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12-16-2007, 05:33 AM   #1
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Camera Armor and the K10D

Hi All,

I searched but couldn't find what I was looking for so let me pose this question.

I'll be shooting in a very remote part of Central Africa for the next year. The environment is hostile to say the least, 80 in of rain/yr, 95 deg every day, and no telephone, mail, internet, etc. The gear I have is all that I will have the entire time I'm there. I can't get anything fixed or replaced while in country.

I switched to Pentax from Canon specifically because of these conditions. I have 2 K10Ds that replaced my Canon 30Ds. There is no way I could afford the 1 series Canons and the weather seals and auto dust removal are big pluses.

Here is my question; does any one have any experience with this product... Camera Armor - Digital SLR Camera Protection For Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Pentax, and Fuji Cameras - We Shield While You Shoot

Would it be worth having? Does it interfere with camera operation? Thoughts on anything else?

Thanks!

12-16-2007, 10:14 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by nikonic Quote
Hi All,

I searched but couldn't find what I was looking for so let me pose this question.

I'll be shooting in a very remote part of Central Africa for the next year. The environment is hostile to say the least, 80 in of rain/yr, 95 deg every day, and no telephone, mail, internet, etc. The gear I have is all that I will have the entire time I'm there. I can't get anything fixed or replaced while in country.

I switched to Pentax from Canon specifically because of these conditions. I have 2 K10Ds that replaced my Canon 30Ds. There is no way I could afford the 1 series Canons and the weather seals and auto dust removal are big pluses.

Here is my question; does any one have any experience with this product... Camera Armor - Digital SLR Camera Protection For Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Pentax, and Fuji Cameras - We Shield While You Shoot

Would it be worth having? Does it interfere with camera operation? Thoughts on anything else?

Thanks!
I have seen horror shots of k10d in mud and still going after a bucket of water is dumped over it. I would suggest that the two available DA* lenses might be a good idea, because they are weather proofed as well.
12-16-2007, 10:57 AM   #3
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That sounds like it would be a good trip.

I'd also try bringing along a backup film camera, just in case you can't charge the batteries or something else along those lines.
You can get film practically everywhere, unlike electricity after a disaster.
12-16-2007, 11:09 AM   #4
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Nice name Nikonic
I agree with Canada Rookies. I've used mine in some pretty harsh conditions and saw the series of pictures he referred to where a guy was mountain hiking and fell. His camera was totally immersed in mud and water. No issues. see it here:
PentaxWorld's Gallery - Information
The body can take the punishment. Spend money on the 2 new DA* lenses and travel without fear. I also agree with Stu. take a good fim body that can use the lenses (they may vignette a little but you can crop that). There are lots of good cheap bodies out there these days

12-16-2007, 11:16 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Nice name Nikonic
I agree with Canada Rookies. I've used mine in some pretty harsh conditions and saw the series of pictures he referred to where a guy was mountain hiking and fell. His camera was totally immersed in mud and water. No issues. see it here:
PentaxWorld's Gallery - Information
The body can take the punishment. Spend money on the 2 new DA* lenses and travel without fear. I also agree with Stu. take a good fim body that can use the lenses (they may vignette a little but you can crop that). There are lots of good cheap bodies out there these days
I agree with Stu that a fully manual film body would be the best backup of all. Even a K1000 takes good pictures. Better would be a KX - the MX has a greater need for batteries. Best of all might be an LX, but they don't come cheap, even these days.
12-17-2007, 05:04 AM   #6
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Thanks for the good info. I have the *DA lenses I wish they had the longer one out already. Believe it or not I actually can't get film there, or anything else for that matter (there aren't even roads). I'm bringing a flexible, weather proof, compact solar panel to charge my batteries and power my laptop.

I think I'm going to go ahead with the Camera Armor. $50.00 is cheap insurance for the extra protection to the body. I'll have 2 bodies but I want to come back with both of them if possible.
12-17-2007, 11:22 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by nikonic Quote
Thanks for the good info. I have the *DA lenses I wish they had the longer one out already. Believe it or not I actually can't get film there, or anything else for that matter (there aren't even roads). I'm bringing a flexible, weather proof, compact solar panel to charge my batteries and power my laptop.

