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05-20-2015, 07:30 PM   #1
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Near-death experience for my Kx

A week ago I was vacationing at the Red Rock Crossing in the Coconino National Forest in Arizona. I was hiking along a stream with my wife when she suddenly decided to cross over via a makeshift bridge made from logs. I warned her not to try it since the logs looked unstable. However, despite my advice, she crossed over without problem and I decided to follow. As I stepped onto logs they began to rolled sideways and I ended up on my hands and knees in eighteen inches of flowing water. Unfortunately, my Kx which was hanging on my neck, got submerged for about 3-4 seconds before I could rescue it. I was distraught since I knew the potential for destroying the camera due to water immersion. I quickly pulled out a handkerchief and dried the exterior as fast as possible. I resisted switching on the power since I knew that this could cause a short circuit and fry the electrical system. The lens on the Kx was a DA 18-135, which is weather resistant. I removed it to check for moisture in the mirror compartment and found it to be dry. The rubber seal around the lens mount kept the water out. The battery compartment and the terminal compartment were similarly dry even though they were not sealed against water intrusion. There were numerous paths for water to enter including the mode dial, the shutter release button, and the flashgun hinge. After a few minutes I decided that I must dry the camera exterior as quickly as possible to prevent addition water ingress. I guessed that the flash hinge area was a major source of water ingress and decided to raise the flash and wipe up any water. However, I had to risk turing on the power since without power the flash could not be flipped up. I was greatly depressed to find that the blue light, which indicates power, did not turn on. I came the sad conclusion that the camera was irretrievably dead. Over the next half hour as I walked dejectedly along the hiking path with my wife I kept trying to turn on the camera and was finally rewarded with the blue "ON" light. The camera was not completely dead after all. I raised the flash and dried the area at the base. I checked the camera to find what functions were working. I couldn't view photos that had been taken before the dunking, nor could I take any new photos. I was cursing and muttering to myself for the next two hours till we got back to the hotel. My wife even accused me of deliberately flopping into the stream to justify buying a new camera. In the hotel I removed the lens and opened the battery compartment to allow any moisture to evaporate more easily. Over a period of several hours I found that the camera was slowly coming back to life. The screen on the back of the camera which was hitherto blank began to display the camera settings. At first, the settings did not agree with those selected on the mode dial, but eventually they did coincide. I couldn't take photos for several more hours but, as the camera dried out, I finally was able to take a photo. It turned out to be a bright white image with a few dark streaks. I read that some people who experience a near-death experience see a very bright light before they recover. I believe this is the camera equivalent of this event. My second shot was successful and the camera was now able to take photos normally. When my camera was first able to partly function the first image I saw on the screen was the one for resetting the time and date. It had reverted to the year 2009 which is when I purchased the camera. After about 18 hours the camera was working as normal. However, the screen shows a small ring of dirt when I check for dust. I think it must be the residue left when a water droplet evaporated somewhere inside.

I would like to thank Pentax for producing a robust camera in the Kx. It suffered a near-death experience but was able to resuscitate itself. There are many locations where water could have entered but perhaps the air pressure inside the camera kept it out during the short immersion. I may not have been so lucky if it had been seawater.

05-20-2015, 07:39 PM   #2
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nice! so much for that new camera!
05-20-2015, 08:11 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aaron28 Quote
nice! so much for that new camera!
Hmmmm! I'd like a new camera but another dunking would be too obvious
05-20-2015, 08:15 PM   #4
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hahaha! prolly so

05-20-2015, 10:06 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by P. Soo Quote
..... my wife when she suddenly decided to cross over via a makeshift bridge made from logs. I warned her not to try it since the logs looked unstable. However, despite my advice, she crossed over without problem and I decided to follow. As I stepped onto logs they began to rolled sideways and I ended up on my hands and knees in eighteen inches of flowing water. Unfortunately, my Kx which was hanging on my neck, got submerged for about 3-4 seconds before I could rescue it........
I love how it was the Wife's fault.

Sorry could not help myself.

Kevin
05-21-2015, 05:22 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kev.pride Quote
I love how it was the Wife's fault.

Sorry could not help myself.

Kevin
Of course it was her fault. No doubt about it. I've often warned her about her risk taking but she usually ignores me. On hikes, she always has to see what's round the next bend and there is never a final bend, so we keep going to complete exhaustion. The next morning she complains about her bad knees. She just had to cross the log bridge to see what's beyond the bushes on the other side. They say curiosity killed the cat. In my case, curiosity almost killed my camera.
05-21-2015, 07:46 AM   #7
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Like to add my two cents, based on my own experiences, and those of pros I have occasionally shot with:

1. Corrosion can set in at a later date and still kill your camera, regrettably. With salt water this is almost guaranteed!

