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01-03-2015, 08:00 PM   #1
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Put my K-30 in a Washing Machine...

Ok, so this is a fun story. I came home from college for a short break and brought home a laundry basket full of clothes. Somehow the camera bag holding my K-30, both my 35mm f2.4 lens and my 18-55mm WR kit lens snuch into the basket unnoticed...

Unbelievably, I didn't notice the camera bag when I dumped my clothes into the washing machine, and washed the whole thing. CRINGE. When I went to transfer my clothes to the dryer an hour later, I was shocked to find a dripping wet camera bag amongst my clothes.

Immediately I pulled the battery and surveyed the damage. Fortunately, the bag holding the camera was lined with plastic/foam which kept the inside of the bag relatively dry. Most of the water in the bag presumably leaked in from the zippers, and a great deal was absorbed by the interior fabric/foam which must have kept it away from my camera. there was visible condensation inside the viewfinder and LCD, and (of course) the non-WR lens was the one on the camera.

After 36 hours I tried the camera and found it to be completely dead. I charged the battery and retried at 48 hours and... success! The camera happily turned back on and seems to be working. It's now been two weeks and all of the moisture has disappeared. Here are my current observations of the damage:
  • LCD screen is back to normal. No visible water residue, seems to be completely fine
  • Viewfinder has noticeable water marks on the inside of it. These are driving me nuts.
  • Camera seems extremely sluggish to focus
  • IQ has suffered, mostly pictures have noticeable water spots and residue. Gallery here: Water Damaged K-30 and Lenses - Imgur
I'm looking for advice on what to do now. As far as I can tell the camera is in working order. I'd like help troubleshooting the root of the slow-focusing issue (I haven't yet ruled out that I'm just a rookie photographer who doesn't have my aperture/shutter settings right). I'm thinking the lenses and sensor need to be professionally cleaned (see the sample photos in the link above). Does anyone have tips for how to clean this myself? Or, does anyone have recommendations on places to send my gear to get it cleaned? Unfortunately, I'm working on a very limited budget, so professional cleaning might be out of my price range (and considering the relative cheapness of these lenses, might not make economic sense to do anyways).

Thanks for reading, any advice is appreciated. Otherwise, I wanted to share my story about the durability of the camera even in the face of my own stupidity

01-03-2015, 08:29 PM   #2
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Wow, I hope the camera keeps working, but the slow autofocus concerns me of internal damage. The sensor is not hard to clean yourself, I would blow it out first with a rocket blower, then use something like sensor swabs (they have worked well for me).

I would carefully cleanthe lenses with microfiber. If you see spots inside make the decision if it is worth it, or to try it yourself. You might want to contact Eric.

You may want to check with your insurance agent if you could be covered.
01-03-2015, 09:27 PM   #3
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If you bought the extended warranty it comes with a cleaning and adjustment, I'd take advantage of that feature of the warranty.
01-03-2015, 09:31 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Buy a new Camera

01-03-2015, 09:36 PM   #5
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If you have home insurance, I would make a claim. Its probably a matter of time before it all stops working. Good luck!
01-03-2015, 09:41 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by betarepeating Quote
I'd like help troubleshooting the root of the slow-focusing issue
The in-body motor for the screw drive, or the gearing from it,
might have been damaged, or might still be retaining some moisture.

Do you know anyone who could let you try a lens like the DA 18-135, with an in-lens motor,
to see if it focused better than your screwdrive lenses?

It might also be worth trying an unwashed (!) screw drive lens to see how that works,
in case the problem is with the drive train inside your two lenses.
Used kit lenses are available quite cheaply.

If all else fails, I'd say try and get a K-50 over the next months as their prices drop low.
01-03-2015, 10:38 PM - 3 Likes   #7
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I would update my CWP (Clothes Washing Procedure).. ... from seperate the whites from the colours....to ....... separate the whites, colours and camera gear*.......this should see you through the rest of your life without a similar mishap.

In my older years I enjoy handing down the many years of wisdom I have accumilated.......

*Note: As you move through life and engage in other hobbies then ensure you update this CWP accordingly.......ie....say you get a girlfriend ..... then substitute (or add) the word "Girlfriend".

