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Thread: No weather sealing......again?!

  1. #1
    nei1
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    No weather sealing......again?!

    I remember reading some advice, many years ago,on what you should do if you drop your film camera in the sea;::: "as quick as you can get the camera into a bucket of fresh water,leave it to soak for a while then drain out the water ,leave it to dry slowly and it should be ok."Now wether it was really ok is open to question but because of the lack of electronics and most things covered in grease inside the camera at least had a fighting chance.
    Now if I lived in the middle of a desert I might just leave my cd player outside but obviously if there was the chance of rain Id be thought of as a little silly.
    Im trying to understand why no-one seems in the least worried that the brand new M9 has no sealing,it seems of little importance to even leica.Now I live by the sea,the air is very salty,will the cameras electronics not slowly corrode.
    Now the new S2,surely a more studio based camera,is weather sealed,makes no sense.
    Is there something in the design of the M9 that stops water getting in without any extra sealing?Is it possible to know if any M8s have had trouble with corrosion or short circuits.
    It would be nice to have answers but what Id really like to know is
    why
    its not an issue.

  2. #2
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    Re: No weather sealing......again?!

    Perhaps because everyone already owns the lenses that aren't sealed so if part of your system isn't sealed does sealing the body really do any good?

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: No weather sealing......again?!

    Neil
    It is an issue but Leica choose not to address it ..again. I spend a lot of time in Florida and shoot around the beach frequently. My original M8 s held up pretty well with no failures or signs of issues. They also survived a few downpours where they were completely soaked with rain water. Sean Reid has complained about this in his reviews.

    Last year I decided to use my Nikon s around the beach and save the M s for the street.

    From what I can see the M9 is FF M8.2 with some evolution (improvement in features) . I wanted high ISO performance ,weather sealing etc but they couldn t deliver it at a marketable price and on a timetable. (as I understand their answers to questions).

    But FF is a significant improvement over the M8 and with 18MP to work with IQ will improve enough to justify upgrading.

    I am not sure we will see weather sealing anytime soon.

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    Re: No weather sealing......again?!

    yeah, unless the lenses are weather sealed, what good is a sealed body? a plastic bag and electrical tape will work when looks like it might dump on you. i also have expensive aqua tech covers for the D3's but to tell the truth, i sometime forget them and the plastic bags have to do.

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    Re: No weather sealing......again?!

    Agreed with Terry -- even if the body was good to 100m underwater, it would not do any good because there is a big hole in the front, covered by 80 years of lenses that are not sealed. Perhaps they could design some sort of gasket like Nikon has on their sealed lenses, but this would require new lenses, not just for the gasket, but to seal the rest of the lenses. So while I agree it would be nice, it seems like it would require a totally new system. The reason the S2 is sealed is for that very reason -- they were starting from scratch, so it was not difficult to incorporate the sealing into the design. You don't see sealing on the M9 for the same reason you don't see it on most medium format systems -- their legacy components are too important to the rest of the system. With Canon and Nikon, the user demand was greater (more PJ, sports-shooters, nature photographers etc), and the lens turnover was much higher. Finally, internal focus AF lenses without aperture rings are dramatically easier to seal, since they can basically be a coffee can -- no room for water to get in. To do this with a manual focus lens with external moving parts is another matter entirely.
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  6. #6
    nei1
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    Re: No weather sealing......again?!

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Perhaps because everyone already owns the lenses that aren't sealed so if part of your system isn't sealed does sealing the body really do any good?
    Everyone already owns the lenses?

    You miss the point ,The M film cameras were sufficiently weather proofed because little damage could be done,it could be taken anywhere and not come to any harm,within reason,where as the new camera is a thousand times more delicate because of what it is and so can not perform the same function,.....it is not rugged ,as a professional camera would be,as the M film cameras are.
    Its possible that it was not a concern to leica because they realise its become a rich amateurs toy and not a thing to take seriously any more.


    I should add that despite this ;if at all possible,I shall have one or at least a minty M8 2 and wil wrap it in whatever is necessary to keep it happy;but............... it really pisses me off that its not just a little more weather resistant.


    Roger thanks for the information,maybe Im worrying over nothing,it would be interesting though to know if many cameras have suffered from faults through corrosion,.......if anybody knows?
    Last edited by nei1; 15th September 2009 at 06:56.

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    Re: No weather sealing......again?!

    I agree with Roger that it is in the head of leica but not this time. This is a clear sign for me that they are already working on a M10 wether-sealed Maestro chip, 24mp etc... ala S2

    It is an issue for me: In the very hot climate where I live, I had a problem with the shutter button because sweat from the face went through it. This shutter is the most vulnerable place because of gravity and it would make a difference even if the lenses are not WS.

