how does weather-sealed work out in practice?

Started Feb 29, 2012 | Discussions
jj74e
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how does weather-sealed work out in practice?
Feb 29, 2012

I've been interested in the k-5 because of its weather sealing (among other great features) at a relatively low price with the $300 sale going around.

however...now that i think about it, i don't actually know exactly how weather sealing would benefit me. I imagine I'd be able to shoot in the rain, humid areas without big worry for mold growing inside lenses/body, in the snow, etc.

are these assumptions true? and also, for shooting in the rain, i just realized that the rain drops would probably get on the lens's glass, and although weather proofed, would ruin a photo with a bunch of rain drops in the foreground. is there a work-around to this?

Pentax K-5
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snake_b
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Re: how does weather-sealed work out in practice?
In reply to jj74e, Feb 29, 2012
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topstuff
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Re: how does weather-sealed work out in practice?
In reply to snake_b, Feb 29, 2012

What a strange question.

Obviously you use a lens cap or lens hood to stop drops of water falling on the front element of the lens.

But as for the camera itself, if you can't imagine a scenario when it may get wet, then I am not sure how anyone can help. It is rather a strange question.

Let me put it this way - I have a K5 and I have taken it out in the rain and snow, I have hiked with it over hills and through forests. I have taken shots of family playing sports in the rain from the side of the training field. In all cases, while i kept a small waterproof bag over my shoulder, I did not care at all if the rain fell on the camera itself, the camera was either being held to my eye ( in the rain ) or over my shoulder ( in the rain).

In similar circumstances a year or so ago, my Canon 5D2 failed completely and never recovered even when I tried hard to keep it dry by putting it back in the bag as often as I could. With the Pentax, I have no worries at all.

I also emptied a bottle of water over the K5 last year to get some mud off it, when it slipped off my shoulder into the dirt. Camera shrugged it off without a problem.

Make sure your lens is weather sealed too !!

This is an awesome feature of the K5. It easily makes the K5 THE BEST DSLR bargain camera on the market right now. Even after a Canon 5D2, I love mine.

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snake_b
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Re: how does weather-sealed work out in practice?
In reply to topstuff, Feb 29, 2012

He's trolling and has been from the Samsung forum for the last week. We'll just keep it clean and do what you did and answer his questions straight.

topstuff wrote:

What a strange question.

Obviously you use a lens cap or lens hood to stop drops of water falling on the front element of the lens.

But as for the camera itself, if you can't imagine a scenario when it may get wet, then I am not sure how anyone can help. It is rather a strange question.

Let me put it this way - I have a K5 and I have taken it out in the rain and snow, I have hiked with it over hills and through forests. I have taken shots of family playing sports in the rain from the side of the training field. In all cases, while i kept a small waterproof bag over my shoulder, I did not care at all if the rain fell on the camera itself, the camera was either being held to my eye ( in the rain ) or over my shoulder ( in the rain).

In similar circumstances a year or so ago, my Canon 5D2 failed completely and never recovered even when I tried hard to keep it dry by putting it back in the bag as often as I could. With the Pentax, I have no worries at all.

I also emptied a bottle of water over the K5 last year to get some mud off it, when it slipped off my shoulder into the dirt. Camera shrugged it off without a problem.

Make sure your lens is weather sealed too !!

This is an awesome feature of the K5. It easily makes the K5 THE BEST DSLR bargain camera on the market right now. Even after a Canon 5D2, I love mine.

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Ishpuini
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Re: how does weather-sealed work out in practice?
In reply to jj74e, Feb 29, 2012

jj74e wrote:

I've been interested in the k-5 because of its weather sealing (among other great features) at a relatively low price with the $300 sale going around.

however...now that i think about it, i don't actually know exactly how weather sealing would benefit me. I imagine I'd be able to shoot in the rain, humid areas without big worry for mold growing inside lenses/body, in the snow, etc.

See the other thread referred to for this.

are these assumptions true? and also, for shooting in the rain, i just realized that the rain drops would probably get on the lens's glass, and although weather proofed, would ruin a photo with a bunch of rain drops in the foreground. is there a work-around to this?

There's several ways to deal with this. I personally always use the hood for protection. When it's raining this mostly avoid rain drops hitting you lens, except in hard rain perhaps when they rebound off the hood's interior. The newer coating of the DA* lenses should also allow for easier wiping of the front element in case a drop should hit the glass, but I prefer to keep the lens cap on as much as possible anyway. On my longer glas (in use when shooting birds on a windy coast for instance) I have a clear glass filter to avoid the salty sea water spray from attaching itself onto my lens.

