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6 Days Ago   #1
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How weatherproof are the budget WR zooms?

I was out on a wildlife photo walk recently and we got hit by some heavy snow, had been waiting quietly for a vole to reappear so didnt pack away

The lens was HD WR 55-300 and it seems fine - but it got me to wondering, how do they keep the weather out of a plastic lens, how good is the weather sealing, and does the sealing decline with age (esp on the cheaper consumer lenses)

Wondering what folks real life experiences have been

6 Days Ago - 2 Likes   #2
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I think the key is remembering its weather resistant rather than waterproof, so to answer your question, if the camera or lens gets wet in rain / snow take precautions to keep it dry-ish if poss, if not dry as soon as poss with a macrofibre cloth, in my own experiences I've followed this advice and been perfectly fine, us Pentaxians don't need to run for cover like those CanNikons users do when it starts to drizzle LOL
6 Days Ago - 3 Likes   #3
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Simple way to understand - any * lens is internal focus / zoom - no moving external parts means higher degree of weather resistance / dust resistance.
Zooms where barrels telescope will always be less weather / dust resistant. As they wear with age, they are likely to be less resistant

I've always tried to keep zooming to a minimum while out in weather, and I towel off asap. That being said, I've been out in the worst of it.



a soaker using SMC M 20mm f4 - everything went in a bag of rice as soon as I got home.
6 Days Ago - 1 Like   #4
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Your question is tricky, mainly because, contrary to other products, no camera manufacturer complies to an IP rating. They do not warranty anything.

That being said, history shows that Pentax is doing much better than most. I think the best reassurance is that, in all the years I've participated in this forum, I remember one single occurrence of someone actually getting water inside a WR lens.

That doesn't mean you can do anything and stop being careful, but it's a heck of a reassurance.

For my part, using WR and AW lenses, I've shot in rain, close to waterfalls, in snow (camera dropped in snow quite frequently), rinsed under tap water or with a bottle after sea water sprays, cleaned of sand, etc. I've never had a single problem.

What I do is

1-try to avoid unnecessary exposure

2-try to dry off what I wan

3-be careful of water close to moving parts (for instance the telescoping sections of your 55-300). Water could squeeze in from there

Apart from that, enjoy your lens! Use common sense but shoot with confidence.

6 Days Ago   #5
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And remember that the methods used before equipment was WR still work to protect your equipment
5 Days Ago   #6
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I've soaked my K-S2 with it's kit lens 18-50 RE on a hike once (years ago).
Not that I'd recommend it - but I was sure glad for the feature when I was caught out there!

---------- Post added 04-08-21 at 08:03 AM ----------

This video (correct time linked) is impressive:
https://youtu.be/N7bpGiLKFDs?t=553

---------- Post added 04-08-21 at 08:04 AM ----------

This one is good too:


---------- Post added 04-08-21 at 08:06 AM ----------



---------- Post added 04-08-21 at 08:07 AM ----------

5 Days Ago   #7
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In inclement weather, I have been known to take off my bodywarmer (which has been treated with waterproofing) and wrap the camera in it, to protect it. Don't care if I get soaked (after all, skin is waterproof) - the camera cost money, I was free - (well, except to my parents, but that was their worry, not mine !).
5 Days Ago - 2 Likes   #8
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The worst problem for the gear is usually not a short period of rain or snow. A worse problem is if you store the equipment inside in too high humidity. Then the gear will never get a chance to dry up and fungus may start to grow.

Even non seal gear can take some water without getting damaged, as long as it is fresh water and it can dry up when you bring it inside.
Salt water can damage the gear alot though, as the salt is really corrosive to electronics and other parts and may continue to corode the gear after it have dried up.

Another problem is condensation, which is formed when warmer air make contact with a much colder surface. So condensation may form on the ouside of the gear if you bring it inside from a much colder temperature outside. Or condensation may form on the inside of the gear when you bring your gear from inside to a much colder temperature outside.

So bringing the gear ouside or inside when there ia big difference in temperature keep the gear in the closed bag for a while to slow down the temperature change and minimize risk of condensation. But you should not store the gear in the bag for too long if you been outside in the rain/snow once you get inside, as it may be much higher humidity inside the bag. So at least open up the bag after a few hours to make sure air can circulate inside the bag and dry up the inside of it.

5 Days Ago   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fogel70 Quote
But you should not store the gear in the bag for too long
Shoot daily
5 Days Ago - 1 Like   #10
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I use the 55-300 plm in rain and snow. Zooming is the worst case. If i have to zoom I dry it as much as possible before retracting if I must. Liquid hasn't been drawn in but moisture has and fungus grew. It is small enough to not matter except the af has trouble in low light, low contrast, when handheld.
5 Days Ago - 1 Like   #11
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I've used my 18-135 & 20-40 in the rain & snow and cold weather without problems. And as others said, it has been soaked at times. My 18-135 even took a direct hit with a water balloon while taking photos. The only caution I take is when taking the camera & lens back inside is to leave it all sealed in the camera bag until everything is at room temperature. If I am in a hurry to see the photos, I will remove the SD card while outside.
5 Days Ago   #12
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AW is more secure than WR, especially against dust. Only two DFA zooms are AW (the DFA* 70-200 and the DFA 150-450). The 70-200 is entirely internal zoom, so is easy to seal. It is amazing to me that the 150-450, which extends a lot, can also be AW.
5 Days Ago   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by LittleSkink Quote
The lens was HD WR 55-300 and it seems fine - but it got me to wondering, how do they keep the weather out of a plastic lens, how good is the weather sealing, and does the sealing decline with age (esp on the cheaper consumer lenses)
I like to contribute with a tribute to the existing WR threads:
About those WR body weather seals...User responsibility and best practice - PentaxForums.com
AW vs WR - PentaxForums.com
LensRentals.com - Plastic Mounts, WR and Professional Grade II - PentaxForums.com
5 Days Ago - 1 Like   #14
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If I know I am shooting in the rain I will also use a $20 rain cover. For really bad rain I have a $10 waterproof "underwater" bag. I would never trust it underwater. Because it is enclosed the controls are hard to use but I am not concerned in any rain
5 Days Ago   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
AW is more secure than WR, especially against dust. Only two DFA zooms are AW (the DFA* 70-200 and the DFA 150-450). The 70-200 is entirely internal zoom, so is easy to seal. It is amazing to me that the 150-450, which extends a lot, can also be AW.
that is correct:

QuoteQuote:
. . . DA* Lenses: The DA series includes a number of "star" lenses (DA*) with top notch optical and mechanical engineering. All DA* lenses have the Quick Shift focusing system and - despite not having the WR designation - are also weather sealed. . . .


AW, WR: Lenses with the AW (All Weather) or WR (Weather Resistant) designations are sealed so that they better withstand use in light rain and blowing dust. AW is the more resistant of the two. . . .

AW: All Weather. The highest degree of sealing against dust and rain. . . .

WR: Weather Resistant. The lens is sealed against dust and light rain.
Pentax K-Mount Lenses Explained: The differences between various Pentax lens series

QuoteQuote:
WR: Indicates that a lens is weather resistant—sealed against moisture and dust. WR lenses feature a bright red o-ring gasket on the metal mount.

AW: A beefed-up kind of weather sealing found on some DA and D FA* lenses. DA* lenses feature weather sealing generally considered equivalent to AW.
https://www.reviewed.com/lenses/buying-guides/pentax-lens-buying-guide-reviews-ratings

Last edited by aslyfox; 5 Days Ago at 06:05 AM.
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