A Crazy Idea - Has Anyone Ever Tried This?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by ijm5012, May 2, 2016.

  1. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Real Name:
    This past weekend, I went to a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game. The weather was pretty crappy, with >80% chance of rain for the whole game (just some light drizzle), but I had free tickets to the game so I figured why not. It was firework's night, so I packed up a small back of gear and headed to the ballpark.

    Once I was there and found my seat, I wanted to grab a shot from inside the stadium, since I haven't gotten one since acquiring my Panasonic 7-14, and I knew the UWA perspective would be necessary to capture the entire park in a single image (The image is shown at the bottom of this post). Unfortunately, that was the only image I took the entire game. The rain was a bit heavier than I expected, and I was more focused on staying as dry as I could rather than taking some photos.

    Anyway, the image was shot on my E-M1 (which is a great camera BTW, minus the fact that I'm encountering the infamous "skipping rear dial" after only about a month of ownership). I really like using cameras that have some form of weather sealing, not only for additional piece of mind, but also so that I can use them with my 12-35/35-100 and 50-200 without much worry. The problem is that the Panasonic 7-14 is not weather sealed (probably my only real "complaint" about this lens).

    I'd really love to get a weather sealed 7-14mm to use on my GH4's or E-M1. The problem is that I really don't need the extra speed the 7-14 PRO offers, and I really don't want the additional size and weight that comes with it as well. But then I had this somewhat crazy idea that I'm wondering if anyone has ever tried before, because I'd be willing to do so if I could get the necessary parts.

    I'm wondering if anyone has ever taken one of the rear lens mounts from a weather sealed m43 lens (like the 12-35 or 35-100), and put it on a non-weather sealed lens? Yes yes, I'm aware that the lens wouldn't be fulled sealed around the zoom ring and what not, but my biggest concern would be the area between the rear of the lens and the lens mount on the body, primarily with water either getting on the lens contacts, or working its way on to the shutter mechanism/sensor.

    For anyone who owns one of the weather sealed lenses, you know that around the outer perimeter of the metal lens mount there is a thin, rubber gasket that is there to keep water from getting between the lens and camera body when in use. So in theory (as long as the screw pattern and dimensions on that rear plate are the same, I could swap the rear plate and gasket from a weather sealed lens on to the 7-14mm, which would at least prevent water from getting between the lens and body.

    I have not seen anything like this discussed on the forum, but I'd be curious to see if anyone had ever come across a similar discussion before? Again, I'm aware that it wouldn't make the 7-14 a fully sealed lens like the PRO version, but it would give me better piece of mind to use that lens in certain situations (obviously not a torrential downpour, but light to moderate drizzle and what not).

    I'm interested to hear your thoughts, so please share them. And as promised, here's the picture I managed to capture at the game before putting the camera gear away.

    [​IMG]Cloudy PNC Park by Ian Menego, on Flickr
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  2. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Real Name:
    If you put some sort of cover on the lens too I suspect this would work. It would likely be easier to get one of the waterproof camera covers.
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  3. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Real Name:

    Very true, and I've looked at something like the Peak Design Shell (particularly for when I'm using the Capture Clip, which I love). I think this is just the curiosity of the "tinkerer" in me, and would allow me to use the combo in lighter rain situations without having to use some sort to cover. In heavier rain situations, I would definitely use something to protect the camera/lens.
  4. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    You do realize this provides little if any additional protection. It does not protect the lens from water damage. Why subject the lens to damage that is inevitable. Better off selling it while you can get some money for it (before the water rust internal mechanisms or shorts out the lens) and buy a weather sealed lens.

    It also doesn't really protect the camera that much more. Sure, it could prevent water from entering that one point. But.....water entering other parts of the lens can cause a short that could just as easily fry your camera and lens.

    Personally don't thing it's a good idea. I only buy weather sealed lenses because I love shooting in the rain and really hate those stupid camera condoms.
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
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  5. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Real Name:
    I don't have a thought about the weathersealing, but I wanted to chime in to say that photo is awesome! Amazing light.
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  6. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    I've used many non weather-resistant cameras and lenses in rainy and snowy conditions. The key is to expose them to the elements only when you are taking the shot and otherwise protect them and dry them otherwise - under a raincoat or back in the bag. A small towel helps too in these conditions. When using a weather-resistant body with a non weather-resistant lens I also make a point of keeping the camera pointed downward when not in use, effectively using the body as an umbrella for the lens.

