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08-23-2008, 02:41 AM   #1
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DIY lens mount sealing

Has anyone heard of or performed DIY lens sealing? I was looking at the DA* lenses, and basically the weathersealing they have as far as the mount is an o-ring that seems to press against the exposed metal.

I'm thinking of putting a thin ring of silicone glue or similar soft substance around the metal ring on the camera body, in effect emulating the o-ring.

Has anyone ever tried this? I know this doesn't make the lens itself sealed, but at least it's less likely for water or dust to get immediate access to the camera body this way.

08-23-2008, 03:47 AM   #2
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Don't be surprised if Pentax says you've voided your warranty when you send the lens in to have them fix it.
08-23-2008, 08:03 AM   #3
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I can't see any point in just sealing the mount.
Your best bet is a putting a clear plastic bag around the camera and lens, taping it to the lens hood. Best if the lens doesn't twist or elongate too much.
Or forking out for a DA* lens!
08-23-2008, 09:22 AM   #4
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The silicone should be easy to remove without damage to the body. If properly done, it would be no worse than putting tape on the camera.

Yes, you're right, it doesn't do much to protect the lens itself, but in my experience, taping a bag was difficult and made it hard to rotate the zoom ring. Plus, by sealing the mount, you could reduce what the plastic bag needs to cover.

08-23-2008, 09:38 AM   #5
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Trying to get a uniform layer of silicon the correct thickness to still let the lens fit would be far more trouble than it's worth, plus silicone doesn't have the same sealing uniformity an o-ring would have.

If you are concerned about moisture/dust, put a piece of tape around the lens/body juncture. Just be careful not to use something that will leave adhesive behind when removed.
08-23-2008, 09:41 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by krypticide Quote
The silicone should be easy to remove without damage to the body. If properly done, it would be no worse than putting tape on the camera.

Yes, you're right, it doesn't do much to protect the lens itself, but in my experience, taping a bag was difficult and made it hard to rotate the zoom ring. Plus, by sealing the mount, you could reduce what the plastic bag needs to cover.
Most of the silicone rubber stuff I've seen has acetic acid in it. That is corrosive to metal including aluminum.
08-23-2008, 10:09 AM   #7
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Silicone is NOT easy to remove completly and you would end making a mess of things. Do you plan to carry a scraper and a tube of blue goo in your camera bag? It will get into the contacts on the lens and body. It will make changing lenses an hour long project which defeats the purpose of using an SLR. It will do far more harm in the long run than raindrops will.
08-23-2008, 10:56 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Most of the silicone rubber stuff I've seen has acetic acid in it. That is corrosive to metal including aluminum.
Thanks for that warning. I'll look out for it when looking at silicone rubbers.

My dad and I have used silicone rubber to waterproof things, including coating entire circuit boards with it. That's why I thought of the idea in the first place.

Just to be clear, my idea is to put a thin ring of silicone rubber on the mount, so that any lens I mount would press against the rubber and form a seal. I mis-typed when I originally said "glue".

08-23-2008, 12:19 PM   #9
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Dont think it will work...if you put enough to actually compress when the lens is locked on, it'll shred up when your rotating the Lens onto the mount in the first place. You could put a very thin layer on, but will it seal enough? That's why Pentax and everyone else sets a grove and then an O-Ring into it....it has a high level of adjustability to take up large tolerance differences...and stay in place.
08-23-2008, 01:10 PM   #10
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Hmmm, that's true...most of the times that I've used silicone rubber, it wasn't for scenarios where two pieces would rub against each other.

Here's another thought: what about a flat ring of rubber? I'm sure they're available somewhere. One side has adhesive. That should solve the shear strength problem.
08-23-2008, 01:15 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by krypticide Quote
Hmmm, that's true...most of the times that I've used silicone rubber, it wasn't for scenarios where two pieces would rub against each other.

Here's another thought: what about a flat ring of rubber? I'm sure they're available somewhere. One side has adhesive. That should solve the shear strength problem.
It would have to be very thin. It would also have to cope with the quarter turn required to mount the lens to the body.
08-23-2008, 01:47 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Most of the silicone rubber stuff I've seen has acetic acid in it. That is corrosive to metal including aluminum.
Use the natural cure silicon sealer. It doesn't contain acetic acid.
08-24-2008, 06:16 AM   #13
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Why not use a very small o-ring? These can be found in many hardware stores, or any place where a machine shop purchases furniture. Get a small (thin) one with the correct diameter, and try it.
08-24-2008, 06:59 AM   #14
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Once he has the lens mount sealed, I'm curious how he plans to seal the lens.
08-24-2008, 08:50 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Why not use a very small o-ring? These can be found in many hardware stores, or any place where a machine shop purchases furniture. Get a small (thin) one with the correct diameter, and try it.
QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
Once he has the lens mount sealed, I'm curious how he plans to seal the lens.
I thought about the thin o-ring, but then there's the problem of how to get it to stick to the mount. Glue is out of the question, and without cutting it in half (which would be very difficult), there isn't enough surface area to use adhesive. I just need to find a place that sells either flat rubber rings (washers?) or pieces of rubber that I can then cut.

I don't plan on sealing the lens, though that won't stop me from thinking about it. I'm not trying to fully weather-seal things on my own; I just want to see if there's an easy way to improve on the sealing that's already there.
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