Protecting your camera and lens from the moisture
©2007-09 by Jenna Caplette, with tips from our staff at F-11 Photographic Supplies.
Neither snow, nor rain, nor sleet nor hail. . .
Some of the best opportunities for gorgeous photographs come in unexpected weather, that moment when the clouds break and the sun comes through striking fresh powder all around, while the mountain peak in front of you is still enshrouded with snow. As spring rains begin, you’ll notice that during a rainshower everything can appear veiled, as if seen from behind a translucent curtain. Photographs you shoot then will are often soft, pastel and etherial.
You want to be able to safely take your camera out in all kinds of weather. But, expose it to wet snow or rain and you risk ruining it, your lens, or any number of other integral parts of your imaging equipment. Most cameras are not water tight. Covering everything with a plastic grocery bag can work, if you can hold it in place and take photographs at the same time.
This year, OP Tech USA®, a Belgrade company, developed a better solution. The Rainsleeve™ can keep your gear from being ruined by big heavy snow, or an unexpected rain squall. It’s a simple clear plastic sleeve with draw string front. Pull the draw string tight and it holds right along the rim of your camera’s lens. If you want to reach in and change something, just release the draw string. The draw string allows you easy access to your gear and provides an effective anchor so the sleeve doesn’t blow off in any of the gusts of wind that hurry a storm across the landscape.
Anchored, the sleeve is long and narrow. It reaches back over your camera, an extended length clear, plastic bag that allows your hand to reach in to it and hold your camera.
There’s a strategically placed opening in the bag that settles over the camera’s view finder. Remove your camera’s rubber eye piece, settle the rain sleeve’s hole over the view finder, then pop the eye piece back in and it holds the Rainsleeve ™ in place. When you go to snap a photo, you look through your camera’s optics, not plastic.
Marsha Phillips. owner of F-11 Photographic Supplies in Bozeman, says, “The Rainsleeve should be in the bag of everyone shooting sports, whether it is the sideline of a May softball game, the riverbank of a rafting trip, or a fall day at Bobcat Stadium. The Rainsleeve will allow you to get some of those great mud shots without trashing your gear.”
Yellowstone enthusiasts may already know that the most beautiful springs and geysers are often the hottest, so they produce more steam. Any steam from Yellowstone geysers and hot pots can condense on your gear, making the Rainsleeve an essential for photographing in the geyser basins.
Use the Rainsleeve ™ until it gets a hole in it, then break out a new one. You won’t be tempted to try to get just a little more use from one because this little miracle camera-saver only costs $6.95. For two. It fits lenses up to 7 inches in diameter and eighteen inches long (think telephoto), and it will work when you’re using a tripod. Keep them in your camera case. Because in the life of an outdoor photographer, weather happens.