Rain, Humidity and the Leica MP

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by umdah, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. umdah

    umdah Member

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    I am planning a trip to Malaysia during July/Aug. This is a very rainy season
    with high humidity and heat.

    That is the primary reason I want to go. Pictures in tropical rain!

    I have an MP and M7. M7 is ruled out due to the electronics. Do you folks think
    the MP can take extended periods out in the rain?

    If not can you recommend a body that would.

    Best regards.
     
  2. Bill Harrison

    Bill Harrison Subscriber

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    Umdah, I hope you aren't planning to "expose" your MP directly to the rain. I don't think any M leica is waterproof. If you are well off enough to afford an MP & M7 why not pick up a decent M2 or 3 to photograph the Rain Gods in action and leave the Major Players home. I've seen a gallon size HD baggie with a hole cut in the bottom big enough to neatly glue a disposable UV filter in, leaving the open end totally free to manipulate all controls & change film. Glass is covered, camera is covered, it might even survive a fall in a puddle. THIS budda is very happy for you. Ziplocks for the film. Bill PS: "Do not seek to copy the men of old, seek what they sought"
     
  3. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Depends on what you mean by "out in the rain".

    If you really mean "out in the rain", I'd take a Nikonos V. They are relatively compact, solid as hell (heavy and tough; factory rated to 160 ft., but I have talked to people who have routinely taken them down to 300 ft., which is approx. 150 psi), relatively cheap (if you can afford an MP and a M7, a Nikonos V will be easily affordable at under $300 with a lens usually), and they usually come with a 35mm f/2.5 lens. The drawback (aside from the garish color, which can be gaffer taped) is that they are scale focusing only. If you can take the kinds of pix you need to take using scale focusing, and really need to shoot "out in the rain", I would get one (and a lens hood).

    If you don't really mean "out in the rain", I would say that your MP and your M7 (and any other camera) will be fine if you take sensible precautions. Just remember that these later models are made primarily for use as jewelry, and may not be as resilient as some older cameras. On the plus side, this means it really doesn't matter what happens to the camera mechanically or electronically. You can just dry it off when you get back to your luxury suite and it will look just as impressive. You may even decide to let it air dry so it gathers some spots and makes you look tough.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2009
  4. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    The MP is no good in humidity exceeding that of Solms. I think you'd better send it to me for safekeeping. I will send you a lovely XA that will do better for your purposes.

    ...j/k....

    I recall that in Bali the humidity was outrageously high- couldn't tell whether it was or wasn't raining. You really might consider a bag or wrap or something. Seriously, a cheap XA or such may be a good second body to have on hand for high risk shots.
     
  5. umdah

    umdah Member

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    Hi Bill, 2F/2F,keith,

    Thanks a bunch for coming back so soon with advice. I mean in the rain, along with the people running for shelter. drenching wet. I doubt with that rain in my eyes i can focus properly so zone/scale focus is what I had in mind.

    Winds, pouring rain, umbrellas being swept away. cats/dogs looking alien!

    The whole trip revolves around that theme. I am intending to stay in a village
    that has no 'suites'. Else it would be no fun..eh!

    Nikonas, hmm..if that is recommended by you experts, it shall go on my list.
    To be honest, upto US$ 500/= I am prepared to write off a camera if I can photog the monsoons.

    p.s. the malaria shots, and such like is what i need to plan carefully, and the boots and leeches!
     
  6. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    Hate to tell you, but besides the Nikonos there are some D's that withstand the tropical downpoor !
    I've been living in Brazil for the past 2 years, I have seen (and felt) those rains where streets turn into rivers !

    Leave your Leica's at home and get something that has been designed for a couple of feet under.........

    Peter
     
  7. umdah

    umdah Member

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    Peter, you have got it right on. exactly what i want to be in with my cam

    thanks.
     
  8. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Nikonos, Nikon F2, Houghton Ensign Tropical
     
  9. umdah

    umdah Member

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    Nicholas, thanks. however shall skip Christies for the Houghton Tropical. 1800s
    company is a bit dated for me:smile:

     
  10. marke

    marke Member

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    I'm confused about the first statement. What is it about some older models that make them more resilient than the later models? What design or construction differences are you referring to?

