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09-16-2010, 11:54 AM   #46
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Just joined this community, however just about the time you had your rain damage problem, I had a similar experience. I left my K20 with pentax 16-50 f2.8 out all night in one of the worst storms of the summer in central Ontario. The next morning thought I had killed it. Took it inside wiped dry, disassembled (batteries, lens) used hair dryer (warm) to dry all exposed parts. left inside for three days before re-assembling. started shooting without issue, did not lose any data on memory card and have not looked back. Guess I lucked out.

09-16-2010, 12:30 PM   #47
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Hmmm, a friend and i went to a famous garden, took some traveling on both our parts. It was raining when we got there, moderate rain, not a heavy downpour. The friend, with a Canon D60, used an umbrella over his camera/lens the total time, i draped a handcloth over my 50-135 lens, to keep any standing water off it. wrung out the cloth whenever it got too wet. we were probably in the light rain for an hour until it stopped.

no problem with the K20 or the lens. and i usually use that lens when it starts to get wet.

one problem might be that the WR of a camera may depend somewhat on the care that it is assembled iwth. some person or machine putting a gasket in slightly off axis or over a piece of debris, might be enough to create a leak path. I actually think the Pentax water seals work pretty well as i have been out in the rain on several occasions between my K10 and K20 and neither one has leaked or failed to operate. I always try to keep standing water off the camera body, and more typically the lens if its not sealed, i have only 1 sealed lens.

I think Paul had a bad lens. On the other hand, i would never dip my camera into a shower to clean it off after an outing, like the reputed youtube video, that is just plain foolish :-)
09-16-2010, 12:32 PM   #48
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Yes, think generally the WR works well, hear stories of the DA* and WR lens/cameras having much more stressed conditions than mine has had, I really guess that I lucked out.

In the corrosion, I was certainly very surprised to see this in the photos as I imagined any water which has entered must be traces of moisture only, service seemed to think it was much more significant. I live in the south of Spain, rain is actually quite uncommon here and this is really the first time I can think I have had this combo in the rain... have used the K20D+50-135 with no issues prior to purchasing the 16-50... also, purchased new from Adorama so dont have any concerns about its earlier life.
09-17-2010, 10:14 AM   #49
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I just went back to the first post and its been a month and a day. I think that you have posed an interesting dilemma to Pentax's management and marketing. Just what is Pentax's position on apparent WR failures on both sealed bodies and lenses. There will always be a failure somewhere, somehow. It certainly does not appear that an adequate position and response had been considered up to now. Also, how and when they respond will set the tone for quite a few things, since they are in a major product rollout which features just this capability.

If they have a press conference, I would not want to be the spokesperson if this question was asked..... Unless, I had a very positive prepared reply all ready to go.



09-17-2010, 04:02 PM   #50
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i've been following this thread and some of the things i've wondered about are, what's the expected longevity of the weather sealing on the various Pentax bodies? Any differences in gasket materials used between older models and the K-7?

Same thoughts regarding lenses, and they have to seal moving and telescoping barrels too so it's a more difficult enviroment.
09-17-2010, 10:00 PM   #51
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I have a K-7 and while i am reasonably confident that it will stand the abuse in not so good weather, i never have the guts to try it out (also because i dont have any WR lenses in my setup).

But coming from an Engineering background and i know i have said this before, the WR classification given by Pentax (or any other camera manufacturers) is relatively loose. What does weather resistant mean? what is the IP rating? without this kind of rating, no one knows really how well the seals are meant to withstand.

someone said before that a camera is unable to get an IP rating that easily because it has moving parts and has demountable components. I agree somewhat. But I suspect this is not the primary reason. A cheap nokia or samsung phone has removable batteries but still can be classified as IP54...so why cant a camera.

I would suggest if it is really necessary to shoot in a rain, use a rain hood or something, regardless of whether the lens and body is classified as WR, for the peace of mind i guess.

Last edited by raider; 09-17-2010 at 10:06 PM.
09-17-2010, 11:18 PM   #52
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Take the WR claims with a pinch of salt. I have seen the magnesium bottom plate of that was removed from the K-7 and the WR comes from a thin foam lining, not even a rubber gasket. Given time and environmental condition, these will slowly degrade over time.
09-17-2010, 11:58 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulelescoces Quote
Yes, think generally the WR works well, hear stories of the DA* and WR lens/cameras having much more stressed conditions than mine has had, I really guess that I lucked out.

