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02-10-2009, 07:24 PM   #1
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What does "weather-resistant" really mean?

I recently purchased the K20D. One of the features that sold me on the Pentax (vs the Nikon D90 or Canon 40D/50D) was the weather resistant body. Since I'll be visiting Costa Rica in April this was a really important feature to me.

In recent days I've started thinking about the fact that while K20D body is weather resistant, none of my lenses are (in addition to the kit lens I've also purchased the DA 55-200m and the DA 40mm limited).

Will light rain or ocean splashes cause serious damage to the lenses I have?

Should I consider investing in a DA* lens (I would like go for the 16-50mm or the new 55mm). Problem is if I were to invest in a DA* I would likely need to sell the 40mm to help offset the cost....and I really like the 40mm.

Also, just how weather resistant is the K20D + a DA* lens. Could I shoot in pouring rain, heavy snow, etc?

Any recommendations? Thanks

02-10-2009, 07:35 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by sdesposito Quote
Will light rain or ocean splashes cause serious damage to the lenses I have?
No, as long as you're fast to wipe them off, but also wipe them off carefully - i.e. without moving any bits on the lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by sdesposito Quote
Should I consider investing in a DA* lens (I would like go for the 16-50mm or the new 55mm). Problem is if I were to invest in a DA* I would likely need to sell the 40mm to help offset the cost....and I really like the 40mm.
Only if you have plans on taking photos in the pouring rain/snow/dust/<insert something>

QuoteOriginally posted by sdesposito Quote
Also, just how weather resistant is the K20D + a DA* lens. Could I shoot in pouring rain, heavy snow, etc?
See above.... Also there's a few threads with people praising the weather sealing on their K20D and DA* lens.. check them out to see them having survived rain and dunks.
02-11-2009, 04:40 AM   #3
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I've used my K10 with the Sigma 17-70 in light rain. The camera did it's job, the lens still functions, the photographer however needs some more practice



Although, if I got salty water on anything I'd be inclined to clean it off fairly quickly.
02-11-2009, 07:33 AM   #4
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I posted elsewhere that I chose a K200D & DA*16-50 to take to work at sea. The combo did very well and doesn't show any sign of prob's. I took it from Lisbon in summer to Rotterdam in November. It was very hot, then hot and wet, then wet and wetter while in the Med and finally cold and wet. I shot one night near Rotterdam with a frigid blast blowing from the north with a mix of sleet and snow. I was only out in it for less than 30 minutes, not only was I frozen, ice formed around the edges of the filter and hood.
My lens still looks and works like new, the body has a few scuffs but has not given me one problem.
I also used a DA50-200 and got it wet without seeming to harm it or the camera.
The old rule with wet electronics, which I follow when possible, is to remove all power sources and let dry completely. With the wet lenses I simply used a soft towel to remove moisture and let them air dry flat, not on end or in the bag. I also carry large, reusable dessicant packs in my cam bags.

hth

02-11-2009, 07:49 AM   #5
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Just what the term implies...resits weather, ,but not weather proof. Example...shooting in light rain or in a dusty wind (i.e., here in Greece in summer), you can use the K10/K20 with zero concern, just common sense in cleaning and care. The opposite of that is, swimming with your camera around your neck, standing in a monsoon, etc....common sense things.

Of course, the lens should be weather resistant too, to get the true meaning of said term.

Jason
02-11-2009, 07:58 AM   #6
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If I'm not mistaken....

weather-proof = water cannot get in

weather-resistant = will resist water, but there is a limit

I've used a K10D and K20D with just simple DA or M lenses in the rain/mist/snow/sleet and have never had a problem. I'm careful not to let it get completely drenched or ice-covered, knowing that "resistant" does not mean it will repell sea water at 20 fathoms.
02-11-2009, 08:28 AM   #7
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I've wonder about this myself as well. If I use a non weather sealed lens on my k20d, will the water get into the camera from the mount opening? Does weather sealed lens have some type of gasket or something between the mount and the lens?

