Tommy Ku Photography

Fixing light leaks on Olympus XA2

My Olympus XA2 has light leaks when I first got it. Everything on this camera works fine and it has shown a lot of potential to becoming my pocket camera on the go.

However that light leak. While it's the kind of aesthetic some people (especially LOMO people) are after, I'm not too keen to see my images irreparably damaged by it. I don't have many of my favorite film Fujicolor C200 left in my storage to waste on LOMO.

Shing Mun Reservoir with light leak
Light leak I didn't ask for

Luckily, light leaks from the back of a camera are way easier to fix than frozen focus or bellow holes. I just need to replace the foam.

There are kits and instructions online for this particular model. The price however doesn't justify the cost for some pre-cut stirpes of foam. I was benefited from many people cutting their own foam and sharing the dimensions online.

In my first attempt to replace the foam, I found 1.5mm high density foam too thick. The back of the camera did close with forceful encouragement, yet I worried about the hinge. Who knows if it's going to pop out randomly during a shoot, ruining all the exposed shots.

1.5mm foam in Olympus XA2
Foam so thick the back couldn't even close

Later I ordered 1mm foam, and it fits perfectly. I am able to close the back of the camera without much force and it did eliminate the light leaks. To figure out how to cut the foam, either look for templates online, or measure the dimensions from the residues of the old foam.

Some people like the effect of light leaks. Me however, am not that keen. That's more of a trouble when it ruins a perfectly good shot. In fact, I don't miss light leak at all. That's also why I remember to write about fixing it only now, around 3 months after the fix.

Yunogo Onsen Retro Toy Museum
No light leak under bright sunlight
Melted on the next day
Itsukushima Shrine O-torii Gate
That lens flare though…

So, light leak from the back, fairly easy to fix it yourself instead of paying others for kit or to get it done.

Next is to fix the internal reflections of AGAT18K…