Tell me stories! How good is the weathersealing on the OM-D + 12-50?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by LowriderS10, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Hi all,

    I just bought an Olympus 12-50 off a fellow forum member (so excited to have it in my hands!) mainly so that I have a weathersealed option with my OM-D.

    Now...since Olympus never published anything specific about the weathersealing of either the lens or the body, so I'm wondering as far as anecdotal evidence goes...what have you guys got?

    Feel free to post up stories, pics you took during inclement weather and even soaking wet pictures of the camera/lens! :D

  2. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Anecdote, not testing...I had my EM5 + 12-50 with me in the UK last summer and it rained, briefly, just about every day. I tried to keep the camera under some cover but that doesn't always work - so in casual use, with intermittent showers, and reasonable care taken to dry the camera off, no problems with either the camera or the lens at all.
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  3. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    I'm interested as well, thinking about ditching my K30, which is my bad weather/beach camera. It would be nice to just have two "systems" instead of three.
  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Took mine on the 'Maid of the Mist' tour around Niagara falls last year. Camera got absolutely drenched, as did I, but it worked fine. Managed to keep the front element mostly dry, so I even got a few photos!

    As long as the seals are in good condition, I think the camera can handle anything short of submersion.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. I tried to keep it out of any rain that's too heavy but it did go through one fairly torrential rainfall unscathed. The big issue with the 12-50mm in wet weather is the too-small hood, which it shares with the 9-18mm and is therefor designed for a lens with a much broader angle-of-view. Because of this the hood is ineffective at keeping raindrops off the front lens element so you need to have a cloth handy to wipe it down frequently.
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  6. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
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  7. (G)

    (G) Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 5, 2012
    We were in Denali National Park in Alaska last summer. One day it rained all day, sometimes light, sometimes heavy, and we were out on an all-day hike. I kept my OM-D under my rain jacket, but did take it out a lot to shoot video and stills. The thing performed like a champ all day long and never missed a shot.

    We got back in the bus after the hike, I turned it on to look at some of my shots, put it into playback mode, the screen flickered, half of it went green, then the other half-vanished, then everything vanished. Gone. And it all happened faster than I could turn it off. Never came back that whole trip, even after letting it steep in a bag of rice for a day or more.. Thankfully the viewfinder monitor was still working so I could see what I was shooting. Had to send it in to Olympus for repairs.
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  8. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    With the Canon 7D and "L" series lenses what I read stated it took a properly fitting filter (like UV) on the front to complete the weather sealing. I had my 7D with 17-40 f4L out in moderate rain a couple of times with no ill effects so the first thing I did when I got a used Oly 12-50mm to go with the GH3 was to put a good UV filter on it.

    I still try to protect it some but we don't get a lot of rain in West Texas despite a rather wet week just finishing. I just got a used E-M5 body and while I won't deliberately take it out in rain I won't worry if I get caught in some. Usually I carry a 1 gallon ziplock bag in the camera bag and I'll use that to secure even "weather sealed" camera/lens combos.

    If I have to shoot in rain/downpours etc. I usually have a GoPro2 in a dive housing in the bag that is perfect for that sort of thing.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    I am curious, did Olympus cover the repair under warranty?

  10. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Bif, that's not quite true. It depends on which L lens - nowhere near all of them are weather sealed (the non-white primes - such as the 35L and 135L - aren't sealed at all), and while most of the bigger lenses are fully sealed (no UV filter needed), lenses like the 17-40 L are not entirely, not without a UV filter.

    I don't really tend to like the light when it's raining hard, and only put UV filters on if I'm at a beach or similar (sand, not water being the bigger issue for me). As far as how tough the cameras are, I had my E-M5 and 12-35 (have the 12-50, don't like it much) in a few rain showers, no problems afterwards. I also think rain is less of a problem than very high humidity, which may be an issue under a (fully waterproof, non-breathable) raincoat that's zipped up tight. It's sealed from liquid water, certainly, but high moisture content in the air may not be ideal. My toughest shooting (with a 5DII at the time) was in Antarctica, mostly because the ship was heated (a lot) and the air outside was completely, utterly dry. The trick was bagging the cameras and taking them indoors bagged and sealed, so that temperature could equalize first. I saw quite a few people who didn't take precautions come in and have the inside of their lenses fog up (even weather sealed ones, they're not fully air tight) as warm, wet air entered in the lens and condensed there.