The reason why I asked is because I have some lens that I won't mind getting damaged. They are cheaper zoom lens that I got when I bought some of the film pentax bodies. I am willing to sacrificed the lens if it will protect the body and allow me to get the shot.
02-11-2009, 09:27 AM   #8
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Keep a small towel/handkerchief handy if using non DA* lenses wipe ASAP heck keep one handy at all times

I've used my 55-200 in pouring rain and wipes ASAP, it's still works fine.

02-11-2009, 09:34 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by sdesposito Quote
....Since I'll be visiting Costa Rica in April this was a ....
As a native from Costa Rica, considering you are coming in April and depending on WHERE are you going here, you may not see a single drop of rain.

April is the TOP of our dry season, mainly to everywhere on the Pacific side (Puntarenas, Guanacaste and Central Valley including capital San José).

A bit of rain may be expected on the Caribbean side (Limón, Northern Plains like San Carlos, Arenal, Monteverde.)

Also, wind is of no concern during April-May, but moisture condensation is to be considered if traveling to the Cloud Forests like Monteverde or such.

Rainy season starts mid May, but with very predictable weather. Clear mornings, a couple of short showers mid afternoon and clear evenings. That's it.
02-11-2009, 09:58 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SuperAkuma Quote
I've wonder about this myself as well. If I use a non weather sealed lens on my k20d, will the water get into the camera from the mount opening? Does weather sealed lens have some type of gasket or something between the mount and the lens?

The reason why I asked is because I have some lens that I won't mind getting damaged. They are cheaper zoom lens that I got when I bought some of the film pentax bodies. I am willing to sacrificed the lens if it will protect the body and allow me to get the shot.
Whether a non-sealed lens resists moisture is largely a matter of how the lens is designed. Most primes are pretty good in this respect. Many zoom lenses are much less resistant due to the zoom mechanism.

Water entry via the mount is a realistic concern due to the presence of electrical contacts and the AF drive fitting. The mount tolerances are pretty tight, but probably not tight enough to resist sustained exposure.

The three variables of moisture:
  • Time
  • Volume
  • Pressure (includes the pressure of rain or spray)
An excess of any of the above increases the risk of penetration.

Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 02-11-2009 at 02:28 PM.
02-11-2009, 01:32 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by SuperAkuma Quote
I've wonder about this myself as well. If I use a non weather sealed lens on my k20d, will the water get into the camera from the mount opening? Does weather sealed lens have some type of gasket or something between the mount and the lens?


Yes they do. At least, my DA* zooms have a gasket in the mount face.
02-11-2009, 02:26 PM   #12
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"What does "weather-resistant" really mean?"

What it means to me is that, all else being equal, I'm probably better off with a camera that claims to be "weather-resistant" than one that does not.
02-11-2009, 03:13 PM   #13
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I was in the rain this past Thanksgiving in the Carolina Mountains shooting and neither I nor my camera was no worse for wear. It is very resilliant.
02-11-2009, 03:54 PM   #14
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"Weather Resistant" is is not a legally binding guarantee, like "Weather Proof" would be. Same thing as watches!

(I'm talking with respect to countries with strict consumer laws)

For what it's worth, I used my K100 Super and Kit lens in light rain a fair bit, and it was always fine.
02-11-2009, 05:45 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by SuperAkuma Quote
I've wonder about this myself as well. If I use a non weather sealed lens on my k20d, will the water get into the camera from the mount opening? Does weather sealed lens have some type of gasket or something between the mount and the lens?

The reason why I asked is because I have some lens that I won't mind getting damaged. They are cheaper zoom lens that I got when I bought some of the film pentax bodies. I am willing to sacrificed the lens if it will protect the body and allow me to get the shot.
Closer view of a DA 16-50 o-ring, on the outside edge of the mount.

Cheers, Mike.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 12-29-2013 at 10:40 AM.
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