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03-26-2019, 05:04 AM   #1
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need some good fast advice lens for a rainy day at the ball park

knocking off an item of the bucket list - I am going to my first " Opening Day " at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City Mo Thursday with current forecast of thunderstorms, scattered thunderstorms, showers and thunderstorms during the game

[ 98 % down to 58 % ]

will have either a K 3 or K 3 II

is it is better to take non WR prime or WR/AW zoom

choices:

PRIMES with rain jacket being used

SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro
SMC Pentax-A 135mm F2.8
SMC DA * 300mm F4 ED (IF )

ZOOMS

HD Pentax-DA 16 - 85mm F3.5-5.6 WR

HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE
HD Pentax-D FA* 70-200mm F2.8 ED DC AW
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I have read that operating a zoom lens allows the ingress of water/moisture into the lens/camera and of course the changing of any lenses would also permit the ingress of water/moisture

I will have a zippered clear plastic carrying bag to have the camera/lenses in when not in use, toweling and an outer plastic bag for the all of it to fit into.


or is " discretion the better part of valor " and not take photo gear at all ?

03-26-2019, 05:38 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
is it is better to take non WR prime or WR/AW zoom

choices:

PRIMES with rain jacket being used

SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro
SMC Pentax-A 135mm F2.8
SMC DA * 300mm F4 ED (IF )

ZOOMS

HD Pentax-DA 16 - 85mm F3.5-5.6 WR

HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE
HD Pentax-D FA* 70-200mm F2.8 ED DC AW
________________________

I have read that operating a zoom lens allows the ingress of water/moisture into the lens/camera
First, the DA* 300 is weather resistant. So one prime at least is as protected as the zooms.

Second, without some idea where you're seated, it is really difficult to know what each lens would limit you to vs the others.

Lastly, the weather resistance isn't a guarantee, so while it should work well, the chance of failure is real. Can you afford to replace or repair the gear? Also if this is the first time you've done this, does taking a camera possible reduce your being in the moment and take away some of the experience?
03-26-2019, 06:11 AM   #3
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Make sure the camera body and lens seals are clean, too.
I've been in the rain with the 18-135 a few times. My K5 had some issues after a big storm, but after a while was fine. It's always a risk, of course.
03-26-2019, 06:16 AM - 1 Like   #4
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No matter the weather resistance, as soon as it starts to drizzle your instincts will be to protect the gear in a plastic bag. However, the 300 is weather resistant (not "proof"). Take that but if you have one, use a clear or skylight filter. The best thing would be to have something like a Ruggard RC-P8 rain protector which is made of clear, grocery-bag style plastic. These are cheap ($7.50 for two) and have three openings: a drawstring to close around the lens hood, a peep-hole for the viewfinder, and an open downward extension for your right hand - - keep your left out of the bag to grip the lens or zoom ring.. The "8" at the end of the model designation is the lens length in inches. There is a much larger model RC-P18 for longer lenses.. I used one in Iceland when needed over a Nikon 7100 + Tamron 150~600mm. It worked. Not sure about other sizes

03-26-2019, 06:35 AM   #5
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I have never been to a MLB opening game but I have been to MLB games, sometimes I kept score on home made score cards, some times I take photos, [ some have been posted here ]

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
. . . Second, without some idea where you're seated, it is really difficult to know what each lens would limit you to vs the others.


