Camera Rain Covers, love ’em, hate ’em.

Hi everyone,

Camera Rain covers, if it rains/snows heavily and you’re walking about and like me, you want to protect your gear and you’ve not got one with you you’ll be cursing your luck or be prepared to play Russian Roulette with your gear. If you have got one then you’ll be thankful in a way but probably quickly be cursing how they work.

If you search the Wibbly, Wobbly Web for camera rain covers you’ll find loads of different types and makes so why is it that I’ve not found one yet that ticks all my boxes?, surely it can’t be that difficult can it?. Many it seems are made to fit a small elephant, some are nothing more than a flimsy plastic bag, some cost an absolute fortune (and are way too big) and they’re all ridiculously impractical for my use for one reason or another.

As a user of small Micro Four Third cameras and small, short prime and zoom lenses I wish that someone made what I need. I’ve now got three camera rain covers, I’m not counting my first attempt which has long since been re-cycled, hopefully into something/anything more useful πŸ™‚ , all of which don’t work well for me for different, though broadly overlapping reasons. My Thinktank “Emergency Rain Cover (small size) isn’t too bad size-wise, still a bit big though, but not so good to hand-hold and much better suited for a tripod, it also lacks an integral strap or any way of attaching one and the front lens opening doesn’t cinch down small and tight enough for 99% of my small lenses.

Then there’s my small-size Manfrotto-badged rain cover which is also too big, even more cumbersome and slow to fit/remove and, again, lacking in any strap mount . In their defense I will say that both of the aforementioned do at least allow one to get one’s hands in and operate the zoom and/or focus ring and incorporate a transparent panel allowing one to see the controls and viewfinder unlike my third cover, the Peak Design Shell small size.

I’ll say in fairness to them, that it’s well made and they don’t claim that it’s so much a rain cover as a means of transporting the camera in the rain, (if that’s all I want to do then I’ll keep it in my waterproof camera bag), but they do claim that the camera can be used with the shell fitted and that’s where it falls well short of working for me as it’s very difficult, nigh impossible, to turn a zoom or focus ring and the cover has to be pulled back exposing the viewfinder/screen and to operate the camera controls. It’s worth noting that all of these products are, size-wise supposed to be designed for MFT/CSC cameras, which prompts me to think, how big do they think a typical MFT camera body and small lens is?.

What would be my perfect rain cover given my choice of camera equipment and shooting preferences?. Apart from being water-proof which I hope that one should be able to take for granted. Firstly it has to be big enough to get one’s hands in and operate the camera and lens controls without being designed for a lens the size of a bazooka. Next it has to have a window to view the viewfinder/screen and controls. Then it has to either have an integrated strap, a way of attaching a strap or even better, for me, allow my Peak Design strap connectors to pass through which is, for me, the only really good bit of the Peak Design Shell. Lastly it has to be quick and easy to fit and remove, compact to transport in a small camera bag or a coat pocket and allow for access for changing camera battery and/or memory card when required. I do try to always ensure that my battery and card have the required capacity before fitting a cover as one really doesn’t want to be messing about in the rain changing these. This doesn’t sound that difficult does it?, so how come I’ve not found one yet that ticks all these boxes?. My quest continues, for now I’ll keep using my Thinktank cover as it’s the nearest to best one that I’ve got. If they could down-size it a fair bit, add a strap or facility to fit a strap and make the cinch around the front of the lens a fair bit smaller then this would work well for me I think. So much so that I e-mailed them my suggestions, I can’t be alone in desiring something like this.

In-lieu of not being able to fit a neck strap I’ve taken to using a wrist strap which I can quickly swap to from my neck strap using Peak Design connectors but I’d prefer to have it hanging from my neck and not to have to hold the camera all the time but it does at least offer a degree of protection from drops when walking around.

Kind regards,

Leigh

Additional. Credit to Thinktank they quickly acknowledged my product suggestions and the requirement for something like this and will pass them on to their design team, here’s hoping. πŸ™‚

Shoreham photo walk selection

A selection of shots from my Photo walk yesterday in Shoreham-by-Sea. All shot with my E-M5 II and M.Zuiko 12-45mm PRO. All 5-frame handheld HDR with minimal processing to correct converging verticals where desired

Kind regards

Leigh

“Deliciously Eccentric”

Hi everyone,

Houseboats on the River Adur at Shorham-by-Sea. I love stuff like that, as soon as I found out about them I had to visit. I’m very impressed with the new lens, sharp corner to corner and no abberations etc..

Have a super day, best wishes,

Leigh

“Unseaworthy” – Shoreham-By-Sea

Hi everyone,

One of a series of shots taken today in Shoreham-by-Sea with my new M.Zuiko 12-45mm lens. The day was going so well until I fell and gashed my knee open in two places 😦 . Fortunately it happened right at the end of the trip and my gear was safely stowed away πŸ™‚ . E-M5 II and M.Zuiko 12-45mm PRO.

Kind regards

Leigh

Just me rambling on. :)

Hi everyone, hope this find you all well.

Weather-sealing is very useful but, if one wants to have it in a M.Zuiko lens, it inevitably means having to buy very expensive and too heavy (for me) PRO series lenses. I guess that I’ve gotten increasingly used to the beauty of small, light, lenses and even my new M.Zuiko12-45mm f/4 PRO lens seems heavy again by comparison, although blissfully not as heavy as my 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO. Optically, it seems very good, given my limited opportunity to test it and it will probably be the lens that I take on my travels this year but I’m not really looking forward to carrying it around on foot all day despite its comparatively small size whereas, by comparison, my Lumix 14-42mm is so light, covers virtually the same range and is optically very good but not weather-sealed.

It’s a trade off for me, carry something lighter, increase my mobility, decrease my pain and ultimately increase my happiness and get more shots or something heavier that’s got weather-sealing and, arguably better image quality, which limits my mobility and get fewer shots due to increased fatigue. As the old saying goes, at least for me, it seems like, “one can’t have one’s cake and eat it”. πŸ™‚

I wish that OMD would make a range of non “PRO”-branded lenses with weather-sealing. I’m not bothered about them being fast lenses like their f/1.2 series. At the moment there’s a considerable gap between affordable, lightweight f/1.8 non weather-sealed lenses and f/1.2 heavier, expensive, weather-sealed prime lenses and the gap is there with their zooms as well. I’ve also worryingly started to drop things, I’ve dropped three lenses recently albeit indoors on carpet and, fortunately, they’ve all survived, I find that my grip just goes without warning. πŸ™

I’m more than happy with the image quality of their old “Premium” series glass, I just wish they had thought to incorporate weather-sealing in their designs. Broadly-speaking Fuji got this right!. I’d love OM Systems’ 20mm f/1.4 PRO for its weather-sealing and it’s a really interesting focal length, not interested in the f/1.4 bit, that much although useful in poor light of course, but it’s way too costly and, most importantly, too heavy.

IMHO all camera gear should be made with at least a degree of weather-sealing including lenses which should always come with a lens hood and some form of case, something that Olympus don’t provide in the price except with their “PRO” lenses and even then one doesn’t get a case. Panasonic, Sigma etc. however generally do. I guess it comes down to Olympus/OM Systems moving in one direction design/marketing-wise and I’m moving in another direction preference-wise. πŸ™‚ The latest lenses and, particularly cameras, are offering me more and more features that I don’t require or want but not those that would be of the most interest and benefit to me.

Kind regards

Leigh