Last edited by noelpolar; 01-03-2015 at 10:48 PM.
01-04-2015, 01:53 AM   #8
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This is the time when you actually find out what your extended warranty or household insurance says. For example your insurance could have an excess which is equal to or greater than the value of a new camera.
Extended warranties can also be tricky. Some simply parallel the protections which exist in a respective jurisdiction's consumer protection legislation. So in effect you're buying something you already have. In Australia an extended warranty must provide something more than mirroring statutory protections. This is why with a camera purchase there might be an annual sensor clean or adjustment provided with the agreement. I bet very few people take advantage of it. This obligation could in any case be invalidated by an event outside ordinary use ie immersing a camera in a complete wash cycle.
I've had plenty of sales people offer me an extended warranty but they usually never say what it covers. It's often a way to manage a consumer's expectations. If you don't get the extended warranty and something goes wrong you're meant to think bloody hell I should have gotten the extended warranty, now I have no claim. Or once the manufacturer's warranty or extended warranty expires you're meant to think you're no longer covered but your local consumer protection legislation may still be applicable.
Some extended warranties aren't warranties at all but insurance policies. For example, so called extended warranties for mobile phones may be essentially insurance policies. If something goes wrong with the phone for whatever reason (eg dropping it in the toilet) it'll be replaced, but because it was insured, not because it was defective. Since phone plans have ongoing commitments, insurance is better than a warranty, so you don't end up making payments for a plan but without phone.
This story is good because it shows how good Pentax weather sealing is. It would also be useful to know the brand of the camera bag. That'll be the one to have in a category 5 cyclone. I'd also like to know the brand of washing machine. If it's not good enough to completely soak a camera it's one to avoid. It would be hopeless at removing stubborn stains.

01-04-2015, 01:57 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by officiousbystander Quote
This is the time when you actually find out what your extended warranty or household insurance says
The warranties explicitly say that water damage is not covered.
01-04-2015, 03:29 AM   #10
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Can you post pictures of the damaged camera? I just want to see it.
01-04-2015, 03:39 AM   #11
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Hi, I don't know how good you are with handling electronics and repairs. the usual procedure for the cellphone being soaked is taking it apart and cleaning or even soaking elements in isopropyl alcohol. I managed to save some cells and even bring back to life one Coolpix that met a lot of sticky juice in my friend's bag. The problem is that water and we are talking about water with some kind of detergent leaves micro-residues (micro stains) when it dries. The residues while drying create micro shortcuts that can lead to some major problems soon. Soaking in alcohol, the one I mentioned only - not any alcohol, removes the residues. Doing that to your camera may save it's live as I am almost certain no warranty covers washing your gear :> One of the other solutions though might be saying that it met excessive rain and see what the repair shop is going to say. [; If you would like some more explanations just ask.
01-04-2015, 07:50 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
I would update my CWP (Clothes Washing Procedure).. ... from seperate the whites from the colours....to ....... separate the whites, colours and camera gear*.......this should see you through the rest of your life without a similar mishap.

In my older years I enjoy handing down the many years of wisdom I have accumilated.......

*Note: As you move through life and engage in other hobbies then ensure you update this CWP accordingly.......ie....say you get a girlfriend ..... then substitute (or add) the word "Girlfriend".

Oh, I don't know... it might be fun and rewarding to wash the girlfriend.
01-04-2015, 08:13 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by dakight Quote
Oh, I don't know... it might be fun and rewarding to wash the girlfriend.
LOL I'm laughing so loud in my office now

---------- Post added 01-04-15 at 07:14 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by SKYGZR Quote
Buy a new Camera
or shoot film with a fully mechanical camera.
01-04-2015, 08:25 AM   #14
csa
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I'm really sorry to hear of your misfortune. However, kudos to you for doing your own laundry at home! Most college students would just dump the bag, waiting for mom to do it!

Seriously, depending on your limited money, it might be best to look for a used camera to replace this one. I'm sure the repairs might be as much or more than a "new" used camera. Check out our MarketPlace right here to see pricing on used cameras & lenses.

Best of luck, whatever you do, and please let us know the outcome.
01-04-2015, 08:40 AM   #15
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I hope you can clean the sensor at least.
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