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01-16-2010, 04:06 AM   #1
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Water inside WR lens

Seems a bit sad to make my first post about a problem - but here goes. I took my K-7 and 18-55 WR lens along on a fishing outing. During the trip I noticed a couple of saltwater drop on the front element (pin head size). I used a about a couple of teaspoons of freshwater from my water sipper bottle to wash them off as I didnt want any salt crystals forming if left them to evaporate. I wiped the lens down to remove excess after tipping the camera upside down to drain off the water. All fine and continued fishing. However a couple of hours later there was a circle of condensation (about 6-8 mm across) in the middle on the inside of the front element! The camera couldnot focus through the grey haze it caused.
It did evaporate after another six hours and you can just vaguely see the area in the centre of the lens.
Now this completely throws my confidence in the lens as far as water resistance. I've had unsealed lens handle far worse in terms of exposure to rain and use while cmpletely wet. My previous olympus e-1 with a 14-54 lens handled far worse with never a hint of water intrusion to body or lens.
This brand new WR kit lens failed me when just being basically wiped down.
Has anyone had a similar experience with the 18-55 WR? How does Pentax stand behind their Water Resistance claims?
I would like to return the lens as I now have no confidence it will stand up to any sort of water exposure now. Also as it has had moisture in it, will it be vulnerable to fungal attack where the water mark is?

01-17-2010, 03:58 AM   #2
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I've considered to buy the 18-55WR too.
But since I 've never experienced problems with my m lenses in the rain
I thought it might be wiser to buy one or two m's instead, and so I did.
I hope your lens will soon be revised or wathever deal might be acceptable.
01-17-2010, 05:09 AM   #3
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This should not happen.
I have been told that Pentax reps on a road show were dunking the camera into a bucket of water and were then photographing along.

I would send the lens in and ask for a warranty replacement.
01-17-2010, 07:12 AM   #4

I very much doubt that your washing of the lens caused water to get in.

You were going on a fishing trip, was it hot and humid?

The action of washing the front element with I'm guessing cold water could have caused any moister already present in the camera to condense on to the front element.

01-17-2010, 09:57 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dom Quote
I very much doubt that your washing of the lens caused water to get in.

You were going on a fishing trip, was it hot and humid?

The action of washing the front element with I'm guessing cold water could have caused any moister already present in the camera to condense on to the front element.
I was thinking it sounds more like a condensation problem, as well. I don't know heaps about WR lenses, but I'm pretty sure you could water the front element on any lens without water entering the lens. Aren't the seals on the WR around the moving parts of the lens, and the around the mount?
01-17-2010, 10:00 AM   #6
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could be a quality control issue.

since within warranty, send it in.
01-17-2010, 01:45 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forum, but sorry to hear this. As said there should be no water leakage in the internals of this WR lens.

Let us know what happens after you send it back for repair/replacement.
01-17-2010, 08:46 PM   #8
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Condensations is a real bitch in photography.
And a WR lens is no sooner ahead either.

You could try sending it in under warranty, but I have my doubts on that.
Thing is, you should must avoid temperature contrast situations at all costs when your on or around water. That is to say, putting warm(er) water on a cooled element in a high humidity environment will almost always result in condensation. Add to this the effect of a concentrated area rather than a global one and you have yourself a problem.

We've suffered from enough salt water issues to have picked-up a few paranoia pointers of our own:
  • Corroded contacts.
  • Rust on body fasteners(though they are coated).
  • Lens condensation.
  • Sand abbression.
Are but a few of the issues we've faced living in our part of the world. Needless to say, taking our gear out to the beach(or on water), warrants so much preperation and care. that we could "almost" say it's taken all of the fun out of it.

Having said that, I wish you Good-luck and I hope you're recovery isn't to expensive.
If it's any consolation, we've sent in two very expensive lenses due to the same thing about a year ago.
It cost us a fair bit of money and we lost several of our best weeks of the summer waiting to get them fixed.

Last edited by JohnBee; 01-17-2010 at 09:38 PM.
01-18-2010, 04:08 AM   #9
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Original Poster
Thanks for the replies everyone - maybe it could be internal condensation as the water I applied was cooled and it was a hot and humid day and the camera was definitely warm at the time. (One disadvantage of black on a high sunshine day). I dont normally fish in such hot conditions and all previous outings with cameras have been in much cooler temps at dawn or within a couple hours later before any real heat build-up can occur.
As for the camera body it is frankly everything that the olympus e-3 should have been, and even smaller than the E-1. Quite an acheivement - I really would like to make this a long term relationship!
The shutter/mirror noise is beautifully dampened, the OVF is nice and big and bright. And the 18-55 focuses so close that I don't need to worry about carrying extra lenses/filters for detail work.
AS I have a friend's wedding to do in early February I am not going to send the lens away anytime soon as the K-7 is to be my main SLR, with my outgoing E-300 as back-up. I am emailing the local Pentax agents to see what they say about the situation and update this thead.
Thanks again for the helpful posts!

01-18-2010, 04:20 AM   #10
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If i had a wedding i wouldn't want it photographed with a hazy lens
I still think you should send it back as soon as possible and maybe invest in a different lens. The kit lens would most likely be too slow for indoor work anyway

01-18-2010, 04:22 AM   #11
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Oh, and about the WR,
Ive had an entire schooner of beer poured over my K7 with the kit lens on it, and didnt know any way of cleaning it except putting it under a tap. Worked great and the camera and lens is perfect except for a slightly sticky flash button which i dont use enough to be bothered cleaning lol
02-06-2011, 09:15 AM   #12
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During rain (even heavy rainstorm) when not zooming and MF is locked on infinity, there is no problem. In snow, there is no problem too.

But I showered K20D + DA18-55WR few times because it smelled horrible after being in pub with smoking friends, and I noticed mysty foggy droplets inside lens. It sucks moisture inside when zooming or focusing.

So I DO NOT recommend doing that for fun and I DO recommend to put camera with lens into dry-box after. Seriously.
+ It leaves maps when dried.

Also there was a little condensation under the top LCD cover on K20D.

Both being quite disappointing.
02-06-2011, 09:39 AM   #13
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WR, sadly, only means weather resistant not water resistant or water proof. They can take some amount of direct water splashes, rain and mist but are not as well sealed as the DA* range.
02-07-2011, 02:51 PM   #14
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Take not that the WR for the 18-55 is only a simplified version of the WR seals used in the DA* range, albeit working pretty fine resisting moisture from air.

That being said... how does the weather seal work for zoom lenses o_0!? Since the barrel has to extend and contract whilst you zoom!
02-07-2011, 05:42 PM   #15
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I read somewhere that WR is good for light mist only.
Do the WR lenses have an O-ring at the mounting flange like the DA*`s do?.

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