*'s I never had a problem with that as the front seemed to be sealed off too, but ended up putting a filter in front after a few months of usage anyways just for security purposes.
07-03-2012, 07:49 PM   #3
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The DA* are dust resistance the WR have simplere sealing but as far as i know the front element is sealed, why wouldn't they it isnt that hard...

QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote
but ended up putting a filter in front after a few months of usage anyways just for security purposes.
Worried they will steal the front element?
07-03-2012, 09:46 PM   #4
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My K10D + 16-50 withstood a 140 m high waterfall without any problems - not directly under but the spray was close to a thunderstorm in intensity. Whatever, just keep a lens hood on and don't let the water hit the front element. This has nothing to do with the element being badly sealed and everything to do with trying to shoot through a whole bunch of water drops.

07-03-2012, 10:11 PM   #5
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WR lenses all bear a gel like sealant on their front elements. Though, it will theoretically help to have a filter on in something like a Monsoon.
07-04-2012, 05:49 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eulogy Quote
WR lenses all bear a gel like sealant on their front elements. Though, it will theoretically help to have a filter on in something like a Monsoon.
I doubt a filter will help and thats for 1 single reason.
The WR and DA* lenses have a special coating on the front element to repel the water so it pearl down from the front element, only the high-end filters have these kind of coatings.
07-04-2012, 08:32 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
I doubt a filter will help and thats for 1 single reason.
The WR and DA* lenses have a special coating on the front element to repel the water so it pearl down from the front element, only the high-end filters have these kind of coatings.
I agree - and the filter ring isn't weather proof either, and then you get water between the filter and the front element. That really softens the image.
07-04-2012, 08:45 AM   #8
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Little example that shows what i mean.

B+W Kaesemann Circular Polarizing Multi-Resistant Coated Filter | Points in Focus Photography

07-04-2012, 08:47 AM   #9
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Pentax does things right. I know Canon and Nikon people with water resistant bodies and lenses that still put plastic bags and so on over their equipment. Some even sit indoors because they're afraid of their equipment getting wet. They may not trust the seals on their equipment, but I've never had a problem with Pentax.

Been in some pretty rough rains, even on the Maid of the Mist boat ride at the bottom of Niagara Falls (anyone who's been on that knows how wet everything gets) no filters necessary or desired.
07-04-2012, 08:48 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
I agree - and the filter ring isn't weather proof either
The ring will offer enough resistance to make a seal, it won't withstand any pressure though but water takes the path of the least resistance so that should keep it dry in most situations.

Labyrinth seal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
07-04-2012, 02:39 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
I doubt a filter will help and thats for 1 single reason.
The WR and DA* lenses have a special coating on the front element to repel the water so it pearl down from the front element, only the high-end filters have these kind of coatings.
After a few years of using Hoya HMC Super filters, I read the very positive comparative review of Marumi DHG filters on LensTip.com, and since then have been buying the Marumi Super DHG filters for my lenses. They're actually less expensive than the Hoya HMC Super, and they are water and oil repellant: Marumi Super DHG

I also have a few Kenko Zeta filters, which are at least as good as the Marumi Super DHG, but they're a good bit more expensive. I would say Marumi Super DHG is the sweet spot of price/performance.
07-04-2012, 03:58 PM   #12
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But still i cant recommend a filter though, the water on there will be more visible then if it was on the lens itself and it cost you $60 for something that adds no benefit...
07-04-2012, 04:59 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
But still i cant recommend a filter though, the water on there will be more visible then if it was on the lens itself and it cost you $60 for something that adds no benefit...
This debate will never end, and I'm in the other camp, I have quality filters on all my lenses except a couple that have very recessed front elements. And the Marumi Super DHG run about $30 (or less for sizes below 77mm), not $60. They're far easier to clean than the front of my lenses, and I have less anxiety doing it (if I get cleaning marks on a $30 filter, not a big deal). And frankly if you put any of your lenses up for sale, I'll be less likely to buy them than I would from someone who has had a filter on them the whole time.
07-04-2012, 05:44 PM   #14
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This the first time we debated on what is better with water, that you're bringing other things to the table is your own doing but im not going to reply to that.

All i say is that the SP coating you get with the WR and DA* lenses is superb when it comes to water and cleaning, only the best filters are a match for that and i say that from experience. I've DA* lenses and B+W kasemann MRC pols.

And the DA* and WR lenses don't need a filter at all for extra water resistance or add any benefit when it comes to water on the glass.
07-04-2012, 09:06 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
This the first time we debated on what is better with water, that you're bringing other things to the table is your own doing but im not going to reply to that.

All i say is that the SP coating you get with the WR and DA* lenses is superb when it comes to water and cleaning, only the best filters are a match for that and i say that from experience. I've DA* lenses and B+W kasemann MRC pols.

And the DA* and WR lenses don't need a filter at all for extra water resistance or add any benefit when it comes to water on the glass.
I think this discussion got vague. OP had their question answered already (Pentax DA* and WR lenses don't need filters to seal them like Canon lenses do). A comment about a filter theoretically helping in a monsoon, you saying that it wouldn't (reasonable, all depends on what "help" means and nobody defined that clearly) and I was responding more to the fact that as part of the process of using a lens in bad weather, you typically need to clean it at some point, and while a coating like the Pentax SP is very durable, if you are cleaning it in the moment and there is fine debris on the lens or cleaning material, its possible to scratch the front element. In that case, a filter can help. And then I addressed the cost issue with regards to water and oil repellancy, thinking that some readers might not realize such features are relatively affordable. Sorry if I wasn't being clear on all these points.
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