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05-12-2014, 05:09 PM   #1
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New Pentax (UK) Product Guide - Weather resistant or Weatherproof?

Ricoh Imaging UK has unveiled a new Pentax DSLR Product Guide in late 2013: PENTAX DSLR Product Guide - RICOH IMAGING UK LTD.

On the first page inside, we are treated to a K-3 splashed fully by a liquid - presumably water. Turn the pages, and there's a K-5 II also feeling a good drenching.

There are references to "weather resistance" for the K-3 and K-5 II, but on page 11, the K-30 is touted as "weatherproof." The section on Pentax lenses promotes the new ones as "additions to the already comprehensive weatherproof range."

The K-5 II is described as a "camera that can cope with a quick dunk below the surface and a very heavy rain shower." First time I have seen this type of description in Pentax literature.

How should we interpret "weatherproof"? I wonder what Ricoh uses as their definition. What's the difference between "weather resistant" and weatherproof? Is the K-30 really protected more robustly against the elements than the other models?

And most importantly - should I take my K-5 II with WR or DA* lens out into the pouring rain?

- Craig


Last edited by c.a.m; 05-12-2014 at 05:19 PM. Reason: Correction: guide was introduced in late 2013.
05-12-2014, 05:14 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
What's the difference between "weather resistant" and weatherproof?
Depends on whether you are talking to a photographer an engineer or the marketing department.
QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
Is the K-30 really protected more robustly against the elements than the other models?
I doubt it. But I'm just a photographer, what do I know.
QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
And most importantly - should I take my K-5 II with WR or DA* lens out into the pouring rain?
Up to you but you won't see me doing it unless the benefit is greater than the risk. Like if NG called me up and asked me to get that one shot in the rain of crows laughing or something. But I want a signed contract first.
05-12-2014, 06:06 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
Ricoh Imaging UK has unveiled a new Pentax DSLR Product Guide in late 2013: PENTAX DSLR Product Guide - RICOH IMAGING UK LTD.

On the first page inside, we are treated to a K-3 splashed fully by a liquid - presumably water. Turn the pages, and there's a K-5 II also feeling a good drenching.

There are references to "weather resistance" for the K-3 and K-5 II, but on page 11, the K-30 is touted as "weatherproof." The section on Pentax lenses promotes the new ones as "additions to the already comprehensive weatherproof range."

The K-5 II is described as a "camera that can cope with a quick dunk below the surface and a very heavy rain shower." First time I have seen this type of description in Pentax literature.

How should we interpret "weatherproof"? I wonder what Ricoh uses as their definition. What's the difference between "weather resistant" and weatherproof? Is the K-30 really protected more robustly against the elements than the other models?

And most importantly - should I take my K-5 II with WR or DA* lens out into the pouring rain?

- Craig
DA* lenses have better sealing than WR lenses.
WR lenses are wether resistant, but DA* are weather proof.
Neither are water proof.

So WR can "resist" weather, but DA* were designed to be totally immune to weather conditions.

I would never go out with a WR lens in heavy rain, snow or in excessively dusty atmosphere. DA* should, however, be more suited for that purpose. Yet none can be or should be submerged!

Regarding the camera designation, if same letters describe same designs, then WR camera is only weather resistant. So far, not a single DSLR camera from Pentax is weather proof. However, that resistance may be of different quality in different DSLR cameras. That is something we don't know, but some surmise a K-5 or a K-3 may be a tad better sealed than K-30 or K-50. It is somewhat expected, rather than confirmed.

Taken from a considerate perspective, best sealed products in Pentax DSLR line are DA* lenses —they are better sealed even than DSLRs.

But I totally disagree with the claim from the brochure that a Pentax DSLR camera has such a splendid sealing "it may be submerged for an instant" — because that act will nullify warranty straight away. I have no idea why did they write such things.

Last edited by Uluru; 05-12-2014 at 06:15 PM.
05-12-2014, 10:09 PM   #4
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the downloadable version is not helpful for those on Linux distros.

05-12-2014, 10:55 PM   #5
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Putting this in print will certain make warranty claims easier to handle.
05-13-2014, 02:58 AM   #6
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Great spiel, but have they ever covered water damage by warranty?
05-13-2014, 04:12 AM   #7
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I have been under heavy rain and snow storm with K10D, K20D and DA 16-50 and DA60-250 without ANY problem. I am not under NG contract, but stormy weather makes for great shorts and having bear that makes you able to do so is really great.
05-13-2014, 08:51 AM   #8
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I have put my K-30 and 18-135WR lens under the shower a number of times (15+) with zero problems. Mostly to get sand off them from a day at the beach. Just for a ~5 seconds. The I dry with a towel and air dry for a couple of hours.

