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03-19-2013, 12:13 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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A Tribute to the K5 and DA* 16-50 WR

I was in Mexico a few weeks ago and we took a Catamaran trip to a reef for some snorkeling. I was sitting on the bow facing the open water - a little ways back (front of the cabin). I had my K5 with the DA* 16-50 strapped on along with the Pentax GPS Unit O-GPS1 (which is also WR).

There were not any big waves (as we were inside the reef) however we hit one just right and I got soaked. it was not a light spray as much as a full wave just washing over me. Everything was on (it may have been in a sleep state but power was on). both the camea and GPS unit.

I was concerned. I turned everything off, wiped down the excess water on the outside with a towel and turned it all back on. It all worked like a charm and I continued to use it the rest of the trip. Later in that tip I also got caught in a major rain fall (downpour) and had to walk about 1km with the camera and same lens hanging off my neck (this time I had it all turned off).

The DA* 16-50 appeared a little sluggish after but still worked. When I got home I carefully cleaned the contacts on both the K5 and DA* 16-50 and the last outing I used it last weekend (inside , difficult lighting) it worked just like it was new.

YMMV but for me it justifies why I bought a WR camera and lens. It's first real test (hopefully the last one that drastic!). I have taken it out in snow and rain before , but never rainfall that hard and never drenched in a salt water ocean wave.

03-19-2013, 12:17 PM   #2
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Interesting, Dave. You've gotta love Pentax WR after reading that. Thanks.
03-19-2013, 01:39 PM   #3
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A + $10,000 camera and lens who felt in the sea was sold for $665 !

Phew not a Pentax
03-19-2013, 02:02 PM   #4
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TFS ... good to hear that all was OK ... tough gear and great WR ... J

03-19-2013, 02:39 PM   #5
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While I agree the K-5 WR is excellent, especially with an internally focussing and zooming lens like the 50-135, or primes like the DA*55 or 100WR, it is not really foolproof with all WR lenses.

I notice with both my K200D and K-5, for example, if I use a WR lens like the 18-55 WR kit lens or the 18-135 WR, a faint but discernable jet of air does emerge from the top of both cameras when those zooms are mounted and zoomed-in quickly. In the case of the K-5, the air escape is near the hot-shoe.

This behavior makes sense and is probably by design, since if there was no air escape (or inlet) from the body, an air-pumping lens like the 18-135 may have trouble zooming in (or out) due to the effect of air compression/suction within the space of the enclosed body/lens.

tl;dr - the K-5 WR isn't bulletproof. It's effectiveness may depend a lot on the WR lens you use, and how you use the lens.

Last edited by rawr; 03-19-2013 at 02:45 PM.
03-19-2013, 04:01 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
While I agree the K-5 WR is excellent, especially with an internally focussing and zooming lens like the 50-135, or primes like the DA*55 or 100WR, it is not really foolproof with all WR lenses.
I notice with both my K200D and K-5, for example, if I use a WR lens like the 18-55 WR kit lens or the 18-135 WR, a faint but discernable jet of air does emerge from the top of both cameras when those zooms are mounted and zoomed-in quickly. In the case of the K-5, the air escape is near the hot-shoe.
This behavior makes sense and is probably by design, since if there was no air escape (or inlet) from the body, an air-pumping lens like the 18-135 may have trouble zooming in (or out) due to the effect of air compression/suction within the space of the enclosed body/lens.
tl;dr - the K-5 WR isn't bulletproof. It's effectiveness may depend a lot on the WR lens you use, and how you use the lens.
Interesting observation rawr - while I am not saying the K5 and DA* 16-50 are waterproof (as opposed to Water Resistant) I am just sharing my personal experience. My friend on the boat shoots a Canon Rebel TIII I believe and had that happened to her - I am pretty sure it would be game over. I fully expected some residual effect - fog in the viewfinder , maybe some fungus in the Lens (it's only been about 3 weeks so maybe ...) - I was just impressed. This was not rain falling on the camera - the wave was like taking a bucket of salt water and throwing it in my face. That is beyond WR to me. But you are also correct I was lucky - the way the camera was tilted - the fact I had the hot shoe covered with the GPS , etc. All that said I don't think any non WR camera / lens combo would have survived for sure and as you suggested perhaps a different combo for me may not have fared so well.

Last edited by daacon; 03-19-2013 at 04:18 PM.
03-19-2013, 04:17 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
My friend on the boat shoots a Canon Reblel TIII I believe and had that happened to her - I am pretty sure it would be game over.
For sure.

