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04-29-2011, 07:21 AM   #1
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Weather sealing failed on my new K-5

First, I don't mean for this post to sound like dissatisfied "whining". The K-5 is my third Pentax dslr, and for the two months I have owned it, I've had no problems with sensor stains, no focusing issues I could see, and it really was a joy to use. My sad story begins with the first time I ever used the camera in rainy weather, with a new DA 18-135 WR lens, a combination I thought would be a pretty safe bet against inclement weather. After a couple of hours, however, I noticed what looked like waves of water inside the back LCD screen. Then, the shutter release button began to feel what I can only describe as "squishy". I immediately turned the camera off, went indoors, and wiped the body and lens dry. A short while later, back in my hotel room (I was on vacation), I turned the camera back on to try and view my shots, and to my horror, I was getting all sorts of garbled images, then a "this image cannot be viewed" message. The back LCD screen was full of what looked like condensation drops on the inside. With the camera off, I opened the battery and SD card compartments and saw water inside the covers and on the edges! The battery grip contacts on the bottom of the camera were even wet when I removed that seal and checked inside. To conclude my long tale of woe, the camera totally died, and is now on its way back to Pentax Imaging in Arizona for what I hope will be a successful repair. I am writing this only to let others know that the weather sealing on my K-5 did not provide any protection against moderate rain, and I will be very hesitant to use it as a "rugged outdoor camera" in the future.

04-29-2011, 07:26 AM   #2
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Thats too bad, you probably just got one that had a bad/missing seal.

My K-7 and 18-55 WR went through a torrential downpour during an Iowa summer thunderstorm and worked perfectly afterwards.



Hope Pentax fixes you up, maybe they will get it done as warranty... who knows. They take pride in weather sealing.

Last edited by kalison; 04-29-2011 at 07:35 AM.
04-29-2011, 07:43 AM   #3
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My guess would that water got in either through the lens or near the mount (although the seal there should have prevented that), considering the fact that there was water everywhere. Given how much the 18-135 expands during zooming, I wouldn't doubt that water could get in. Is there any condensation inside the lens or around the mount? Could also be a faulty seal somewhere.
04-29-2011, 07:52 AM   #4
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Sorry to hear about your misfortune. Let us know how the repair goes. Is this covered under warranty?

04-29-2011, 07:53 AM   #5
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Wow, sorry to hear that! Hope you can get it warrantied/repaired.

Something must have gone tragically wrong, because I have put these bodies through liquid hell and back. But, although I do have the 18-135WR, I have yet to really push it in hard conditions. I wonder if that is the weak link. Lenses that externally zoom always scare me a bit. Even the 16-50 and 60-250 scare me a little bit. When it's zoomed out and the barrel gets covered in water, I don't know how it couldn't be an issues when it comes back in. But it never has been. Lenses like the 50-135, 55, 100 macro, 200 and 300 DA*, i never hesitate to push hard in bad conditions. But with the external zoom lenses, I'm always a bit more conservative.

Emphasis on "a bit"...
04-29-2011, 08:03 AM   #6
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Sorry to hear that. Well, at least they will repair it free of charge because it is advertised as a weather sealed camera. That's some consolation.
04-29-2011, 08:13 AM   #7
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Wowo, that's horrible. My K200D seems to work well, after heavy rain :ugh:
04-29-2011, 09:20 AM   #8
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Sorry to hear of your problem, it does not seem to be typical. I would be interested in hearing what Pentax Service has to say, if they give you any explanation?

For me, I never shoot in the rain or heavy wind...it messes with my hairdo.....


Best Regards & I hope you get it back in good condition very soon. A day without the K5 would be tough!

04-29-2011, 10:03 AM - 3 Likes   #9
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Forget your hair... that desktop needs to be managed!

04-29-2011, 10:35 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiwibird Quote
First, I don't mean for this post to sound like dissatisfied "whining". The K-5 is my third Pentax dslr, and for the two months I have owned it, I've had no problems with sensor stains, no focusing issues I could see, and it really was a joy to use. My sad story begins with the first time I ever used the camera in rainy weather, with a new DA 18-135 WR lens, a combination I thought would be a pretty safe bet against inclement weather. After a couple of hours, however, I noticed what looked like waves of water inside the back LCD screen. Then, the shutter release button began to feel what I can only describe as "squishy". I immediately turned the camera off, went indoors, and wiped the body and lens dry. A short while later, back in my hotel room (I was on vacation), I turned the camera back on to try and view my shots, and to my horror, I was getting all sorts of garbled images, then a "this image cannot be viewed" message. The back LCD screen was full of what looked like condensation drops on the inside. With the camera off, I opened the battery and SD card compartments and saw water inside the covers and on the edges! The battery grip contacts on the bottom of the camera were even wet when I removed that seal and checked inside. To conclude my long tale of woe, the camera totally died, and is now on its way back to Pentax Imaging in Arizona for what I hope will be a successful repair. I am writing this only to let others know that the weather sealing on my K-5 did not provide any protection against moderate rain, and I will be very hesitant to use it as a "rugged outdoor camera" in the future.
Wow, sorry to hear that. Must be a major problem with some seal. I've used mine in light steady rain twice now and no problems with its performance. Lens was the 50-135. Let us know what they discover, pls.
04-29-2011, 10:38 AM   #11
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That sounds like a lot of water to end up inside even a *non-sealed* camera, and from at least two different places: three if indeed any got in the lens.... Are you sure no one thought you said 'Waterproof?'
04-29-2011, 10:43 AM   #12
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I wonder if it's because you were out in the rain for a couple of hours?

I've been through down pours with my K20 and a 50-135 and it was fine, but I was out for 15-20 mins.

Anyone know if there is a rating on how long the weather sealing will hold up for? After all it's water resistance and not water proof.
04-29-2011, 01:28 PM   #13
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Original Poster
Thanks, everyone, for your kind words of support! I've never had to send any of my cameras or lenses in for repair, so I guess I've been pretty lucky.

Adam, regarding your guess that water may have gotten in through the lens somehow, I don't really know. The barrel of the lens got wet, of course, but I didn't notice any moisture inside the lens itself. I tested it on my K-20d and Kx afterwards, and it still seems to be working, thank goodness. If the lens gets ruined also, I'll really be bummed

Is that a photo of you, Rupert? Thanks, it brightened my day considerably after parting with my K-5!
04-29-2011, 01:38 PM   #14
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SO if the lens is fine, one or more of the camera seals may have been compromised.
04-29-2011, 02:20 PM   #15
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Kiwibird, after reading of your post i remember this:
Sorry for you and your K-5. Hope you will resolve problem. Good luck!
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