2. Before turning the soaked camera back on - Always, and I mean always, use a hair dryer or another heat source for an hour or longer directed at the various sections of the camera! Remove battery and memory cards first. Leave overnight or longer and dry all over again for half an hour or so.

3. If salt water or water with heavy sediment is the culprit, rinse the camera well, maybe several times, and on then do the above steps. This is the only, small chance that you may save your camera from serious, camera- destroying corrosion! This kind of corrosion can take months to set in, incidentally!

4. Replace the camera battery and sd card, when they have been dried sufficiently!

5. After drying out, as outlined above, when you open a built-in flash that requires a camera turn on, make sure your camera is upside down and use the hair-dryer/heat source on this area for an additional/special dry-out. If you can open the built-in flash without turning on the camera, do this step as part of the initial and secondary dry-out...

5. The longer you can avoid turning on your camera -and the better you can dry it out before turning back on - the higher your chances of permanently restoring your camera to good and long-term heath!

Lastly, no guarantees on the above methods, since water immersion and penetration is never a recommended occurrence!

Good luck!
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Last edited by mtgmansf; 05-21-2015 at 08:34 AM.
05-21-2015, 09:51 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtgmansf Quote
Like to add my two cents, based on my own experiences, and those of pros I have occasionally shot with:

1. Corrosion can set in at a later date and still kill your camera, regrettably. With salt water this is almost guaranteed!

2. Before turning the soaked camera back on - Always, and I mean always, use a hair dryer or another heat source for an hour or longer directed at the various sections of the camera! Remove battery and memory cards first. Leave overnight or longer and dry all over again for half an hour or so.

3. If salt water or water with heavy sediment is the culprit, rinse the camera well, maybe several times, and on then do the above steps. This is the only, small chance that you may save your camera from serious, camera- destroying corrosion! This kind of corrosion can take months to set in, incidentally!

4. Replace the camera battery and sd card, when they have been dried sufficiently!

5. After drying out, as outlined above, when you open a built-in flash that requires a camera turn on, make sure your camera is upside down and use the hair-dryer/heat source on this area for an additional/special dry-out. If you can open the built-in flash without turning on the camera, do this step as part of the initial and secondary dry-out...

5. The longer you can avoid turning on your camera -and the better you can dry it out before turning back on - the higher your chances of permanently restoring your camera to good and long-term heath!

Lastly, no guarantees on the above methods, since water immersion and penetration is never a recommended occurrence!

Good luck!
Thanks for the good advice. I did read that using a hair dryer to remove moisture is a no-no since it may blow moisture deeper into a wet cell phone (or camera) where it can be more difficult to dry out. That's why I didn't try this. I agree with you that the effects of moisture and corrosion are not always immediately obvious and that slow corrosion over the weeks and months ahead can still kill my camera. I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.

05-21-2015, 09:57 AM   #9
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My old K-x got pretty wet in heavy rain a couple of times without a WR lens and never skipped a beat. But I never dunked it!
05-21-2015, 04:22 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by P. Soo Quote
Thanks for the good advice. I did read that using a hair dryer to remove moisture is a no-no since it may blow moisture deeper into a wet cell phone (or camera) where it can be more difficult to dry out. That's why I didn't try this. I agree with you that the effects of moisture and corrosion are not always immediately obvious and that slow corrosion over the weeks and months ahead can still kill my camera. I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.
Depends how close your hairdryer is to the camera, strength of airflow, and dryer settings. Besides, if the water has penetrated the seals, it would be unusual for a lot of air to penetrate the these seals at high velocity and also have enough energy to push water further into the camera. More likely to evaporate the water instead!
05-21-2015, 05:11 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtgmansf Quote
Depends how close your hairdryer is to the camera, strength of airflow, and dryer settings. Besides, if the water has penetrated the seals, it would be unusual for a lot of air to penetrate the these seals at high velocity and also have enough energy to push water further into the camera. More likely to evaporate the water instead!
Another trick to dry out a wet cell phone or camera is to place them in a sealed container on top of a bed of rice (not cooked). The rice acts as a desiccant and accelerates the drying process.
05-22-2015, 07:52 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by P. Soo Quote
Another trick to dry out a wet cell phone or camera is to place them in a sealed container on top of a bed of rice (not cooked). The rice acts as a desiccant and accelerates the drying process.
Sounds like a good way to go too, but only if you have several days to be "cameraless". Maybe the combination of heat and then rice overnight or for an additional day may be a great combination!?
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