Wim

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dragra
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Re: how does weather-sealed work out in practice?
In reply to jj74e, Feb 29, 2012

jj74e wrote:

I've been interested in the k-5 because of its weather sealing (among other great features) at a relatively low price with the $300 sale going around.

however...now that i think about it, i don't actually know exactly how weather sealing would benefit me. I imagine I'd be able to shoot in the rain, humid areas without big worry for mold growing inside lenses/body, in the snow, etc.

are these assumptions true? and also, for shooting in the rain, i just realized that the rain drops would probably get on the lens's glass, and although weather proofed, would ruin a photo with a bunch of rain drops in the foreground. is there a work-around to this?

I don't have the K-5 but K-20 which is also a WR body. If you shoot a lot outdoors then WR is a must but consider that you should use also WR lenses to get the most resistant package.

I was shootong fishermen on the Adria coast with a DA35 Ltd. (non WR lens). Once to get the best possible shot I was very close to the waterline. It was a ride between avoiding the waves and getting the shot. I got the shot but I also got a refreshing splash of sea water: all over my face, camera and lens. Half an hour later the camera and lens were dry but all white from the salt water stains.

There was no time to do cleaning on asignment (except the lens front element), since I got there to shoot. I cleaned it later simply with a wet towel. Camera was not impressed by the aggresive sea water. Also the 35 Ltd. lens didn't show any damage, but probably still has some salt somewhere inside.

Bottom line is: with a WR set you don't need to think much about how to protect your gear from the elements. You can concentrate more on important things like your goal to get the picture.

cheers,
d

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janneman02
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Re: how does weather-sealed work out in practice?
In reply to dragra, Feb 29, 2012

Partly true but I that concentration is partially lost when you silently laugh out loud observing other shooters with less confidence intheir gear covering their stuff

dragra wrote:

Bottom line is: with a WR set you don't need to think much about how to protect your gear from the elements. You can concentrate more on important things like your goal to get the picture.

cheers,
d

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Gerry Winterbourne
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Re: how does weather-sealed work out in practice?
In reply to jj74e, Feb 29, 2012

jj74e wrote:

I've been interested in the k-5 because of its weather sealing (among other great features) at a relatively low price with the $300 sale going around.

The K-5 and other sealed Pentax bodies are proof against heavy splashing but not against immersion; they are also resistant to dust.

The DA* lenses have the same resistance while the WR lenses are a bit lower spec - although no one seems to know how much lower.

however...now that i think about it, i don't actually know exactly how weather sealing would benefit me. I imagine I'd be able to shoot in the rain, humid areas without big worry for mold growing inside lenses/body, in the snow, etc.

My DA*200 is IF while my DFA100WR extends/retracts during focus so even if water is resisted moist air can be drawn inside. It's a good idea to leave the camera somewhere dry overnight with the lens and cap off to let any moisture evaporate.

Even with non-WR lenses life is much easier. I often carry my camera simply facing downwards except when taking a shot. The back and sides get wet but the front with the lens stays dry (I might need to wipe things with a cloth if water starts getting round the front).

are these assumptions true? and also, for shooting in the rain, i just realized that the rain drops would probably get on the lens's glass, and although weather proofed, would ruin a photo with a bunch of rain drops in the foreground. is there a work-around to this?

Water on the front element is a matter of luck: long lenses with deep hoods are OK but WAs can be hit by raindrops. Rain passing in front of the lens is rarely a problem as long as you shoot with ambient light (flash can cause reflections).

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Wallace Ross
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Re: how does weather-sealed work out in practice?
In reply to jj74e, Feb 29, 2012

If you don't mind getting a little wet yourself you can shoot when other people can't. Simple as that

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shield20
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Re: how does weather-sealed work out in practice?
In reply to jj74e, Feb 29, 2012

Works out great...your assumptions are true...no fear of the camera getting ruined in various scenarios. Taking shots at the beach, on a boat, or by a pool? No fear of splashes. Out in the rain or snow? No worries about it getting wet or change-of-temp condensation.

Rain drops on the lens? Easy work-around - don't get drops on the lens! And clean 'em off when you do. I avoid such things when shooting in weather or poolside as much as possible by not tilting the lens upwards, or by shielding it when needed.

If you can't think of how/why WR would benefit you, then it probably won't!

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jj74e
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Re: how does weather-sealed work out in practice?
In reply to topstuff, Feb 29, 2012

topstuff wrote:

What a strange question.

Obviously you use a lens cap or lens hood to stop drops of water falling on the front element of the lens.

i thought about this, but i mean with a bit of wind, wouldn't rain easily get on the lens?

