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05-15-2019, 05:20 AM   #1
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Weather resistance of wr ff/fa lenses on the k-1

Since many here already have posted extensive experiences with the APS-s Pentax models and lenses, I was wondering if we could start a new thread regarding experiences in inclement weather with the Full Frame K-1 and the new line of lenses Pentax is producing. I'm always concerned when I take a valuable camera in the elements, so I was wondering what experiences the Forum members have with the K-1 line.

As for myself, I have only used my K-1 series in nothing more than spitting drizzle because I am concerned about the ultimate weather resistance. The K-1 has far more entry points than any previous Pentax body--the several night light ports, the truncating screen, the extra dials, etc.

So I am asking all intrepid K-1 users to describe their harsh weather experiences and post them here, with pics, if possible.

05-15-2019, 05:59 AM   #2
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I urge caution. With all WR bodies and lenses, some people have had excellent experiences, with dust storms, downpours and accidental brief immersions all being handled well. Others have reported that short periods in light rain caused a malfunction.

Whether your experience will fall into the first or second camp can only be discovered when you try it...like the submarine captain who is asked how deep his submarine can really go, finding out how well it works is a potentially fatal test. Unfortunately, if the WR fails, whether through design or faulty component or excessively inclement conditions, you will not be covered by your warranty.
05-15-2019, 07:21 AM   #3
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I used my then few-months old K1 with the D-FA 28-105 lens on the Maid of the Mist boat ride at Niagara Falls. That was somewhat wetter than your spitting drizzle. The passengers all wore plastic rain coats, the camera wore nothing. It got moist, but no where near soaked.

And, No problems.

As Victor noted, though, YMMV

It will be tested again in two weeks at DUSTY Antelope Canyon.
05-15-2019, 07:29 AM - 3 Likes   #4
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I don't know about weather resistance, But my involuntary experiment shows the K1 with 24-70mm to be beer resistant.....

05-15-2019, 08:43 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by victormeldrew Quote
I urge caution. With all WR bodies and lenses, some people have had excellent experiences, with dust storms, downpours and accidental brief immersions all being handled well. Others have reported that short periods in light rain caused a malfunction.

Whether your experience will fall into the first or second camp can only be discovered when you try it...like the submarine captain who is asked how deep his submarine can really go, finding out how well it works is a potentially fatal test. Unfortunately, if the WR fails, whether through design or faulty component or excessively inclement conditions, you will not be covered by your warranty.
Victor: thanks for the information. I didn't know that Pentax would not cover a water related failure since they tout their cameras and selected lenses to be weather resistant, etc. The fact that the warranty won't cover a foreseeable use is disturbing. How can Pentax say it's resistant to the elements and then disclaim the warranty? To me that shows it is no better than any other camera. The weather sealing is a big part of the reason I use Pentax.

---------- Post added 05-15-19 at 08:46 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by AstroDave Quote
I used my then few-months old K1 with the D-FA 28-105 lens on the Maid of the Mist boat ride at Niagara Falls. That was somewhat wetter than your spitting drizzle. The passengers all wore plastic rain coats, the camera wore nothing. It got moist, but no where near soaked.

And, No problems.

As Victor noted, though, YMMV

It will be tested again in two weeks at DUSTY Antelope Canyon.
Great: I would love to see some of those Niagara Pics--could you post some after your return from Antelope Canyon? It feels reassuring that the K-1 was not affected by the moisture at the Falls, that can be very dousing. I am concerned though as to what Victor said about the warranty not in effect for moisture failures.

---------- Post added 05-15-19 at 08:48 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Roadboat24 Quote
I don't know about weather resistance, But my involuntary experiment shows the K1 with 24-70mm to be beer resistant.....
Now that's a true test...was it a can's worth or a simple spilled glass on the body and the lens....it appears there was no issues after the drink by the camera though.
05-15-2019, 08:48 AM   #6
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My piece of advice is. If you can't afford to replace it. Then treat it good. I laugh when someone says I took it out in a downpour and now it doesn't work. I look at WR as a piece of insurance. If I'm out photographing and something weather wise occurs. I know that I don't need to panic but I need to take precautions. Minor exposure is not going to cause issues. But using the camera in extreme conditions using a zoom or lenses that focuses externally is asking for trouble as they can suck in moisture or dust and cause damage to your camera or lens.
05-15-2019, 08:48 AM   #7
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I've used a host of Pentax camera's ( K1, K3ii, K5ii, 645z ) in conditions where almost every Canikon have run away and sheltered with no issues, sensible precautions have been taken in an absolute downpour in hiding the camera under my jacket and backing onto the inclement weather.
05-15-2019, 09:46 AM   #8
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a look at this thread might be worth your time:

About those WR body weather seals...User responsibility and best practice - Page 4 - PentaxForums.com

don't forget a back up plan - remember that people use basically a plastic bag to protect their gear:


https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Rain+Camera+and+Lens+Covers&FORM=IDINTS

