Sunday, May 8, 2011
Playing with some camera protection
Noting that I seem to be in increasingly rough conditions with my gear, e.g., rain, waterfall spray, surf spray, etc., I thought to look at some protection. A condom for the camera, if you will.
I have had the Op/Tech Rainsleeve for quite awhile, for emergencies. Of course, I never seemed to have it on hand when said emergency happened, so I either ate it or bailed. Fortunately, most of my gear is weather-resistant, salt notwithstanding.
With the winter weather as heavy as it's been this year (it's rain here, no snow), I figured I should look at a more substantial solution. Which led me to the Think Tank Hydrophobia 70-200. Very substantial. Tried the "don't need no stinkin' manual" approach at first; it's like a new father putting on a diaper for the first time. Hint: read the instructions. It's not long, and can save you some grief. I actually found everything myself, eventually, but going back and reading was a "D'oh!" moment. Still, not something you can slap on quickly, although I can see it getting quicker with practice. And slower with panic.
Anyways, diaper-installation problems aside, it works as advertised. The one thing is the strap system. They have a strap on the outside, with in internal support and storage system, so you can carry this when the shroud is in use. Practically, having a pro body + 70-200mm on a skinny strap is not going to cut it; your shoulder will die. Tripod/monopod use, absolutely great, and the supplied strap can be the "oops!" strap for monopod users.
Getting that internal support strap can be a bit of a bear at first. Pre-fit and practice. The eyepiece requires an additional purchase, based on your camera's eyepiece. In my case, it is the screw-in type, and I use an add-on cup. So I need t unscrew that, put everything together (blind, by the way), then put the cup back on, if you wish. And then, in my case, the viewfinder cover is also the release for the eyepiece, and when you want to take it off, it is tucked behind the heavy rubber weather-seal piece; takes a little digging to get to it to release properly.
Value? I would say it is a "your call." Think Tank is not cheap by any means. If you are looking for the cheap, occasional usage, consider the Op/Tech. Cheap enough to toss after a couple of uses. If you plan to do this a lot, then this may be the way to go.
 Just saw a rather geeky, but interesting possibility if rain is your only concern. Look up "Probrella."