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05-02-2011, 09:46 AM   #1
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My frustration as a prime shooter...

I love primes. And the primes Pentax offers are at least part of the reason I chose Pentax.

However, the other big reason I chose Pentax was the weather-sealing.

What is interesting, and frustration all at once, is that Pentax is known for it's great small primes, yet makes none of them weather-sealed.

I've been battling with the decision on what lenses to get for my K-5. I'm exceptionally happy with the performance of the FA 43mm f/1.9 and was previously (on my K-x) happy with the 40mm and 70mm DA Limiteds. Problem is, none of them offer me a completely weather-sealed kit.

I had pretty much decided I'd go with all primes, but I'd supplement with the 18-135mm for those rainy days I like to go out on...

But I'm rethinking that decision now. After reading about the recent water-failure of a member here, and reading somewhere else that the WR lenses are not "as sealed" as the DA* lenses, I'm wondering if the 18-135 is the best choice for me.

It's really down to three choices... which is a little annoying (hence my frustration!)...

-Get the DA* 55mm f/1.4 Lens - a high quality weather-sealed prime. Downside: the FOV might be a little long for me on APS-C.

-Get the 16-50mm f/2.8 DA* - a high quality weather-sealed zoom. Downside: size and weight... I HATE big and bulky and heavy. Might have to worry about SMC focus motor in the future (would suck to be on a trip and have it fail!)

-Get the 18-135mm WR - decent all-around weather-resistant zoom. Downside: is it weather-resistant enough? Will the quality of photos be anywhere near what I'm used to with primes (I know the answer to that)...

I like to shoot in nasty weather quite a bit. I don't go on hikes in the pouring rain, but my cameras all get wet... even the non-weather-sealed ones. I've taken the K-5 out with the FA 43 in the rain already. My M8 has been out in rain and snow, even blizzards, shooting. My hope was to have a camera kit that lets me be worry-free when in these conditions. However, like I started off... I love primes.

What the heck do I do? LOL!
What would you do?

05-02-2011, 09:56 AM   #2
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You say the DA 40 and 70 are not weather resistant? Funny, I use mine in the rain, snow and cold all the time with no problem. Perhaps I am just lucky . . .
05-02-2011, 10:00 AM   #3
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Looks like you're stuck without a solution.
FTR. I've gone out a few times in nasty conditions to shoot wildlife and resorted to a rainjacket.
Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.
05-02-2011, 10:30 AM   #4
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I really don't find the 16-50 to be that big and bulky. I mean, compared to a limited prime, sure, but in the grand scheme of things, not really. I've used it at many an event where I need to be quick and nimble and even with the hood, I'm hardly even aware of the size. I don't know if you've used one before, but if not perhaps you could borrow/rent one to try it out for size.

05-02-2011, 11:03 AM   #5
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Hi Amy,
All of the WR kit lenses only have a simplified weather sealing, as Pentax advertise. Don't go kayaking with any of these, you want waterproof, get an underwater camera!
Instead of the 18-135, what about the 17-70 Lens, I understand that this lens is sealed during manufacture, check the dpreview Pentax SLR Talk forum for details of the 17-70 lens. Look for the thread about why the 17-70 Lens isn't more popular.
You well know the image quality of a prime v zoom.
I would stay with your beloved primes, go out in the foul weather you're so fond of and just be very careful with your precious lenses.
I would attach a largish UV filter to a plastic bag, place the camera in the bag and shoot through the filter.
Incidentally, my K-5 along with my Pentax 17-70 Lens are both strictly forbidden to go out when it's raining!
Kind regards,
Roy3
05-02-2011, 11:07 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
I really don't find the 16-50 to be that big and bulky. I mean, compared to a limited prime, sure, but in the grand scheme of things, not really. I've used it at many an event where I need to be quick and nimble and even with the hood, I'm hardly even aware of the size. I don't know if you've used one before, but if not perhaps you could borrow/rent one to try it out for size.
Probably a good idea. I did look at it's weight specs compared to what I used to shoot with a couple of years ago (e620 + 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5) and it was similar. I've got the benefit of a camera shop about 1/2 an hour away and they carry Pentax, so I should probably head over there and see exactly how big/bulky it is.
05-02-2011, 11:11 AM   #7
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How about a baggie and rubberband?
05-02-2011, 12:00 PM   #8
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I'd complain to Pentax about missing WR limiteds, and then complain even more once they're announced due to a significantly worse LBA.

Joking aside, I agree that more primes should have WR. I could use a plastic bag with any brand. WR is one of the features that (should) make Pentax special.

05-02-2011, 12:02 PM   #9
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Why don't you get the DA *55? It may be a little on the long side, but it is really a beautiful lens and a nice focal length for out door stuff.

I don't find the 16-50 that big a lens either, but certainly compared to the limiteds, it would be huge.
05-02-2011, 01:51 PM   #10
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In my opinion, the Limited primes don't really need weather sealing (at least, not from rain), since they have no electronic parts and are reasonably well protected against water droplets.

I have shot in heavy rain with my primes a few times and they all have survived.
05-02-2011, 03:19 PM   #11
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My prime is weather sealed (D FA 100mm WR)!!! It has endured many rain storms and always comes out unscathed. But then, it is probably to long a focal range for what you're wanting... I suggest the DA* 55mm.
05-02-2011, 04:03 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christine Tham Quote
In my opinion, the Limited primes don't really need weather sealing (at least, not from rain), since they have no electronic parts and are reasonably well protected against water droplets.

I have shot in heavy rain with my primes a few times and they all have survived.
I'd agree with you for an occasional outing in the rain, however, a couple things that concern me...

-If water gets inside the lens, it could get inside the camera.
-There is no weather-sealing gaskets at the mounting point, potentionally letting water into the camera.
-On the FA 43, the top of the lens where the distance scale is, that looks too much like an area water can get into. When I was shooting out in the rain with it, I had to make sure my hand was covering it to try to avoid letting water get into the lens that way.

Electronic parts or not, I'm not sure it's a good to shoot with them in the rain regularly...
05-02-2011, 04:48 PM   #13
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Rather than lamenting on the lack of WR, why not think of practical and workable workarounds to circumvent the issue. Users of other brands who use primes or zooms in inclement weather have had to contend with this issue so I don't see why Pentax users shooting in similar conditions can't do the same. WR is nice to have but don't let it lull ourselves to thinking that water ingress can't happen.
05-02-2011, 04:54 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by DRabbit Quote
I'd agree with you for an occasional outing in the rain, however, a couple things that concern me...

-If water gets inside the lens, it could get inside the camera.
-There is no weather-sealing gaskets at the mounting point, potentionally letting water into the camera.
-On the FA 43, the top of the lens where the distance scale is, that looks too much like an area water can get into. When I was shooting out in the rain with it, I had to make sure my hand was covering it to try to avoid letting water get into the lens that way.
This is all true, but I don't shoot pointing upwards in the rain all that often

The trick is to carry the camera lens pointing down in the rain, and only lift it up to take a photo. This way, the camera body is shielding the lens.

Don't know about the design of the K-5, but I have the service manual for the K10D which is also weather sealed and it's quite clear from the schematic diagram that Pentax put a lot of thought into weather sealing the back of the camera where the LCD is, and the front of the camera is decidedly less protected.

The camera is not designed to be dipped into water, although some have reported successful results (I'm thinking of those crazy guys in Malaysian forum at the waterfall).
05-02-2011, 06:12 PM   #15
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I am a prime guy myself, and got the 100 WR. I also broke down and got my first and last zoom, the 18-135 if i was going to try the weather sealed properties of this rig. Otherwise, all primes.
Joe
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