Pentax K-5 IIs gets covered with pink fire retardant, hosed off, and carries on shooting

Aug 16, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Aug 16, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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I always find it interesting to read about the things cameras survive that the manufacturers could never have foreseen. X. Fire and ice, car crashes, months under the ocean, rocket engines, and even babies.

Photographer Brian Maneely recently discovered just how tough and sealed his Pentax K-5 IIs was. While photographing a wildfire, it was doused with pink fire retardant and then hosed off with water.

In June, there was a wildfire that got extremely close to his property. With his neighbours evacuated, they were preparing to do the same. Having been a photojournalist for several years, Brian knows that there are some situations you just don’t miss. This was one of them.

So, he grabbed his Pentax K-5 IIs and headed up to the roof. He wanted to get some shots of the planes dropping retardant on the blaze. Suddenly, one of the planes unexpectedly turned east, heading straight toward his house, with him on top of it.

I quickly tried to get to cover, but continued shooting over my shoulder. Seconds later, I got hit with the blast of fire retardant, myself and my camera. I wiped off the lens, sprayed myself off with a hose, and kept shooting.

By design, fire retardant gets into every tiny little crack and crevice. So, you can imagine Brian’s concern. He knew he didn’t want to miss this opportunity, and stood his ground to get the shot.

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He held down the shutter as the plane started to pass between him and the sun.  Fortunately for Brian, the risk was well worth the reward.

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Now, a couple of months later, the camera still continues to work. Most of the retardant has come off, although there will always be a few battle scars from that day.

Given some of the camera survival stories, it’s amazing that so many of us still treat our equipment like precious little babies. I used to be that way, but not any more. The construction and build quality of DSLRs has come a long way in the last 14 or so years. That’s when I got my first pair of Nikon D100 bodies and even those are built like tanks. Anything my gear can’t survive, well, that’s what insurance is for, isn’t it?

What risky situations do you put your gear through on a regular basis? How has the build quality of your camera surprised you? Let us know in the comments.

[via Shutterbug | Images © Brian Maneely & used with permission ]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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5 responses to “Pentax K-5 IIs gets covered with pink fire retardant, hosed off, and carries on shooting”

  1. dracphelan Avatar
    dracphelan

    This is an example of why I’m seriously considering a Pentax for my next camera.

  2. Dan hayes Avatar
    Dan hayes

    I just switched to Pentaz 2 months ago and I’m not looking back!!! Excellent image quality and build

  3. Arnold Avatar
    Arnold

    wow a few spots.. which camera would have STOPPED shooting?
    guerilla advertising from pentax?

  4. Logan Laloo Avatar
    Logan Laloo

    Love my pentaxes

  5. Eddaytona . Avatar
    Eddaytona .

    A little fire retardant? No big deal. How about my K5 going to four Burning Man festivals (dustiest place on earth) and only needing a sensor cleaning once? Now that’s real weather sealing.