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10-20-2014, 02:22 PM   #1
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K-3 was out in the rain - meter started freaking out

We had the most wonderful downpour yesterday. We donned macs and wellingtons and took the kids out for some puddle action in the park. Naturally I brought the K-3 and the 18-135. That combo is just made for rainy outings with the kids.

After an hour of rain drenched fun the camera started overexposing. 1-2 stops at first, then 3-4 stops in shutter priority with auto ISO. I found I could counteract it with exposure compensation. Then out of the blue it declared "battery depleted".

Here are some examples: 1: Good shot, 2: 1-2 stop overexpsed, 3:4+ stops overexposed.






I left the camera to dry back home. After a wipedown and a couple of hours of drying time I experimented a bit.
I tried another, known good battery and other lenses. Still the same overexposure and premature battery warnings.
Later on the camera gradually recovered and is now back to normal!

Did I just experience water ingress and some sort of short circuit?

The 18-135 expands and contracts a fair bit when zooming. If you hold your lips up to the eyepiece when zooming in and out, you can feel air escaping. Can this "pumping" make the camera suck in moisture through the eyepiece area? That's where the light meter is AFAIK.

I don't know whether to take it in for warranty repair. So far I don't think I have enough evidence to point to water damage. Besides the overexposed pictures of course.

Should I open a warranty case? The camera is 2 months old. What would you do?

Regards,
--Anders.

10-20-2014, 02:53 PM   #2
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First of all, Do not use the 18 to 135 WR lens out in the rain. the camera with that lens was never meant to be used In the rain. It only allows you to get out of the rain without damaging your camera. That lens acts as a bellows every time you zoom out it pushes air out of the lens when you zoom in on the subject it pulls air and moisture into the lens. This moisture can migrate into the camera and cause problems. If you send it in for warranty, they will probably deny the warranty because of moisture damage. Although it probably would not hurt to try.
10-20-2014, 02:53 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by asp1880 Quote
I don't know whether to take it in for warranty repair. So far I don't think I have enough evidence to point to water damage. Besides the overexposed pictures of course. Should I open a warranty case? The camera is 2 months old. What would you do?
Pentax and other manufacturers explicitly exclude water damage from the warranty, probably to protect against claims from people who actually submerge it etc. From what I've heard Pentax does only repair it for free if they find one of the seals to be damaged/substandard.
10-20-2014, 02:54 PM   #4
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If there is no other explanation and water seems to be the problem for overexposing it means that there is something wrong with at least one of the seals. Personally I would send it.

PS - But yes. Weather resistant does not mean water resistant


Last edited by sergysergy; 10-20-2014 at 02:59 PM.
10-20-2014, 04:32 PM   #5
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An hour in the rain? That's a long time. And it looks like it's raining pretty hard. The word "resistant" does not mean water proof. But it's hard to say if you have a bad seal or not. It's a statistical bell curve. Some units will fail under less/more severe conditions that others all while being per design, I suspect. You may have found your camera's limit.
10-20-2014, 04:39 PM   #6
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I would suggest removing lens and battery and SD card (and leaving battery/card doors open) and storing camera (upside down) and lens in a warm dry area for a few days. (e.g., a warm room or maybe the stove if it has a pilot light--just make sure it is not so warm as to be uncomfortable to the touch). Ditto for the lens--although the lens likely should also be zoomed/exercised some in dry air (e.g., outside on a cold dry day)--especially if you see water condensation in the lens. Not something I have ever needed to do--but what I would do if needed.

When I want photo's in heavy rain, etc. I use an underwater camera. And as others have said--the camera/lens combination is water resistant--which likely means it is OK if some rain falls on it--but not a lot of water/not extensive zooming/etc.
10-20-2014, 05:02 PM   #7
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I would/do keep zooming in and out to the absolute minimum in a heavy rain like that.
10-20-2014, 05:09 PM   #8
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Something's not right. Any moisture/water ingress to the lens should not migrate to the camera body. If it could, the lens rear element wasn't sealed in the first place.

10-20-2014, 05:15 PM   #9
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Maybe condensation on metering sensor?