05-15-2019, 11:46 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tjompen1968 Quote
If they fail, the warranty takes care of the problem
Have you ever tried that? The warranty is very clear in that water ingress (howsoever caused) is not covered by the warranty. A quick search on here will reveal many people who have had warranty claims refused for this reason, despite claiming that they have only ever used WR lenses in no more than light rain. I've never heard of anyone having water ingress repaired under warranty, not ever heard of weather sealing being checked for defects during the claim. If there is water in there, the big 'Declined' stamp comes down and that's the end of the story.
05-15-2019, 12:46 PM   #10
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As victormeldrew said. "The warranty is very clear in that water ingress (howsoever caused) is not covered by the warranty."

I pushed my K-3 passed it's WR limits in the rain forests of Costa Rica. I spent 2 hours wandering around a hanging bridges park in a steady rain. 18-135mm lens. Camera kept inside my jacket when not shooting. Everything seemed fine until one week later when a very fine vertical line showed up on the rear screen. Camera still worked until two days after I got home. Then it wouldn't turn on. Drove it up to Advance Camera in Portland. When they opened it up they found corrosion. Told me it wasn't worth sending it in for warranty work. They had been turned down often enough because of water damage they no longer bothered. They said they could try to fix it but it wouldn't be cheap and they couldn't guaranty the problem would not return. I wrote it off as an expensive lessoned learned. WR is not water proof. I have no plans in pushing my K-1 any where near the limits I pushed my K-3. Lens still works great though.

Last edited by DW58; 05-15-2019 at 12:51 PM.
05-15-2019, 01:05 PM   #11
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WAIT! I believe there are third party warranties available that claim to cover drops and spills. I have no experience with them.
05-15-2019, 01:51 PM   #12
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30 years ago, I owned a rather expensive Swiss wrist watch, "waterproof". A specialized shop told me, that wp could not be guaranteed any more if they (or I) would change the battery. To keep wp for sure, with every opening of the case all sealings would have to replaced by ORIGINAL ONES (no 3rd party, no 10 year old stock). If I wanted to be sure to keep wp, battery change would have to be done by the factory. Which I did; it was not so expensive and wp guarantee was prolonged, but it took 3 weeks.
I think opening a DSLR case will also afford to replace entangled seals.

"Water (weather) resistant" cameras are not designed the same as "waterproof" equipment (where outside pressure automatically tightens the pressure on the seals, instead of deminishing it).

Seals are degrading over time.
I wonder whether it was tested how many lens changes are possible till the camera side seals of the lens will start to fail. Certainly not infinite. I also suspect that any scratches (or robust dirt, even if tiny) on the camera mount may shorten the life of the lens seals, if not even decrease the wr properties directly.
05-15-2019, 01:58 PM   #13
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So is there a clear consensus that water damage/corrosion is not covered, right? SO one may never know what the limit is....
QuoteOriginally posted by RKKS08 Quote
Seals are degrading over time
That is true, but most Pentax warranties do not go beyond 3 years, so I guess the same care I use for my Leica equipment, I'll have to use for the Pentax, but seriously, there is no objective standard to determine when the water "resistance" of the camera you are using is breached. I guess anything more than a light rain or steady drizzle is not happening. I'll have to buy a rain canopy I guess for elongated or heavy weather shoots...more weight and equipment to schlep--ugh.
05-15-2019, 02:23 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Merv-O Quote
I'll have to buy a rain canopy I guess for elongated or heavy weather shoots...more weight and equipment to schlep--ugh.
That is a very smart decision. If I learn something by watching pro wildlife and sport photographers, is that they protect their gear no matter how tough their cameras and lenses are. After all, is better to invest 50$ or 100$ in a good rain cover rather than push your luck.
05-15-2019, 05:03 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Merv-O Quote
Victor: thanks for the information. I didn't know that Pentax would not cover a water related failure since they tout their cameras and selected lenses to be weather resistant, etc. The fact that the warranty won't cover a foreseeable use is disturbing. How can Pentax say it's resistant to the elements and then disclaim the warranty? To me that shows it is no better than any other camera. The weather sealing is a big part of the reason I use Pentax.

---------- Post added 05-15-19 at 08:46 AM ----------



Great: I would love to see some of those Niagara Pics--could you post some after your return from Antelope Canyon? It feels reassuring that the K-1 was not affected by the moisture at the Falls, that can be very dousing. I am concerned though as to what Victor said about the warranty not in effect for moisture failures.

---------- Post added 05-15-19 at 08:48 AM ----------



Now that's a true test...was it a can's worth or a simple spilled glass on the body and the lens....it appears there was no issues after the drink by the camera though.
Marv-O. It was a large beer stein... No problems, with the exception of being a bit sticky till I was able to clean things up. )
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