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04-29-2014, 09:12 PM   #1
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Water resistant lenses aren't that water resistant

Today I went to the Pentax shop in Nishi-Shinjuku, Tokyo to get them to help me with updating my firmware on my K-3. While I was there I asked if my lens got fairly wet during rain, what kind of material should I wipe it off with especially around the lens area. They told to avoid getting it wet around the lens. The reason being (according to the shop guys) is that there is a chance you can get seepage between the the lens and the seal which would obviously allow water to get into the inside.

I was actually looking forward to shooting in the rain one day, but now I think I will avoid doing that.

04-29-2014, 09:28 PM   #2
Zav
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WR stands for Weather Resistant, not Water Resistant. You fill find plenty of people here, myself included, who have used WR lenses under the rain without issues.
04-29-2014, 09:30 PM   #3
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I consider WR an insurance policy and hope I never need it. Meaning I hope it works if I get caught out but I would never intentionally test it.
04-29-2014, 09:47 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Unless I have a really long hood (like on the DA*50-135) I like to put a clear filter on the front for rain.


When you're done and you get the camera inside, wipe camera and lens off with a soft cloth, take the filter off, and monitor the inside of the lens for condensation. Let it dry. As long as everything looks good after a few hours you should be fine.

What's the point of having a WR lens and camera if you can't enjoy using it in the rain?



Where I live, it doesn't rain often, but you know how the song goes: "It never rains in California ... it pours!" So I don't mind using it when it begins to rain heavily at an outdoor event. In fact, I may even be guilty of quietly flaunting my WR as I go about my business, while I watch Canon and Nikon shooters carefully cover their gear. In any case, I get a kick out of the whole scene.

04-29-2014, 11:01 PM   #5
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As already stressed, WR means Weather Resistant. There is no water resistant lens or SLR camera.
04-29-2014, 11:31 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
There is no water resistant lens or SLR camera.
Actually, there's the old Nikonos, and the much more recent Nikon 1 AW1.
04-29-2014, 11:47 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
Actually, there's the old Nikonos, and the much more recent Nikon 1 AW1.
Neither of those cameras are SLRs.

On topic, I have used my DA*50-135 in *pouring* rain, and my other WR lenses in bad weather plenty of times.
An example. No filter, no bag or even a raincoat to shelter the camera. We were out in this weather for forty minutes.

04-29-2014, 11:47 PM   #8
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Internal focus lenses, such as the DA*50-135/2.8 are better at keeping water out than others, as a seal sliding over a wet surface can transport some moisture into the body of the lens. Having said that, I've had my DA*16-50/2.8 (which isn't IF) out in quite heavy rain, without an issue. The lens surface coatings used by Pentax are very good at resisting moisture damage, too, but caution is advised in cleaning afterwards, as always, of course.

04-30-2014, 12:50 AM   #9
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Last week I had my 18-135mm WR at the beach. When I got back to my room I ran it (attached to my K-3) under the faucet to clean off the sand. Afterwards I wiped all but the front element off with a towel, extended it to max zoom, and left it on the counter to dry off. It's still perfect as of today.

Lastly, I don't think Pentax would advertize like this if they weren't confident in their products' water resistance...


Last edited by geomez; 04-30-2014 at 12:55 AM. Reason: added pic
04-30-2014, 12:59 AM   #10
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I shoot with k-5 and 18-55 couple times under waterfall and in rain and never have any problem.
04-30-2014, 01:22 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by AroundTokyo Quote
Today I went to the Pentax shop in Nishi-Shinjuku, Tokyo to get them to help me with updating my firmware on my K-3. While I was there I asked if my lens got fairly wet during rain, what kind of material should I wipe it off with especially around the lens area. They told to avoid getting it wet around the lens. The reason being (according to the shop guys) is that there is a chance you can get seepage between the the lens and the seal which would obviously allow water to get into the inside.

I was actually looking forward to shooting in the rain one day, but now I think I will avoid doing that.
That's exactly what killed my first K-5. And not in the pouring rain or storm, but in a slight spring drizzle! The seals are not self-cleaning nor ever-lasting. For example, a tiny grain of sand or other muck can lift up an opening between the seal and the camera body. Moreover, as confirmed by the service-center back when I was trying to have my K-5 repaired, the seals do age and lose their ability over time. Since then I've treated the WR as a gimmick or backup and used plastic baggies to protect my gear.
04-30-2014, 02:34 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by geomez Quote
Last week I had my 18-135mm WR at the beach. When I got back to my room I ran it (attached to my K-3) under the faucet to clean off the sand. Afterwards I wiped all but the front element off with a towel, extended it to max zoom, and left it on the counter to dry off. It's still perfect as of today.

Lastly, I don't think Pentax would advertize like this if they weren't confident in their products' water resistance...
Yes, they advertise their products this way, and they advertise them at trade shows by pouring water on them.
My camera has been used in torrential rain and has been under the faucet for cleaning for several years without problems.

I sent it in for cleaning and repair (K5 needed sensor replaced for sensor stain issue... not too bad so I waited two years until the warranty was reaching its end). Shortly after, while photographing in light rain, the camera stopped working. Apparently the seals failed. Two+ years in truly wet conditions without a problem, then ruined by light rain.

I honestly believe the repair people damaged the seals as the light rain should never have caused a problem.
At the very least, if the seals were *that* bad due to age, they should have been replaced.

Of course, Pentax naturally did not warranty the repair (warranty not yet expired).
Pentax refused to believe any such advertising of the weather resistance by pouring water on the cameras even though I sent them videos of their own reps doing exactly that. They even stated it was never meant to be used in the rain.

The cameras are great when they work and there are lots of example of how outstanding it is... but don't rely on the weather sealing.

Pentax is a lying sack of s---.
Of course, so are the alternatives... except they don't start by over-advertising their weather sealing like Pentax does.
04-30-2014, 03:08 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Neither of those cameras are SLRs.
But they both have interchangeable lenses, which I think was the point. After all, the main design difference between DSLRs and MILCs is only a flippin' mirror and that does not affect the water resistance.

(Edit: Pun not intended )
04-30-2014, 03:36 AM - 1 Like   #14
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Did you know if you shoot bulletproof glass repeatedly in the same spot your bullets will get through, not so bulletproof I suppose.
04-30-2014, 03:44 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Did you know if you shoot bulletproof glass repeatedly in the same spot your bullets will get through, not so bulletproof I suppose.
The analogy of WR vs bulletproofing gets an A+! If you wear a bulletproof vest, you're still not supposed to intentionally get shot... Especially not over and over again. It's a backup safety for the event in which you do fail to dodge a bullet. So is WR in cameras. A backup for when your rain sleeve fails. Or for when you unexpectedly get splashed or something.
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