    Great shot and processing, BTW.
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  7. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Real Name:
    Thanks for the kind words about the image @Mellow@Mellow and @John M Flores@John M Flores.

    John, yes, that's what I did for this shot. I got the camera and lens all set up while under cover, and only took it out of the camera bag when I was ready to take the shot. The combo was kept face down, not only to further shield the lens from rain, but also to ensure that no rain got on the front element of the lens. I also had some napkins with me that I used to wipe the camera and lens off with prior to putting them back in the bag, where they resided under my poncho for the rest of the game.
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  8. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    An easy way to seal the lens/camera junction is to put a little Vaseline on it. As other have said though - why bother? If weather sealing on an UWA is important to you then the Oly lens is clearly the best option.
  9. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    If you remove the bottom of a sealed lens you still have two sides where you need a gasket: on the camera side and on the rest of the lens side. On the lens side you probably have another gasket that needs to match against the barrel, and the shape of this part may differ from lens to lens (even assuming that the inner part of the metal dish is identical).

    I would rather cut a custom gasket, done properly should work, even if it's easy to loose it and will wear down/bend quickly. Even a piece of cloth fixed with an elastic band around the mount point should block a few drops of light rain.

    But the main problem is how do you plan to seal the rest of the lens. A plastic sleeve with elastic bands? How do you use the zoom?
  10. brettmaxwell

    brettmaxwell Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 8, 2012
    Grab a clear, disposable shower cap from the next hotel you stay in (or amazon), keep it in your camera bag. Store your camera between uses in a sealed case (pelican, etc) with a big dehumidifying pack to absorb any residual moisture and humidity.
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  11. MaK543

    MaK543 Mu-43 Regular

    May 1, 2012
    MD USA
    If you want seal at the mounting point, just put a rubber band there after you mount the lens.
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  12. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I just don't see how you'd ever feel comfortable enough with a DIY lens gasket to be confident. And if you aren't confident, then you are that same position you are today.

    I would say your realistic options are to keep a disposable rain cover in your bag, swap for the Olympus 7-14, or just use your 12-35 and stitch when you need rainy UWA shots.
  13. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Real Name:
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  14. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Yup. I've done that. You can get nice, thick ones in the produce department at the supermarket ;)
  15. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    near Longview ~1hr from PDX
    Real Name:
    Jim R
    Good point about the electronics folks. A short within an unsealed lens will do as much or more damage than a raindrop accessing the internals of the camera body. I hadn't factored that in - very good to remember!
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  16. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 18, 2015
    On the subject of rainsleeves. Does anyone have any recommendations for smaller lens and camera sizes. Most of these sleeves seem to be build for massive lenses.
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  17. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Real Name:
    How about grabbing some produce bags from the local grocery store and cutting your own holes in it? Not very elegant, but might do the trick in a pinch. Carrying some rubber bands or tape would help.

    I'm fortunate in having some weather-sealed lenses like the 12-40 Pro, 60 macro, 12-50, and 50-200 SWD. Those have served me well. Because they're designed to be weather sealed (and have proven so in use) I have no hesitation in going out in bad weather. When I was in Japan in 2013, we got rain almost every day and the EM5/12-50 proved to be the everyday camera.

    Even if one jury-rigged a seal for the lens mount, that's no help for the rest of the lens and camera. Rainsleeves et al, are your only other choice if you don't have weather-sealed gear.

    BTW, another post cites a Thom Hogan article on weather-sealing. I think Thom's parting paragraph is worth noting. Keep stuff from getting into your gear.
    Article on Weather Resistance by Thom Hogan
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  18. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    I've used the 7-14/4 in light rain before, and it's been fine. I wouldn't use it in a downpour, and I try to keep it away from the rain when not actively shooting, but if we're talking drops of rain that you can easily brush off the lens, it shouldn't be a problem.

    I don't think a real seal would do much of anything, and it's very unlikely that you could find such a part that was machined correctly for the 7-14/4. While the mounts for all M43rds lenses are similar to a degree, the way they connect to the lens and the exact thickness and things of that nature would likely make this impractical.
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  19. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    great idea ,, ive used my 7-14 in light rain without issues.....blessed are the tinkerers....

    a really strong image you managed there
  20. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    No one buys gaffer's tape anymore? Great stuff for temporarily weather sealing a potential opening/crack/junction if you think you will be caught in light rain.