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05-02-2011, 09:13 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eruditass Quote
This is more than just some resistors, but rather at least includes a chip.
Yes, the newer lenses have an ID chip - but like most ICs it's relatively impervious to water - it's weather sealed! It's probably an FPGA - these things are fairly indestructible.

The big danger with big lenses with SDM motors is that the SDM motors carry a fair amount of current. That's why those lenses need weather sealing.

05-02-2011, 09:23 PM   #32
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I did not read the whole thread. I've used the FA31Ltd in pooring rain on the K5 without ill effects. Next time I will indeed use a plastic baggie for peace of mind.

QuoteOriginally posted by DRabbit Quote
But I'm rethinking that decision now. After reading about the recent water-failure of a member here,
You have never bought anything in a shop that, when at home, did not work? Lucky
Friend of mine traded a perfect Freelander 2 in for a Discovery 4 and only has had problems with it. Other Disco4 owners dont have these problems. Shows that there might be a bad apple, but that not all apples are bad.
05-02-2011, 09:31 PM   #33
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I'm in a similar boat to you.

I'm in the process of trading a 43mm limited for the the DA* 55mm, with weather sealing being (just one of) the pluses for my particular needs. I'll let you know what I think after I've been with the lens for a while, I am slightly concerned about the size difference too.

I would also love a 20-30mm WR, moderately fast prime from pentax too - it's about the only new design product that would actually have any value to me, apart from that my needs are covered very well.

Sam
05-02-2011, 09:35 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christine Tham Quote
...
The whole philosophy of the weather sealing design was in the interview - including why they released the DA* lens with shielding and why they didn't update the small primes with weather sealing.
For exactly the reason I had given - because the body will shield the rain and snow from a tiny lens if you hold it with the back facing upwards. I think there was even a diagram describing it...
So when out in the rain with the K-5 and FA43, I can only take photos of things on the ground?

While I can buy that a weather-sealed camera with a nearly-all mechanical, prime lens is better than it's non weather-sealed competitor, I'm not exactly sure it's something anyone should rely upon. Even if the lens in completely impervious to damage (which I doubt), the camera certainly isn't when there's nothing keeping the water that might get into the lens out of the camera body itself.

05-02-2011, 09:41 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by subtle_goat Quote
I'm in a similar boat to you.

I'm in the process of trading a 43mm limited for the the DA* 55mm, with weather sealing being (just one of) the pluses for my particular needs. I'll let you know what I think after I've been with the lens for a while, I am slightly concerned about the size difference too.

I would also love a 20-30mm WR, moderately fast prime from pentax too - it's about the only new design product that would actually have any value to me, apart from that my needs are covered very well.

Sam
Hi Sam...

It's a little frustrating, isn't it?

If you can keep the 43 and get the 55, I'd recommend it... since the 43 is such a great lens.

And I definitely be interested in hearing what you think when you do get the 55!

And I'm with ya on the other lens thing... one lens, maybe a 28 or 30mm, with weather sealing would be awesome. 21, 30, 43, 55... that would be a great kit, especially if two of them were weather-sealed.
05-02-2011, 10:04 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by DRabbit Quote
So when out in the rain with the K-5 and FA43, I can only take photos of things on the ground?
No. As I mentioned before, the few seconds it takes for you to take a picture isn't going to affect the lens.

There is no need to cover the lens with your hands whilst taking a picture, that will just slow you down.

Keep the camera pointing downwards, frame a scene in your eye, and when ready, lift the camera up to take a photo, compose, shoot, and then point downwards again. If it's really heavy rain, occasionally you may need to wipe the front of the lens with a soft cloth. But most times you don't need to.

I have done this for many hours in a rain. If you look at my Japan travel blog, there were some days that it rained pretty much continuously, and yet I still took thousands of photos on those days.