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    Re: No weather sealing......again?!

    btw, weather sealing is way over rated--mostly a marketing tool. personal experiences:

    1) my Canon MK3 with 70-200 (both "weather sealed") let fine sand in the camera and display when shooting a pro golf tourney in Palm Springs--major service to repair.

    2) a friend had a water housing leak a small amount during a pool shoot--the small amount of water went into the camera--again a weather sealed 1ds mk2 camera with weather sealed lens on it. i have seen others have this issue during football games when it starts raining, some are lucky and some not.

    3) shooting in high humidity weather, finder on nikon D camera fogged--from the inside. opened camera in dry heat room and let it sit. cleaned sensor and it was good to go.

    i shoot in lots of marginal conditions and weather sealing seems like a good idea, but you are better off covering your gear, any electronic gear, if you are in questionable conditions. i don't think any one who has their own money in an M9 plus lens, probably over $8K, is going to be dumb enough to think they can go outside in bad weather and risk it. if they do, they have too much money. so even if leica claimed their camera was weather proofed, i would cover it. also, if you keep having to open the bottom to change the battery or take out a card, how would you make sure the seal was still good--wouldn't you have to service the camera often? same goes on canon lenses--you have to keep replacing the rubber gasket on the lens-to-body mount if you want the benefit (however marginal) it provides. if you don't, it dries out and no weather seal.

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    Re: No weather sealing......again?!

    IMO, part of the problem is that the camera vendors do not regularly specify the degree of weather sealing in any uniform manner.
    I have a gps that is rated for immersion in fresh water to a depth of 20 feet for up to 30 minutes. Something like that might be relevant. Without the use of those specs we are all pretty much relying on word of mouth and marketing position (gee whiz, look at all those seals)
    Of course there are standards that might be useful, but I guess that the vendors would rather not be held to them.
    -bob
    Last edited by Bob; 17th September 2009 at 01:52.

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    Re: No weather sealing......again?!

    I agree with Bob on the need for some sort of measurable level of performance for the "weather sealing" claims. That being said, none of the cameras we may be talking about are ever going to come near being "waterproof". (Interesting to note that there are some strict guides to being able to claim "waterproof" versus "water resistant" in things like the watch industry. I do not expect to see similar things in cameras.)

    All that being said, and knowing that weather resistance of critical areas is important, I just do not understand why more sealing is not used on more cameras. I have seen so many cameras of others ruined because a heavy shower caught them outside, or a spilled drink on a table puddled up under a setting camera, etc. For my serious shooting, I still use Canon 1-series bodies, and have had then through some of the worst wind, dust, rain storms you can imagine, and with a bit of care, they have never leaked or gotten damaged. They are not designed to be immersed, but they do have seals in all the places that may leak, and they do seem to work quite well. It is not that great of an added expense, and could easily be designed into more cameras for not all that much added cost. I never worried much about getting my old M4s into the weather or dust. Also had the pentaprisms on my F2s fill several times while shooting in the rain, but everything dried out and kept working. It is not the same with all the delicate electronics we now see in cameras today, where even high humidity can wreak havoc. I am with Neil on this one.....for the money and the supposed delicateness of all the sensitive electronics on the boxes today, why they do NOT have more weather resistance and seals baffles me. I do not take my M8 into the weather much, because I am pretty sure it would not do well, and that is a real shame. The M4s could deal with it, but the M8 is just not up to par on that count.

    LJ

  11. #11
    Subscriber Member KurtKamka's Avatar
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    Re: No weather sealing......again?!

    My philosophy is that if I'm going to have a digital M, I'm going to take it with me everywhere ... otherwise, what's the use of having a digital M.

    That meant that my original M8 spent a lot of time outdoors in snow and cold (-20 degrees F). While my current M8.2 went with me on a very rainy trip to Europe this summer ... lots of walking around and shooting in the rain. I'm not saying I dunked the cameras in any lakes or oceans, but the cameras were exposed to the elements. Knock on wood ... I haven't had any issues and would be frankly surprised if I did.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: No weather sealing......again?!

    Kurt My POV as well....I need the camera with me . I took every risk with my first 2 M8s ...stood in the ocean up to my waist shooting the kiteboarders, shot skiers in wet snow (could have been the worst) and walked Times Square in a downpour harder than pouring a glass of water over the body. One body the on/off switch got very stiff but everything worked without failure. After realizing that these cameras were not for life like my M6 s ....I backed off a little and use the Nikon s for the rough stuff.

    I think Leica could have resolved the two major weaknesses...the shutter release and the buttons on the back . I hope they do this in the future...the camera isn t waterproof but the seals could be better.

