12-40 weather sealing

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Ricoh, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 2, 2013
    Being new to the land of 12-40 ownership, I'm a bit confused how the lens can be described as weather sealed when coupled to the EM5 Mk I.
    It's the first 'weather resistant' lens I've purchased, so have no previous experience to gauge from, or form an opinion. I was expecting something like a rubber 'O' ring on the bayonet interface, but nothing like that at all, at least on my copy (and there's no undercut for an O ring so I can't see it being part of the design). So how does a metal to metal interface keep out the watery stuff? Through necessity the lens to camera interface must have a clearance, and therefore a channel for moisture. Or does the bayonet somehow close up - although I can't see that happening otherwise the lens might bind to the camera flange. Any thoughts on this?

    From your own experience, is the pairing (12-40 f2.8 and EM5 MkI) ok in a light-ish shower? What I mean by that is not monsoon weather, which would be foolish by any standard.
  2. Run your finger around the outside diameter of the base of the lens; you should feel a rubber ring that seals the lens mount. Visually the rubber ring isn't obvious because it is located on the interface between the black metal exterior shell and the silver base plate.
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  3. johnvanatta

    johnvanatta Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 5, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    If the rubber ring is there it's good for more than a light shower. I took mine in heavy, lashing rain with no problems. But there's always a bit of living on the edge with actually using weather sealing.
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  4. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Just be aware that no company currently honours warranty claims for weather-resistant cameras and lenses if water ingress is found. It's sort of a Catch 22 - "our equipment can do this, but if you do it, it's entirely at your own risk."
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  5. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    The other thing to remember is that "weather resistant" is not "weather proof." In my Pentax Forum days, we used to occasionally have someone "test" the weather resistance of the K5/K3 by taking the camera into the shower for a complete dousing. Or worse, they'd take it into the swimming pool! Then they would get irate when the camera failed.

    My EM5 + 12-40 combo shakes off light showers quite well but if the forecast is for heavy rain I add a cheap Optek rain sleeve.
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  6. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 2, 2013
    I'm booked on a photography composition training course at the end of the month (a present from my kids, obviously thought I needed it given the stuff I produce, lol) but the weather in the UK is so unpredictable, we're at the mercy of the jet stream. I plan on taking the 12-40 and the P7-14, but think I'll look at getting a rain sleeve as well. I'm pleased with other Opek stuff I've had in the past, I'll have a look on the web.
  7. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I don't have the 12-40 but have used my EM1 w/ the mmf-3 and my ZD 150mm ƒ2 or 50-200 SWD in pouring down rain without any problems. I love shooting in the nasty weather, get some great photos and great light during storms, but hate using camera condoms. The weather sealing of Olympus is one of the things that helped me decide on moving to Olympus, along with the EM1 and the 4/3 SHG/HG glass and a few other things.

    I love the look on Canokin guys face when they see me walking around shooting and they are fumbling with their condom.
  8. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    How much is good the weather sealing is a mystery, see this thread for example:


    Some people brought it under the shower, immersed it in one inch of water with no problems. The sealing is good. But this obviously does not mean that you'll be that lucky.
    A friend of mine has lost his camera diving (with air bottles) because the full underwater case gasket moved in the wrong place when closing.

    But I wonder: are you that weather proof? Are your shoes and pants? Do you plan to cover yourself so well that you can stay for an hour or so under the water with no problems?
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  9. JudyM

    JudyM Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 5, 2010
    Westminster, MD
    Olympus describes their weather sealing as "dust-proof" and "splash-proof". I interpret that to mean a light rain shower or mildly dusty conditions. In the words of Roger Cicala from Lens Rentals: "You can assume whatever you like, but when you send your lens in for repair, 'weather sealed' still means 'the warranty doesn't cover water damage'."