    The second statement confuses me even more. If there are these differences, why doesn't it matter???
     
  11. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    How about a nikon f5? Its very durable and also really well sealed so it should be able to withstand the heavy rains, I've used mine in bad conditons and it still works well. A plus is that it has a great af system which will help since you can't see all that well in the rain.
     
  12. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

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    I would like to suggest to buy a 'cheap' Pentax K1000 and a hand full of Takumar's. If something happens in the rain Forrest, your dear leicas will be safe. And the Pentax, well he might survive the occasional shower(s) and the harsh climate surprisingly well!
     
  13. Frank Nesbitt

    Frank Nesbitt Member

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    Shooting in the Rain

    You describe a great chance for rewarding photography. I use a Nikonos for many years in similar conditions. Wonderful to have no need for second thoughts about the rain. A chamois kept the outer lens free of water spots. And the quality of the camera's optics were very fine. Get the longer of the two lenses Nikon makes for the Nikonos, unless you are going to use it underwater later on.

    I also used an underwater light meter since the usually dim conditions and changing skies were too much for seat-of-the-pants guesses about exposure.

    If you buy used, get new o-rings and seals and when the camera isn't being used, leave everything open, not sealed up with rings compressed. Sets of new seals are available from Nikon.

    Remember, Gene Kelly was coming down with the flu when he shot the wet dancing sequence for Singin' In The Rain.
     
  14. umdah

    umdah Member

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    Marko, thanks for your recommendation. The F5 is a bit heavy for lugging where i intend to be. I am an unhealthy 58:smile:
     
  15. umdah

    umdah Member

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    Leicam5, i have been recommended a waterproof olympus p&s ,Which I shall investigate. seems it can do the job.Thanks
     
  16. umdah

    umdah Member

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    Frank, thanks for stopping by. I have been searching for new or used nikonos from reputable dealers. so far have had no success.

    best.
     
  17. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    As an ex-S.C.U.B.A. diver, I can tell you, that the o-rings are useless from immersion, unless they are lubed, first. Use Silicone, or Teflon lube, from a tube,
    NEVER Spray.
    Since you are relying on Zone Focusing, don't get the 80 mm. The depth of field, is too narrow, to be accurate often. Get the 28 mm lens with the focusing collar around the lens, ( not the Knobs ). It's meant to be used under these conditions & is safe for immersion, but no pressure. This means it can take a dip, but not a serious swim.

    If you want something weatherproof, for dips, get a Canon EOS 1V film body & a current EF " L " lens. Not only is the camera weatherproof, but the lens mount is as well as the " L " lens.
     
  18. fajitas!

    fajitas! Member

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    Another alternative, bring your Leica's for the dry and the indoors if you want, but pick up a fixed lens RF or 2... or 3... You're not going to have your lens range, but hey - Most cost under €100/$100, have an f/1.7 -> f/2.8 lens, built in light meters, usually about the 40mm mark (Some are 28mm), they're light and fit in your pocket. And hey - If they go belly up, well, it's easier than replacing the Leica.

    I'd prefer to have a camera that's more disposable for a trip like yours. I carry a Canonet GIII around most of the time, in to rough areas, out in storms, nights out on the beer, everywhere and anywhere - It fits in my pocket and weighs hardly anything. It's taken everything I've been able to throw at it so far. Probably one of my better impulse buys.
     
  19. Leigh Youdale

    Leigh Youdale Member

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    Whatever you take, remember that if you stay any time in airconditioning, when you go outside the lens and viewfinder will fog up immediately as the humidity condenses on the cold glass. I usually stayed in hotels in the tropics and many had a light bulb burning in the bottom of the wardrobe to stop the clothes going musty. The slight warmth from that was enough to prevent the camera fogging when it was taken outside, so I just used to store it overnight with my shoes in the bottom of the wardrobe.
     
  20. umdah

    umdah Member

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    Vanishing point, Fajitas, Leigh..Thanks for all your kind advice.

    best regards.
     
  21. kivis

    kivis Subscriber

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    I was caught in a downpour with a Voigtlander R3M (all mechanical) and afterwards I wiped it off and let it dry off naturally. Worked fine the next day and the photos came out fine.