  13. #13
    nei1
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    Re: No weather sealing......again?!

    What I keep coming back to is that leica apparantly state in their guarantee that any damge caused by moisture is not covered .If you live by the sea the air is salty,cars ,going back many years,would rot before your very eyes down here in cornwall.Now that same air is what will be swilling around inside my un-sealed incredibly expensive,circuit filled camera .
    Maybe before buying a second -hand M8 you should check the post code.

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    Member Bébèrt's Avatar
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    Re: No weather sealing......again?!

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    I remember reading some advice, many years ago,on what you should do if you drop your film camera in the sea;::: "as quick as you can get the camera into a bucket of fresh water,leave it to soak for a while then drain out the water ,leave it to dry slowly and it should be ok."Now wether it was really ok is open to question but because of the lack of electronics and most things covered in grease inside the camera at least had a fighting chance.
    Now if I lived in the middle of a desert I might just leave my cd player outside but obviously if there was the chance of rain Id be thought of as a little silly.
    Im trying to understand why no-one seems in the least worried that the brand new M9 has no sealing,it seems of little importance to even leica.Now I live by the sea,the air is very salty,will the cameras electronics not slowly corrode.
    Now the new S2,surely a more studio based camera,is weather sealed,makes no sense.
    Is there something in the design of the M9 that stops water getting in without any extra sealing?Is it possible to know if any M8s have had trouble with corrosion or short circuits.
    It would be nice to have answers but what Id really like to know is
    why
    its not an issue.
    I'm one of the unlucky few with a corroding shutterbutton.
    Probably caused by some snowflakes which melted slowly while I was walking the streets of my hometown. (central Europe, not in Siberia or Alaska)

    M8 was still in warranty and send to Solms. Receiced the bad news of "moister damage is not coverd in the warranty" and we will charge €300 to make an estimate of the damage.
    I even proposed to pay for the M8 update with new shutter and brightframes while having the problem fixed but the answer from Solms was a no go.

    So I had my m8 send back to me, without the repairs done. They even forgot to send my included battery back.

    The good thing is my M8 works again, probably because they opend the body to check what was wrong. I almost had bought some tools to perform an episode of " Marknorton Anatomy" but so far ....

    http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-...-leica-m8.html

    Better sealing of this shutterswitch would indeed be onto my (update)list and a must for the new M9.
    Meanwhile we all better screw a softrelease button onto the shutterswhitch.
    Enjoy living, live to enjoy

  15. #15
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: No weather sealing......again?!

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Perhaps because everyone already owns the lenses that aren't sealed so if part of your system isn't sealed does sealing the body really do any good?
    Yes. Sealing the camera yields one piece of equipment less vulnerable.

  16. #16
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    Re: No weather sealing......again?!

    Hi there
    pity isn't it. On the other hand, I've just spent two weeks in Crete with one, where there was salt spray, dust, sand and (dammit) really heavy rain. I did make some attempt to keep it dry, but it did, often, get water on it.
    My two M8s have been treated similarly over the last couple of years without apparent damage.

    I agree with Bob, it would be good to have a standard. I also think that it wouldn't have been too much of an issue to seal the shutter release and the dial, but there you go.

    Just this guy you know

  17. #17
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: No weather sealing......again?!

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post

    I agree with Bob, it would be good to have a standard.
    Bob is correct -- there is already well established standards for water ingression, most camera manfr avoid specifying the std their camera conforms to (or doesn't conform to). I think Ricoh and maybe Olympus(?) do specify the international std their "waterproof" cameras adhere to.

  18. #18
    Eddyj
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    Re: No weather sealing......again?!

    any idea if there will be a firmware for the M8.2/m8 i hope so

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    Re: No weather sealing......again?!

    to give it water sealing? That would be impressive...
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  20. #20
    nei1
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    Re: No weather sealing......again?!

    The Leica gods can do anything Stuart,you just have to believe!!!!!

  21. #21
    Subscriber robsteve's Avatar
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    Re: No weather sealing......again?!

    Quote Originally Posted by gero View Post
    I agree with Roger that it is in the head of leica but not this time. This is a clear sign for me that they are already working on a M10 wether-sealed Maestro chip, 24mp etc... ala S2

    It is an issue for me: In the very hot climate where I live, I had a problem with the shutter button because sweat from the face went through it. This shutter is the most vulnerable place because of gravity and it would make a difference even if the lenses are not WS.
    Is the water going down the cable release hole, or just in past the button? I have always used a Tom Abrahamsson soft release ont the shutter button. It effectively fills the cable release hole and I suppose is like an umbrella covering the rest of the shutter release button.

    Robert

    http://rapidwinder.com/softies.htm


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