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10-08-2011, 06:07 PM   #1
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Pentax K10D durability/toughness question

I have a slightly odd question and hope someone here has an answer. I haven't been able to find anything in the search function or online.

I've recently taken over as the Photo Unit for the Fire Department I work at, in addition to my normal FF/Medic duties. We have a live fire drill at a burn tower coming up (this wednesday actually) and was wondering on using the K10D in the smoke and heat conditions. We don't take the burn tower to conditions that are uncomfortable (instructors are able to stand in the fire room without face protection etc. to allow proper review of the drill.)

Should I be concerned about smoke penetration? What's the upper temp limit for the camera, lenses, and Pentax flash in my signature below? (I do plan on upgrading to the K-5, but don't want to have to upgrade just yet....)

**EDIT - forgot the gear isn't in my signature anymore! Here it is:
Pentax K10D
Pentax AF-540FGZ Flash
Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens
Pentax DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED

Last edited by VampyreGTX; 10-08-2011 at 06:13 PM.
10-08-2011, 06:59 PM   #2
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I don't see any problem. If the heat factor is, even though maybe very hot, but bearable by humans I don't think the camera will be hampered or damaged by it.
Just take all the precautions to protect the camera and lens as you are able, between shots perhaps, and it should work out well.

That list of gear looks fine for the purpose as I see it.

Hope it all goes very well!
10-08-2011, 07:01 PM   #3
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Thanks! I was thinking the heat shouldn't be a problem. Any worry about smoke effecting the camera in the long term for some odd reason? Thanks for the help!

If i can get some great pictures, I'll be sure to share them on here.
10-08-2011, 07:04 PM   #4
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The usable temp range for the K10D is 32-104f. You don't want to expose the unit to heat above this because it can cause a lot of thermal expansion/contraction and throw factory specs out of whack. The smoke may not be a problem with the K10D and a sealed lens. With a non-sealed lens its more tough for me to say in confidence not to worry. The flash should not be effected. The bulb heats up to much higher temps than you will be standing in, but do allow for cool down if you use the flash a lot. The lens? Hm mm my gut feeling is you will be OK becuase you can put the camera out of harms way when you sense conditions are too bad for it.

As you well know there are different types of smoke. Some smoke is thick it leaves a lot of black on walls. Now this inside your K10D or lens would not be a good thing. Some smoke is fairly clean and may not hurt your K10D or lens. You would not want a layer of smoke residue on your glass elements in the lens or OVF (you can clean the mirror and sensor) That's about as far as I can go... Good Luck with what ever you decide.

10-08-2011, 07:08 PM   #5
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Makes sense James. We burn hay and clean wood in barrels only. So the smoke is 'pure' with none of the crap in a real fire from plastics etc. (lol, calling smoke 'pure' seems odd....). I may see the conditions in person during the first evolution and determine after that how 'deep' into it to get with the camera than.
10-08-2011, 07:34 PM   #6
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Having a longer zoom, 50-200, I suggest using that and zooming in from a greater distance, which should overcome most of your concerns.
10-09-2011, 02:22 AM   #7
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I'd suggest you buy yourself a more apropriate lens for the use you describe here; DA* of any kind will be the smartest idea, I believe...
It's more sealed and the chance of getting smoke/moist inside of the camera is minimal, compared to kit-lenses or similar...
Maybe WR-Lenses is also a (cheaper) alternative.

10-12-2011, 10:18 PM   #8
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I have been having issues this year with my K10D showing memory card errors when outside on warm sunny days. It's probably an issue developing with the card read/write drive but if I stay in the shade of even keep the camera covered, it works fine. Heat seems to have much more of an effect than cold on the camera. I don't know how hot it is getting in the direct sunlight. I would be concerned with the plastic getting damaged from sparks or cinders and abrasive particles in the smoke coating the lens shooting around a fire. I don't think anybody will argue the point that a protective filter (UV/skylight) would be necessary in those conditions. Burning plastic and wiring can lay a sticky film on surfaces that can be difficult to clean. As a fleet mechanic, I've had the joy of cleaning up some trucks after electrical fires under the dash. That smell never goes away and I wouldn't want my camera near anything like that.


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