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Customer Discussions > Photography forum

rainy weather lens/camera protection

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Showing 1-13 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 9, 2012 5:35:48 PM PDT
ALY says:
I'm looking for suggestions on how to protect the lenses/camera body (Canon 7D) from the rain when I'm shooting in the rain. I'm hoping there are some very inexpensive/free solutions out there.

Any help is greatly appreciated,

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2012 7:47:39 PM PDT
Did you try a search?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2012 8:45:02 PM PDT
ALY says:
I did. They seem either flimsy or awkward or somehow "incomplete". But I'll keep looking. Thanks for replying.

Posted on Aug 9, 2012 8:57:14 PM PDT
T. Campbell says:
The 7D body is "weather sealed" meaning that there are gaskets at the body seams and any dials have o-rings to seal out moisture or dust leaking through as long as it's not under pressure (it is not "pressure sealed"). While the body of your 7D is weather sealed, the lens is not necessarily weather sealed.... it would depend on the lens. Most Canon "L" series lenses tend to be weather sealed (you actually do need to read the manual that came with the lens to verify this. While the majority ARE weather sealed, there are some exceptions. There are also lenses that are "mostly" weather sealed but require that you do something to "complete" the weather seal.

A little rain or a splash of water wont hurt a 7D or a properly weather sealed lens. But water being driven by force or under pressure (NEVER deliberately submerge the camera. Also don't subject it to water under pressure... such as blasting with water under force (e.g. a "fire hose"). If you're not using weather-sealed lenses or if you're nervous or you know you'll be dealing with a LOT of rain (e.g. it's not a normal rain... it's a torrential downpour, hurricane, hard driving rain with force) then you might want a real rain-jacket.

For example, ThinkTank makes the "Hydrophobia" covers.

Posted on Aug 9, 2012 9:35:28 PM PDT
ALY says:
Thanks T. Campbell. I certainly don't plan on whipping out my camera in a torential downpour, but have been caught in a rain and I'm trying to be prepaired for all sorts of weather. If I travel to some tropical place, I'd like NOT to worry about the sand and water, if I travel to a rainy place or during a rainy season (Ireland, Wales, South America, etc.), I'd like NOT to worry about rain. I just want to make sure it doesn't ruin any mechanism, either on the body or on the lens.
I read the reviews of many of the rain sleeves and seen the pics. But maybe there aren't enough pics to make me comfortable with them as they seem awkward (like you have to know all the dials and options by heart) and it doesn't look like you could easily switch out the lenses. But I guess I could switch inside the jacket I'm wearing to protect the body/lenses from the rain. And won't those rain sleeves get all twisted when the lens is focusing?
Thanks again,

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2012 9:53:18 AM PDT
You may not be able to use the sleeve with an lens that rotates the front element when focusing... IF (internal focus) lenses don't twist when focusing or zooming -- but they do cost a bit more.

You also will not be swapping lenses easily -- most rain covers thread onto the filter rings of the lens to keep the end in place. (note: if this fitting is designed to rotate independent of the rain cover, you could use a lens that focuses by rotating the end).

Anything more protective than these rain covers/hoods would be moving into lightweight dive cases

(Note how many of those state "internally focusing")

Rain capes are mostly meant for protection when the camera is in shooting position -- they do not protect when just hanging off a strap (my experience is that unless the strap attaches to the lens and body, the camera will flip to point the lens down, and that will expose the bottom openings of the cape to the weather).

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2012 11:03:32 AM PDT
EdM says:
"I guess I could switch inside the jacket I'm wearing to protect the body/lenses from the rain."

Don't do this. Not mentioned so far is that the vast majority of people have a decent, water resistant camera bag to keep their gear in while not using it. I normally keep a spare black plastic trash bag in my bag as an emergency poncho which will also cover the camera. Also, a large enough Zip-Lock or similar plastic bag can do for an emergency.

