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04-03-2013, 06:57 AM   #1
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WR not WR anymore?

I got caught in a deluge in Venice Italy this past weekend,

My rain-proof kit (or so I thought) was the K-7 and the 50-200mm WR lens. I have to walk about 3km in the downpour as I make my way back to the bus, everything was sopping wet before I even started walking. There was nothing dry to be found anywhere.

When I finally get dried off (2 hours later) I find that there is condensation and a small amount of water behind the outermost element. *screams internally*

In the past, I have washed this lens in the sink after being soaked at Sea World, no problems! How did rain manage to permeate a WR seal?

Also, the next day in Florence which was warm and sunny, shooting with my 18-55mm, I saw some water vapor collect behind the glass of both LCD displays on the K-7. I opened all of the port covers and thankfully it went away.

The lens is currently cuddling with some rice in an attempt to suck out the water.

Is this normal or do I need to start looking at new gear?

04-03-2013, 07:02 AM   #2
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Everything has its tolerances, and the standard zooms are a bit less tolerant than the DA*'s. If it was raining very heavily, then the pressure could have gotten water to penetrate the seals.

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04-03-2013, 07:06 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by chattphotos Quote
I got caught in a deluge in Venice Italy this past weekend,

My rain-proof kit (or so I thought) was the K-7 and the 50-200mm WR lens. I have to walk about 3km in the downpour as I make my way back to the bus, everything was sopping wet before I even started walking. There was nothing dry to be found anywhere.

When I finally get dried off (2 hours later) I find that there is condensation and a small amount of water behind the outermost element. *screams internally*

In the past, I have washed this lens in the sink after being soaked at Sea World, no problems! How did rain manage to permeate a WR seal?

Also, the next day in Florence which was warm and sunny, shooting with my 18-55mm, I saw some water vapor collect behind the glass of both LCD displays on the K-7. I opened all of the port covers and thankfully it went away.

The lens is currently cuddling with some rice in an attempt to suck out the water.

Is this normal or do I need to start looking at new gear?
Water Resistant is not the same as Waterproof. For conditions where i need Waterproof, I use and OptioWR. You can tell when it's water proof, because it's rated to a specific depth. (My Optio is rated to 12 feet.)

Quite simply, you are needlessly subjecting your equipment to conditions for which it was not designed, and not rated. I'd suggest getting the type of dry bag used by outdoors types for wet conditions and keeping your camera in the bag if it's going to be exposed to wet conditions for extended periods. I fold one up and put it in my pocket if conditions look dicey. Or, even a plastic grocery bag to put it in if a dry bag is too much.
04-03-2013, 07:22 AM   #4
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The seals are made of a rubberlike material, and like all such materials, they age and become hard over time. A WR kit that keeps out the moist now can easily let the moist through next year. (If you place your lenses in bags or containers with strong dehumidifiers to prevent fungus, those seals are sure to become nice and crunchy over an even shorter amount of time.)

IMHO, the WR should be regarded as just an extra failsafe. I use sleeves over my fully WR Pentax gear, because I don't want (and can't justify) another lens that is destroyed by water.

A plastic baggy and an old filter without glass is all you need to make your camera and lens combination WR for real.

04-03-2013, 07:26 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
The seals are made of a rubberlike material, and like all such materials, they age and become hard over time. (If you place your lenses in bags or containers with strong dehumidifiers to prevent fungus, those seals are sure to become nice and crunchy over an even shorter amount of time.)

IMHO, the WR should be regarded as just an extra failsafe. I use sleeves over my fully WR Pentax gear, because I don't want (and can't justify) another lens that is destroyed by water.

A plastic baggy and an old filter without glass is all you need to make your camera and lens combination WR for real.
I have a plastic sleeve for use while I'm shooting in the rain, I never thought of the filter idea, I'll have to look in the bins next time I'm at a Henry's event for some used filter rings. That could be awesome.
04-03-2013, 07:32 AM   #6
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I'm also surprised as to the level that instruction books don't quite cover this topic in a much more thorough way.

The WR seals (this can also be stated with the next level up - water proofing seals) are also drastically effected by environmental conditions. Such as: if there might be sand or dirt in the environment, even the PH level of water hitting the seal, the relative humidity, and most importantly the temperature. For instance don not expect much WR below the temperatures of forty degrees; plus if one just removes their gear from a 11o degree car - the level of effectiveness of the seals will also likely be compromised.
04-03-2013, 07:40 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by chattphotos Quote
In the past, I have washed this lens in the sink after being soaked at Sea World, no problems! How did rain manage to permeate a WR seal?
You washed the lens in the sink? Surely, not off the camera with the rear element exposed?!
04-03-2013, 09:42 AM   #8
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It might have just been condensation. The lens needs to breathe when the zoom/focus is moved. It will invariably suck outside air in.

If it was due to condensation, you could minimize this in the future by not working the zoom/focus while it is wet.

04-03-2013, 10:22 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
The seals are made of a rubberlike material, and like all such materials, they age and become hard over time.
Rubber yes but this rubber is synthetic like plastic. I contact Pentax once with the same concern and they said it does not need maintenance.
04-03-2013, 10:35 AM   #10
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One thing every one has missed here in comments is that the zoom changes physical length when zooming , and as a result can creat substantial pressure changes inside the camera/lens which will cause water to seep into the camera unr the right circumstances.

As others have said, weather resistant is NOT water proof. I always consider WR as insurance for when my primary protection fails, not as primary protection. For real downpours, all my bags have rain covers.
04-03-2013, 11:06 AM   #11
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In heavy rain I allways use a small plastic bag with a Little hole that i put around the lense, between the lens and the Hood, but without covering the front element, that way the cam and lens is pretty good covered - and i have the WR as backup
04-03-2013, 11:18 AM   #12
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Yep, as others have said, all my kit gets exposed for the minimum time possible to adverse weather conditions, more so for me as my lenses are not WR.
04-03-2013, 11:59 AM   #13
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Bad luck in combination with pushing it slightly too far, but hey, isn't it good to live on the edge?
04-03-2013, 12:24 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
Rubber yes but this rubber is synthetic like plastic. I contact Pentax once with the same concern and they said it does not need maintenance.
Siliconized seals last longer, yes... not forever. Nothing lasts forever. They don't need maintenance, because maintenance isn't possible. What kind of maintenance did you have in mind?
04-03-2013, 01:12 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Siliconized seals last longer, yes... not forever. Nothing lasts forever. They don't need maintenance, because maintenance isn't possible. What kind of maintenance did you have in mind?
Very true nothing last forever of course, hopefully they last long enough.
Moisterizing the rubber was the idea.
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