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Wilderness Photography The Wilderness Photography forum is for the discussion of photography (videography) gear, experience, and technique as it directly relates to wilderness photography. PBF members may also post self-owned photos that have been uploaded to the PB Gallery or as post attachments. Offsite links and offsite photos are prohibited. Please see ("sticky") instructional post located at top of threads.


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  #1  
Old 06-11-2010, 12:33 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Keeping Camera Dry / Protecting it from Moisture / Rain

For those who carry and use camera equipment on backpacking trips when it is wet (rainy), please share how you protect it

Undoubtedly, many carry a point-and-shoot that is small enough to take photos under a hat brim and tuck away into a pocket (in a protective bag). But there are also those who carry DSLR equipment and even larger format gear.

Thanks for sharing.

Reality
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  #2  
Old 06-12-2010, 12:45 AM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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have yet to try them out, but i've seen dslr armor kits that go all the way up to full protection for between 30-80 bucks depending on what you want.
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  #3  
Old 06-15-2010, 01:17 PM
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GGervin GGervin is offline
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Backpack: Gregory Shasta, Deuter ACT Lite 65+10
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I carry either 35mm SLR's with big lenses (300mm f2.8) or a medium format view camera on almost all trips. I've found that there are a number of companies making ultralight dry bags, and these can be ideal for storing the photo equipment in. They weigh a very few ounces, have roll-tops, and are waterproof (as opposed to water resistant). They aren't the sturdiest dry bags in the world, abrasion can put a hole in one, so I wind up treating the dry bag with the same respect my glass gets.

I should add that I don't use a conventional photo backpack unless its a day trip with the big lenses and I know the weather to be good. Instead I use individual lens cases and a neoprene cover for the SLR (plus a ditty bag that holds misc. tools and batts) and throw everything into the dry bag, then the bag goes into the top of the backpack. This approach has the advantage that raingear and clothing can surround the dry bag in the pack, thus providing extra padding in the event the pack should fall over and hit the ground. For the view camera, I have a custom made semi-rigid lightweight case which provides no dust or moisture protection. It goes into its own separate dry bag, which provides the dust and moisture sealing the case otherwise lacks. Then it's packed in the pack just as with the SLR kit.

I definitely remove the photo gear from the dry bags when I get home. If you use the dry bag in a humid environment, some air moisture is going to get trapped in there. Over the course of a trip, that's not really a concern. But storing lenses in humid air long term will surely result in fungus on the glass, so I emphasize do not store the gear in a dry bag long term.

I think this approach is far superior to any waterproof commercial photo pack I've seen. It allows use of your favorite backpack for carrying, it provides for extra padding around the gear as a second use for clothing you otherwise carry, and the pack itself protects the dry bag from abrasion until its time to use the gear. And - in the event of an unexpected dunking while crossing a stream - the gear will be 100% protected. All for $20-$30, depending on how big an ultralight dry bag you need.
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  #4  
Old 06-15-2010, 01:21 PM
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GGervin GGervin is offline
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Backpack: Gregory Shasta, Deuter ACT Lite 65+10
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I missed part of your question. If the camera comes out to be used in snow or rain, I use a rain cape which is something like a poncho for a camera/lens combination. That also works with the view camera. The rain capes weigh only a few ounces and aren't real expensive as photo equipment goes. I think I've paid $25-$40 depending on which one.
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  #5  
Old 07-19-2010, 06:04 PM
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traildadd traildadd is offline
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For my recent trip to Yosemite I knew thunderstorms were a possibility as was mist from waterfalls. My canon A720IS has the add on filter mount. I pre-made a quart ziplock bag with a hole in it. I pulled it over the filter mount tube and taped it in place. The camera was in the bag protected and only the filter gets wet. Not completely water proof, but it worked. I made one for each day so I could remove them if I didn't need it.
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  #6  
Old 07-19-2010, 10:05 PM
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GGervin GGervin is offline
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Backpack: Gregory Shasta, Deuter ACT Lite 65+10
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Very clever! And quite a bit less than $40, I'd guess. It seems to me if your camera takes filters, that you could buy a lens hood (plastic would probably be best) specifically for taping your makeshift hood onto. Then you could take the hood on and off at will simply by unscrewing the lens hood - no undoing the tape or tearing the plastic. The hood, if long enough, might also protect your lens from mist to some degree.

If you have trouble finding a suitable hood to work with, you may be able to find a small mom'n'pop camera store with some old odds'n'ends - like a suitable lens hood - for sale.

Gary
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  #7  
Old 07-19-2010, 10:11 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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traildadd,

I attached a produce bag (found on rolls in grocery produce sections) to a UV filter on one of my compact digital cameras, but I preferred it on my lens hood. The bag's not very durable, but it doesn't really have to be. And I like how it allows me to easily operate the camera from the outside of the bag, since it's so thin and conforms to the camera so well. [By the way, I did this on my Canon A720 IS. Lately, I've been using a Canon SX210IS for a compact camera -- when not using my DSLR.]

I priced some of the professional options, for accomplishing this same thing, and they were well over $100. Like you, I get the same thing done for a few bucks.

Reality

Edit: This has been more useful for use with my camcorder.
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  #8  
Old 07-19-2010, 11:14 PM
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traildadd traildadd is offline
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Yes, taping it to a lens hood would be an improvement. Then the plastic would cover all the threaded joints and the water could only enter under the tape or thru the front of the filter.

PS. I can't take credit for the idea however, I found it on the web.
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  #9  
Old 12-02-2012, 12:18 AM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Some of the other gear that I've found helpful on wilderness photo shoots in the rain and snow include the following:
  • Umbrella (I can usually hold it against my body with an arm while shooting)
  • Poncho
  • Camp towel (I keep it handy to wipe camera)
  • Rainsleeve (Though I have often used plastic bags)
Reality
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  #10  
Old 03-03-2014, 05:40 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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For my compact camera, currently a Canon PowerShot SX280 HS, I carry a produce bag and/or a small, waterproof aLOKSAK in my camera's belt pouch.

I also have a small rain cover for the pouch. It looks similar to a pack cover.

These protective items are very light, and are only deployed when my camera is stowed (but ready) and likely to get wet (e.g. when it starts to pour down rain). I simply put the camera in the waterproof bag, stow it in the pouch, then deploy the rain cover.

By the way, when it's wet or raining, a slip and fall could mean damage to a camera (even in a pouch). It's a good idea to consider a pouch that provides adequate protection* from bumps and bangs. Recently, I slipped on a wet, downed tree and landed partially on my pouch with camera in it. Fortunately it was only a side-swipe and the camera (unlike me) was fine. But, ya never know!

Reality

*GGervin mentions a DIY CCF pouch in another thread.
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