But as for the camera itself, if you can't imagine a scenario when it may get wet, then I am not sure how anyone can help. It is rather a strange question.

to clarify, along the lines of how others have been replying, I didn't mean to ask about when I would be using it- but I wanted to confirm what exactly weather proofing implies- aside from just splashes, for example, do i have to still worry about mold growth inside the body when switching from warm to cold areas? but i've received enough responses now, thanks.

Let me put it this way - I have a K5 and I have taken it out in the rain and snow, I have hiked with it over hills and through forests. I have taken shots of family playing sports in the rain from the side of the training field. In all cases, while i kept a small waterproof bag over my shoulder, I did not care at all if the rain fell on the camera itself, the camera was either being held to my eye ( in the rain ) or over my shoulder ( in the rain).

In similar circumstances a year or so ago, my Canon 5D2 failed completely and never recovered even when I tried hard to keep it dry by putting it back in the bag as often as I could. With the Pentax, I have no worries at all.

I also emptied a bottle of water over the K5 last year to get some mud off it, when it slipped off my shoulder into the dirt. Camera shrugged it off without a problem.

haven't thought about something like that, thanks.

Make sure your lens is weather sealed too !!

lol of course, but thanks for the reminder.

This is an awesome feature of the K5. It easily makes the K5 THE BEST DSLR bargain camera on the market right now. Even after a Canon 5D2, I love mine.

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jj74e
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Re: how does weather-sealed work out in practice?
In reply to snake_b, Feb 29, 2012

snake_b wrote:

He's trolling and has been from the Samsung forum for the last week. We'll just keep it clean and do what you did and answer his questions straight.

snake_b is well known for attacking other forum members, accusing them of being trolls, especially in the samsung forum. in another pentax thread i started about if people like or dislike the k-01, i basically said for me it's a love and hate design, and in other threads snake_b insisted on flagging me down and saying i was talking up what a turd it is, even though that clearly was not the case and no one else thought i was trolling.

while my question was oddly phrased, i don't see why I would be trolling with a question?

anyway, thanks for the people who actually replied.

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BobORama
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Re: how does weather-sealed work out in practice?
In reply to jj74e, Feb 29, 2012

jj74e wrote:

however...now that i think about it, i don't actually know exactly how weather sealing would benefit me. I imagine I'd be able to shoot in the rain, humid areas without big worry for mold growing inside lenses/body, in the snow, etc.

The weather sealing removes "fear" of taking your camera out in the weather. And that gives you more opportunities to shoot images you would otherwise miss. I've taken pictures during storms, floods. Nothing too extreme, My kids spray my camera with the garden hose - fortunately I had the kit lens on it so I didn't have to beat them.

are these assumptions true? and also, for shooting in the rain, i just realized that the rain drops would probably get on the lens's glass, and although weather proofed, would ruin a photo with a bunch of rain drops in the foreground. is there a work-around to this?

Rain is just a lot of widely spaced discrete drops. Optically its more like fog. You can PP the image in a similar manner to address the lack of contrast caused by haze. WR does not mean weather removing.

Shooting at a wider aperture and using a tele helps, Both of these conceal the effects of the near drops and droplets on the lens.

The Pentax SMC on the fron lens is actually very slick, and drops generally roll off rather than bead. Obstructions on the lens also disappear at wider apertures and longer focal distances.

Think of a catadioptric lens... its got a 1" diameter obstruction in the middle of the front lens. Now imagine that obstruction is a 1" diameter rain drop, snow flake, limpet, bird poo.

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Greg Lovern
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Re: how does weather-sealed work out in practice?
In reply to jj74e, Mar 1, 2012

jj74e wrote:

I've been interested in the k-5 because of its weather sealing (among other great features) at a relatively low price with the $300 sale going around.

however...now that i think about it, i don't actually know exactly how weather sealing would benefit me. I imagine I'd be able to shoot in the rain, humid areas without big worry for mold growing inside lenses/body, in the snow, etc.

are these assumptions true?

In an interview shortly after Pentax's first weathersealed camera, the K10D, was released in 2006, a Pentax engineer said it was designed to withstand a "torrential downpour" (translation from the Japanese) for any length of time. Since then, Pentax has improved the weathersealing on later models.

I've been careful so far with my K-7 because I haven't had a weathersealed lens. But I was caught out in the rain on a walk and arrived back home with it soaked. I faced it downward so that any water on the lens would not get inside the camera, and let it dry thoroughly. That was weeks and several hundred shots ago; no problems.