As T. Campbell said, your 7D can deal with a bit of rain, should a shower come up. However, the idea of shooting normally, specifically with changing lenses, is a NO-NO [caps intended]. The insides of your camera body and lenses are not water protected in any way, so your should never change lenses in the rain. Even inside a jacket or under an umbrella, the relative humidity [especially with body warmth/humidity] will be 100%, which provides a high likelihood of condensation within the works when changing a lens. I hesitate to change when in a rainy, humid environment even inside a tour bus, e.g., unless the bus' A/C has taken the humidity out of the inside air and there is no water dripping, etc. The idea of carrying moisture absorbing packets [to be used in high humidity] inside your camera bag should be considered.

Instead, modify your photography practice to avoid risky practices, unless you can afford to replace your gear from water damage. Choose a lens that will zoom enough for your shooting-in-the-rain needs so you will NOT have to change lenses. OR, settle on getting the shots a given lens can get without changing lenses. If you absolutely need to shoot in moderate to heavy rain [or while riding a water park water-slide ride, e.g.], consider getting a waterproof P/S to supplement your 7D camera and use that P/S instead.

Not infrequently, you can find opportunities to shoot from a porch, overhang, or through an open window, where your camera is not directly in the rain. You may be able to manage an umbrella, keeping your camera under the umbrella, although you'll have to shoot one handed as you hold the umbrella with the other, which is not easy to manage [unless you have a nicely large umbrella and a friend/assistant/bearer to hold it over you.

In rainy weather, you really have to change normal shooting habits to deal with the weather and save your camera gear. When it does get wet, you need to quickly get back to your room or vehicle, and use a dry towel to towel off excess water. There are sometimes breaks in weather where you can shoot safely, with care. Otherwise, you may be able to use your creativity to shoot something that is not out in a storm, but indoors or in a protected area. Sometimes, an unusual shot from dealing with weather can be one of your best creative efforts. If you have a towel, you may even be able to towel off a vehicle window with condensation on it and shoot through a closed window, to at least get something. At times, shooting through a window can work if you 1) shoot at an angle, 2) shoot using a circular polarizer to limit reflections, being mindful of the angle of the light, 3) or perhaps if you can shoot your lens perpendicular to the window [your glass must not touch the window] perhaps with a circular lens hood while keeping back lighting and thus reflections out. When you do/try these things, you may need to bump up the ISO as they will limit the amount of light that gets to your sensor.

Really, it is a poor idea to not adapt to the weather, or plan in advance to accomplish what you want to do in a way that does not include shooting as though it were an ordinary day, notwithstanding pouring rain. You must be realistic - sometimes weather happens that prevents getting [some of] the shots you would otherwise have gotten. Likewise, as Dennis says, there are pro quality dive cases that CAN shoot in the rain, but they may cost more than your DSLR alone, e.g.:

As always, this photo shooting situation comes down to compromises, luck, and your risk tolerance. Good Luck!

Posted on Aug 11, 2012 2:09:08 PM PDT
You need to buy a Nikon. 7D's faint at the smell of water. Sorry.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2012 4:16:02 PM PDT
EdM says:
I shoot Nikon DSLRs myself, but what you said is so wrong. Both Nikon and Canon [and others] vary in the weather resistance of various lines and specific models, but the 7D is on the good side of that question, IMO. Still, this post is about a 7D that failed in rain:

"I was about to put my camera away when I thought to myself, "There's a reason why I upgraded to a 7D-it's so I can shoot in conditions like these. Now it's time to put it to the test." Bad idea....

"A few more shots in, and my camera started acting up. The autofocus started stalling, then ERROR...

"I bought my 7D refurbished from Canon sometime in June. Naturally, Canon refurbished cameras come with a 90 day warranty. It was day 82. So the very next day I called Canon and shipped it out to their West Virginia factory. Water damage isn't covered by the warranty ..."

Lower down someone comments on what to do if you an error, shooting in the rain. I normally shoot with a Nikon D700, more expensive and improved over the 7D in several ways, but it is not completely weather sealed either, as at least the memory card door and the battery door, e.g., lack any weather sealing. For example, in

"... As far as I know weather-proof does not mean rain-proof. I think weather proof means it is resistant to some amount of moisture that might get on it due to normal situations, such as a slight drizzle, or getting caught out in the rain for a minute or two (which happens)..."

