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12-06-2011, 03:42 PM   #1
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645D: How weather proof is weather proof ?

When Pentax says the camera is weather proof/sealed what does that mean exactly ? Has anyone tried this claim out ? Is it weather sealed for light rain or can one take the camera out and shoot during a monsoon ? I would like to know if any brave soul has tried this as I want to take the camera and shoot in the mountains where weather and temperature changes quite often.

12-06-2011, 04:32 PM   #2
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There have been several threads and discussion on Pentax weather-resistance in particular for the K-5, K-7 and K-20.

First Pentax describes these products are weather-resistant. This is not waterproof. Second the overall resistance is that of the system: the camera and the lens. If your lens is not weather-resistant, and/or has a solid track record in foul weather, you wil compromise the WR integrity of the entire system.

Back to your query. I have a K-7 that I use in semi-tropical foul weather including during rainstorms and on beaches. I have no WR lenses, and in foul weather, I restrict myself to two very sturdy lenses with excellent foul track record: DA18-250mm and Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4. I have now used my system (K-7+ DA18-250mmm or Vl58mm) for more than 2 years in some qite bad weather including during the record rainfall received in Eastern Australia in 2010-2011. So what is the outcome?

In light rain, I am not worried, but for the zoom DA18-250mm lens and the risk of 'pumping' drolets when I retract the zoom. I regularly wipe the camera and lens.

In heavy (and very heavy) rain, I try to use a rain cover or equivalent.And I wipe gently my camera regularly.

Other than that I have had not a single concern.

Hope that the experience may help.
12-06-2011, 05:09 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
In light rain, I am not worried, but for the zoom DA18-250mm lens and the risk of 'pumping' drolets when I retract the zoom. I regularly wipe the camera and lens.
You really zoom in-and-out in the rain with the 18-250? I'm afraid of that -- don't want a drop of water on it. (It has a bit of internal dust, which I figure got in through the zoom -- why wouldn't water do the same?) I never shoot in the rain because I just find it miserable, but do sometimes shoot when it is snowing. I rigged up a plastic sleeve to go around the lens with a rubber band so I can zoom in and out while keeping the lens dry (and I put a filter on the front). Recently bought an Optek "rainsleeve" for a few bucks which does the same thing but can go around the whole camera -- looked a little more rugged than the sleeve I made (which was actually B&H air tube packing material) but haven't tried it yet.
12-06-2011, 05:41 PM   #4
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If you'd like a practical example, they can withstand being put in the shower, but will break if submerged.


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12-06-2011, 08:06 PM   #5
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They are super duper sealed. That said, condensation on your screens can occur, makings small marks that don't affect anything other than aesthetics. I've used my K-5 in the driving driving rain, and cleaned it off under a faucet, and it checks out. But with the 645D I'd be more weary in the rain, but I wouldn't scoff at other weather, be it sand or snow.
12-07-2011, 02:08 AM   #6
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I guess it is the same as with K-5 and I took that with DA*60-250mm for photographing in the pooring rain for a few hours this summer. So with the 55mm and 25mm new lenses you can use it intensively in those conditions.
12-07-2011, 02:31 AM   #7
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Not sure how true it is, but a photog I was talking about the WR system with said his friend who shoots Pentax (and has a K-5) was dropped off the back of a sea-doo into the ocean and went under with his K-5 + 18-135, came back up kept it above water.. got back on the sea-doo when the driver came back and got him.. wiped the camera clean/dry and kept shooting and then lightly rinsed it off when he got back to shore to get the salt as best he could.

That being said, I've used my K-5 lots in the rain and never worried about anything with the 18-135 WR on it. And now that the ski-season has began, it will get more "less-than-ideal" weather and situations to shoot in I'm sure.
12-07-2011, 03:29 AM   #8
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I believe the weather sealing of the 645D is done in the same spirit as is the K-7 and K-5.

My K-7 with a DA*60-250/4 shrugged off sleet and gale at South Georgia in 2009. I wouldn't do the same with the 645D, but that's mostly because I don't have any of the new optics for it. I don't think the weatherproofing is very good with the older 645FA and 645A lenses.

- Just my 2 ¢ worth...