My first weathersealed lens is due to arrive Monday, a DA 18-135.

and also, for shooting in the rain, i just realized that the rain drops would probably get on the lens's glass, and although weather proofed, would ruin a photo with a bunch of rain drops in the foreground. is there a work-around to this?

Pentax's new SP coating is designed to help with this, both by making water drops run off on their own more readily, and by making them easier to wipe off. If you check back with me in a few weeks or so I should have some firsthand experience on how well (or not) that works.

Greg

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jimrpdx
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Re: how does weather-sealed work out in practice?
In reply to Greg Lovern, Mar 1, 2012

WR isn't vital, but it's a real comfort. I'll admit that I shot with my k-x in decently wet conditions, and once inside and toweled off it was just fine. It was a concern though, but one that I no longer have, as the K-5 and a WR lens or two can handle any weather I expect to be in.

I would think that sealing would not keep down the risk of condensation within and mold if unwatched, but in western Oregon the humidity is always on the cold side - it could happen here but it's less likely than more tropical locales. I don't go to many jungles myself, but can reach beaches or deserts quickly enough, and as noted above the seals are dust-repellent too.

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jamesm007
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Re: how does weather-sealed work out in practice?
In reply to shield20, Mar 1, 2012

shield20 wrote:

Works out great...your assumptions are true...no fear of the camera getting ruined in various scenarios. Taking shots at the beach, on a boat, or by a pool? No fear of splashes. Out in the rain or snow? No worries about it getting wet or change-of-temp condensation.

Rain drops on the lens? Easy work-around - don't get drops on the lens! And clean 'em off when you do. I avoid such things when shooting in weather or poolside as much as possible by not tilting the lens upwards, or by shielding it when needed.

If you can't think of how/why WR would benefit you, then it probably won't!

agree
+1

And to all...

Shooting in a good down pour can force you to wipe the front element off at times. Snow can be even worse. However I discovered the SP (Super Protect) coating on top of Pentax acclaimed SMC coating does as advertised - "The PENTAX-original SP (Super Protect) coating repels dust, water and grease to keep your lens clean and your image quality at its peak.".

With a Hoya Pro 1 Digital UV filter wiping drops off the element was not fun (I have not used the new HD), with the Super Protect coating the rain does slides off much better, and water wipes off much more easily. A filter or non-SP coated front element can be a mess to clean in the field. I took off and leave off my filter for the DA18-55mm WR.

Sometimes its easy to confuse the two. But Pentax still puts its SMC (Super Multi Coat) coating on elements; plus a Super Protect coating over the front element. Its worked for me.

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jj74e
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Re: how does weather-sealed work out in practice?
In reply to jj74e, Mar 1, 2012

thanks, i have a better idea of what weather sealing implies now and what i might have to think about in practice.

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Dan Savoie
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Re: I shoot in the rain!
In reply to jj74e, Mar 1, 2012

I've shot a bunch of wildlife in the rain. Moose, fox's and Blue Heron's in pooring rain.

I also shot lightning in a huge rain storm ( I was soken wet thru my rain gear ) but my camera equipment was fine! I've also shot my kids at soccer games in the rain and they are some of mt favorite shots!

Don't under estimate the power of that the poor weather can add to photographs.

I love shooting in the rain!

Dan

jj74e wrote:

I've been interested in the k-5 because of its weather sealing (among other great features) at a relatively low price with the $300 sale going around.

however...now that i think about it, i don't actually know exactly how weather sealing would benefit me. I imagine I'd be able to shoot in the rain, humid areas without big worry for mold growing inside lenses/body, in the snow, etc.

are these assumptions true? and also, for shooting in the rain, i just realized that the rain drops would probably get on the lens's glass, and although weather proofed, would ruin a photo with a bunch of rain drops in the foreground. is there a work-around to this?

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Model Mike
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In reply to jj74e, Mar 1, 2012

My K-5 has faulty sealing - it got a bead of water under the rear screen following a session shooting in the rain (with 18-135 WR).

Back home the bead evaporated eventally, leaving a light residue in one corner of the screen. The camera functions fine, but it's somewhat dented my faith in the sealing.
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Greg Lovern
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Warranty repair?
In reply to Model Mike, Mar 1, 2012

Model Mike wrote:

My K-5 has faulty sealing - it got a bead of water under the rear screen following a session shooting in the rain

Have you contacted your Pentax service center about it? Maybe it's defective and can be fixed under warranty.

My understanding is that Pentax's first weathersealed DSLR, the K10D, had that problem, but that it was fixed with additional sealing starting with the next generation, the K20D and K200D.

Good Luck,

Greg

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