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david.kize

How adventuresome are you with your M10 around water?

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I will be taking a South Pacific islands vacation in a few weeks.  This will include kayaks, zodiacs, snorkeling (obviously no camera there except one designed for underwater use), and in general being around the water.  

 

In the past, I have used an iPhone or a Sony RX100 or my Nikon D800 with a lens that is water-protected, for this kind of use.  If the weather is bad enough--as in pouring rain in Alaska--I used a serious rain protector and continued taking pictures.  One time I spent all day out in light rain in Norway with an unprotected Nikon D300 and had no water damage.  Everyone else on the trip thought I was crazy.  Maybe so, but I was lucky.

 

So I am not scared of cameras and water in general, with (most of the time) reasonable precautions.

 

But I do not plan to use my Leica M10 in some zodiac or kayak, or in the rain.  Too much invested, and the camera is not waterproof.  While in a small water craft, I will either just use my iPhone X or (I had to add the travel weight) possibly one of my Nikon DSLR's which otherwise I do not plan to bring on this trip.  The most I would do with a Leica while in a Kayak or zodiac is carry it along in a water sealed pack and wait until I get to the beach or on board our small ship before using it to take photos.

 

Here's my question: do any of you risk using a Leica camera while in small water craft or comparable activities where you risk water damage?

 

I remember reading an article by Thorsten Overgaard where he used his Leica out in some serious rain and went through significant drying procedures to resurrect his camera afterwards.  He was not recommending that others try this, and I certainly wouldn't put my Leica through the kind of water exposure risk that I take with some of my Nikon DSLRs or cheaper cameras.

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To start if you are travelling with your cameras and other electronic gears on a small boat, an outtrigger or zodiac, make use they are in waterproof bag that will not take in water if the bag is put on the water, your small boat can capsize or take in water and sink...then have a towel or scarf to cover and wipe the cameras when you are using it as the splash from the wake/waves of the boat will surely wet your gears...will I use an M10? nope, I will use my autofocused stabilized camera Sony A7R.

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Rain is altogether different than dunking your camera in water (as it may happen in kayaking). I guarantee your Nikon won’t survive after drowning. Having said that, I have used my M240 and M9 in heavy rain for couple of hours with moderate protection (camera was in leaky neoprene case out in the rain when not being used. While being used it was taken out and fully in rain). I have no hesitation in doing it again but carrying it on boat with real chance of drowning in water is another matter. I would either use a cheaper camera or make sure that camera is in water tight bag in between shoot.

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I would never do that. Further I think that on a zodiac you are not able to take photographs anway. You would constantly have to mind your camera instead of enjoying the view.

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Thanks for all these replies.  They reflect my thinking on the Leica rangefinders (and on most electronics that are not waterproof or highly water resistant).  Being new to Leica, I just wanted assurance that I am not trying to baby my Leica too much just because it is expensive and not waterproof.

 

So here are my current plans:  (1) on a zodiac, use an iPhone (my version X is supposed to be waterproof up to one meter deep and so should take some splashing) or my Sony RX100 or RX100v while trying to keep it dry (it's normally in a sealed pocket in my waterproof shell); (2) if I have my M10 or a DSLR on the zodiac, keep it in a sealed container the whole time until I am on land or ship again; (3) on a kayak, no photos except with an iPhone, and don't bring my DSLR or Leica at all.  

 

I actually prefer my RX100 to an iPhone on a zodiac--I can get a better grip on it than with an iPhone (easier therefore to take shots and less risk of dropping it overboard), and it is not new and seems more "disposable".

 

Of course, a whole different ballgame would be to buy a dedicated underwater housing for the RX100 or RX100v.

Edited by david.kize

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If I knew I will be shooting around water that could damage my M10, I would carry one of the following before I carried my M10:

 

1. Aqua Pix 35mm plastic underwater camera (very low cost and expendable)

2. Nikonos III with 35 and 80mm lenses that can be used on land or under water

3. A lower priced 35mm film camera such as a Nikon EM with a Series E lens

4. A lower priced digital camera such as a Canon G15 compact

5. A water resistant Fuji digital such as a Fuji X-Pro2 with a 23mm f/2

6. Samsung Galaxy cell phone camera in water resistant case

 

Water Resistant Cameras by Narsuitus, on Flickr

 

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I have owned Zodiacs  and RIBs of some iteration for almost three decades. My M6 has been aboard, my M8 has been aboard, my Nikon F 3, F4, F5 , D3s and D500 have all been aboard . The key is being smart. I use either a Pelican case ( waterproof and floats ) to protect during high speed maneuvers or a rapid dry camping towel ( to wrap the camera ) and then place inside a waterproof ( clear usually ) drybag. It is VERY hard to get really good images at speed - too much effort is required for balance and wave counter so the conditions are actually much less onerous when actually shooting - by default at lower speed. With a long lens - ( on the Nikons ) I find a carbon tripod VERY useful. I will inaugurate the M10 to the boat this weekend. Lastly, take several zip lock bags with desicant bags enclosed or rice. At some point...these might come in handier than you wish.

 

One final point - the Olympus tough cams or in my case an old pentax optio...is a great ( and smart ) option when all else is just too wet to use.