This even works with a tripod. Camera point downwards, set up, adjust, compose, shoot, back to downwards.
05-02-2011, 10:42 PM   #37
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If you're considering the 18-135 (and other WR lenses), I can vouch for the sealing. I've taken it into rain (no shortage of that around here in Seattle ) and snow quite a bit, in which it got a good soaking all over, including both inner barrels. I zoomed in and out as if the rain wasn't there at all. Didn't even bother to dry it off properly afterwards; just a quick few wipes and stuffed it back in my bag. Not a single drop has ever made it inside it or my DFA 100 Macro WR (I checked closely the first few times, and they were absolutely spotless inside). I'm never worried about them now. Don't put them under a faucet, or dunk them, and they should be fine.

As for the image quality, well... it's obviously no prime, with its somewhat weak edge performance at the extreme ends of the zoom range (perfectly fine in the middle of the range), but the center quality is actually excellent (and not just for a superzoom). Some quick PP (CA correction and sharpening) goes a long way in making the edges decent if you're not an extreme pixel peeper. If it still really bothers you, a slight crop will remove the worst of it and leave the excellent center (with the flexibility of a zoom, it's a simple matter of just zooming slightly wider than you need and cropping off the excess).

I'm primarily a prime shooter, but I always keep the 18-135 handy as a bad weather backup, and for that job it has served me well.

Last edited by Cannikin; 05-03-2011 at 01:15 AM.
05-03-2011, 05:28 AM   #38
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The others may be right that a prime is going to hold up better in rain than a zoom lens, but I still stay away from shooting non-sealed lenses in bad weather. That's why I have DA * lenses. The reality is that a little water in a camera can totally screw it up and when you've spent 1000 dollars or more on a camera, you don't want to lose it to your own stupidity.

Anyway, for better or worse, the only sealed primes currently are the 55 and the DFA 100 WR.

05-03-2011, 05:35 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Anyway, for better or worse, the only sealed primes currently are the 55 and the DFA 100 WR.
Actually, there's also the DA*200 and DA*300, although I realize those are probably longer than the OP was looking for.

QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
The others may be right that a prime is going to hold up better in rain than a zoom lens, but I still stay away from shooting non-sealed lenses in bad weather. That's why I have DA * lenses. The reality is that a little water in a camera can totally screw it up and when you've spent 1000 dollars or more on a camera, you don't want to lose it to your own stupidity.
I agree. I took both the K-5+18-135 and K200D+DA40 out this weekend and it started to rain. Even though the the 18-135 is a zoom, and perhaps not sealed as well as the DA* lenses, I still felt more comfortable with the 18-135 (than the 40) in terms of worrying about the rain.
05-03-2011, 07:18 AM   #40
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Christine,

You're preaching to the choir. As I started off saying, I've taken the 43 in the rain and non-weather-sealed cameras out in bad weather.

I guess my point is that I'm not sure we should all be recommending that practice to each other as if that's as "safe" as using properly weather-sealed lenses. The FA 43, right on the top of the lens where the distance scale is, looks like it could let water in VERY easily... and while a few drops probably won't hurt it, it could certainly be a recipe for disaster. You and I may choose to take it out in the rain ourselves, but I'm not sure I'd be telling anyone to do the same without emphasizing the fact that it might be a risky move. The fact it isn't weather-sealed is the part that's a little worrying to me, when part of my point in buying Pentax was to shoot out in the rain without worry.

I'm not sure what I'll do honestly. Without a doubt I'm going to buy an FA 31 lens... but that was never in question. I was originally going to buy a 70 limited and the 18-135 for it's weather resistance... but I'm still not sure. I might go the route of getting the 18-135 and the 55 DA* instead... or I might go 21 Limited and 55 DA*. The only problem with the latter, though I'd prefer it as my kit, is that it limits my flexibility in bad weather if I want to be protected.

Last edited by DRabbit; 05-03-2011 at 09:58 AM.
05-03-2011, 09:18 AM   #41
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Christine; you are probably right about being safe when careful, but I do not feel I can take that risk.

Last winter, a father had to be rescued with a helicopter from a marsh here in Norway. He had walked out on it to check whether it was safe (frozen) for his family to walk on. It was not. The point is I cannot afford to take the chance of using expensive primes without WR in rain or snow. My kit lens (18-55) is WR, so I'll probably just use this for foul weather for now, even though WR primes would be nice.