Best,
Jostein

12-07-2011, 04:45 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by alunfoto Quote
I believe the weather sealing of the 645D is done in the same spirit as is the K-7 and K-5.

My K-7 with a DA*60-250/4 shrugged off sleet and gale at South Georgia in 2009. I wouldn't do the same with the 645D, but that's mostly because I don't have any of the new optics for it. I don't think the weatherproofing is very good with the older 645FA and 645A lenses.

- Just my 2 ¢ worth...

Best,
Jostein
Right. Only two lenses for the 645D are actually sealed. The 55mm and 25mm. Otherwise, there is plenty of possibility of moisture coming in through the lens mount.

There are a lot more sealed lenses for Pentax's APS-C cameras and I have shot with their sealed bodies and DA * lenses in all kinds of weather without any problem. Camera seems to hold up better than I do...
12-07-2011, 09:15 AM   #10
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Pentax did this to the K5 to demostrate the sealing.
From what Pentax says the sealing of the 645D should be the same.

12-07-2011, 11:50 AM - 1 Like   #11
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The 645D on the highest mountain of Germany:
645D Härtetest - PENTAX RICOH IMAGING DEUTSCHLAND GmbH
12-07-2011, 12:13 PM   #12
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Nice find Feverbeaver. I wonder how bad snow on the front element will be to PP out!
12-08-2011, 03:06 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by feverbeaver Quote
The 645D on the highest mountain of Germany:
645D Härtetest - PENTAX RICOH IMAGING DEUTSCHLAND GmbH
Good post, thank you that is better then a can of water at a show pooring over a K-5
12-09-2011, 11:47 AM   #14
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I took my K-5 on a trip in April to Borneo (a trip report is under Sabah – Borneo 2011 | IMPress for those interested). It was supposed to be dry season, but we had rain at least once a day. On one afternoon, the weather looked pretty good so I decided to leave the camera bag in the hotel and take just the K-5 with DA*16-50 without any protection. Well, the rain came in pretty quickly and there was nothing to protect the camera from a heavy tropical downpoor. The camera remained in the rain for 45 minutes. I returned soaking wet to the hotel, took a towel to dry the camera. Then, I removed the lens from the camera and checked everything (lens mount, SD card slots, battery slot and grip as well). The sealings did a great job in these 45 minutes in the heavy rain, not a single drop of water entered the camera, at least not where I could check for it. Camera and lens are still perfectly working.

Just to give an idea of the rain:


I also used the K-5 as well as the 645D on a trip to Northern Namibia, here I was not concerned because of the water, but because of the dust and sand. Here as well, both cameras survived the trip really well and used mostly WR or DA* lenses (except the FA645 75/2.8). The photos would be under Northern Namibia 2011 Photo Gallery by Dominique Schreckling at pbase.com.
12-13-2011, 11:56 AM   #15
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As I am being new to the forum, please allow me a quick introduction. I am from Germany being specialized on landscape and wildlife and started with my first SLR – a Pentax ME – more than 30 years ago. In 2004 I have switched to Canon Digital, but stayed with my LX and MZ-S together with a “Limited” lens selection.

Earlier this year, I have added a silver K-5, which fits nicely my silver Limited lenses and is now due to the low weight my mountaineering equipment.

Now coming to the topic. Being a customer of Isarfoto, I was one of the test group described in the link of feverbeaver's post – in detail, I am the one in red/black in the second picture ☺.

The weather conditions on 8 October 2011 – and the two days before – in southern Bavaria were really bad with wind coming from the North pushing the rainy clouds to the alps. The first part of the workshop took place on Zugspitze, the highest German mountain coming close to 3.000 meters. Up there, we had -6 °C and strong snow. The first picture is one I have taken up there with the 645D and the 2.8/55.



In the afternoon, we went down to Partnachklamm, a narrow gorge in the foothill of Zugspitze. It still rained and the gorge walls were dripping like showers. We did not use any rain covers and the 645Ds got completely soaked. The second picture gives you an impression of the gorge taken again with a 645D and 2.8/55.



The 645D is stated as “weather sealed”, but what we have done, was more like “water resistant”. There wasn't a single failure of a body or lens. Even the older 645 lenses, which do not have the “WA” in their names, did not fail.

Best regards

Bernd
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