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10-13-2012, 12:24 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Official white paper on Pentax weather sealing

I just ran into this white paper released by Pentax on its weather sealing technology, on the US product page for the K-30: http://c2b6d376b97bcc466063-5420c200a1f030d1394a9548df6eadbd.r5.cf2.rackcdn....e_V2%20_2_.pdf

This brief two-page document describes the weather sealing as used on Pentax DSLR cameras and lenses and compact cameras. It gives details on the types of seals used in Pentax cameras as well as the differences in the weather sealing between WR and DA* lenses (more on that here), and discusses the level of weather resistance in the Optio WG-2 and other weather-sealed compact cameras.

--DragonLord

10-13-2012, 01:59 PM   #2
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The QC on their 'white paper' is as iffy as it seems to be with the gear sometimes. See 'PENTAX RICOH IMAGAING' AT LEAST TWICE.
10-13-2012, 02:18 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing. While it is hardly a "white paper" (it reads like marketing copy), it is nice to see the pertinent information, such as it is, all in one place.

To summarize:

DA* lenses: Dust proof and "water resistant" (no definition of water resistant)

WA lenses: "weather resistant" and not dust proof (again, no definition of weather resistant)

Compact digital cameras: Waterproof to JIS grade 8. I looked up the standard and beyond stipulating that the camera may be immersed, there are no requirements regarding depth (pressure) or duration.

dSLR bodies: "water resistant" across a wide temperature range (again no definition of water resistant). Presumably not dust proof.


Steve


P.S. More in regards to the compact cameras...pressure and duration are pretty critical. Snorkeling can subject a camera to 2 atmospheres (or more) of pressure. Hosing off the camera with a water jet or even in the shower is equivalent to increased pressure as is having it on your wrist when jumping from a high rock. Translation: If you have it on your wrist and fall out of the raft in white water, don't be surprised if the seals fail. As for duration...most seals merely slow the passage of water, the rate of which is determined by the pressure differential across the seal.

Last edited by stevebrot; 10-13-2012 at 02:38 PM.
10-13-2012, 02:27 PM   #4
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It would be very nice indeed for Pentax to continue the user of whitepapers across the various subjects. I would certainly like to read about the IIs and the effect of the AA filter removal from Pentax's perspective.




10-13-2012, 02:58 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
It would be very nice indeed for Pentax to continue the user of whitepapers
Indeed.

Another obvious subject for a white paper would be the new AF system in the K-5 II/ IIs - its design goals, its technology, how to get the best out it, some illustrative usage scenarios (sports, wildlife, weddings, bands), etc.

If they can't write these things themselves, they should commission someone to do so. They would be great selling tools, as well as a source of reference information for users.
10-13-2012, 03:21 PM   #6
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This is definitely not a white paper and I would kindly suggest that the thread title be changed.

A white paper provides insights into the construction of devices and contains detailed technical discussions. The referenced sheets are just marketing material with lots of sugar and no meat.
10-13-2012, 08:46 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
This is definitely not a white paper and I would kindly suggest that the thread title be changed.

A white paper provides insights into the construction of devices and contains detailed technical discussions. The referenced sheets are just marketing material with lots of sugar and no meat.
Declined. While I understand the concern that the document appears to be written for marketing purposes, it still contains useful and relevant technical information on Pentax's weather sealing technology, and white papers are often validly used for marketing. On issues of this nature, I prefer to take a more moderate position, rather than a more hard-line stance like yours. I do not believe that it is necessary to oppose Pentax's decision to refer to the document as a "white paper" by changing the thread title.

--DragonLord

Last edited by bwDraco; 10-13-2012 at 08:58 PM.
10-13-2012, 10:14 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by DragonLord Quote
Declined. While I understand the concern that the document appears to be written for marketing purposes, it still contains useful and relevant technical information on Pentax's weather sealing technology, and white papers are often validly used for marketing.
  1. The document does not "appear" to be written for marketing purposes, it clearly is. I didn't find any useful piece of information with the exception of the "JIS grade 8" specification for compacts.
  2. Real white papers are obviously written for marketing purposes but that does not turn this marketing pamphlet into a white paper.
QuoteOriginally posted by DragonLord Quote
On issues of this nature, I prefer to take a more moderate position, rather than a more hard-line stance like yours.
I don't see this as a question about "hard-line" or not. I simply find the term "white paper" utterly misleading, that's all. I came to this thread with very different expectations and believe the thread title will fool more people.

If Pentax chose to mislead people by referring to their extremely thinly veiled marketing pamphlet as "white paper", that's their call. I don't see any need to repeat such a mistake.

10-13-2012, 11:21 PM   #9
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I do not wish to be argumentative, but the way I see it, Pentax wrote this document to help people not familiar with its weather-sealing technology to understand it, despite the fact that it is strongly for marketing purposes as well.

