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12-21-2011, 04:24 PM   #1
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K - 5 and lenses that are not dust proof

I'd like to hear your personal opinion/experiences on this subject. February 2012, I'd be travelling through parts of the American Southwest visiting various National Parks ( Death Valley, Arches, Canyonlands etc). I'd be using my Pentax K 5 and Tamron SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II. As far as my understanding goes, all of this places are extremely dry and dusty and was wondering if I should protect/cover my non-dust proof lenses to prevent dust from creeping into them or even my camera while I am shooting? Am I being overcautious or this is not really necessary since I won't be shooting on a dust storm?
Thanks!

12-21-2011, 04:41 PM   #2
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There really shouldn't be any major issues using a non-WR lens on the K5. Unless you're trotting through rain fall or sand storms, your lens and body should be fine. Be sure to change lenses quickly when needed.
12-21-2011, 04:46 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Guayabero Quote
I'd like to hear your personal opinion/experiences on this subject. February 2012, I'd be travelling through parts of the American Southwest visiting various National Parks ( Death Valley, Arches, Canyonlands etc). I'd be using my Pentax K 5 and Tamron SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II. As far as my understanding goes, all of this places are extremely dry and dusty and was wondering if I should protect/cover my non-dust proof lenses to prevent dust from creeping into them or even my camera while I am shooting? Am I being overcautious or this is not really necessary since I won't be shooting on a dust storm?
Thanks!
I have shot a lot in the Moab area, and also here in Colorado at similar spots, as well as New Mexico and Arizona. Don't know about Death Valley, but I wouldn't worry about it. There *IS* a lot of fine red dust around some of those places and just plain sand at others, but it isn't so bad. If the wind kicks up, sure cover things up and avoid turning rings and zooming, etc at the moment if you get grit on the lens, but as an outdoor location I haven't found it especially treacherous compared to anywhere else. (There are a gazillion other tourists and pros with their cameras at the same places -- I don't think all their equipment is getting wrecked.) Maybe use a filter, and be careful changing lenses, but otherwise common sense is all you need. Just keep the camera in a bag when you're not using it and careful where you stuff it as your shoes and maybe other clothing will end up dusty depending on where you go. I've had more trouble with point-and-shoots getting grit in their little built-in shutter type lens cover. My Canon P&S has a permanent UV filter glued on to the front of it (in front of the lens cover), effectively sealing it.
12-21-2011, 05:05 PM   #4
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I've shot a lot in those areas with lots of lenses bot WR and non-WR. There is good advice above. Use your lens cap, bring lens cleaning tools, rocket blower, etc. Check your camera/lenses daily for dust. Actually, my daughter has shot a lot in the southern California desert with the Tammy lens on her Canon. No problems reported by her with it either. Just do what you'd do anywhere else to avoid getting dust into the camera. Honestly, the only problem I've had in Death Valley minus a dust storm there when I didn't bring out the camera to shoot in, was with my tripod on the dunes outside of Stovepipe Wells. I got sand in the lower legs of my Manfroto tripod and had to take them apart and clean them. A good camera bag is your friend out there too. Best of luck, those are some awesome locations for photography.

12-21-2011, 05:41 PM   #5
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I lived in Southern Utah for years and had no problem with non-WR lenses. Make sure that you avoid shooting in dust storms and try to only change lenses in protected locations, not in the bottom of Antelope Canyon . In the desert, a UV filter is a good idea. Sand is can be very hard on the front lens element.

I'm very happy with my Tammy 17-50 and wouldn't trade it for the Pentax 16-50.
12-21-2011, 08:35 PM   #6
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Used my K10D w/ a Sigma 17-70 in Antelope canyon (falling red dust everywhere but I didn't change lenses) w/o issues. Had to wipe down all my gear afterwards, but it worked fine and I didn't get dust inside. The K-5 should be fine...
12-21-2011, 10:07 PM   #7
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I use rubber O-rings on non weather sealed lenses, at the base where they connect to the camera at the mount.
Get some assorted sized rings, slip them over the back of the lens. Snap the lens on, then roll the O-ring down to the base.
12-22-2011, 04:18 AM   #8
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Hi

We have fine dust in the outback north of Australia. The locals call it Bull Dust, it is as fine as Talcum powder and it gets in everywhere. If you hit this sort of stuff you could be in trouble. Not so much your K-5 but your non dust proofed glass. Otherwise normal dust is not so much of a problem, but you need to be aware of some things.