---------- Post added 05-13-14 at 12:59 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
DA* lenses have better sealing than WR lenses.
WR lenses are wether resistant, but DA* are weather proof.
Neither are water proof.

So WR can "resist" weather, but DA* were designed to be totally immune to weather conditions.

I would never go out with a WR lens in heavy rain, snow or in excessively dusty atmosphere. DA* should, however, be more suited for that purpose. Yet none can be or should be submerged!

Regarding the camera designation, if same letters describe same designs, then WR camera is only weather resistant. So far, not a single DSLR camera from Pentax is weather proof. However, that resistance may be of different quality in different DSLR cameras. That is something we don't know, but some surmise a K-5 or a K-3 may be a tad better sealed than K-30 or K-50. It is somewhat expected, rather than confirmed.

Taken from a considerate perspective, best sealed products in Pentax DSLR line are DA* lenses —they are better sealed even than DSLRs.

But I totally disagree with the claim from the brochure that a Pentax DSLR camera has such a splendid sealing "it may be submerged for an instant" — because that act will nullify warranty straight away. I have no idea why did they write such things.
Not sure about the submersion for camera bodies, but the brochure clearly equates the the WR and DA* as being equal in terms of weatherproofing. They all fall under the "weatherproof" category.

There appears to be a typo on p.16 where it states that this capacity encompasses the 15mm FL. Not sure how they define the "split-second dunk"...

05-13-2014, 01:16 PM   #9
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Too bad Ricoh isn't using the IP code...
05-13-2014, 06:42 PM   #10
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This is an extract from a viewable/downloadable ' Pentax Ricoh Weather Resistance.pdf ' file, which I have attached.

"...The current selection of DSLRs from PENTAX offer a weather, dust and coldproof design to ensure reliable and consistent performance both in inclement weather and in those demanding environmental conditions which would challenge any camera..."

"...Recognized for their outstanding image quality and advanced features, PENTAX DA* lenses handle harsh weather with ease... PENTAX DA* lenses are categorized both dustproof and water- resistant... The next category of “all weather” PENTAX lenses is designated “WR”. These affordable lenses utilize a simplified weather-resistant construction (similar to the sealing technology used in DA* lenses) which makes it difficult for water to enter the lens. PENTAX WR lenses are categorized weather-resistant..."

On a personal note, I emailed Ricoh-Pentax asking about the weather-resistance of the new K3 compared the the K5ii series. Other than informing me that the K5II is no longer produced, they stated that: " Both of these cameras have similar weather seals fitted. Kind regards, Rob Grunden. Consumer support/Photographic spare parts "
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05-13-2014, 10:32 PM   #11
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Why don't they just publish this in international magazines and capitalize on this strength? Redo all lenses to be WR at the very least. I think this would be a strong selling point.
05-13-2014, 11:40 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
Ricoh Imaging UK has unveiled a new Pentax DSLR Product Guide in late 2013: PENTAX DSLR Product Guide - RICOH IMAGING UK LTD.

On the first page inside, we are treated to a K-3 splashed fully by a liquid - presumably water. Turn the pages, and there's a K-5 II also feeling a good drenching.

There are references to "weather resistance" for the K-3 and K-5 II, but on page 11, the K-30 is touted as "weatherproof." The section on Pentax lenses promotes the new ones as "additions to the already comprehensive weatherproof range."

The K-5 II is described as a "camera that can cope with a quick dunk below the surface and a very heavy rain shower." First time I have seen this type of description in Pentax literature.

How should we interpret "weatherproof"? I wonder what Ricoh uses as their definition. What's the difference between "weather resistant" and weatherproof? Is the K-30 really protected more robustly against the elements than the other models?

And most importantly - should I take my K-5 II with WR or DA* lens out into the pouring rain?

- Craig
Regarding the weather sealing: it is not just a gimmick. In Europe at least, there are definite criteria that must be met before a manufacturer can classify a given product as weather-sealed. Pentax K30/50's weather-sealing is classified as IPX2: "Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle up to 15° from its normal position [test-duration: 10 minutes]."

If your camera were to be damaged by water, you are the one who will have to prove that the pressure and quantity of water to which your camera was subjected were not in excess of what is outlined in IPX2. This is a tricky one.

By the way: I have used several non-weathersealed cameras in the rain without any problems. My experience is that electronics can survive water, but n e v e r excessive humidity.

