Wondering if Leica M lenses are weather sealed? If they aren’t, are there weather sealed version? In this article we will look at the weather resistance capacity of the Leica M lenses

Are Leica M Lenses weather sealed ?Table Of Contents

Introduction

It’s a great question. Leica M lenses do not have any electronics in them. So it’s easy to wonder are Leica M lenses weather sealed. The answer is little bit complicated…

Are Leica M lenses weather sealed?

The issue with weather sealing

The problem with weather sealing is simple, it is a claim and most companies are not too keen on claiming anything because if they do, they become liable. If a watchmaker claims a watch can work underwater at 50 meters and it breaks at 10meters, if you can prove this and send it back to them, they would be obligated to fix or replace it.

So, the answer is no, M lenses are not weather sealed. Weirdly enough, starting from the M10, the Leica bodies have weather sealing BUT there is none of that around the lens mount making it some sort of Achilles heels in the lens area. But take that with a grain of salt, is Leica was so sure of their weather resistance they would have given the Ms an IP rating.

And unlike Fujifilm, there is no WR or weather resistant version of the lenses either.

Man speed dial Leica RFI
Are Leica M lenses weather sealed?

Not afraid of water

While Leica is not claiming anything with their lenses, and they do not have any protective plastic to keep the elements out, they are somewhat resistant to certain elements like water. Why? Because there are no electronic parts in the lens. If you have a non electronic M body, the whole kit is mechanical. Water can still damage them however but the fact that there is no electronics inside makes it somewhat resistant. Starting from the M10 there’s also some resistance towards the elements but no definitive IP rating.

How resistant are Leica M lenses?

When it comes to weather resistance, Leica M lenses are like seatbelts. You never want to outright put water on it but you are glad you have it if it starts raining. If it starts pouring, you don’t want to have your gear out in the rain but it will most likely be fine.

Leica table RFI
Are Leica M lenses weather sealed? Zeiss lenses are pretty sturdy too

Your best bet is a bag

Even if you shoot M lenses on a old film Leica, why risk it? The best policy is to simply NOT have anything that could damage your camera touch it. Most bags will do but some might hold the water that goes on it like canvas bags. For the best protection some bags come with protective rain covers just in case you are out and it starts raining.

The only weather sealed Leicas

If you really want a Leica that is weather resistant that is the Leica SL2 and many L mount lenses are too. It is on of the more resistant cameras out there and it will resist bad conditions with an IP54 rating. The Leica Q2 is also sealed with IP52 but it is nowhere near as secure as the SL2.

leica for videos sl2
The Leica SL is one of the few weather sealed Leicas with lenses. Are Leica M lenses weather sealed

IP54 means it is protected against dust and particles and water sprays from all angles. IP52 means protected against limited dust ingress and water spray less than 15 degrees.

Conclusion

So are Leica M lenses weather sealed? No. But While the M lenses are not weather sealed, if you shoot them on a battery-less film body or a newer digital M, you are most likely fine if some water gets splashed on it. But because there is no claim of any IP rating or a claim of weather sealing on the lenses, there is no guarantee.

If your camera and lens gets wet you want to dry it as soon as possible. While nothing might break, having water stuck inside the lens can leave marks and even fungus.

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