I think I'm going to go ahead with the Camera Armor. $50.00 is cheap insurance for the extra protection to the body. I'll have 2 bodies but I want to come back with both of them if possible.

Sounds like a wonderful journey lying ahead for you.

I have used the K10D in heavy rain and in the mist/spray beneath large waterfall with the DA* lenses with no problems.

Many years back when I was doing my graduate work in the Amazon Rain Forests of PEru/ Brazil, I brough my cameras and lenses with me and there here is some advice that may be worth while.

Standard lenses, non weatherproof, may get you by for that period of time. However, all the lenses that I used on that particular trip eventually developed mold/fungus problems years later. Was the stay in these humid forests the culprit? Can't say for sure, but none of my other lenses developed said problem.

You might want to consider a weatherproof container, like a Haliburton (?) case and copious quantities of reusable colored silica gel that can be reheated for reuse when they indicate that they have reached the saturation point.

If you bring two cameras and two DA*s keep one mounted to each lens as that reduces the problems associated with condensation inside the body.

Make sure you have filters on your lenses. You don't want to have to clean the front element in an environment like this. Take copious quantities of KODAK lens tissue with you and keep it in an airtight baggie of some sort. You will be using it regularly.

And... if you are going to be within a canopied area you must bring a strong flash. Handheld photography beneath the conopy of a tropical area is extremely difficult and results without a flash can be very frustrating. Less than 2% of available light hits the floor of a rain forest.

Take lots of pictures even though the unbearable heat will knock the stuffing out of you and you will want to take siestas often.

Stephen

Good luck.
12-17-2007, 12:46 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by SCGushue Quote
S

You might want to consider a weatherproof container, like a Haliburton (?) case and copious quantities of reusable colored silica gel that can be reheated for reuse when they indicate that they have reached the saturation point.

Good luck.
Thanks for the good advice.

I've got 2 pelican cases and about 200 packets of silica which I hope will be enough. How do you reheat the silica packets? I'll only have fire for cooking.

12-17-2007, 12:49 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by nikonic Quote
Thanks for the good advice.

I've got 2 pelican cases and about 200 packets of silica which I hope will be enough. How do you reheat the silica packets? I'll only have fire for cooking.
Put the packets in a pot and set it near, not on, the fire. About where you put your feet for warming in cool weather would be right.
12-17-2007, 04:05 PM   #10
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Will you always have access to electricity?

Might want to take 2 K1000's with you too, lol.
12-17-2007, 06:14 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by anomaly Quote
Will you always have access to electricity?
Well I'll have my own electricity generation (solar panel, car battery, and inverter), so yeah pretty much.
12-17-2007, 07:46 PM   #12
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not that you want to pack the extra weight, but what storage are you taking with you-ie, how much space on the laptop, how many memory cards etc? I'd recommend at least a USB drive (WD has 250 and 320 gb sizes which would get good use)...plus a spindle or 2 of DVDs would likely see good use as a way to back up the photos in harsh conditions. I think you'd be ticked if you managed to loose images because of the elements or such.
12-17-2007, 08:38 PM   #13
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having used the Camera Armor in stores, I wouldn't want it. The main protection you get from it is shock protection, with the rubber absorbing some of the impact. other than that, to me it just got in the way. I'm not a big fan of it at all.
12-18-2007, 03:59 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jmdeegan Quote
not that you want to pack the extra weight, but what storage are you taking with you-ie, how much space on the laptop, how many memory cards etc?
I'll have my MacBook with its internal drive and 2 WD 120gb passport drives. Along with some DVD's to burn. The passport drives are pretty light weight.

QuoteQuote:
The main protection you get from it is shock protection, with the rubber absorbing some of the impact
This is my concern. Hiking through a rain forest is a little different than going to a national park (no managed trails). You tend to fall down every so often. So I'm trying to decide if its worth the added bulk to protect the bodies.
12-18-2007, 06:03 AM   #15
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Wow, lucky duck you! Be sure to post your shots when you get back!! I dream of going to Africa to shoot, but sadly it is a dream that can not come true.

Definitely a film backup. Not a widely used camera in the US, but check out the Chinons. CG-5 and the CM-4/5 are fairly reasonably priced and work fantastic!

I would also stock up on some Zeiss Pre-Moistened lens cloths as well! They work excellent!
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