Shooting in the Rain
/forum/topic/1158165/0

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goobers
Registered: Jan 22, 2012
Total Posts: 63
Country: N/A

I'll be shooting a few outdoors events this fall and am expecting some rain along the way. I have a Nikon D7000 and an 80-200 push-pull lens that will be my primary combination.

I'm looking at some affordable options for rain protection. Note that I rarely shoot in weather like this, so it's hard for me to justify a $150 purchase like the ThinkTank Hydrophobia.

In browsing through B&H, I saw a couple options and wanted to see if any of you had any recommendations.

OpTech Rainsleeves
Dot Line Rain Cape
Vortex Storm Jacket

Thanks in advance!

-G



mikethevilla
Registered: May 22, 2008
Total Posts: 2592
Country: United States

Like you, I rarely shoot in the rain, so I typically use one of these:





jcolwell
Registered: Feb 10, 2005
Total Posts: 20638
Country: Canada

I have a few OpTech rainsleeves tucked away in bags & packs, just in case I get caught without my the TT and AquaTech rain coats.



JimFox
Registered: Jan 11, 2005
Total Posts: 37534
Country: United States

The Optech rainsleeve is my recommendation. I use one all the time.

Jim



dmahar
Registered: Jan 12, 2011
Total Posts: 73
Country: Australia

I have an aquatech - beautifully made and very effective but similar price to the thinktank



dsjtecserv
Registered: May 09, 2010
Total Posts: 1542
Country: United States

I have been very happy with a Fotosharp rain cover: http://fotosharp.com/camera_rain_covers.html. They are made of silnylon and are extremely lightweight and stuff into a pack like a rag, yet set up for use quickly. The design allows for versatile application; the velcro-closed slot on the bottom allows it to be easily used hand held or set up on a tripod without compromising the protection. I was initially hesitant about the semi-opaque fabric making it difficult to see settings on the camera, but this has turned out to be mostly a non-issue. And on advantage has been that I can use it is a free, and very effective, flash diffuser: just use it over the camera and flash. It works great for macro flash shots!

I'd recommend getting a larger size they they cite as the minimum for a given lens combination. The larger volume is less constraining and provides more flexibility in use, and it really has not down side.

Dave



Imagemaster
Registered: Feb 23, 2004
Total Posts: 34286
Country: Canada

Just get plastic bags from your local grocery/department store, along with some elastic bands.



somewhereinusa
Registered: Nov 15, 2003
Total Posts: 102
Country: United States

I just finished 4 days in the rain with a fotosharp, I like it better than others I have tried.



Mr Joe
Registered: May 18, 2004
Total Posts: 4110
Country: United States

The Think Tank rain covers are superb, and worth the money in the long run for me:
http://www.thinktankphoto.com/categories/rain-covers/hydrophobias.aspx



Dano39
Registered: May 04, 2010
Total Posts: 258
Country: United States

I used an Optech while in Banff late september, worked great and kept the camera dry, just remember, there is a hole towards the middle of the sleeve for you to view thru at the eye piece, took me awhile to figure out why my camera had drops of water in different areas.



kpjsy
Registered: Nov 16, 2010
Total Posts: 53
Country: United States

StormJacket used here!



EverLearning
Registered: Oct 10, 2005
Total Posts: 462
Country: Canada

It really depends on how often you will shoot in the rain, how hard it will be raining, how often you need to handle your controls and if you are willing to accept their are occasions where you may not be able to shoot (or wisely chose not to).

I too thought I was fine having an Optex sleeve in my bag until my most recent trip. Rained almost all the time. Not necessarily heavy all the time; drizzle, light rain, rain, heavy rain. Very high humidity. I REALLY wish I had something other than the Optex sleeve. the sleeve does not breath. It does not have an extra opening to keep your hand in, so if you need to adjust controls, a damp hand is going under the plastic. With the moisture on your hands and the humidity in the air, your camera can have moisture problems even if it doesn't get 'wet'. For me, it meant having the buffer transfer speeds drop to about 1/4 normal on my 7D at a very inopportune time. It also resulted in AF malfunction one day. Lastly, it resulted in three different occasions where the camera completely stopped working. I had to take the card and battery out and the lens off and let it dry for several hours before it returned to normal function.

The plastic cover approach (Optex or shopping bag) works reasonably well in some cases, but is risky in others and just doesn't cut it in some. A question to ask yourself is how expensive is your gear, how important is the shot and what is the risk (probability of occurence AND impact of occurrence).