As far as zoom lenses is concerned the main problem are the extending barrels in two ways. One, the pumping action sucks in dust, and two, while the zoom is extended dust can/will settle on the tubes. And when you retract the tubes the dust finds its way inside. (Goes for normal usage also)

So what can you do? Well firstly when in a suspect dusty location don't zoom in and out like a madman and use zoom only if needed and if possible extent/retract the zoom as slowly as possible. This way you give the air pressure less "umpf" it can equalize better and it won't suck so much dust. (This is a contentious statement but my own experience bears this out.)

Remove the settled dust from the extended barrels from time to time or whenever you spot some. This could sometimes be difficult as there can be static on the plastic and with a cloth you could merely increase the static if you wipe vigorously and even if you don't a cloth could introduce dust of its on and then dust will only be shifted from one spot to another on the barrel. To overcome this when traveling in dusty locations I arm myself with a packet of wet hand sanitizer tissues, the ones that come in a re-sealable pack obtainable from the supermarket. They contain a bit of alcohol and evaporate quickly and don't harm the lens. Just wipe the extended barrel with it gently trying not to leave a lot of moisture behind. They will pick up dust nicely. Of course you ought not to do this in the middle of a sand storm. Just pick your opportunity.

Oh, and one more thing. Never, let me repeat this, never use a blower! WHAT? are you for real?
Well, a blower only copies/replicates the conditions that put the dust on your gear in the first place and with you pumping the little blighter like mad with the nozzle end dancing wildly in all direction you can never aim for the spot you aim for. And even if you hit the spot the air pressure will not be strong enough to shift but the lightest bit of crap. As far as unsealed lens barrels is concerned there is a real danger that you blow dust through the gap of the barrels. Some lenses have fine tolerances there others have really big gaps (that's when the barrels feel loose, I have some of these) and let me tell you it is very easy to blow dust through there.

Certainly never use the blower to remove dust from the mount end of the lens, you will only blow the dust deeper into the lens! And never point the blower into the opening of the camera, you will blow in more crap and the crap that is already in there won't be removed by this action but blown deeper into the camera only to appear an hour later on the sensor. ALWAYS use a soft Nylon brush which can hold a light static charge and brush the front and back of the lens and camera opening with it to remove dust. You have used a brush without harm to remove dust from the front of your lenses for years, haven't you?

After you used the wet wipe on the barrel and after a while when it has dried out a bit more you can also use it to wipe the camera lens mount (opening) with it to remove dust that has settled there. I have been doing it for years, also keeps the contacts clean.

Then flick the bristles sharply over the edge of a pencil or such to dislodge the dust from the brush. Carry a little ziplock plastic bag (the locals in Oz here have nicknamed them dealer bags) and store the brush in there after use. Such supersoft brushes can be purchased from any art supply store, just make sure you buy one that is not sized and if it is wash it out first and dry with hair dryer. Use a different brush for the inside of the camera if you need to brush there as you will pick up oil. Never brush your sensor or mirror with this brush it will put oil on it. Use a dedicated sensor brush for this.

And finally, don't get too hung up about dust it will be ever present. But I think you are more concerned when shooting in these really dusty locations, aren't you.

Sorry for the long winded post but everything explained above is done faster then writing about it.

Greetings

12-22-2011, 06:35 AM   #9
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If you already know that it is getting dusty, protect your gear - even WR lenses. YOu may still scratch the front element of collect dust in your bags, .... don't be paranoid about the dust, but make sure that you can clean dust off the camera in the evening and that you have protectioin ready in case needed.
12-25-2011, 08:03 PM   #10
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Thank you all for your input.
12-25-2011, 08:30 PM   #11
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The biggest difference that matters is not having a rubber seal between the lens and the mount, but I would think the two connect so closely together that it wouldn't be much of an issue with dust (water would be another matter). It's probably best not to change lenses when the wind is blowing.
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