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-   -   Tips in the rain (http://www.railpictures.net/forums/showthread.php?t=11603)

asis80 01-22-2010 12:08 AM

Tips in the rain
 
I'm hoping Travis contributes to this, he in my opinion does excellent in the less than ideal weather conditions category. My question is simply this, for those of you who shoot in the rain/snow, more-so rain, how do you keep your equipment dry? I've heard things such as cutting out a hole the size of the lens opening in a baggie or a grocery bag and fitting a hood somehow over the opening to keep it in place. Any other ideas? Sunny days in SW Pennsylvania are scarce, and the railroad doesn't stop when it rains. I'm all for the moody weather type shots anyways. Sun's nice, but like I said, RR doesn't stop when it rains. Thanks in advance.


Ben

bigbassloyd 01-22-2010 12:17 AM

Snow, I"ll either:

1. keep the camera on the tripod, and throw my hat on it
2. hide the camera under my jacket
3. not care

For heavy rain, I'll use a gallon zip lock, cut a hole around where the lens goes, and tape it around the lens. Works good enough for me.

Loyd L.

asis80 01-22-2010 12:22 AM

Sweet, thanks Loyd! The gallon bag seems to be the best idea. I've had the camera out in the snow and it created some moisture on the body, no real biggie though that messed with the function of it.

ben

bigbassloyd 01-22-2010 12:28 AM

I've gotten my Canon XS wet multiple times. I know it's not waterproof, but it's been fine so far.

Loyd L.

PLEzero 01-22-2010 12:32 AM

With bodies that are not water resistant I have found success with plastic grocery and zip lock bags along with some rubber-bands to keep everything in order. An umbrella is also very helpful.

Dennis A. Livesey 01-22-2010 12:35 AM

http://www.adorama.com/AQSS600.html

http://www.stormjacket.com/SJ_ORDER.html

http://www.amazon.com/Kata-E-702-Dig.../dp/B0001VB1QU

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...rToReadReviews


Found these around the net. The fancy ones look pretty good.

I have the Op-tech. It's cheap! However, I think all these covers will work best when you don't change lenses and always have the camera on a tripod.

Hanging the camera around my neck in the Op-Tech exposed the camera's rear and bottom to rain.

I was shooting CN 3254 in Moscow and it was pouring. I had the camera round my neck. It was OK I thought, some water, I was trusting the cover and the camera sealing. Guess what? I'm pressing the shutter, and nothing happens. I look at the LCD and there was the dreaded "Error 99" code. The camera refused to fire and I was done for the day.

By the next day, it dried out and has worked fine ever since.

So I like the Op-Tech. It's cheap and I can always have it in the bag, no problem in case I need it.

However, I will just use it on a tripod myself.

One good trick is a having a cloth inside your jacket (cloth diapers work great-no kidding!) to wipe the camera dry.

travsirocz 01-22-2010 03:42 PM

I have a couple gallon ziplock bags in my bag all the time. One of the bags has a razor blade in it. When needed I put the camera in the bag, attach my lens hood and then with the razor blade I cut the lens opening out. The lens hood holds everything in place I have acess to the back. I also keep a towel close by and I sheild my setup with my body if using a tripod. My XTi and 40d have had their share of wet expeirences without protection too with no issues.

ottergoose 01-22-2010 05:17 PM

I've got a Storm Jacket - http://www.stormjacket.com/ - and can vouch for it. That, combined with a lens hood has done a very good job keeping my my 40D and 70-200 dry in some pretty serious rain and wet snow. It comes with a little zip up pouch and is small enough to keep in the camera bag all the time.

I used to be a fan of the Ziploc approach, but now I feel the same way as I did about tripods... the cheap approach will do the job (and is probably fine if you're not using it too frequently), but having a more legit solution can be pretty helpful, especially if you're in a hurry and don't have the time to cut a hole in a bag.

Another reason to get away from the plastic bags is that you'll come across as more professional. If people think you're a professional photographer, or with the paper, or whatever, you'll be able to get away with all sorts of things that you wouldn't normally be able to do... not that I've ever taken advantage of that.