Another angle to look at this is consumer rights; If a lens is WR you can complain to the store or manufacturer if it is killed or damaged by a drizzle. If there's no WR then tough luck, no matter how careful one has been in the rain.
05-03-2011, 01:25 PM   #42
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Guys, there's always a risk when you take the camera out in adverse conditions.

WR isn't going to protect either camera or lens from a dunking in water (again, the antics of the Malaysian photographers at a waterfall notwithstanding).

But the real point is: the camera is designed to withstand a day out in the rain or snow. Hail the size of golf balls, probably not.

And the primes will withstand rain reasonably well, even if they get completely wet. I have spent an entire afternoon once shooting flowers in the rain, and the camera and lens was totally unprotected on a tripod. Those were some of the best flower photos I've taken - just love the water dripping off the flowers and the amazing contrast in the colours.

I appreciate the concern that some may have, but at the end of the day WR on a non SDM prime is a complete non-issue for me. I understand the need to have WR on SDM lenses - wouldn't want water and high current circuits to mix, but the FA43 will survive all day out in the rain without letting anything into it, or the camera body. Does Pentax guarantee that? No. Do I guarantee that? No. But realistically, I'm not worried based on actual experience.

Not trying to tell everyone what they should or shouldn't do. We all have different risk tolerances and different assessment of risk. I'm just saying what I would or wouldn't do.
05-03-2011, 01:54 PM   #43
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One possible reason there are no small WS primes

All of the weather sealed lenses I've seen are fairly big. Certainly none of them are the size of the 43 ltd or even the 31 ltd. I think that one of the reasons is that weather seals take up a fair amount of space and the lenses therefore needs must be bigger. That of course doesn't account for why there isn't one prime below 55mm that is WS/WR. I personally would love a WS 35mm or 28mm or even a 20mm prime that was reasonably fast also.

NaCl(to quote Robert Jordan, "I'd jump on that like a duck on a beetle" )H2O
05-03-2011, 02:07 PM   #44
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Another possible work around

How about a small K, M or even an A prime, even less to go wrong than the 43ltd. And a wide rubber band around the base of the lens at the lens/body junction. That might work if you don't have to change apertures too much. I imagine a M42 adapter might even be more water resistant.

NaCl(but I'm with you Amy, I still would like a WR/WS lens less than or equal to 35mm)H2O
05-03-2011, 02:46 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
How about a small K, M or even an A prime, even less to go wrong than the 43ltd. And a wide rubber band around the base of the lens at the lens/body junction.
I don't think there is that much to go wrong with a FA43 to be honest. There is no active or high current circuitry in the FA43 - a non SDM prime only needs to report 2 (maybe 3 things): aperture, lens ID, and maybe current focus distance (for the EXIF).

That can be implemented using basically a pair of potentiometers (and a set of pull down resistors for the lens ID), but these days for manufacturing economy the lens ID is probably in an IC (which is also fairly tolerant of water).

I'm moderately confident (though I am absolutely NOT recommending that you try it) if water is poured over the lens/body junction it won't get in - the seal, though not waterproof, is fairly tight.

As for water going in via the focusing barrel - again doubt it - it's not waterproof but there is some protection against moisture and dust.

You'll notice that Pentax has only released WR primes on SDM lenses - that's because you don't want a high current short so some extra protection is required. Not sure if the weather sealing adds to the size, it's more likely the SDM mechanism.

I can't offer proof, but I am reasonably convinced (based on the article I read a few years ago) that the Pentax designers don't believe their primes will have an issue in the rain coupled with a WR camera - that's why they have yet to release a single non-SDM WR prime 4 years after the introduction of the K10D.

[Edit: okay, I think we have the DFA 100mm macro WR which I don't think has SDM - but that lens is so big it's probably a good idea to improve the sealing]

I agree that for marketing purposes maybe Pentax should perhaps re-release some of their primes with perhaps additional sealing, or maybe just sell them as is but add a WR sticker, and that may satisfy those who need to see the letters imprinted on the lens with accompanying manufacturer guarantee.

But I wouldn't buy them.
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