Lastly, the weather resistance isn't a guarantee, so while it should work well, the chance of failure is real. Can you afford to replace or repair the gear? Also if this is the first time you've done this, does taking a camera possible reduce your being in the moment and take away some of the experience? . . .
seat is just into the outfield area down third base line with the infield to my right, Sec 115 Row U four rows down from top of section

should be beyond the protective netting, giving me clear view of 1st, 2nd and 3rd, along with pitcher, home plate probably through the netting

however the longer the focal length, the less area covered at the targeted bases.

you folks are all correct, any use is a danger, final decision is mine and nothing is water proof.

cannot reenter stadium so I could keep stuff safe in car but if I choose to take in only protection is the plastic carrying bag and outside plastic bagging.

are zooms more likely to have problems than a prime ?

how dangerous would it be to change lens inside a plastic garbage bag by feel ?

maybe the best thing is the Canon Powershot A1100 IS or Nikon coolpix p610

Last edited by aslyfox; 03-26-2019 at 06:51 AM.
03-26-2019, 07:09 AM   #6
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I used to cover local high school and college sports in all kinds of weather with Pentax cameras. Super Program, PZ-1p, and finally a *1st D. A towel is very useful to keep mist and light drizzle off the camera and lens. I used a bread bag rubber banded around the lens hood when the precipitation became heavier. Worked better than the expensive Tenba rain jacket I bought! Do NOT use plastic grocery bags, they aren’t waterproof.

Now, the lens choice would be the 70-200 f2.8 or the 300mm *.
I used a Tokina ATX 80-200mm F2.8 and ATX-SD 300mm F2.8 for years and never got water in them using my methods.
Still have the 300.
03-26-2019, 07:20 AM   #7
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I once sat about 25 rows from the field at Fenway (smaller stadium) and used an FA*300. It was good for action, but you might want to also bring the 16-85 for wide angle if you can change it out of the rain.

Red Sox vs. Orioles | Flickr
03-26-2019, 07:37 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by DennisH Quote
I once sat about 25 rows from the field at Fenway (smaller stadium) and used an FA*300. It was good for action, but you might want to also bring the 16-85 for wide angle if you can change it out of the rain.

Red Sox vs. Orioles | Flickr
Given the experiences mentioned is lean towards the 55-300 and no lens changes. The 55-300 has super fast focusing and covers the long telephoto to just slightly telephoto. The PLM version you have also is internal focus so only zooming will add and risk above the primes. Drape a towel or plastic over the lens barrel and you can wipe it off if needed. Inspect the mount o-ring and be sure the weather sealing is in good shape (no grit on the ring etc)

Also the 55-300 is less expensive to replace if things fail.

03-26-2019, 07:59 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Given the experiences mentioned is lean towards the 55-300 and no lens changes. The 55-300 has super fast focusing and covers the long telephoto to just slightly telephoto. The PLM version you have also is internal focus so only zooming will add and risk above the primes. Drape a towel or plastic over the lens barrel and you can wipe it off if needed. Inspect the mount o-ring and be sure the weather sealing is in good shape (no grit on the ring etc)

Also the 55-300 is less expensive to replace if things fail.
" The PLM version you have also is internal focus so only zooming will add and risk above the primes "


did you mean that the internal focus means no zooming risk?

but the in depth review indicated danger of dust ( does that include moisture ? )


" On the downside, this lens doesn't feature internal zoom, like some of Pentax's more expensive "pro" zoom lenses; the lens barrel telescopes in and out when you zoom. So, while the 55-300mm PLM is weather-resistant, we recommend being careful with the zoom when shooting in dusty conditions to avoid any possibility of drawing dust particles into the internal elements."

Read more at: https://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/hd-pentax-da-55-300mm-f45-63-ed-plm-wr/...#ixzz5jI5I49MF

Last edited by aslyfox; 03-26-2019 at 08:08 AM.
03-26-2019, 08:38 AM   #10
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Interesting Topic.

Primes should technically be 'better sealed' as there are less potential points of entry for Dust/Moisture. Using a Zoom will give you more flexibility and you will not have to swap lenses as frequently.

