Photography in the Rain - ideas on the cheap?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by holmburgers, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Hey guys,

    So I'm going camping this weekend and the forecast looks like rain, rain, rain. That's ok I guess... just have to look back to Woodstock to know that it can still be fun. (I was there y'know!)

    Anyways, it's a bluegrass festival, and I know there'll be some great pictures and I don't want the prospect of wet gear to stop me from shooting.

    Any tips or tricks for "weatherizing" my Canon 35mm gear? I'm thinking about throwing on one of my beater lenses and putting it in a ziplock with a hole. But something more sophisticated would be good. Plastic, tape and whatever else I might have around the house are my tools. No time to go buy something designed for this.

    Whaddya think?
     
  2. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    google "diy camera raincoat" and "diy camera rain cover"

    (since we're international and multilingual: DIY = do it yourself)

    Lee
     
  3. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Sounds like you are on the right track!

    Jeff
     
  4. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    I use a large 1 gallon ziploc for my hasselblad when I am going to likely face some rain. I make a small cut a little short of the lens diameter, then push the front of the lens through. I then attach my lens hood over it...

    I then make another small slit for the prism viewfinder, and slip the rear of the bag with the slit over the eyepiece... you can then still access every from underneath, winding film, changing film backs, focus, aperture, shutter speed... The biggest hurdle is not being able to change lenses, so choose once!
     
  5. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    I've never tried it but what about rigging something with Saran wrap and a lens shade. Take a large umbrella and someone willing to hold it.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  6. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Canon 1V (1N to a lessor extent) with a sealed L lens is reasonably weather proof already. There are made for purpose camera plastic covers as well.
     
  7. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    Nikonos or plastic camera rain coat. To make one out of any plastic bag that fits a lens hood is nice to tape or rubber band the opening to. We made them that way all the time for photographing fall football games. Some would make one large enough for their head to fit under to.
     
  8. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I'm really liking the idea of a large ziplock or trashbag, and a small hole rubberbanded around the UV filter.
     
  9. Henry Halifax

    Henry Halifax Member

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    I use a clear shower cap on my SLR. They cost literally next to nothing and can wrap around a camera and lens. They come with a rubberband.
     
  10. mablo

    mablo Member

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    I use a Nikon FM. No need for rain cover.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2011
  11. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    You can use a large golf umbrella. Run the handle inside your shirt and under your belt. That should hold it in place unless there is a strong wind. In 1962 I was working in Germany for the summer. It rained the three days of Nurburgring, the German Grand Prix F1 races. I had what would now be a large heavy old fashion 300mm lens on a Pentax 35mm. The umbrella was red with large white dots. As I approached, people would first laugh and then realize that the camera and I were still dry.

    John Powers
     
  12. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    As long as it's not blocking people's views, I think an umbrella would be ideal.

    If it's on and off rain, like passing thunderstorms, just put the camera away or stand under an awning.

    Gray weather is great for photography, as there are lots of photo possibilities without having to worry much about shadows. Many things are visually appealing or more interesting when wet too. (not just people)
     
  13. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    I like the Umbrella idea, but I would like to say that you should have a storage plan to go with it. Something that you can put the camera into when you are done shooting so that it stays dry.
     
  14. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    You can do this with any large plastic bag - put the camera inside the bag, with the lens on. Remove any filter you have on the lens, pull the bag tight across the lens front, then screw the filter on. The filter threads will cut the plastic, but leave just enough edge for the filter to grip. Remove the filter, pull out the plug the filter cut from the bag, and re-install. Voila- instant raincoat for your camera! If you do it with a big trash bag, you can fit yourself and the camera inside (make sure to leave enough room at the bottom so you get air and don't suffocate). If you use a gallon or so size Ziploc, you can still fit the camera and your hands inside. They also sell clear plastic semi-re-useable rain ponchos at CVS for a couple bucks each. That might be an even better option.
     
  15. PaulMD

    PaulMD Member

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    It's pretty doubtful AI/AIS lenses are weather sealed. Not only are you risking getting crap in your camera, but you could work water into your lens encouraging fungal growth or water vapor fogging.
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    a sombrero
     
  17. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    The plastic bag tricks work really well and are very easy and inexpensive. No need to go buy a commercial product in my opinion.

    My 50mm f/1.4 Nikkor did indeed get water fogging in the rain forests of Costa Rica (I found out just why they are called that). What I did to solve this problem was leave the lens under a small floodlight for around an hour on both front and back. This seemed to evaporate the water. Lens is still working fine two years later.
     
  18. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    A good rain overcoat and a good rain hat will help quite a lot. One of the many bag tricks that are posted will cover the rest. I am a fan of regular plastic shopping bags and/or static cling wrap. I also use a lens hood, of course. Gaffer tape is good for covering exposed odds and ends, and jointed/overlapping areas such as focusing collars on lenses or advance knobs.

    Be sure to bring small dry towels for touching up water spots that hit the camera, and don't pack your camera away in a bag until it has dried out for some time first. Get some desiccant pouches if you can as well.
     
  19. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    My brother in law gave me a plastic tent with an "optical" plexiglass window from a surgery. (not stolen... :smile: they have to be discarded after opening ) A little cumbersome but it works.
     
  20. terryw

    terryw Subscriber

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    The plastic bag idea is the best, I think

    I use clear plastic office trash can liners and rubber bands. I do this on both film and digital cameras. I place the camera (even with a flash attached) inside the bag and tear an undersized hole for the lens, then put the rubber band around the outside. If I have the flash attached, I simply put a rubber band around the flash head and tighten the bag so that there is little air gap between the flash lens and the bag. Lastly, with the bag draped over the camera, I tear a small hole for the eyepiece. I usually remove the eyepiece, then secure the bag around the eyepiece socket with the eyepiece itself. One thing you can't argue with is the value and portability of this solution. Wad up a few with some rubber bands and stick them in your pocket. Throw them in the plastic recycling when you're done.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  21. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Of course the downside of any of these solutions is that they work best for hand-held cameras. Once you get into large format stuff, what do you do? A giant golf umbrella I guess...
     
  22. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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  23. budrichard

    budrichard Member

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    There are lots of ways and methods to keep rain off your equipment but simply put, unless you can afford monetarily and physiologically to expose your equipment to moisture, best to stay indoors.-Dick
     
  24. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Working only in good weather really limits your possibilities.
    Most of the time, in the light, drizzly rain common here, I just keep the camera in the bag or under a jacket, except when shooting, and wipe off any moisture whenever I can. I've never had a problem, with ether electronics or all mechanical cameras.

    On one outing with the view camera when a storm was pressing, I bought one of the extra large ziplocks sold for storing pillows and such in.
    The rain stopped just in time though, and I didn't actually need to use it.
     
  25. fstop

    fstop Member

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    its only a FM they are dime a dozen, put an e series on it and go for it:tongue: