Some people love them. I hate them, especially with color film. I don't mind toy cameras and plastic lenses, but light leaks are just a distraction to my eye. I tape up my Holga and I taped up my Olympus XA2 with every roll of film.
I take the XA2 with me when traveling. It's super small, light and takes great shots. It happened a few times now that I forgot to put the tape back on and ruined entire rolls of film and vacation memories. I was really fed up and looked online.
Aki Asahi, here in Japan sells seal kits to fix this. He's most known for his custom covers. He has a bunch of pre-cut kits for different cameras on his website, but none for the XA2. So I decided to send him an email and ask directly. I was thinking maybe he can just send me the foam and I'll cut it myself. To my surprise he immediately sent me a very positive reply. He said he doesn't offer an XA2 kit because he doesn't have a sample camera to prepare a kit from. He then offered to fix mine for free if he could use it as a template to create his kits and showcase it on his website. I obviously agreed to that one! No brainer.
I sent him one of my cameras (I have two) in a small package on a Monday and had it back fixed on Friday! Here's the link to his kit and my camera! Also check out the video with instructions on how to install the kit.
I didn't want to ask him to do my second camera for free, so I just ordered on of the template kits for $7 and tried to seal my second XA2 myself.
Aki Asahi uploaded a video on how to install the light seals. This is fairly easy. When you remove the foam strips from the sheet make sure you use a knife or cutter to be sure you don't rip them. They don't come off that easily. In his this looks very easy. I ruined one or two. Luckily the set comes with a few backup strips. Wet the sticky areas with water to be able to move and shift the foam around as you lay it in. Make sure you have a lot of light and just use the long toothpick he includes in his package. The biggest issue I had was getting off the old rotten foam. It was extremely difficult getting this stuff off. I tried with lighter fluid and several different tools.
Eventually I decided to actually take the camera apart as much as I could to get better access. Especially the bottom piece and pressure plate make a big difference. The pressure plate simply slides out and the bottom plate can be unscrewed. It's still not a fun exercise and I never want to do this again. Next time I need to do this for another camera I'll send it in to Aki Asahi and simply pay for the service.
I still have to shoot a roll and pray. Let's hope this worked!