Walter S 01-22-2010 07:14 PM

Pfft, covers are so overrated ;). I have been on the lookout for covers, have noticed the Katas, the storm jackets do look very nice however.



http://scriptunasimages.smugmug.com/...1_dk6VR-XL.jpg

travsirocz 01-22-2010 08:31 PM

How do you rate the 7d to your last camera(s)?

Walter S 01-22-2010 08:38 PM

It is performing quite well. I am still putting it through its paces, but it has lived up to the hype. I finally got to shoot a sporting even the other night with it and the AF performed great in the terrible lighting conditions. Below are a few shots.

ISO 4k
http://scriptunasimages.smugmug.com/...48_vyyrz-L.jpg

http://scriptunasimages.smugmug.com/...53_Krk8E-L.jpg

http://scriptunasimages.smugmug.com/...30_kPAQH-L.jpg

bigbassloyd 01-22-2010 08:42 PM

It's a shame nobody captured my expression when I saw walter throw that camera into the snow!

Loyd L.

Walter S 01-22-2010 08:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigbassloyd (Post 108384)
It's a shame nobody captured my expression when I saw walter throw that camera into the snow!

Loyd L.

Loyd that was at Blackwater, nobody was around ;)

I am surprised Chase didnt cover the incident when I did it with you around. haha

Chase55671 01-22-2010 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Walter S (Post 108386)
Loyd that was at Blackwater, nobody was around ;)

I am surprised Chase didnt cover the incident when I did it with you around. haha

I was too busy attempting to climb the hillside. Attempting being the keyword here. :lol:

Chase

Dennis A. Livesey 01-22-2010 08:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Walter S (Post 108376)
Pfft, covers are so overrated ;). I have been on the lookout for covers, have noticed the Katas, the storm jackets do look very nice however.
http://scriptunasimages.smugmug.com/...1_dk6VR-XL.jpg

Do you promise to tell when "Error 99" shows up on that pretty little 7D?:lol:

Walter S 01-22-2010 08:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dennis A. Livesey (Post 108388)
Do you promise to tell when "Error 99" shows up on that pretty little 7D?:lol:

I have been lucky Dennis, ive shot with all my DSLR's in pretty much the same conditions and ERR99 has only shown up once, but it was not a weather related problem.

KevinM 01-22-2010 09:18 PM

Hi Walter,

Is that 7D weatherproof? I know that some of the higher end Nikons (D300 and above) claim to be MORE weatherproof than what I carry, although the lenses I use are the same as what a lot of D300 owners use, so not sure they have that much advantage.

I'm with Dennis. I use the Op-Tech rain covers. They are very inexpensive....I think two for six or seven bucks....and they can be used over and over as long as you're not too rough with them. I like them better than the Storm Jackets, because the back isn't wide open on them. All of them are klutzy in my opinion, but there are those days when things are just too wet to chance it. If it is not raining too hard, I will skip the cover and just zip my rain jacket over the camera until I am ready to shoot.

WRT lens hoods, I find that the tulip hoods used on the mega-zooms aren't much good in the rain. The cut-aways to prevent vignetting at the wide angle settings don't offer much protection. On those days, as long as I'm not really close to the tracks, I'll ditch my 18-200mm VR and go with a 55-200mm VR instead. It has a solid hood and offers a ton more rain protection.

WRT camera bags, that's more problematic. Most of them are water resistant, but not waterproof. They are OK in a light rain or drizzle, but useless in a downpour. I am currently shopping for a bigger camera bag to use on trips and have discovered that while many of the better Lowepro bags come with real rain covers, those covers prevent access to the bag. They have one model which does open with the rain cover on, but that model is not great on accessory storage. Ordinarily, you won't catch me deliberately railfanning in the rain. Sometimes on trips and charters however, I have no choice. (It always rains on charters....right? :p) In those cases, I'm on the train most of the time and I will use just one body and one lens (with the Op-Tech cover) most of the day.

travsirocz 01-22-2010 09:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ottergoose (Post 108368)
Another reason to get away from the plastic bags is that you'll come across as more professional. If people think you're a professional photographer, or with the paper, or whatever, you'll be able to get away with all sorts of things that you wouldn't normally be able to do... not that I've ever taken advantage of that.

Tell you the truth, I really don't see many people out in those storms.