    My 5DII survived all that (and patagonian hikes in all manner of weather) without a hitch. And it's not exactly the canon body with the most stellar reputation for 'great' weather sealing. I wouldn't hesitate to do the same with an OM-D.
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  11. Did that too... with my Canon 1dMarkII + 24-105L. It was absolute fun. I didn't even bother trying to keep the camera dry. Just wiped off the lens and snapped away.

    As I look the E-M5's build in comparison to the Canon 1, it doesn't inspire confidence in terms of weathersealing. But knowing your camera survived that tour does give me a bit of confidence.


    oh well... Maybe not.
  12. Neftun

    Neftun Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 15, 2012
    Patrick Kristiansen
    I have used the em5 and 12-50 in torrential rain, over the side of a moving boat and onboard a moving highpowered military speed boat, the last two in seawater. Also once while wading and being splashed by kids with said seawater. Gave the camera a good rinse to remove any salt, and made no difference later. Had the camera for five months, no issues.

    Patrick K
    • Like Like x 2
  13. TransientEye

    TransientEye Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 18, 2013
    When we were in India earlier this year, there were some areas where it was incredibly dusty. As a result, we took to (quickly) rinsing the EM5 and 12-50mm under a tap at the end of each day. I think that this is better than letting the dust accumulate and get inside and there have been absolutely no ill effects.

    The only real problem is that the only lens we have that allows this is the 12-50mm, which is by far the worst lens that we have (in terms of image quality and aperture). It is a shame that the only prime with weather sealing is the 60mm macro...
    • Like Like x 1
  14. geelog

    geelog Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 6, 2012
    Calgary, AB
    I have been working off and on in the Amazon basin for the last several years, during both the rainy and dry season. Last fall I had my new EM-5 with the HLD-6 (just landscape portion of the grip) and 12-50mm lens. When the skys open up it really comes down. I never had a problem with the camera or lens but the HLD-6 has a bevel in the dial surrounding the shutter button. I noticed the water gathering there but continued to use it anyway. The pumping action of the shutter button must have allowed water down into the HLD-6 because it stopped working. I set the grip aside for three days letting it dry out which it eventually did and I could use it again. It was over a month later when I went to attach the portrait grip and discovered I hadn't removed the rubber piece on the bottom covering the lower contacts. The water must have sat in there for quite a while as the contacts were corroded. No amount of contact cleaner has ever gotten the portrait grip to work with the landscape grip again.
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  15. Bummer... Try an eraser.
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  16. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Thanks for all the stories, and please keep them coming. On the whole it sounds like I should have no issues with this combo in occasional rain.

    I agree, it would be nice to have other weathersealed lenses (besides the 12-40)...especially since there are now TWO weathersealed bodies.

    Please keep the stories coming! :)
  17. atom

    atom Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 20, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    That would be just about the only time I've really used it's wet-weather abilities. My failed ascent of Mt. Cameroon.

    <a href="" title="Torrential. by Adam Brown, on Flickr"> View attachment 328208 "500" height="375" alt="Torrential."></a>
    • Like Like x 1
  18. (G)

    (G) Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 5, 2012
    You know, dumb me, I never even checked to see how long the warranty was. The camera was over a year old, so I ASSUMED it wasn't covered, and just paid the repair fee.
  19. aidanw

    aidanw Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 19, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    I used my 12-50mm in consistent (but not heavy rain) in Barcelona at Sagradi Familia and the next day I noticed a waterdrop on the *inside* of the front element had dried, leaving a small mark on the edge of the element.
    The camera was often put in a bag and I don't remember the lens getting particularly wet. It was windy however so this may have contributed to water getting inside the lens.

    The dried watermark leaves large ugly flare on the opposite image corner when there is a bright source of light, such as in a dark train station with bright lights or looking outside a door into the brighter outside.

    The EM5 itself is fine, although I intermittently have the sticky lens pin issue some other users have experienced. This is where a new lens is mounted and the camera shows "-.-" for aperture and a black image. You need to turn the lens slightly or press the lens release pin to have it click into place and then it works.
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