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02-26-2012, 08:24 PM   #1
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Weatherproof?

Right, so the strength of the whole depends on its weakest link (paraphrased) so if I've got a weatherproof body but a non-weatherproof lens then I'm asking for trouble. But I've never seen a camera that was water damaged that wasn't simply dropped in the water. I accept that if I drop my camera in the bay I'm out of luck, even if my camera is weatherproof. Can I get any stories from people whose cameras/lenses have suffered damage due to rain, or mist, or other incidental moisture, dust, or other? I'm building a system and have a K-5, and am wondering what the possibilities are if I find myself shooting pictures in the rain w/ a 16-45mm or other non-weatherproof lens (including Ltd lenses.) Again, I'm looking for some first-hand accounts... I'm good at imaging things and theorizing but my imaginings and theories usually aren't correct.

02-26-2012, 08:35 PM   #2
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Haven't had a dSLR have a problem - because I've been cautious and now have a K-5 with 18-135. I did have a Sony P&S that I kept out in a light rain with me, thinking I was shielding it enough, wiping it dry and such, that bit the dust soon after the rain. First sign something was amiss was when the startup recycled many times (lens in and out over and over again). Then it developed a grinding noise in the extension. Finally the LCD flashed and then was streaked. My fault, but it sure was disappointing.
02-26-2012, 08:47 PM   #3
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I shot with my K7 and non weatherproof 55-300 during a heavy thunderstorm. That was 1 1/2 years ago and still no ill effect to date. I did 'shield' the camera under my T-shirt between shots...
No water penetrated either the camera OR the lens. But I wouldn't do it again - I only did it because there were dolphins jumping everywhere herding a school of fish - and I was about 2m away.
02-26-2012, 09:02 PM   #4
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My brother had a Canon slr film camera that required $300 worth of repairs after being used in the rain. we both bought into the Pentax system because of the the weather proofing.

I've shot in the rain with a K10, a K20 and a K5 and not had problems. My first lens with the K10 was a Tamron 18-250 that i've used in the rain and snow a coupla times. I would carry a cloth and keep standing water off the lens by draping a small cloth over the lens.

Since then, i've given my Tamron to a nephew and its till going strong. for the last 3 years i've been using a Pentax 50-135 whenever it rains, without any problems. One of the significant problems with rain or snow is getting water drops on the front lens element, which spoils pictures. One of the great featuers of the DA50-135 is its long hood which is great at keeping the front lens dry. This is no small benefit

02-26-2012, 11:57 PM   #5
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I second Philbaum on the Tamron 18-250mm/DA18-250mm. I have the Pentax rebadged version (DA18-250mm) and used it extensively in bad weather incl. subtropical rainstorm. As always, you need to take care of your material.

Importantly, the notion of WR is a recenr marketing tool, Prior to that, the 'word of mouth' was the only way to known the 'truth'. I found that some lenses are really sturdy and solid like the Da18-250mm or the Voigtlander Nokton 58mm. I consider these as quasi-WR. Other of my lenses are much more fragile and I woudl never take them in heavy tropical rain storm.

Food for thought....

Last edited by hcc; 02-27-2012 at 01:43 PM.
02-27-2012, 04:29 AM   #6
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WR is by many considered a second line of defense. Plastic bag or rain sleeves will work as well.

And @hcc, your FA31Ltd is not as fragile as you think
02-27-2012, 11:26 PM   #7
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I've been shooting outdoors in all kinds of conditions with a K10D for going on 5 years now and a K5 for a few months. None of my lenses are of the weather sealed variety. Most of my collection goes back to the days of film and my new ones are Limiteds which aren't sealed. If I'm out in rain or snow, I keep my camera covered. It's easy enough to do. Both have been wet from splashes in my kayak and a little snow and rain with no problems. I'm not going to carry my camera exposed to heavy rain. There is no reason to. I don't worry if it gets a little wet in the process of taking a few shots but I will cover it up as soon as I'm done.
02-28-2012, 02:19 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
Other of my lenses are much more fragile and I woudl never take them in heavy tropical rain storm.
Indeed. 'Tis the true test of weathersealing with deluge-level storms 5 times a year in my place. Which makes for considering a K-5 with the 18-135 kit very tempting for me later in the year. or its replacement.

02-28-2012, 03:37 AM   #9
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Only an anecdote but nevertheless... My first Pentax was a Program A and it got used extensively outdoors during my study. As I remember well, it survived many showers. Without precautions one simply cannot prevent it to be splashed when taking pictures in rain. Not that I didn't care for it, wiping dry asap is just natural behaviour I guess.
So far no ill effects until it dropped into the North Sea at the beach as a result of a slipping sling. The lens (a cheap Sigma zoom) was ruined but it still kept working for half a year!! Then the shutter curtains rusted away. Got it second hand and it gave me almost seven fruitful years.
02-28-2012, 04:16 AM   #10
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With an older camera took it on the boat scuba diving. Encased it in two large ZIP-lock bags (never under water, just protecting from spray, etc...).
Somehow moisture got in anyway and the camera and lens were unusable about a week or so later.