Dennis A. Livesey 01-22-2010 09:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Walter S (Post 108389)
I have been lucky Dennis, ive shot with all my DSLR's in pretty much the same conditions and ERR99 has only shown up once, but it was not a weather related problem.

All right then Walter; you have my permission to play in the snow.


:-)

Walter S 01-22-2010 09:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KevinM (Post 108392)
Hi Walter,

Is that 7D weatherproof? I know that some of the higher end Nikons (D300 and above) claim to be MORE weatherproof than what I carry, although the lenses I use are the same as what a lot of D300 owners use, so not sure they have that much advantage.

I'm with Dennis. I use the Op-Tech rain covers. They are very inexpensive....I think two for six or seven bucks....and they can be used over and over as long as you're not too rough with them. I like them better than the Storm Jackets, because the back isn't wide open on them. All of them are klutzy in my opinion, but there are those days when things are just too wet to chance it. If it is not raining too hard, I will skip the cover and just zip my rain jacket over the camera until I am ready to shoot.

WRT lens hoods, I find that the tulip hoods used on the mega-zooms aren't much good in the rain. The cut-aways to prevent vignetting at the wide angle settings don't offer much protection. On those days, as long as I'm not really close to the tracks, I'll ditch my 18-200mm VR and go with a 55-200mm VR instead. It has a solid hood and offers a ton more rain protection.

WRT camera bags, that's more problematic. Most of them are water resistant, but not waterproof. They are OK in a light rain or drizzle, but useless in a downpour. I am currently shopping for a bigger camera bag to use on trips and have discovered that while many of the better Lowepro bags come with real rain covers, those covers prevent access to the bag. They have one model which does open with the rain cover on, but that model is not great on accessory storage. Ordinarily, you won't catch me deliberately railfanning in the rain. Sometimes on trips and charters however, I have no choice. (It always rains on charters....right? :p) In those cases, I'm on the train most of the time and I will use just one body and one lens (with the Op-Tech cover) most of the day.

I think the word is weather resistant. No DSLR can claim to be weather proof. Yes the 7D is more weather proof than most cameras and is probably around the same as the D300, but it is still not up to the Canon 1D series or Nikon D3 series standards. The L lenses I use are also weather resistant

ottergoose 01-22-2010 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by travsirocz (Post 108393)
Tell you the truth, I really don't see many people out in those storms.

It depends on where you are, obviously. I was shooting some engineering/testing stuff in downtown Minneapolis along the Hiawatha line. It was raining pretty hard on and off, and I was doing my best to get human interest shots of the various people there. As I was heading back to my car, one of them asked me which paper they were going be in. They didn't get it when I said it was a hobby :lol:

Dennis A. Livesey 01-22-2010 10:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KevinM (Post 108392)
WRT camera bags, that's more problematic. I am currently shopping for a bigger camera bag to use on trips and have discovered that while many of the better Lowepro bags come with real rain covers, those covers prevent access to the bag. They have one model which does open with the rain cover on, but that model is not great on accessory storage.

This year I switched to Think Tank bags. They have outstanding quality and the best design approach I think of any camera bag manufacturer on the planet. This is said by someone that has spent his career forever looking for the perfect bag.

http://www.thinktankphoto.com/produc...-backpack.aspx

I currently use a StreetWalker Pro as a backpack and 4 other TT bags that go on a belt. The bags all have separate rain covers for weatherproofing. Yes, it is awkward to use the covers, but let me tell you, when I got caught in a cloud burst in Owosso last summer, the covers were a godsend!

Any solution is compromise simply because working in the elements is difficult. So if you come away with just one great shot, then all the hassle, (and there will be hassle,) is worth it.

Dennis A. Livesey 01-22-2010 10:56 PM

BTW Walter, nice waterfall shot!

TheRoadForeman 01-23-2010 12:41 AM

The problem is, neither manufacturer will guarantee a body or lens against the elements! Trust me on that, if you send in equipment and they mention "corrosion", you are boned out of any warranty work!!!!!!

Jer712 01-23-2010 01:24 AM

my nikon 18-55 lens spent the better part of a week in a snowdrift near a grain elevator. Once it was recovered, it spent the ride home on the defroster in my truck, next the corn dust was blown out with an air duster can....and to my amazement, it works just as well as it ever has before.

As for rain, i tend not to go shoot in that sort of precip.

jer


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