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05-28-2016, 11:40 AM   #1
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K3 II and beach exposure ????

New K3 II owner ( former Olympus E1 owner ) and live in the Midwest where rain showers can be an occasional item while out shooting. I will be at the Alabama Gulf Coast for about a week for a wedding at the beach where we are staying. Having had no experience with salt water and fine sand conditions do I need to do anything other than clean the camera up at the end of the day with a microfiber towel? The lenses are the 16-85, 60-250, and 20-40 all rated as WR. Shots on the beach plus a possible Dolphin excursion are on my list of to do items. Thanks for any input!

05-28-2016, 11:54 AM   #2
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Hi, and welcome to another K-3II/20-40 user!

Pentax weather/dust resistance is almost legendary, although I haven't tried it out personally!

All I would recommend is choosing a lens and staying with it for the day; even Pentaxes are not resistant to anything once you start changing lenses: that big hole in the front will let anything in.
05-28-2016, 11:54 AM   #3
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Just keep an eye on sand on the front element of the lenses. If you find any, rinse it off with fresh water. Don't wipe it off! Sand is very hard and will scratch your lenses easily.

Also, sand is a Zone VII subject, so try a +2 exposure compensation when it takes up a significant portion of the frame.
05-28-2016, 12:09 PM   #4
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I usually rinse everything off with fresh water after being on the beach, gets rid of any salt spray. I use a wet washcloth but lots of people just run the camera under the tap. I'm not that brave

05-28-2016, 12:10 PM   #5
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If lighting is stable I suggest setting the exposure in M mode, seeing what is good, and leaving it there. Otherwise exposures will be more erratic as you have varying amounts of sand, water, sky, etc., in successive images.
05-28-2016, 01:10 PM   #6
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Do you use the battery grip or no?

I just came back from a lot of beach shooting and salt water and all that... way more than you will experience on your trip. I was actually getting down in the water with my camera and riding boats with ocean spray and all sorts of things. I was holding my camera literally inches from the surface of the water, taking it out in chest deep water....swimming with it with one hand holding it above the water... and so on and so forth. I did not ever dunk the camera though although the battery grip got splashed some...

Another guy saw me and although he wasn't speaking English but I could see their faces and hear them saying 'that guy is nuts!" One of his friends was like 'why don't you take your camera out like that?'... it was pretty funny watching their reactions... The guy did get more brave but not that much...

I exclusively used the 16-85 for the whole thing...I definitely would not even THINK of changing lenses out there though. NO WAY. I stopped even bringing other lenses with me. Whatever you are going to use... USE THAT LENS. If you want to swap lenses... DON'T. I don't care how careful you think you are being.... it just ain't gonna happen and doing it would be foolish.

Rinsing the camera off is just fine. I put the lens cap on and walked right into the shower with mine once. In Africa we went off roading and my camera was SUPER dirty. It was covered in fine dust everywhere... so when I got back home I just took a shower with the camera.... No problem whatsoever although I wouldn't use super hot water or anything. Just warm water is fine... that worked out for me because that's all we had LOL

As for sand and saltwater etc... if you have a battery grip I would take if off and wipe everything down once you get back to the hotel... if you have wet wipes that works...or you can take it in the shower...the only area where I saw ANYTHING remotely at all that was even questionable was the tripod lug... I shoot with the grip on and didn't remove it at all, but after I rinsed and wiped it all down with no grip on it it was fine and there was no damage at all.

For future beach trips I will buy one of those water proof beach bags and toss the camera in there... that way when I decide I need to swim out to some little deserted island or whatever I can just take it and go...

The only other thing that you need to worry about is taking the camera from the AC to the outside... it will fog up in a heartbeat... but that has nothing to do with sand or whatever...just let the camera acclimate if you can...
05-28-2016, 02:13 PM   #7
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I have spent a lot of time in the sand/dust, as well as mud and salt spray with fine electronics and a few cameras. The good news is that I've been out with my K-5 and a WR lens in downpours with no problems.

Check that everything is sealed before you go to leave the relatively clean car or hotel room. Plan your day a little bit, and pick the best lens for that, or plan for a place out of the weather where you can change a lens, in the ship's cabin or your car, or under a beach blanket out of the wind if necessary.


I use a camera bag that zips shut, and only take my camera out when I'm ready to shoot to avoid accidental exposure to dirt, dust sand.

I general y don't rinse off sand or dust, the water often helps it get into cracks and crevices, and make the situation worse. For sand, don't use anything wet until you've brushed off the entire camera, I use a bulb blower, then I use a toothbrush, for big areas, and an inexpensive fine tipped nylon paintbrush for the tight areas, especially where the dials or knobs turn, and where the lens connects to the body.

Mud is a tough call, I knock off the big chunks, wipe down the rest, then use a toothbrush on the moving parts or seals, then rinse if necessary.

For water, let it dry thoroughly, either in open air, or in a camera bag with a few of those "Do Not Eat" dessicant pouches.After that, I swap lenses as usual.

For salt, I still use a toothbrush and water around the seals and moving parts, then a rinse and dry as above.

Good point about the AC and condensation, the Gulf Coast is pretty humid. That's another reason I keep my camera in the bag, it generally eases the temperature changes and minimizes condensation.

I fall in the camp that uses A skylight or other filter to protect the lens, but on the beach it's likely that I'll be using a polarizer and the also protects the lens. I have protective film on the rear LCD screen as well.

Overall, the WR features of Pentaxe cameras will protect very well, take it out and enjoy it!
05-28-2016, 04:03 PM   #8
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I slipped on a hillside once and went down a few meters on muddy ground. Half of K3 II covered covered in mud, half of me covered in mud. It all dried out before I got home.

The problem is I don't have WR lens to just put camera under the sink. What I did was put a lot of bluetack on body cover to seal it of and washed camera under the tap, had to use toothbrush in some places. It works fine.

Lens wasn't WR but luckily I always have hood on so glass was clean and only barrel was muddy so I managed to clean it with dry cloth. It took couple hours but it's fine now.

So you can put body under the tap with no fear and it will survive.

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05-30-2016, 02:16 AM   #9
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Man you guys are really torturing your cameras. But the way it looks, the k-3II is truly a Jedi's camera. I'm lucky to have one.

Last edited by totsmuyco; 05-30-2016 at 02:16 AM. Reason: spelling
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