Otherwise had non-sealed bode and lenses in misty-rain. No problems.

Usually tried to protect by keeping a plastic grocery bag over the lens when possible if the rain gets any harder.

Had one camera on the voyage of the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls. (i.e. VERY wet!).
I cut a hole in my cheap plastic poncho, stuck the lens through and screwed on the lens hood to keep the poncho sealed around the front of the lens.
Many hundreds of gallons of water poured on us, but camera and lens was fine and is still working 10 years later.

Water is a terrible thing to try to control.

I really won't go out in wet weather with anything the isn't water sealed anymore. The extra hassle and potential cost in $$ and time for repair or replacement just isn't worth it to me any more.

With weather sealed lens&body, I've water balloons tossed at me and brake on my camera, water guns fired at me, rain pouring so hard I could hardly see, and naturally the first test anyone should do to ensure their equipment is working... put it in the shower. (I would not recommend under the tap... the pressure is higher if on full and could force water through the seals. water sealing is not an excuse to be stupid with your equipment... :-) )
02-29-2012, 10:28 AM   #11
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I have a k-7. I have left it on a tripod in snow storms until the thing was coated in snow. I brushed it all off, went inside somewhere warm and let it dry for a while before I turned it back on for fear of condensation as the body wamed. Once the glass was dry and room temp I fired it back up and had no issues. I've also shot in the rain extensively with it. You can drench a non wr lens and the electronics will quit talking to the camera (losing aperture control and even focus sometimes) and let it dry out and it should work fine. None of my current lenses are wr. Most are old mf lenses. These work best because you have the a ring and their tighter construction allows less water in. Ususally I try to keep the lens pointed to the ground unless I am shooting. You don't want water to creep into the mount. That is the real danger. With care and wiping your camera down a bit you should be fine. I flushed the on/off switch under the tap to remove some spilled coffee with low water pressure and that seal held up fine. I am impressed. Just take care and don't let everything get too wet.
02-29-2012, 10:32 AM   #12
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To the person that took a camera on the maid of the mist with just a raincoat....wow....I don't know id I would risk that...you must have big ones...
02-29-2012, 11:16 AM   #13
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You guys have heard of the Optio W series haven't you?


Canoes in the rain Optio 10 ( ya, 13 generations ago) I can't wait for the new one, 16 MP backlit sensor...
02-29-2012, 11:18 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by weave2d2 Quote
Right, so the strength of the whole depends on its weakest link (paraphrased) so if I've got a weatherproof body but a non-weatherproof lens then I'm asking for trouble. But I've never seen a camera that was water damaged that wasn't simply dropped in the water. I accept that if I drop my camera in the bay I'm out of luck, even if my camera is weatherproof. Can I get any stories from people whose cameras/lenses have suffered damage due to rain, or mist, or other incidental moisture, dust, or other? I'm building a system and have a K-5, and am wondering what the possibilities are if I find myself shooting pictures in the rain w/ a 16-45mm or other non-weatherproof lens (including Ltd lenses.) Again, I'm looking for some first-hand accounts... I'm good at imaging things and theorizing but my imaginings and theories usually aren't correct.
I go kayaking, which has the potential for lots of splashes etc, and I use a recreational kayak, i.e. one with an open cockpit,

My *istD, was in a dry bag, but it was open as I had just put the camera in the bag, when the kayak was caught on a rock in the river, and turned sideways against the current. Water came up over the cockpit in a wave and directly into the drybag (which when open makes an excellent water carrying bag.

I do not know how wet it got, totally, however, it began ranging between infinity and min focus and shooting continuously, along with the top LCD fogging.. I turned it off (didn't help) and ultimately (within a minute or so), pulled the battery

When I finished for the day, I took off the lens, opened all the doors, had the batteries out and left it in the sun. After 4 hours, there was no evidence of water, and all functioned normally. I still own both the camera and the FA28-105F4.5-5.6 power zoom lens. Both still function correctly. The camera was soaked in 2004! so I believe i can say, if you act promptly you can save a camera, especially from fresh water

The point is, if you suspect you got really wet. pull the battery immediately, and dry the thing out as soon as possible. Use silica gell, rice, mild heat, what ever but let the thing dry out , with all covers open. It should recover. This is especially true for weather proof cameras, because although sealed from the elements to some extent, this sealing works against you if youdo get water in, the seals help hold it in, so it is best to open all covers and reemove the lens asap.

For me, and I have repeated this many times, I personally do not rely on weather sealing, If I know i am going out in bad weather, i take appropriate protection for the camera. I consider WR as insurance for accidents, or if my primary protection fails, but not primary protection
02-29-2012, 11:25 AM   #15
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This is why I always carry an Olympus 770-SW, good to 10m / 33ft underwater, just right for walking under the Sea of Cortez etc. The Oly's manometer (depth gauge) also works as an altimeter up to about 5km / 16400ft, so I'll know whether I can breathe if I exit a vehicle at elevation. That's very useful when traveling the Pan-American Highway. The Oly is also my most pocket-able camera, very elegant when I'm forced to wear slacks without cargo pockets.

Just out of curiosity, do the Optio series sport manometers?
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