Hope this helps.



neilvan
Registered: Aug 30, 2004
Total Posts: 499
Country: Canada

I have had a Storm Jacket Pro for years now, zero issues and it's easy to use once you get used to it. Get the Pro version if you think you'll be using your camera mounted on a tripod, the velcro bottom makes life much easier...



goobers
Registered: Jan 22, 2012
Total Posts: 63
Country: N/A

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I picked up a couple OpTech rainsleeves and used my first one yesterday in a steady rain (not torrential & windy, just a constant downfall) for about 4.5 hours. My camera and lens survived most of the elements, though when I took the rainsleeve off at the end of my shoot there were some minor wet spots on my camera.

As Everlearning mentions, the sleeve does not breath and in fact my breathing onto the plastic was fogging up my glasses (perhaps it's time for me to invest in contact lenses...)

I don't think i'll be shooting in the rain more than 5-10 times a year, but I do think i need to invest in a cover like the storm jacket pro. The cost is reasonable and from the reviews here and from speaking with the local camera shop, most people are pretty happy with it. I will continue to have a rainsleeve or two as a backup since it's so cheap, but it looks like I know what my next purchase is going to be!

Once I have a chance to use a storm jacket I'll be sure to post another update on my experience. Again, thanks to everyone for their continued suggestions.



goobers
Registered: Jan 22, 2012
Total Posts: 63
Country: N/A

On a side note, at yesterday's even I saw at least 3 professional photographers using Canon bodies with a 70-200 f2.8 attached without any rain protective covers whatsoever. Am I being too overprotective of my Nikon gear, or is Canon gear designed to be more weather tolerant?



BenV
Registered: Jan 01, 2008
Total Posts: 7999
Country: United States

goobers wrote:
On a side note, at yesterday's even I saw at least 3 professional photographers using Canon bodies with a 70-200 f2.8 attached without any rain protective covers whatsoever. Am I being too overprotective of my Nikon gear, or is Canon gear designed to be more weather tolerant?


I think you're just babying your gear too much. I've walked around on numerous occasions with my D300 (and D700) with a 17-55 and/or a 70-200 attached. No problems at all. But a little extra protection doesn't hurt. Especially if your gear isn't insured.



jolson72
Registered: Sep 03, 2005
Total Posts: 394
Country: United States

I live on the Oregon Coast where it is wetter than most areas of the U.S., and shoot weddings and family portraits full time. (I use Canon 5d bodies and lenses.) I have never been overly concerned with the rain. My cameras have been wet quite a few times, and very wet a few times. Never had a single issue in 10 years.

My thought is: if it is raining just a little, it won't hurt your equipment. If it is really raining, there won't really be anything to photograph, because nobody will be outside in the rain.



jcolwell
Registered: Feb 10, 2005
Total Posts: 20638
Country: Canada

jolson72 wrote:
... nobody will be outside in the rain.


You should get out more.



chez
Registered: Nov 26, 2003
Total Posts: 7862
Country: Canada

jolson72 wrote:
I live on the Oregon Coast where it is wetter than most areas of the U.S., and shoot weddings and family portraits full time. (I use Canon 5d bodies and lenses.) I have never been overly concerned with the rain. My cameras have been wet quite a few times, and very wet a few times. Never had a single issue in 10 years.

My thought is: if it is raining just a little, it won't hurt your equipment. If it is really raining, there won't really be anything to photograph, because nobody will be outside in the rain.


Some people shoot more than other people. You being on the Oregon coast should know this better than others. Storms make amazing seascapes.

As far as shooting in the rain...you are gambling with your gear. It is not waterproof and can get water damage any day. The only sure way to not get water damage is to leave it on the shelf when it is raining. The 2nd best method is to get a rain cover and shot in the rain. Least effective and one I don't recommend is to shoot in the rain without a rain jacket.



neilvan
Registered: Aug 30, 2004
Total Posts: 499
Country: Canada

Yes, it depends on the gear at hand. If I am shooting with my K-5 (or K-5 IIs starting tomorrow ) and one of my WR or DA* lenses I can go out in the pouring rain with zero concerns. Conversely, if I go out with my K-5 and one of my Zeiss ZK lenses (that aren't weather sealed) then yeah, on goes the Storm Jacket if it starts to rain.

To qualify myself, I live on the Wet Coast of Canada, southwest BC to be exact, so I am familiar with heavy rainfall.



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