    I keep a Vortex Storm Jacket in my bag and always cover my cameras in questionable conditions. The slight inconvenience of the Storm Jacket far outweighs the inconvenience of having to send the camera out for repair and pay a hefty repair bill.
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  10. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 2, 2013
    I had the EM5/12-40 out in adverse weather yesterday, but erred on the side of caution by limiting the exposure/duration. One thing that concerned me was the extending section of the lens that obviously extends and retracts as the lens is zoomed. I'm assuming the extending barrel section of the lens slides in on O ring to minimise or inhibit water transfer to the internals of the lens.
    Anyone know the facts? Is it an O ring (personally can't think of an alternative) and how good is it at keeping rain / moisture out?
  11. ThereAndBackAgain

    ThereAndBackAgain Fighting GAS

    May 26, 2014
    North Devon, England
    In the past I've lost cigarettes, money, mobile phones and walkie-talkies to sudden cloudbursts. In England it's wise to keep a couple of heavy-duty freezer bags in your pocket or bag - they've saved me several times. Cut the corner off one and stretch it round the lens or hood - it'll fit better than most elastic cordgrip affairs.
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  12. Zee

    Zee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I point you to this thread, where I put my then new E-M1 and 12-40 through a pretty tough week at the Thai new year festival (ie - world's largest water fight).

    MY buddy with an E-M5 was there also, with his 12-50, and went through the same experience as myself. He even showered with his camera to wash it off at the end of the day. I washed mine under a running tap.

    I'll just leave this here...

    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
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  13. 350duser

    350duser Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 26, 2012
    Brisbane, QLD
  14. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    It IS weather sealed. I was at the coast and one beach was very windy - there is still sand coming out of my tripod and it has been a couple of months ago. I came home that day and gave the EM-1/12-40 a shower. A real shower.

    12374777395_8bde4874e4_b.jpg Freezing temperatures by Thomas Dekany, on Flickr
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  15. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 2, 2013
    Well, having read the experiences of Zee, 350duster and 50orsohours, my worries are receding somewhat. I suppose it's the engineer within me that makes me question how a relatively cheap camera / lens can take so much water and not malfunction, it truly amazes me.

    Great pictures and story telling one and all! (in the linked threads).
  16. The 12-40mm isn't the first weather sealed Olympus zoom lens with an extending barrel. Think 12-60mm, 14-54mm, 50-200mm.
  17. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 2, 2013
    Yes indeed, I had the 14-54 Mk II, but coupled with MMF-1, rain was a no-no.
    I'm not a big fan of zooms really, but for general walk about, and with the weather we get in the UK, weather tolerance is a boost.
    My question really was with regards to the implementation, whether an O ring is used. But O rings are normally only good if squashed which can't be the case here otherwise friction would prevent the barrel from sliding.

    As an aside, if Olympus had designed for the UK climate, every lens in the line-up would be weather sealed, and together with the camera would be good to 10 Atm. at least.
  18. dlhomesolutions

    dlhomesolutions Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    Peoria, IL
    What about dust and dirt inside the zoom mechanism. I hear a little bit of grit in there. Any way to get it out?
  19. BradS

    BradS Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 9, 2017
    Newcastle NSW
    One of the reasons I got into the Olympus MU43 gear was its smaller size and weight as I wanted to take it hiking where weather can be most variable. I have used my EM5 and now EM1 Mk2 in wet weather with pro lens such as the 12-40mm. I was at a waterfall yesterday in very heavy rain with 12-40 fitted and felt confident in continuing to use my camera.

    35101758821_b856473282_k.jpg Camera gear by Brad, on Flickr
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  20. wolfie

    wolfie Mu-43 All-Pro

    There is the famous Ming Thein water resistant test of the E-M1(mk1) with a 12-40 Pro:
    " had to test it. You know, waving a red flag at a bull and all that – 10 minutes under a hot shower while powered on, sitting in about 1cm of standing water.
    All whilst intermittently shooting a frame or two, and no ill effects whatsoever afterwards. Impressive, to say the least."


    My 12-40 has had 18 months of rain, saltwater splashes, fish slime and still going well.
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