 

Good luck. Wear a life vest- always! ( and tie a float to your straps)

 

Coos

Edited by photophile

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I would be careful with an M in a Zodiac. I was recently in the Antarctic with my 2 S 007 bodies and lenses and we were swamped by a few fluke waves. One camera died but was resuscitated overnight by aggressive drying. The 007 is water resistant... Imagine if that had been an M.. BTW, I have been on many many zodiacs and ALWAYS have a waterproof bag and use it when not shooting...

BE VERY CAREFUL...

 

Albert 

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I've taken my camera in a swimming pool with kids splashing around. I like water level shots. I turn away from a large splash, but it still gets water on it. No problems so far and I get a great perspective.I showed a Nikon D750 user my photos and he was shocked, asking if my camera is waterproof. I think his is even more resistant to water. 

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I've taken my camera in a swimming pool with kids splashing around. I like water level shots. I turn away from a large splash, but it still gets water on it. No problems so far and I get a great perspective.I showed a Nikon D750 user my photos and he was shocked, asking if my camera is waterproof. I think his is even more resistant to water.

 

With mine I some times dive a little bit. Just a little bit. And people to who I show the photographs are shocked because the photographs still are dropping and the water is flowing out of the camera. Unfortunately I have no Nikon to compare with as my Nikons (that I never had) are still on the ground of the sea. Edited by Alex U.

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I would never do that. Further I think that on a zodiac you are not able to take photographs anway. You would constantly have to mind your camera instead of enjoying the view.

 

I've used my M9s on RIBs and small hard-boats whilst out scuba diving. Common sense tells you when to put a camera away in something waterproof, but the photographer in you can't miss having a good camera around for great photo opportunities

.

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If one seriously wants to take a Leica digital into - risky - situations, there is nothing to stop them but a budget.

 

This is for the 240, but I'm sure an M10 version is in the works - and yes, they come in black or silver: http://www.subal.com/a408c98c2c1/Housing/Photo_Housings/Leica/Leica_M.aspx

 

For conditions a bit more benign (getting the camera underwater will be a risk, not a certainty), there are other options, with or without certain inconveniences or advantages:

 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/17357-REG/Ewa_Marine_EM_U_A_U_A_Underwater_Housing.html/?c3ch=CSE&c3nid=98

 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/937742-REG/dicapac_wp_s3_waterproof_case_for_mirrorless.html?ap=y&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIjt-pssOV3AIVAjVpCh1IhwM8EAkYECABEgJ_dvD_BwE&smp=y

 

If I felt a need (and I might) to take my M10(s) rafting or otherwise risk them for a picture, I'd probably go with the middle option.

 

or perhaps: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1266748-REG/ewa_marine_em_u_a100_autofocus_dslr_slr_camera_housing.html

Edited by adan

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I would be careful with an M in a Zodiac. I was recently in the Antarctic with my 2 S 007 bodies and lenses and we were swamped by a few fluke waves. One camera died but was resuscitated overnight by aggressive drying. The 007 is water resistant... Imagine if that had been an M.. BTW, I have been on many many zodiacs and ALWAYS have a waterproof bag and use it when not shooting...

BE VERY CAREFUL...

 

Albert 

 

Great picture and brings back memories of my zodiac times in the Antarctic in 2013-14.  I didn't have a Leica then, and I think that I probably had at various times a Sony RX100 or a Nikon D800 in a sealed bag when not in use.  In Australia, my Nikon took lots of splashing without damage.  But I do not plan on taking my Leica in a zodiac this summer in the South Pacific except when it is in a sealed bag in transit between ship and shore.

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Why not just get the Leica submersible APS-C camera and be done with it.

Good idea for the unlimited budget; just add water.

 

I might take a camera in an underwater housing while I snorkel, but it will not be my Leica.  Maybe my Sony RX100 or RX100v in an underwater housing designed specifically for that camera.  However, I am happy to spend my time watching out for sharks and barracuda, while letting others be the photographers.  

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If the mods will indulge me in a non-Leica taken image, there are huge advantages to using a full waterproofed camera (in a housing) because it enables images which would have been impossible otherwise. This is from a Sony A7II with the equivalent of a 21mm lens - I'm fortunate because I import housings into the UK so I have access to them - but there are housings available for Leicas - not so sure I'd use an M though because of the absolute need to use liveview. Taken from the water surface after a dive.

 

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Guest tofu_man

I spent quite a bit of time in the South Pacific in the 80s and 90s. Aitutaki, Vanuatu, Fiji, New Caledonia etc, and I was far too nervous to take my M6/M4P anywhere near a beach nevermind the sea. Riding a small boat out into deep water through an island reef can be pretty bouncy or even downright terrifying. Coral sand is very gritty, and I'd hate to get some stuck under the shutter dial or aperture rings etc. Salt spray is a risk too.

 

I did have a Leica X-U for a while, and it was great to be able to be quite careless with it and to be able to simply rinse it off afterwards. It's a robust camera with it's rubber covering, sufficiently waterproof for snorkelling and rafting, and the images are pretty good too. The AF is relatively slow though. I'd get one of the waterproof/tough compacts if I was in the market again...they're affordable and also small enough to stick in a pocket.

 

More recently, I got caught in a monumental downpour shooting a rice-field project with my Leica Q in the Philippines. I tried to keep the Q covered with a small tote bag while I was out shooting for an afternoon but it still got very wet. It didn't miss a heartbeat, and I was impressed. I still wouldn't risk getting sand or saltwater anywhere near it though.

 

Have a great trip ! 

Edited by tofu_man

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