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01-02-2010, 10:05 PM   #1
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Weather worthiness

I know there have been many threads talking about the WR bodies and how they hold up in the rain, etc... but I haven't seen anything dedicated to lenses.

I thought I'd start a thread to see what people's experiences have been with Pentax weather sealed lenses.

Perhaps try and keep responses point form (or at least the start of it and then elaborate if needed) to make it easier to see at a glance.

So, any problems or good experiences with DA WR and DA* WR lenses? Moisture build up? Dust inside lens? Do they get soaked by the rain or just a bit of drizzle?

(Just as a side note this quickky popped into mind: SDM failures and outdoor weather exposure link?...)

01-02-2010, 10:13 PM   #2
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DA 18-55 WR here. Got soaked in snowstorm pretty bad, several times. No issues to speak of so far. I bought the lens for this particular purpose so we'll see how it holds up in the future

I'm sure I remember there's one thread showing the 18-55 being used the burning man event, which is in a desert with lots of fine dust, and the lens was still doing fine.
01-02-2010, 10:32 PM   #3
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DA*300 stays dry

I have been giving my DA*300 a hard time for 16 months.
I have knocked a bit of paint off the tripod mount and the focus ring has loosened a little but nothing gets inside.
I have used it in the rain and in dry dusty conditions.
The biggest problem is that you quickly discover it is more waterproof than you. Also the round hood catches rain drops easily and causes splashes on the lens or filter front.

Affordable weather-sealing was the reason I came to Pentax and I hope they continue the development.
01-03-2010, 02:42 AM   #4
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I've noticed that the marketing for the DA* lenses mentions that they are "weather resistant and dust resistant" for use in "both rainy and dusty conditions", but the WR lenses only state that they are "weather resistant" for "damp, inclement conditions."

This gives the impression that the DA* lenses have protections against dust infiltration that the WR lenses don't have. Am I reading too much into the terminology, or is there some difference in the degree of sealing between the two types of "weathersealed" lenses?

01-03-2010, 02:50 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
DA 18-55 WR here. Got soaked in snowstorm pretty bad, several times. No issues to speak of so far. I bought the lens for this particular purpose so we'll see how it holds up in the future

I'm sure I remember there's one thread showing the 18-55 being used the burning man event, which is in a desert with lots of fine dust, and the lens was still doing fine.
Andi,

I have a question if it's OK?? But from my hunting around the 18-55WR seems crisper than the non-WR builds of the lens. Have you noticed the same thing?

I as because I too intend on buy one for the same reason as you...both for use in dusty, windy places as well as wet.
01-03-2010, 02:55 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by patrickw Quote
I've noticed that the marketing for the DA* lenses mentions that they are "weather resistant and dust resistant" for use in "both rainy and dusty conditions", but the WR lenses only state that they are "weather resistant" for "damp, inclement conditions."

This gives the impression that the DA* lenses have protections against dust infiltration that the WR lenses don't have. Am I reading too much into the terminology, or is there some difference in the degree of sealing between the two types of "weathersealed" lenses?
I noticed the same and it was mentioned in passing in a thread I read a while back...what was discussed for a few posts was if the language used about the DA WR lenses was an indication of a less robust sealing than the DA* lenses. In my opinion that would be a shame. WR should be the same no matter the "level" of the lense line as that will certainly lead to some frustrated buyers, the difference should be in the optics not the sealing...many will not read between the lines and ethically speaking Pentax needs to be up front if there is any significant difference, heck if there is any difference at all.
01-03-2010, 03:06 AM   #7
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I've got an 18-55 WR and 55-200 WR. I've taken the 18-55 out in the snow (attached to a K7), and the only thing I did was screw on a UV filter to keep snow off of the front lens element. Got a bit of water on the lens and body, and no ill effects.

So far, so good!
01-03-2010, 08:11 AM   #8
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Yesterday I received my new DA* 50-135mm, just in time for a nasty snow storm Didn't stop me from throwing it onto my K-7 and going outdoors to take some shots.

When I first put the lens on my camera, it refused to focus. There was no hint of sound from the SDM. I was bitterly disappointed, figuring I got a dud right off the bat. But after about 3 minutes, the SDM finally kicked in and the lens focused... slowly. There was a distinct delay between the half-press of the shutter and the reaction from the lens. The more I used it, the shorter the delay got, and now the SDM appears to work just fine. This was all in 20 degree weather with driving snow flying horizontally over everything and covering the camera. The large hood kept the front lens element mostly clear of snow, although I did have to remove the lower slot once in a while to let the snow fall out.

Things got so bad, I could barely see the rear screen, top LCD, or even the viewfinder at times. But it was still a lot of fun, so I kept shooting. Everytime I wiped the camera off, it would be dripping with melted snow. When I got home, I dried off the camera real good and took the lens off. There wasn't any moisture inside whatsoever, everything was perfectly dry. None of the displays show any sign of trapped moisture, they all look good as new.



01-03-2010, 10:09 AM   #9
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Pentax vs. snow. Guess who wins?

No problems with the K20d and DA*16-50 after playing in the December snowstorm that hit NJ...



01-03-2010, 03:17 PM   #10
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I have had my K10D out in the soaking rain that is typical for my region (other Northwesterners know what I mean) using a variety of lenses (both recent and vintage...none with WR) with no ill affects to either camera or lens. To balance that statement, I have used various film cameras under similar conditions as well with no problems. Translation...incidental moisture is no problem for most well-designed cameras*. The weather sealing adds an additional confidence layer.

I would suggest being judicious in regards to the weather sealing. The cameras/lenses are resistant to water and/or dust, not water/dust proof. There is at least one example posted to this Pentax Forum of a new K10D user who shot for an extended period in a downpour. Eventually, water seeped into the camera with a resultant failure. There was also the guy who decided to give his camera a nice scrubbing under the bathtub faucet...not good. I would expect that extended time shooting in the shower is another no-no.

Steve

*This is the case for certain Canon cameras. The 40D was criticized for not having seals. The 50D claims improved weather resistance, but based on tighter tolerances rather than gaskets.
01-03-2010, 06:27 PM   #11
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I've submitted my DA18-55 WR to a snowstorm yesterday too. Apart from worried looks from other people around me, and a cold nose, I got nothing to mention. The lens performed perfectly by -10 celcius and everything is in perfect shape.

I believe the sealing is of the same level for all these lenses. Dampness and humid air will go to places where fine dust won't.

The WR kit is supposed to be the same as the version 2 of the kit, and both are better than version 1. The version 2 doesn't feel like a kit lens, really, it's a very good lens on its own right.

For the record, our w80 performed admirably too.

Last edited by bdery; 01-03-2010 at 07:17 PM.
01-03-2010, 07:21 PM   #12
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I've got the 16-50 and 50-135mm for use in wet weather.

The 16-50 has been subjected to heavy snow (to the point of ice forming on the top of the lens), being splashed by kids swimming at me and heavy rain. There hasn't been one problem with this lens at all in the 2 years I've had it (and I've abused it quite thoroughly).

The 50-135 has only been subjected to heavy rains so far, but in the 6 months I've had it, it's stood up very well.
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