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04-19-2011, 04:48 PM   #1
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Can a K-5 & DA* lens take a dip in water?

I do a decent amount of hiking but plan on doing as much as possible this summer. I just got back from a trip to Zion National Park in Utah and did quite a bit of stream crossing, carefully hopping from rock to rock (thank goodness I have good balance).

Anyway, my biggest worry with the K-x has been dust and if I fall in a pool of water or deep stream. Fortunately that hasn't happened yet.

This coming month I'm picking up the DA* 16-50 to add to my DA* 50-135 but will probably also snag the K-5 at the same time (if not, then the following month). While I've seen quite a few videos of people pouring water over the K-5, I'm wondering if it would survive a brief dip in a pool of water or stream?

I plan on going up the Narrows at Zion and plenty of other watery areas (possibly doing some chest deep wading) and I'm wondering how I should approach this with the K-5? I'm pretty good at keeping a camera above water, and I'll have a dry bag for those times I'll need to essentially swim, but is it just too risky if the K-5 were to take a short dip? How do you guys do it?

04-19-2011, 04:52 PM   #2
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I don't think that kind of pressure would be good for it. If you need to swim, why not wrap in in a plastic bag first?

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04-19-2011, 04:59 PM   #3
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Yeah, if I knew I'd be going near/into a deep area, I'd put it in a dry bag first. But there were plenty of times during my recent hike that, had I fallen in, the camera might've taken a brief dip. While the K-x obviously wouldn't survive, I'd hope the K-5 would be fine. I just don't know how other people do it; if they just risk it or use some sort of cover on it.

Another thing I'm wondering is how other people climb with their cameras. I've just been using the Pentax strap and put it around my neck & arm when I need to climb something (not climb like rock climbing but rather over very large boulders and into crevices) but I've had to get pretty good at not letting it swing into things. Do people really stop and put it in their bags every time?
04-19-2011, 05:01 PM   #4
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Relevant video on K-5 weathersealing:


04-19-2011, 05:08 PM   #5
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Submerging might prove fatal, I would not take a chance on it.
04-19-2011, 05:09 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jremick Quote
Yeah, if I knew I'd be going near/into a deep area, I'd put it in a dry bag first. But there were plenty of times during my recent hike that, had I fallen in, the camera might've taken a brief dip. While the K-x obviously wouldn't survive, I'd hope the K-5 would be fine. I just don't know how other people do it; if they just risk it or use some sort of cover on it.

Another thing I'm wondering is how other people climb with their cameras. I've just been using the Pentax strap and put it around my neck & arm when I need to climb something (not climb like rock climbing but rather over very large boulders and into crevices) but I've had to get pretty good at not letting it swing into things. Do people really stop and put it in their bags every time?
Check out my youtube review site, I just did a review on cotton carrier system, think it would work perfect for your purposes.
Www.youtube.com/user/blinkphotogalleries
04-19-2011, 05:53 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jremick Quote
...but is it just too risky if the K-5 were to take a short dip? How do you guys do it?
Yes, too risky. You're lucky to live so close to so many beautiful spots for climbing and hiking (and canyoning!) - it would be a shame if you couldn't take photos of them. Submerging any "weather-sealed" DSLR by itself, for any length of time, will kill your camera, and most likely your "sealed" lens (later on)! If you want submersible, look at the Optio WG-1.

QuoteOriginally posted by jremick Quote
Another thing I'm wondering is how other people climb with their cameras. I've just been using the Pentax strap and put it around my neck & arm when I need to climb something (not climb like rock climbing but rather over very large boulders and into crevices) but I've had to get pretty good at not letting it swing into things. Do people really stop and put it in their bags every time?
When I was hiking the narrows of Zion (late summer, lower water) I put my K20D and 50-135 into an indestructible Kata H-12 "holster-style" bag and just let it bang into everything. (The older-style, ribbed, GDC-series Katas are basically mil-spec bags for cameras...) Takes about two seconds to get the camera out and ready (unclip and rip) and I'd usually have to steady myself before shooting anyhow. Most over-the-shoulder holster bags have straps on the back of the case to clip it to a belt, so it won't even swing while bouldering.

