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08-16-2010, 01:52 AM   #1
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K20D Rain Damage

Hi All,

had an unfortunate incident shooting with my K20D + 16-50 in the rain, what started out as only a light rain where I was not too concerned... suddenly the heavens opened and I had a good 10 minute walk back home...

I did not realize the camera was affected by the rain so tried to switch it on when at home to review the shots (after drying off surface water etc... but keeping all hatches closed, 16-50 still mounted)... when doing so battery indicator was showing on the top LCD... back LCD told me the Firmware version and both front and rear IR lights began to flast very quickly.... I immediately removed the battery...

now trying to recover the camera... took the lens off, inserted 2 silica packs in the lens mount and put on the body cap, removed SD card, door closed, inserted silica pack in the battery compartment, door closed.... Camera is sitting mount down....

Any thoughts on adaptations to my "recovery process" which would help?... any thoughts on possibilities of success and or time I should wait before trying again?

I have no idea where water entered, when opening the hatches I did not see water, and I see no physical trace of water when moving the camera around (i.e. no stream of water trickling out of the camera).

08-16-2010, 02:23 AM   #2
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I think you've done everything you can do and then some! Give it a few days of drying time and give it a shot. Smart move using silica packs and removing the battery as soon as you noticed an issue.
08-16-2010, 06:06 AM - 1 Like   #3
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I would put silica gel pack in the battery compartment too.

Keep in mind that seals can shrink or crack with and that nothing is garanteed when it comes to weather proofing. My K20's are over two years old and I wouldn't trust them in a downpour. Which is why I always carry a pack with a rain cover in it(just in case).

Here's to hoping for a graceful recovery!
08-16-2010, 06:16 AM   #4
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Sounds like you are on target with the rescue attempt. If my bag doesn't have a rain cover, there is a large black plastic trash bag in a pocket. Cameras are weather resistant, not 'weather proof'. Let us know how it works out.

08-16-2010, 06:21 AM - 1 Like   #5
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If you are getting some warm sun through a window, I'd suggest you may have gone as far as you can with the Silica and now I'd warm the body up.

Put it mount side open and up on the window ledge. The black body should warm up fairly quickly and dry any remaining moisture in a few hours.

If you have a spare battery that was not exposed to the rain, then maybe you should use that first. The issue might have been the battery got damp and was acting up.

After a day in the sun, it should be dry enough for testing. That is assuming your house isn't too humid as well.

Another trick (if the house is humid) is to get a larger clear plastic bag. Put fresh dry rice in the bottom and lay the camera on top of that. Then put the whole thing in the warm sun with the bag almost completely closed. The rice will absorb all the moisture inside the bag.

After either of these, you'll have to clean the sensor but that's a small issue if the camera works normally.

FYI, I dropped a quantum battery in the ocean while shooting on Saturday. I submerged it in fresh water right away to get the salt out and after using the rice trick, the battery was fine after 2 days. The top section of the battery has circuit board and a voltage regulator with a fair amount of electronics. Everything is operating as it should again.
08-18-2010, 07:24 AM   #6
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Partly good news... started up the K20 today and all looks good, problem happened late Friday so was sitting for around 5 days.

...however, in getting the camera started up I found that the communication with the 16-50 seems dead... no autofocus or aperture reading... thinking it may be the camera I tried the 50-135 and 18-55 and both are ok so it seems lens specific... tried rubbing the contacts but they look ok..., lens also looks spotless, no visible water signs.

I will try the same trick, I have the lens in a almost sealed bag with 3 silicon packs, will leave it for some days and hopefully it sorts itself out... any more thoughts?

Thanks,
Paul
08-18-2010, 07:38 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulelescoces Quote
I found that the communication with the 16-50 seems dead... no autofocus or aperture reading... thinking it may be the camera I tried the 50-135 and 18-55 and both are ok so it seems lens specific... any more thoughts?
Wow who would have thought?
Sounds like the lens took a hit(may of been your weak link in weatherproofing too!)
I think you're on the right path with regards to drying it out, if that doesn't work, then I guess Pentax service should your next stop.
08-18-2010, 07:49 AM   #8
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Yes that sounds like the issue. If the camera was over your shoulder, it would naturally have the lens hanging down and thus water may have gone down inside the lens.

The lens has a few electronics in it. The SDM motor, the chip that controls lens data etc. it's possible something there shorted out, most likely the chip. It would only take one drop across a set of contacts to short a chip.

08-18-2010, 07:50 AM   #9
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yep, thinking the same, never completely convinced with the WR of the 16-50 being that it sucks in a serious quantity of air when zooming, must really just be traces of moisture as everything looks completely dry.
08-18-2010, 07:55 AM   #10
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Any thoughts on if the lens can be salvaged? have read through many success stories around wet cameras... (looks like mine can be added to that) I would assume the lens to be less sensitive to water damage due to the relative simplicity of the electronics.
08-18-2010, 08:09 AM   #11
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Try to test the lens in a camera that do not use SDM, like a Film AF camera. If it works, then it is the SMD electronics. This way you are eliminating functions to see what specific damaged did the lens suffered. Just a thought.
08-18-2010, 11:17 AM   #12
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maybe lightly rub electrical contacts with clean pencil eraser, mineralization could
form as an oxide and inhibit normal operation.
08-18-2010, 11:33 AM   #13
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Is the lens still under warranty? It SHOULD be WR.

Silica gels are the way to go, as long as they're not full of moisture already. Add some rice in a sealed bag if you think it's necessary.

Good luck.
08-18-2010, 02:25 PM   #14
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Good news on the camera front, fingers crossed now for the lens.
08-18-2010, 02:29 PM   #15
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With camera, lenses and most electonics exposed to water, I found that the best method is to put them in the sun for a couple of hours.

Remove all batteries, cards, .... open all access doors, plug, ... and let them in the strong sunshines for 1- 2 hours, turning them every 20-30 mins to expose different parts. I would do that to both the camera and the lens, while I would dry the battery and SD card under the shade.
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