Leicas and rain

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Markok765, May 14, 2009.

  1. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Hey everyone. I'm wondering how well Leica RF cameras fare in rain/stormy conditions. Are they sealed, or do you need to take care in bad conditions?
     
  2. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    They are not sealed. There's little in the way of electronics though, so they might still function alright in the rain. However, I would make sure it got cleaned out nice afterwards.
     
  3. nicefor88

    nicefor88 Member

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    The focusing system would make it difficult to operate the RF under the rain. I once took pictures in the drizzle but drops got on the viewfinder making it hard to see anything. Had to wipe it constantly with tissues.
    Well, maybe I'll build a tiny umbrella for my M6. :D
     
  4. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Leicas in the rain?
    ... suddenly a million Leicaphiles screamed in terror and a few had heart attacks.
     
  5. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Heh, for all that they cost, you think they could at least seal the body...
     
  6. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Put your Nikon into a plastic bag. Screw a lenshood to the front through the plastic. Remove the plastic circle from the front of the lens, go have fun.
    Or buy a Nikonos, they're a lot less than Leicas and are sealed.
     
  7. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Meh, I always shoot my Nikon in pouring rain without a cover, it works fine :D

    I'm getting a Leica eventually, and I was just curious wether it was sealed, seeing as they were cameras for war photographers and used in all types of conditions.
     
  8. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Do you still have an Oly Stylus P&S? That's the answer for your "Leica and rain" concern. I mean that P&S is water-proof.

    I've heard stories from photo journalists who shoot Leica exclusively in all kinds of weather conditions, and what they say is that the water gets inside their Leica bodies in the heavy rain/shower, but if you dry them later, they will work fine, etc.

    So don't worry too much. Just get a Leica and try!
     
  9. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

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    ...That's why they didn't call them Rainfinders :D

    Seriously though, most cameras don't fair well in a downpour...even sealed weather proof cameras like the EOS1n came supplied with a special cover for the push buttons. The best way to look at it is the same as you "weather proof" "water resistant" watch...fine in a drizzle...but don't go in the shower...K
     
  10. kavandje

    kavandje Member

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    I read somewhere that the new MPs are sealed. Whether that means that the lenses might also be sealed: Don't know.
     
  11. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    But not enough to make a significant pricedrop? :D
     
  12. eddym

    eddym Member

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    My cameras might be waterproof, might not. But I know I'm not!
     
  13. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I have a vacuum chamber, I have one friend who has about 7-8 Leica rangefinder cameras.

    He shoots in all kinds of weather, usually when it's raining he's shooting, because he gets more interesting pictures with cityscapes combined with rain.

    There is a downside, the cameras and lenses do absorb water, sometimes to the point where he cannot wind or re-wind the film as it has swollen too much.

    He then brings the camera around to my place where we stick it into the vacuum chamber, turn up the suck, then watch the water turn into steam. Once we could see water vapour emanating from the viewfinder, interesting.

    Within ten minutes the camera is virtually dry, we go into the darkroom where he somehow gets the film out, then we get to look and see how the camera is.

    Well I tell you, the damned things just start working again, although he has replaced a shutter on one camera after several real dunkings.

    Mick.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2009
  14. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Thats pretty cool about the vacuum chamber.

    Yeah, I think the issue with Leica's (and other mostly mechanical cameras) is not that they will give up the ghost in those environments, but the long term effects to said mechanical system. And they're expensive. haha
     
  15. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    Leicas come with their own specialized vacuum chamber. It's sucking action is very precisely directed at the money in your wallet and bank account.
     
  16. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    LOL :D

    I would like to get a Leica IIIc EX from keh.

    Advantages: It's a leica

    Disadvantages:
    It has less ways i can use it than my XA!
     
  17. tessar

    tessar Subscriber

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    There's a trick a newspaper photographer told me about: Take a translucent plastic grocery bag, cut a hole a little smaller than the lens diameter, then screw on a UV filter or the like to hold the bag to the camera and cut another hole on the opposite side for the viewfinder. A little fiddly, but it works.
     
  18. kennethcooke

    kennethcooke Member

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    I believe from a pretty reliable source, don't get Leicas wet. They don't like it and anyway why would you want to risk a £300.00 min service
     
  19. phc

    phc Member

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    It depends on the model. The electronics in the later models don't like the rain at all, and don't get better when they've dried out. The mechanical parts are normally fine, just dry out the camera afterwards.

    In my experience snow is worse than rain, the flakes stick to the camera and then melt, getting in everywhere. My M6TTL was unhappy after this little walkabout:

    [​IMG]
    Heldenplatz, Vienna, Austria. January 2004.

    but the mechanical parts were okay. I have a plastic pouch that I use over the camera these days. Makes taking pictures very clumsy, but you can get used to it.

    Cheers, Paul.
     
  20. Ade-oh

    Ade-oh Member

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    I haven't had any problems using my Leicas in the rain, but then I've always been careful not to let them get too wet. As someone mentioned above, the best 35mm camera for wet conditions is a Nikonos and you can get them for very little in excellent used condition. I bought a Nikonos V with 35mm f2.5 lens for £25, including a new set of 'O' rings.
     
  21. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Just a tech. note:The Muji II is weather resistant.......not water proof.
     
  22. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    The Muji II has seals in the battery chamber and in the film chamber. Anyone know of any more?
     
  23. mudman

    mudman Member

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    I've used my Leica iii in light snow, no problems.
     
  24. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    If you get water ingress and it gets unto internal oil or grease then you can have problems e.g. with the the frame selection mechanism in M models, or Shutter escapments ditto, etc., ...

    My Canon VI has a selector problem, cats and dogs weather.

    Condensation taking a cold camers into a 'steamy' coffee shop is not good for any camera, especially the electric ones.

    And ingress or condensation in a multi element lens ditto.

    Try a brolly

    Noel
     
  25. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Member

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    I have never heard that. I wonder to what degree they are sealed. And the new lenses certainly don't seem to have any rubber O-rings on the mount ala Canon L.

    I have a friend who is definitely not guilty of babying his Leica M6. He walks around with it his under his arm - with his head and right arm through the strap. He would often get caught in the rain and his arm seemed to be enough to keep it out of harm's way. I was a bit worried as it does have some electronic bits but it never acted up.

    I worry more about getting water in the lens than anything else.