There is some great climbing (like rock climbing) around there... my K-5 and the H-12 will be back soon to get covered in chalk and that excellent red dust!

Last edited by panoguy; 04-19-2011 at 05:59 PM.
04-19-2011, 06:04 PM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I'll take a look at your recommendations and into more protective gear.

04-19-2011, 06:06 PM   #9
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No need to baby your camera. It is intended to be used. Take a look at these two threads:

Pentax - weather resistance, a myth or fact? - PhotoMalaysia Community

Sg. Chiling Waterfall Outing - PhotoMalaysia Community
04-19-2011, 06:20 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
No need to baby your camera. It is intended to be used. Take a look at these two threads:

Pentax - weather resistance, a myth or fact? - PhotoMalaysia Community

Sg. Chiling Waterfall Outing - PhotoMalaysia Community
Wow, that's basically what I was looking for. I'll just spring for the K5 and not really worry about it (keep the K-x as a backup) and if it dies I'll let you all know what killed it, haha.
04-19-2011, 06:57 PM   #11
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yeah, I think you could dip a K-5 and DA* lens into water and it would come out unscathed. I've been in some fairly heavy rain storms with my K7 and DA* 16-50 and haven't had a single problem.
04-19-2011, 07:58 PM   #12
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I also think it would survive fine, as long as it didn't go very deep in the water.

This isn't the same thing, but shortly after I got my K-5 I shot many races of the Southern California (CIF) high school cross country finals in the rain (for around 2 hours or so). It was fun to see all the Canon guys carefully protect their gear. When the guy at the ticket window suggested I might want to cover it up (seeing how wet it already was), I said "No problem, it's Weather Resistant."

I just dried it off when I got back to the car, and both the DA*50-135 lens and camera have been great ever since.
04-19-2011, 08:46 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jremick Quote

Another thing I'm wondering is how other people climb with their cameras. I've just been using the Pentax strap and put it around my neck & arm when I need to climb something (not climb like rock climbing but rather over very large boulders and into crevices) but I've had to get pretty good at not letting it swing into things. Do people really stop and put it in their bags every time?
I'm not a digital shooter, but my Spotmatic with a 55mm 1.4 is quite heavy, and the ever-ready case doesn't offer THAT much protection. Because of this, I invested in an S-type carabiner (I have the large version of this- Amazon.com: Nite Ize SB234-03-01 S-Biner Black, 3-Pack: Home Improvement) and I clip it to the strap on one side and my belt loop on the other. In addition to holding it steady while I climb over/around/under things, I can use it if I'm sitting at a table to prevent thievery, or while shooting, to keep my camera from falling. It once kept my Spotmatic with me when it slipped from my grip under a bridge.
04-19-2011, 08:51 PM   #14
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Hi
There is a huge difference between weather/water resistance and totally water proof.

If the camera was "totally water proof" it would then also only be to a predetermined depth, depending on the construction of the seals. Even at a depth of, say, 0.5 of a meter the water pressure here would be already quite a bit. The seals of the K-5 would not be able to cope with this.

Make a camera such as the K-5 totally water proof? Sure, technically it can be done, but if you now attach a sealed zoom lens on such a camera you would not be able to zoom with it in and out. (Hold your thumb over the air hole on a bicycle pump and than move the pump handle, you get the idea)

So while the K-5 can live/survive rain and perhaps a wash down under a tap (as has been demonstrated) in my opinion (with a reasonable understanding of engineering) this is a lot different from a survivable total dunking.

Greetings from sunny Melbourne
04-19-2011, 09:06 PM   #15
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@PGillin - I'm having a hard time visualizing what you're talking about. Picture?

@Schraubstock - I certainly understand the differences but the K-5 appears to have well enough designed weather sealing to survive a quick dip/splash into water. I mean, some of the videos I've seen show pouring/showering water over it with no issues (and others report the K-7 being dunked in falls and pools without issues). Assuming it's a quick, shallow dip, I don't expect it to be an issue but I guess if I ever fall in then I'll find out, haha.

It seems similar to the idea of a water resistant watch vs a waterproof watch.

By the way, I plan on visiting your neck of the world here pretty soon. I'm working with a company (Envato.com) located there.
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