In either case, regardless of Pentax's weather resistance, I would use a cover for both the body and lens. Covers/Sleeves/Coats (whatever you want to call them) are cheap. In my opinion, whether it's a $10 or a $50 expense, it's a good investment for peace of mind and it is one less thing to worry about.
03-26-2019, 08:43 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
did you mean that the internal focus means no zooming risk?
I'm sure he meant what he wrote - the focusing is safe, not the zooming. By my experience (with the non-PLM 55-300mm WR), you should be absolutely fine if you avoid vividly zooming in and out when the lens barrel is totally wet. Even having done that in pouring rain with my 18-135mm once, I just let the resulting minor condensation dry at home and both lens and camera have been fine since.
03-26-2019, 08:50 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JensE Quote
I'm sure he meant what he wrote - the focusing is safe, not the zooming. By my experience (with the non-PLM 55-300mm WR), you should be absolutely fine if you avoid vividly zooming in and out when the lens barrel is totally wet. Even having done that in pouring rain with my 18-135mm once, I just let the resulting minor condensation dry at home and both lens and camera have been fine since.
Correct. Many lenses move the barrel during focus - this does not. So if you are zoomed to the right length subsequent focusing will not add risk over the general risk.

Zooming will continue to potentially migrate water.
03-26-2019, 09:06 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Correct. Many lenses move the barrel during focus - this does not. So if you are zoomed to the right length subsequent focusing will not add risk over the general risk.

Zooming will continue to potentially migrate water.
thanks

I am not as easily confused as my in laws claim

but I can get confused

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QuoteOriginally posted by sutherland Quote
. . . In either case, regardless of Pentax's weather resistance, I would use a cover for both the body and lens. Covers/Sleeves/Coats (whatever you want to call them) are cheap. In my opinion, whether it's a $10 or a $50 expense, it's a good investment for peace of mind and it is one less thing to worry about.
I have a couple of these that I will take with me

Rainsleeve - Camera cover for rain and snow | OP/TECH USA

Last edited by aslyfox; 03-26-2019 at 09:15 AM.
03-26-2019, 09:38 AM   #14
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I've not read the last few posts, but I've been to quite a few games in San Francisco and I have shot in the rain (in other situations).

If I was going to go today (with my K3), I'd probably just go with an 18-135 and not change lenses. Given what you had the 55-300 might be ok, but I have used the 55-300 often in the past at the ballpark, and I have never been terribly happy with how it performs at focal lengths greater than 200~250. It just isn't sharp, and the players will look fuzzy. Now maybe I don't have a great copy, but perhaps you might give it a try before the game (maybe just take some street photos of a crowd to approximate the situation). An obvious upgrade would be the 70-200, and knowing what I do, I'd probably go with that lens.

Some general notes:

1. HIgh telephoto is ok (~300) but you will generally only get one player in a shot (unless you are way far away), and it can miss something in the broader sense of a ballgame
2. Wide angle shots are ok, and I prefer them. Baseball is an experience, and I love being able to get most the field, the ballpark, etc. It can miss a little in terms of having a great shot though; although, I prefer that to the zoom end.
3. the 50-135 range do a great job of splitting the differences.

If there is rain, I probably wouldn't want to change lenses. I'd rather take my chances with a zoom that is weather sealed than breaking the weather seal that occurs when you swap out lenses. I am a hypocrite, too, however, as I've swapped lenses in the field when on vacation. When I was Iceland shooting in the rain, it was worth chancing lens changes (I had a second backup body with me) to get the shots. I often changed moving the camera and lenses under a coat and umbrella.

You won't want the umbrella at the ballpark, but if you can make it work, you can always move underneath an overhang or concourse area between innings.
03-26-2019, 09:44 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
maybe the best thing is the Canon Powershot A1100 IS or Nikon coolpix p610
QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
maybe the best thing is the Canon Powershot A1100 IS or Nikon coolpix p610
If it is not a paid gig, I would never risk my expensive gear.

In pro sports, inside a big stadium, no lens is long enough. If you must, I would bring the 16-85 and the 70-200. If weight is not an issue bring the 300mm too. I have shot motor cross and ALMS race and sometimes my 400mm lens felt way too short.
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