Probably with lenses like the WR zooms, maybe even your 16-50 DA*, things would remain fine if immediately at the time of any exposure to water/dust, one wasn't zooming the lens quickly in or out.

Anyways, I also now keep the hotshoe cover in place all the time in bad weather
03-19-2013, 05:32 PM   #8
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okay now we need some vacation pics

03-19-2013, 07:09 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clicker Quote
okay now we need some vacation pics
ha check out my last dozen or so posts in the Post Your Photo's Forum and there's a few more to come yet .......
03-19-2013, 08:25 PM   #10
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Nice! I'm going to Mexico this summer, and where I'm going they have rainy summers. I'm undecided on what camera to take. The Olympus OM-D or the Pentax K-5 II.
03-20-2013, 04:07 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by memo90061 Quote
Nice! I'm going to Mexico this summer, and where I'm going they have rainy summers. I'm undecided on what camera to take. The Olympus OM-D or the Pentax K-5 II.
Have fun ! I would not recommend testing yours as I did mine - but the K5 II should be just as sealed , and then you will need a matching WR lens. I always bring my DSLR on trips, I have been getting better on not bringing everr lens I own. This time I narrowed it down to 5
03-20-2013, 08:53 AM   #12
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Thank you.

Hahahah that's still a lot of lenses. What 5 lenses did you take?

I'm pretty nervous about taking the Pentax K-5 II because I'm nervous someone in Mexico will want to steal it from me. I know there is crime everywhere, but with all the things people say I get nervous.
03-20-2013, 09:45 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by memo90061 Quote
Thank you.
Hahahah that's still a lot of lenses. What 5 lenses did you take?
I'm pretty nervous about taking the Pentax K-5 II because I'm nervous someone in Mexico will want to steal it from me. I know there is crime everywhere, but with all the things people say I get nervous.
First off I took the DA 10-17, DA 12-24, DA 35ltd, DA*16-50 and DA* 60-250. Along with my flash, a bunch of filters , tripod and remotes (both wired and wireless). As for theft , I had everything with me in a Crumpler 7 million dollar bag. I never left my 'camera bag' unattended on the beach. If we went on a day trip, I always had it with me or locked in the vehicle.

I know there is a lot of bad press for Mexico in general , however the area we were in at least (Puerto Morelos) we have always felt safe. Sure there were break-ins in the area and some crime , but as you mentioned there is always crime. If you have a car and want to leave your camera , lock it in the truck. If you are worried about your hotel / condo room well some have a safe that may fit your gear or sometimes you can leave it at the front desk under lock and key. Mexico is built on Tourism so most places will do whatever they can to ensure your stay is enjoyable.

My take is I bought my gear to take the best pictures I can wherever I go. I also had a laptop and portable drive. I dumped the pictures daily onto both. if my gear was stolen well, that would have sucked for sure, but I was as careful as one can be and in the grand scheme of things , it's just stuff. I don't get extra insurance but I think that can be purchased , that may be something you want to look into. I hope you enjoy your trip and do indeed take the K5 II . What part of Mexico are you going to ?
03-20-2013, 10:00 AM   #14
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That's a nice set of lenses. I just purchased the Pentax K-5 II with the 18-55mm WR lens and Sigma 10-20mm lens. I really want the Sigma 30mm now, and I'd be set for what I usually shoot. I do have the Pentax-M 50mm F1.4 lens too.

So you've been to Mexico in the past? That's nice. I'm Mexican American myself, and have also been to Mexico a couple of times. I've been lucky nothing has happened to met, but I'm going to Mexico City for the first time, and I must say I'm a bit nervous. I've always heard horror stories about crime in Mexico City. I've been good in Guadalajara. I think I would leave the lenses in a safe if it's available.

I don't have a laptop, but want to buy one for the same reason. I feel like my SD card will probably fill up. I'm going to visit family in Guadalajara, and will be going to Playa del Carmen and Mexico City for the first time! I'm excited, and nervous. hahah.

How would you describe Puerto Morelos? I see it's near Cancun.
03-20-2013, 10:28 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
I was concerned
Why is that, I wonder? It's not as if you were shooting with a Canikon.

To doomsayers I will say only this : I've been using my K20D for as long as it existed, with a 18-55, DFA 100 macro WR and recently a 60-250 WR. Under waterfalls, in the sand, under rain, snowfalls, storms, pressure variations, you name it.

Nothing ever happened except pictures that are unique and rewarding. that and astounded glances by Canion users.

I have learned to just trust the WR and let it do its work.

However, after a spray of salt water, I would make sure to rinse the camera with clean water to remove salt.
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