In the corrosion, I was certainly very surprised to see this in the photos as I imagined any water which has entered must be traces of moisture only, service seemed to think it was much more significant. I live in the south of Spain, rain is actually quite uncommon here and this is really the first time I can think I have had this combo in the rain... have used the K20D+50-135 with no issues prior to purchasing the 16-50... also, purchased new from Adorama so dont have any concerns about its earlier life.
The south of Spain? Very hot over there!
I have been on assignment several times this summer, somewhere between Malaga and Gibraltar.
What I encountered there was the heat causing some annoyances.
The rear e-wheel on the body and the grip was no more functioning due to the accumulated sweat from my hand (38C in the shadow), the next day, once dried over night, all was OK.
Rather 'present' noise in the pictures at 100ASA, and once the camera stopped working, due to over heating, when shooting out at noon in the sun (an oven)! This is how I learned to cover the camera with a white cloth, like working with a LF camera, to protect it from the sun.
Now, I wonder if this heat can do harm to the sealing rings. The DA* 16-50, having a 'plastic' housing and the seals being of a different and flexible elastic material, might have suffered from the heat.
Black accumulates the heat. Not the rain but the sun and sweaty hands before?

09-18-2010, 06:01 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
I have seen the magnesium bottom plate of that was removed from the K-7 and the WR comes from a thin foam lining, not even a rubber gasket. Given time and environmental condition, these will slowly degrade over time.
That's a let down. Remember looking at the pretty drawings of the K-7 when it came out, the ones that show where the seals are, and assuming they were all made of silicone or rubber.

After all it's the ability to work this kind of shot that drew me to the K-7. Sorry for the large size.


Last edited by conradj; 09-18-2010 at 06:13 AM.
09-19-2010, 04:55 AM   #55
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Yes but you should consider the lifespan of these cameras. Maybe 5-7 years in a large percentage of owneres. Either they will wear out the shutters or have moved on long before any foam begins to break down. Film cameras never needed the foam gaskets replaced till around the 20 year mark, so I would ecpect for most, this won't be an issue.
09-19-2010, 03:49 PM   #56
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Indeed, i often forget this camera isn't meant to last forever. It's built so solidly one takes it for granted after awhile, not like the squeezable, squeakable plastic dSLR's i've played with in stores.

Both my MX's still work fine and one is over 30 years old while the other is 28 this year.

i really felt for paulelescoces's experience with his lens (and hope it has a happy ending): those photos of its innerds tell me it's had repeated exposure to dampness and possibly as little as one exposure to wetness. The white corrosion on the pins of some of the IC's look like repeated exposure to damp atmosphere while powered up, and the coloured stains look like shorting from wetness. The camera battery certainly can supply enough current to leave that kind of mark.

i had some premonition of this kind of thing last winter with the kit WR lens, when i brought it straight indoors from a couple hours in -20C and its internal elements completely fogged up. Realized i still have to observe normal cold weather precautions even with the seals, and remember that i was glad it didn't have internal motors for me to power up and short out.

Normal cold weather precautions for electronic gear includes not powering them up until they've warmed up and all condensation has evaporated. This applies to those miniature gear trains also as condensation will affect the lube.

i've extended that to wet weather as well. After using the camera + lens in the rain, dry the exterior and leave the lens alone until all the dampness has evaporated, or change it out for a dry one.

As for the aging of the camera seals, i kinda wish i knew more abt how they deteriorate, enough to be able to adapt my working methods in wet and cold over time. When relatively new like now i expect them to be fine. Over time i expect them to seal progressively worse, and would like to know when i should start taking more precautions abt inclement weather use, and when to start leaving it indoors and just stand in the rain all by my lonesome.
09-19-2010, 04:38 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by conradj Quote
... those photos of its innerds
-- and the first and third photos certainly seem to indicate a probability the lens mount or zoom ring seals have failed or were improperly assembled. Those are the seals closest to that part of the lens?

The zoom ring gets used a lot so those seals are a prime suspect. Minute misalignment in assembly could cause early failure.

paulelescoces did say he was caught in a deluge for 10 minutes, that -might- be more than the sealing was designed for. Certainly hope not.
10-11-2010, 05:01 AM   #58
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just back from vacation... egypt... great photo opps

no info from Pentax on this case... called them again today and they have re-escalated the case
lets see if I hear more this time.
10-12-2010, 03:29 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulelescoces Quote
Photos Attached... see what he meant by the oxidation... interestingly... following the oxidation, looks like the water entered through 2 rightmost electrical contacts (in top photo)... can kind of see this also in photo 3 with the mark left on the circuit board.
There is something not quite right here.

I do corrosion for a living and there is no way this amount of damage would have been caused by 10 minutes in the rain plus a few days of drying out time. Water must have sat in this lens for weeks. And I suspect not just fresh water either. The give-away is the state of the head of the left cross-head screw in the last photo. This would not have had any electrical power to accelerate the corrosion attack and yet it is badly corroded.

Are you sure you've not dropped the lens into the sea at any point in the past ?
10-13-2010, 12:31 AM   #60
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kh1234567890: Although I live close to the sea I have never had salt water on the camera/lens or had it in a position where this would be a possibility, salt water and electronics are a very bad combination...

I was also surprised with the corrosion in the photos... regarding the timeframe I think there was around 3-4 weeks between issue and when the photos were taken (first week thought issue was only camera... a few weeks trying to dry out lens... couple of weeks to get lens to service centre and they got back to me with the photos.... when lens was drying I tried it on a couple of occasions which may have served as an accelerant to the corrosion).
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