May not be that bad but definitely worth giving the camera a thorough dry out. I use my K-5 / 18-135 out in the rain a bit (but usually only have it out in the rain for 15 minutes or less at a time) and once I get home I carefully wipe my camera and lens dry and put in hot water cupboard to fully dry out.
10-20-2014, 06:19 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Something's not right. Any moisture/water ingress to the lens should not migrate to the camera body. If it could, the lens rear element wasn't sealed in the first place.
On the 18 135 WR, The front and rear elements do not have a seal between them. The only seals on that lens is on the K mount itself, the Zoom ring and the focusing ring. There is also a air vent somewhere around the zoom ring. Without this vent you could not zoom in or out. Any air/moisture that gets into the lens can migrate into the camera.. The lens was working as it was designed. Even though it Is in my opinion a poor design for a WR lens.
10-20-2014, 09:41 PM   #11
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Is this the same situation exist with the 55-300mm?
10-20-2014, 10:24 PM   #12
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I do think you have a problem here but for someone who says that you can not take the 18-135 in the rain and/or there is no seal between the front and rear element, that is not correct. Just take a look from the PF review and it shows a detail of where the seals are so others should not think that they can not go out in the rain at all. I live in the Philippines and obviously there are torrential downpours here and I have never once had an issue with my WR system on my K-30, but there could be a specific seal problem with your camera, you need to have it serviced.


That being said, yes there are some precautions to take such as, don't be looking skyward while rapidly zooming, which will suck in some rain, but just look down and let gravity do the rest. Of course, in typhoon conditions here, I still take pics, but do try to cover my cam to some extent but I would never take a non WR camera in any extent of any manufacturer. Pentax is great and WR works extremely well so don't let some others make you feel that it is not water resistant at all, it actually really is.


As stated in the review from the PF info:





"The weather sealing on the 18-135 is no gimmick or some mere marketing ploy. It works. The animated .gif above was one of the first things we did with the lens upon starting this review, and since then it hasn't so much as hiccuped for the rest of the testing we've done.
None of the above images will win any awards for sharpness or clarity. But more important than what is technically capable (don't you fret, we'll get to scrutinize and discuss a myriad of comparison tests and sample photos in the following pages), the above images demonstrate new opportunities afforded by a weather sealed camera-lens combination that otherwise would have been missed thanks to leaving your camera at home or in the bag."





"It is critical to note that none are rated as submersible (despite a few intrepid Pentaxians purposefully dunking their cameras in pools) when it comes to water ingress protection, but rather water spray, light and heavy rain, snow, shower heads, hoses, faucets etc. Zooming, especially extremely quickly, with the lens while wet may increase the chance of water ingress."

Read more at: Review: Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 - Weather Sealing | PentaxForums.com Reviews
10-20-2014, 11:35 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimC1101 Quote
I do think you have a problem here but for someone who says that you can not take the 18-135 in the rain and/or there is no seal between the front and rear element, that is not correct.
If as you say, there's a seal in between the front and rear elements, Why does my 18 to 135 WR lens blow air out the back of the lens through the mount while zooming. This lens has to displace air. Or you would not be able to use the zoom. Air must get into and go out of the lens. If air can get into the lens, water can get into the lens when it is wet. And it does not make much difference which direction the lenses pointing.

I'm glad to hear that you have not had any trouble with your equipment. And I hope it continues. But you are taking your chances. This type of lens cannot be totally water sealed.
10-21-2014, 12:02 AM   #14
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Well, I am speaking of my experience and what Adam and the gang have stated in the PF review. Yes, of course there is air allowed to escape as with any zoom lens, there is no vacuum or else you could not push or pull the zoom elements but they are as small as the hole similar to the hole within the speaker on our cameras. It just needs to allow a minimal amount but it is not a syphon that is sucking water in, unless you put it into a pool of water. As I has stated, gravity by moving the camera down when in water environments. or use a towel if you want to be safe, will suffice. In the OP's situation, I would suspect a seal problem within the body, not the seal in the lens but service would be needed regardless


These cameras are water resistant, not water sealed but they can be used in the rain. If it was a major problem of its credibility, we would see a lot more failures just from this forum but we don't. Also, the reviews here point out that the lens in question is also pointed out that the 18-135 is not just a WR gimmick, it really works, and I can attest to it.
10-21-2014, 01:20 AM   #15
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very concerning. i always played with the idea of getting the 18-135 wr to have a good all purpose zoom, however this sounds to me as the lenses fault since the heart of the camera is only exposed through the mount, no? i just tested my 18-55 wr and i can also feel a suction of air as i zoom in and out, but i never had it out in heavy rain so far.
i dont think it is necessary to have an opening in the lens to allow it to displace air. the camera housing and the space within the lens itself should be big enough to provide enough to zoom in and out, no? also i dont think the seals would be this strong that they could completely stop air from proceeding in and out, though the lenses are also claimed to be dust-proof.
what about the * grade zooms like the 16 - 50 / 50 - 135 and the 60 - 250?
could some of you try if you also feel a sunction of air while zooming?
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