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08-27-2014, 01:16 AM   #1
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"Increasing" the weather sealing on a K50 + 18-135 for travel/adventure.

So, a while ago I purchased a Pentax K50|18 - 135 Kit with the intention of using it as a travel/adventure and hiking DSLR that will essentially live in my car/backpack. I was looking for a few things in a camera and the K50 is, in my personal opinion, the best in class DSLR for travel or adventure/hiking. My reasoning was as follows:

Weather-Sealing
Durable Construction
Lightweight
Weather-sealed and versatile lens option
GPS Compatible
AA-Battery Power compatible.

I believe the K50 is well built especially for it's market level, but as I do with most things I own I attempted to improve it. My aim being to increase the overall weather-sealing and durability of the camera. This is what I have achieved so far.

The obvious addition of a HD UV filter on the lens and screen protector aside, I decided to add two layers of teflon tape onto the threading between the lens and the Hoya HD UV filter. Those of you who know teflon tape will understand how effective it is (I learnt of it's ability while building air guns in my shed. Ah, the good days). This virtually eliminates the possibility for water to enter between the front element and the filter. (The filter itself is capable of pooling water without leaking.)

My next modification was to address the obvious point of failure between the lens and the DSLR body. While the 18-135 is already weather resistant, I believed I could resistance two fold, at least at the mount. Take into mind I do not plan to changing lenses with this particular model.

Once again I used teflon tape, applying a multitude of layers. I used a bobby pin to force the teflon tape into the small but apparent dip at the furthermost point of the lens/DSLR connection.

On top of this I then rolled a 50mm heavy-duty rubber o-ring over the lens until it squeezed itself down over the teflon tape between the camera and lens. Using a significantly smaller ring had the intended effect, and the tension it sits makes it impossible to remove without removing the lens completely.

I am planning on cutting myself a metal/rubber frame that will surround the bottom, sides and (Hopefully) top corners of the DSLR body, adding to the durability of the device.

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08-27-2014, 01:51 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Wouldn't this be an easier solution?
https://www.google.com/search?q=dslr+raincoat&safe=off&client=firefox-beta&h...w=1920&bih=969
08-27-2014, 02:39 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by whk1992 Quote
Not really, my aim was not to keep the camera from getting wet, but ensure it's reliability when wet!
08-27-2014, 03:13 AM   #4
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I think your efforts certainly will make those lens connections more water resistant. However, I feel you need also consider then many other places where water may get in. There's all the numerous buttons and access doors which are, of course, well sealed by the manufacturer, but unlikely to be easily improved. I found the easiest, and simplest solution, at places like Niagara Falls, was to place the camera in a clear plastic bag with the bag taped around the lens.

08-27-2014, 03:20 AM   #5
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Some clear plastic bags tied over the lens barrel and much of the camera body with rubber bands would also do a decent job in providing additional weather protection, when needed.

It's how many pros do it.
08-27-2014, 07:22 AM   #6
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I think you are wasting your time. Read

My guess is you can only make it worse. I've had my K-30/18-135 in tropical storms, massive rain,dust storms. Zero issues.
08-27-2014, 07:27 AM   #7
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If you do what you are proposing incorrectly, I think you may cause things to be worse. The seals are intended to withstand water landing on and rolling off the camera body and lens - but not pooling. If your modifications cause water to pool at any seal point, it may be enough to ingress into the body or lens. Just keep that in mind.

The front element protection is pretty cool though, with the teflon tape. It's the body seal that worries me a little. In addition to that, the lens is a zoom lens and your added protection to the body seal and the front element seal does nothing for the zoom seals.

If anything, I'd say the front element seal and a lens sleeve would be the most efficient solution.
08-27-2014, 01:30 PM   #8
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Hmmm.. Your not quite done... Now you need to build yourself a constant climatically controlled container for it to prevent any condensation.

08-27-2014, 02:39 PM   #9
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Wouldn't the autotocus accuracy be affected by having anything between the camera and lens mount faces, thereby altering the registration distance? To quote Wikipedia, " lens seating errors of as little as 0.01 mm will manifest themselves critically on the imaging plane and focus will not match the lens marks"
08-27-2014, 03:20 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SteveB Quote
Wouldn't the autotocus accuracy be affected by having anything between the camera and lens mount faces, thereby altering the registration distance? To quote Wikipedia, " lens seating errors of as little as 0.01 mm will manifest themselves critically on the imaging plane and focus will not match the lens marks"
Even though I don't recommend doing this, to answer your question from what I can see is he isn't altering any mount seating distance by wrapping the teflon plumbers tape just within in the outside edge crevice after the lens is mounted then placing the O ring outside of that.
08-27-2014, 03:26 PM   #11
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I honestly donīt think your attempt will increase the Weather sealing of the System. Even if it did improve the camer-lens joint (which I doubt), "your chain is as strong as your weakest link", which are any of the remaining 76 seals.
The teflon on the filter thread is also not necessary as the lens without the filter is already weather sealed. Even then, the thread is enough to keep dust and drops out.

A real way to improve your system would be to the Hood suplied with your lens. It protects the system from impact, drops, unwanted light sources.

---------- Post added 08-27-14 at 07:27 PM ----------

I honestly donīt think your attempt will increase the Weather sealing of the System. Even if it did improve the camer-lens joint (which I doubt), "your chain is as strong as your weakest link", which are any of the remaining 76 seals.
The teflon on the filter thread is also not necessary as the lens without the filter is already weather sealed. Even then, the thread is enough to keep dust and drops out.

A real way to improve your system would be to use the Hood suplied with your lens. It protects the system from impact, drops, unwanted light sources.
08-27-2014, 04:05 PM   #12
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I've had my K5-II & 18-135 out in some serious rain with no problems. My biggest concern if wet plus cold is condensation when brought back inside where it is warmer. For this I keep large plastic zip bag just for this purpose and the hardest part is not to open the camera to remove the memory card before things equalize. I want to see those pictures.
08-27-2014, 08:24 PM   #13
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By the time you mount a metal/rubber box around the camera, I wonder if you'll still be willing to carry it around :/

---------- Post added 08-27-14 at 08:25 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Wingincamera Quote
I've had my K5-II & 18-135 out in some serious rain with no problems. My biggest concern if wet plus cold is condensation when brought back inside where it is warmer. For this I keep large plastic zip bag just for this purpose and the hardest part is not to open the camera to remove the memory card before things equalize. I want to see those pictures.
When the weather is really cold, I keep the camera inside my coat. The warmness helps keeping the battery functioning too.
08-27-2014, 09:30 PM   #14
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If you look at this thread, you'll see what a non-WR lens will do.
I wouldn't worry too much about adding to that

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/58-pentax-beginners-corner-q/257867-what-...s-exposed.html
08-27-2014, 09:45 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bolt Quote
Not really, my aim was not to keep the camera from getting wet, but ensure it's reliability when wet!
One thing to consider here, WR is not water proof. It will at some time fail. My approach is to consider WR as insurance when primary protection fails, not as the primary protection itself.
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