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02-23-2010, 02:58 PM   #1
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In need of some clarification on sealing and water danger

I'm using a weather-sealed body (K10D), with unsealed (Sigma) lenses. I tend to use my gear in the wet a bit, with a cloth over the body of the lens.

I've seen lots of conflicting posts about the abilities/dangers of this kind of set up in the rain. If anyone has some definitive information that would be great. I think I pretty much have the info myself, but this is really based on other comments, and I've seen no testing or examples or official warnings about this.

Some things I have seen conflicting info on are:
- Are screw-AF lenses fine to use in the rain? (with the only danger being water in the glass?)
- Can water still damage the camera body? A lot of people comment of the danger of water entering at the lens mount, does this really occur?
- Are motor-drive lenses (like Sigma HSM) much more vulnerable to water damage, and AF failure from this?
- Is it less dangerous to use a high-build quality lens like a limited pancake than a Sigma EX zoom? Would this change any protection factor for the camera body?

Thanks for input.

02-23-2010, 07:58 PM   #2
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My daughter and another friend from further south have used their respective K200d cameras with the kit lens in wet conditions without problems. The friend followed me under Moul Falls in Wells Grey Provincial Park. No problems.
02-24-2010, 12:53 PM   #3
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I have had no real problems with getting my K10D and non-weather sealed lenses a bit wet. But I always give them a good wipe down as soon as possible.. Though I am very reluctant to leave them exposed for long periods of time as at the end of the day water and electronics do not mix well.
02-24-2010, 03:09 PM   #4
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The weather seals on weather-resistant lenses include a gasket that goes around the periphery of the K-mount. This gasket is what keeps water from entering the camera's body. Otherwise, there are a lot of small gaps at that contact point that can allow water through under certain circumstances.

A general rule of thumb is, don't let water accumulate on top of the lens where the lens and body are connected. If you can keep that area clear of water and/or snow, you should be fine. For the most part, water will just sit there and not go in, but any pressure or wiggle applied to the lens might open one of the gaps enough to let water seep in.

All of this only takes into account the camera's body, of course. The lens itself could get water in it from just about anywhere, especially when you zoom in/out or focus because air and water get sucked in as the lens gets longer.

02-24-2010, 03:34 PM   #5
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Yeah, the way I see it is that one can treat a weather-sealed DSLR without a weather-sealed lens, just about like I would a pro film camera: you don't have to baby them as much as I would an ungasketed camera full of computer parts, but you still have to exercise due diligence. It just makes it much easier.

Even if you perhaps still have to throw a plastic bag over the lens barrel and that junction with the body, it's still a hundred times more convenient to be able to just point the camera *down* than worry about water going in all those case penetrations.

That's how I see it, anyway. I don't tempt fate on the matter, but I really enjoy the not-stressing.
02-24-2010, 04:44 PM   #6
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I put an O ring of approx 57 mm dia around my 18-55 lens, lightly smeared with petroleum jelly, and then push it firmly up against the body of the K10 so it covers the mount.

How effective is it? it's hard to tell is the truth. But so far my K10 hasn't failed me and I use it in heavy rain. And it fell into a river with me, and survived better than I did.

It's just one small thing that will help I suppose.

Last edited by Lloydy; 02-24-2010 at 04:46 PM. Reason: sp
02-26-2010, 01:46 PM   #7
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I have use a non sealed Sigma 70-300 in both rain and snow with no issues. I will use an umbrella sometimes in rain and like you, just a rag sometimes. I try not to get things soaking wet. If I'm not actually shooting a pic, the camera is in the bag.
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