This is similar to the situations in which I have used my camera, and I would expect the Canon 7D to behave similarly. IMO, it is silly to say that a Nikon D3100 entry level DSLR is more weather resistant than a Canon 7D. [The D3100 is more like a Canon T3/T3i entry level model, as far as weather sealing - not.]

There is a good reason why I replied to Anna in a cautionary manner above. Do not abuse your tools; don't use them in a continuous rain, much less a downpour. And one shouldn't be a fanboy, Nikon, Canon or otherwise. It only serves to diminish an otherwise helpful discussion.

Posted on Aug 11, 2012 5:07:11 PM PDT
ALY says:
Thanks EdM. What you say in terms of caution makes total sense. I don't go out shooting (on purpose) when it's raining. But when I'm traveling, it's a different story; I might only have 1 day in a particular city and if it rains on that day, I'm out of luck. A few years ago, I was on a trip to England and Scotland. Not only is there a lot of moisture in the air (which is what the camera is generally protected from), but it rained too. Here is a picture I took: (this is what the day generally looked like, and many of the pics are actually from the inside of the bus: You can't tell from the picture, but it was raining; I kept the camera in my jacket as much as I could (I pulled it over my head to protect the camera), but the lens did get some water droplets when I was focusing. Back on the bus, I wiped it dry. But that got me thinking about how I can prevent water getting into the camera. I totally see the merit of not switching lenses out in the open, but I am hoping to find some inexpensive protection for the equipment, should that situation happen again.
I guess I never *really* thought about rainy weather shooting because I don't like to be outside at all when it's raining (I don't like to get drenched), so I'm never out, if I have a choice. But it's a different story on a trip. :) Just want to cover all my bases. The other suggestions above (porches, open windows, overhangs, etc.) are great, and I have used them as well (when possible).

Posted on Aug 12, 2012 8:20:11 AM PDT
Tom Martin says:
I use this OP/TECH 8111182 Weather Guard For SLR Cameras and it works great. Unfortunately it is discontinued.
There are also these Professional Rain Cover for CANON EOS Digital SLR & NIKON D Series Camera Medium.
As well as OP/TECH USA 9001142 Rainsleeve-Flash, 14 Inch Protective Cover for Camera and Flash and these Op/Tech 18" SLR Rainsleeve for Digital & Film Cameras with Lenses up to 7" Diameter, 18" Long available.
Just search for camera rain cover.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2012 1:33:33 PM PDT
EdM says:
Anna - I have no idea if you are so inclined, BUT ... Your Scotland Rock photo has unrealized potential. A bit of photo-editing could really improve that photo. [I don't know if you originally shot jpegs or raw, but with raw there is more potential for improvement.]

If you adjusted the exposure, increased the contrast, bumped the saturation a tiny bit to bring out the green in the moss at the base of the rock, cropped some of the top off, and sharpened the photo some, that would make a significant improvement in your results.

As you are clearly interested in your photography, perhaps you'd consider learning to improve your results by photo-editing. Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, [iPhoto if you have a Mac], etc., are not too much ($$), if you'll put some time into learning some basic photo-editing. IMO, seeing what is possible with your photos might also lead you to further improve your photography. After all, life is a journey that our photos document, inform and enlighten others. Not to mention that people will like your photos better ...

On your webpage, I expect your rainy Scotland photos [e.g.] might be improved in a similar way. Don't know if this appeals or not, but... FWIW.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2012 9:35:09 PM PDT
ALY says:
Hi EdM,
Thanks for the suggestions on the pic. Do you mean something along these lines: and (this is the other side of the same rock)
I have Lightroom, and have been playing with it more in the last year or so (the England trip was almost 2 years ago). If you have additional suggestions, I'm all ears (please contact me via my website, so as not to derail this thread).
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Discussion in:  Photography forum
Participants:  6
Total posts:  13
Initial post:  Aug 9, 2012
Latest post:  Aug 12, 2012

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