Experienced Pentax users like us may already understand the nature of this technology, but this document is aimed at consumers who are comparing cameras and are interested in Pentax's weather-sealing technology. It provides relevant and sufficiently detailed (for the target audience) technical information on the technology, fulfilling its job as a "white paper": to describe a technology to those who wish to learn more about it. For one thing, it explains the often-overlooked difference in the level of weather sealing between DA* lenses and those designated WR.

I personally did expect better, but in the end, this is a relevant and useful document that makes clear to consumers the benefits of Pentax's weather-sealing technology. Pentax deserves credit for taking bold steps to market WR as a significant advantage over competing products.

--DragonLord

Last edited by bwDraco; 10-13-2012 at 11:42 PM.
10-14-2012, 07:27 AM   #10
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There really is no hard fast definition of a "white paper."

The White Paper FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions on White Papers
10-14-2012, 11:28 AM   #11
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Canon used to publish stuff like this (perhaps they still do). One of the things several years ago that put me off Canon DSLRs was a paper describing their autofocus, it gained speed by stopping the adjustment as soon as enough resolution had been reached, i.e. that which would appear sharp in an A4 print. There was no attempt to reach optimum resolution.
10-14-2012, 01:05 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
More in regards to the compact cameras...pressure and duration are pretty critical.
Steve, and everyone else. This is a bit off topic, but as a scuba diver, pressure and duration aren't just pretty critical, they are the primary go / no-go for any equipment purchase. And at the same time, this is exactly the information that is consistently hard to find for any piece of equipment not specifically branded as suitable for diving. I'm not at all surprised that it does not appear in a Pentax white paper .... I'm not interested in getting embroiled in whether it is "just marketing" versus "white paper".

Equipment that is branded for scuba diving routinely indicates maximum underwater depth (or maximum pressure), and sometimes maximum duration at that depth. At the same time, the consumer will generally pay a price premium for that word "scuba". I have a number of pieces of equipment that I use scuba diving that were marketed for different audiences. Some I had to use my best guess and take a chance that it would survive my test dive, and some, while I think it would work, I pass on simply because the risk of failure is too great.

Getting to the bottom line... if a manufacturer doesn't give, nor will provide, pressure and duration specifics, you have two choices. If your wallet can tolerate failure, make your best guess and test it. If your wallet can't handle the risk, assume that something like "weather resistant" means at best some light drizzle and you will dry the gear as soon as possible.
10-14-2012, 01:48 PM   #13
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Pentax does state that the WG2 is "Waterproof to 40 feet". And being "Conforming to JIS Grade 8 for waterresistance
(capable of sustained
submersion
)". That should define the capability of said gear?.
10-14-2012, 02:14 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
Pentax does state that the WG2 is "Waterproof to 40 feet". And being "Conforming to JIS Grade 8 for water resistance (capable of sustained submersion)". That should define the capability of said gear?."

One would think so, but consider the standard being referenced. Here is a little copy/paste from the JIS Grade 8 standard...
Grade 8

Protected against the effects of continuous immersion in water.

Ingress of water in quantities causing harmful effects shall not be possible when the enclosure is continuously immersed in water under conditions which shall be agreed between manufacturer and user but which are more severe than for numeral 7.
Test conditions for Grade 8: continuous immersion subject to agreement

Unless there is a relevant product standard, the test conditions are subject to agreement between manufacturer and user, but they shall be more severe than those prescribed in 14.2.7 and they shall take account of the condition that the enclosure will be continuously immersed in actual use.

Summary of test conditions for Grade 8:
  • Test means: Immersion tank. Water level: by agreement.
  • Water flow rate: not applicable.
  • Duration of test: by agreement.
Note the liberal use of the terms "subject to agreement" or "by agreement". I may be wrong, but I think this means that the manufacturer is free to state the meaning of the standard and the user is free to agree to that statement. The only stipulation being that the conditions be more rigorous than for Grade 7 (1 meter for 30 minutes) . In other words, this is a "standard" without any specifications.

Now if Pentax claims waterproof to 40 feet, I guess I would ask "for how long". Does anybody out there have any experience making a warranty claim for failed seals on any of the Pentax waterproof compact cameras?


Steve


(Reference: JIS Grades of Water and Dust resistance, Waterproof Cases Cameras Binoculars Scopes Boxes Riflescopes Sights)

Last edited by stevebrot; 10-14-2012 at 02:38 PM.
10-14-2012, 02:27 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
Getting to the bottom line... if a manufacturer doesn't give, nor will provide, pressure and duration specifics, you have two choices. If your wallet can tolerate failure, make your best guess and test it. If your wallet can't handle the risk, assume that something like "weather resistant" means at best some light drizzle and you will dry the gear as soon as possible.
This statement is definitely the "Bottom Line" and it might be a good idea to enshrine it is a sticky on this site for future reference by all who want guidance as to what kind of abuse they are free to subject their gear to.


Steve
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