---------- Post added 05-14-14 at 08:51 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mamethot Quote
Too bad Ricoh isn't using the IP code...
They do use it

Last edited by DominicVII; 05-13-2014 at 11:58 PM.
05-14-2014, 05:11 PM   #13
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Thanks all for the interesting discussion so far.

QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
But I totally disagree with the claim from the brochure that a Pentax DSLR camera has such a splendid sealing "it may be submerged for an instant" — because that act will nullify warranty straight away. I have no idea why did they write such things.
I was surprised to see the emphasis in the product guide on weatherproof or weather-resistant cameras and lenses, and the reference to the very heavy rain shower.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
I have put my K-30 and 18-135WR lens under the shower a number of times (15+) with zero problems.
It's good to hear anecdotes like this - they're good reference points.

QuoteOriginally posted by mamethot Quote
Too bad Ricoh isn't using the IP code...
I agree. In fact, before I came across the Product Guide, I was searching for any Pentax specification of an IP rating. I have not found anything.

QuoteOriginally posted by Bolt Quote
This is an extract from a viewable/downloadable ' Pentax Ricoh Weather Resistance.pdf ' file, which I have attached.
Bolt, thanks for posting this reference. As an engineer, I'm never comfortable with vague statements such as Pentax's "demanding environmental conditions." The answer you got from Ricoh certainly didn't satisfy your question. Somewhat evasive, no? Was that a recent query? Maybe they could have referred you to the product guide.

QuoteOriginally posted by DominicVII Quote
Pentax K30/50's weather-sealing is classified as IPX2:
Dominic, is the IP specification indicated anywhere in Ricoh/Pentax literature or online? This is what I have been looking for. The IP rating should also indicate particle/dust protection in the first numeral; I suspect that the 'X' would be a '5' or '6.' Do you know if there is a rain-rate associated with the 'dripping water' in the IP Code? The reference in the Product Guide to "very heavy rain shower" suggests a rainfall rate of at least 8 mm/hr. Not that I would try to measure the rain while out in the field taking pictures...!

I should mention that I don't have any problem with my camera or lenses - I'm just trying to understand the environmental spec and limits for my gear.

- Craig
05-14-2014, 05:20 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
Thanks all for the interesting discussion so far.



I was surprised to see the emphasis in the product guide on weatherproof or weather-resistant cameras and lenses, and the reference to the very heavy rain shower.



It's good to hear anecdotes like this - they're good reference points.



I agree. In fact, before I came across the Product Guide, I was searching for any Pentax specification of an IP rating. I have not found anything.



Bolt, thanks for posting this reference. As an engineer, I'm never comfortable with vague statements such as Pentax's "demanding environmental conditions." The answer you got from Ricoh certainly didn't satisfy your question. Somewhat evasive, no? Was that a recent query? Maybe they could have referred you to the product guide.



Dominic, is the IP specification indicated anywhere in Ricoh/Pentax literature or online? This is what I have been looking for. The IP rating should also indicate particle/dust protection in the first numeral; I suspect that the 'X' would be a '5' or '6.' Do you know if there is a rain-rate associated with the 'dripping water' in the IP Code? The reference in the Product Guide to "very heavy rain shower" suggests a rainfall rate of at least 8 mm/hr. Not that I would try to measure the rain while out in the field taking pictures...!

I should mention that I don't have any problem with my camera or lenses - I'm just trying to understand the environmental spec and limits for my gear.

- Craig
It is indicated here:

"*Nach IPX2 Standard"

Produktseite der Pentax K-50 - RICOH IMAGING DEUTSCHLAND GmbH

For the rain rate, add this to your equation:

"Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle up to 15° from its normal position [test-duration: 10 minutes]."

The warranties offered by Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Sony, Olympus will not cover water damage. It's really as simple as that. I read a rather worked up review by a user whose K5 had been damaged in the rain; Pentax could not help him.

I'm really not sure if it is a good idea on Pentax's part to parade the weather sealings in their cameras. No one else does. Pentax cameras, in my view, are robust machines; that is a good enough selling point if you ask me.

Last edited by DominicVII; 05-14-2014 at 05:38 PM.
05-14-2014, 07:19 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by DominicVII Quote

The warranties offered by Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Sony, Olympus will not cover water damage. It's really as simple as that. I read a rather worked up review by a user whose K5 had been damaged in the rain; Pentax could not help him.

Yes, Dominic, anyone who subjects their Pentax to water because of ads/reputation/becauseothersgotawaywithit are on their own.


Not even the company believes it, or the warranty conditions would reflect that.
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