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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Rain Covers re-visited
Nick Doan, Photographer, Assistant
Scottsdale | AZ | USA | Posted: 10:06 PM on 09.30.09
->> Since I'm now in the process of purchasing new camera gear, I thought I'd revisit raincovers.

I used to own the Aquatech rain covers for my 70-200 and my 400mm lenses, and I loved them I felt comfortable shooting in driving rain with them. However, I am not sure in this economy it would be prudent to invest in the Aquatechs again, for the three or four days per year I am shooting in the rain.

Do you have any rain gear in particular that you prefer? Has anybody tried the Vortex Media Storm Jackets?

Thanks for your input.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 10:15 PM on 09.30.09
->> Just had a 2 month old ss-300 fail. Called and had a replacement sent..... I noticed that the replacement was in fact used and had the strap panels cut. Called again and was told that they goofed and that a NEW cover would be sent out. So far I am under-impressed.
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Mike Carlson, Photographer
Bayonet Point | FL | USA | Posted: 10:16 PM on 09.30.09
->> I can't speak highly enough of the ThinkTank Hydrophobia. Have, unfortunately, used it far too often this football season on the 400. My only wish is that TT come up with something equally as useful for the smaller lenses...(hint).
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Andrew Nelles, Photographer
Chicago | Ill. | usa | Posted: 10:21 PM on 09.30.09
->> +1 on the ThinkTank Hydrophobia
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Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | usa | Posted: 10:25 PM on 09.30.09
->> Nick,

I have the Kata system and it has worked flawlessly for the past 6 years. I have been in monsoons with the turf floating and my gear has been totally protected, bone dry!!

This is a system that has been well worth the money and it was FAR less than Aquatech. Think tank was not "born" yet but if I were to buy new today it would be Think Tank, for sure!!

I do not own think tank rain gear but have seen it on a few sidelines and it is quaility.. just like the bags/rollers and belts systems I DO own.

Jim
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John Rieger, Photographer
Kansas City | MO | USA | Posted: 10:31 PM on 09.30.09
->> I'm curious - do the rain covers wear out & need to be "revived" like gore tex jackets over time? I noticed water inside my Aquatech covers last time I used them & I'm not sure if it was the humidity & condensation - or if water is getting through the cover?

I need to contact Aquatech & ask.
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Gary Bogdon, Photographer
Orlando | FL | USA | Posted: 10:44 PM on 09.30.09
->> If you want to go the least expensive (other than a trash bag and some tape) try these out., OpTech USA Rain Sleeve- used one a few weeks ago when I forgot to pack my expensive Aquatech.... worked like a champ., and you can't beat the price, check online . They make them in different sizes
http://optechusa.com/product/detail/?PRODUCT_ID=73
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David Manning, Photographer
Athens | GA | | Posted: 11:39 PM on 09.30.09
->> I love the TT Hydrophobia.

I just want one for shorter glass like a 70-200.
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 11:46 PM on 09.30.09
->> Last year I shot the US Nationals under the rain for Three days!!

I love the Hydrophobia, but for Shorter lenses, I use the very inexpensive and disposable Op/Tech Rain Sleeve!! They sell two for $6!!

I used them for Dust in Las Vegas this year, I shot in a dust storm for ten days!! It kept the gear relatively clean and the gear was easy to use.

FWIW, the Hydrophobia for the shorter lenses is coming!! Sometime this year.

Y
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Dan Powers, Photographer
Appleton | WI | USA | Posted: 8:22 AM on 10.01.09
->> I was also wondering if anybody out there "revive" their Aquatechs like a Gore Tex jacket or pants? If so, do you just use the liquid type and toss them into the washer?
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 8:26 AM on 10.01.09
->> Kata E-702 for me...works equally well on my 120-300 and 70-200...needs extension for anything larger. Inexpensive, simple, effective.
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Monty Rand, Photographer
Bangor | ME | USA | Posted: 8:28 AM on 10.01.09
->> I just bought some rain gear from my local shop. It's made by Kata. However, after going to their website, I don't see the rain gear listed. Chances are I'll be using it this Saturday so I can report back on any issues. The whole set-up covering up to my 400 F2.8 cost about $110 which I thought was pretty reasonable.
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Brian Cripe, Photographer, Assistant
East Lansing | MI | USA | Posted: 8:43 AM on 10.01.09
->> "I am not sure in this economy it would be prudent to invest in the Aquatechs again, for the three or four days per year I am shooting in the rain."

There are obviously other less expensive options than Aquatech, but to not invest in GOOD rain gear is potentially more expensive than buying Aquatech or other comparable rain gear. Think about the costs associated with a repair or insurance claim for water damaged gear, not to mention the potential to miss photos on an assignment. Shooting in ONE heavy rainfall, and your rain gear has paid for itself.

Personally, I prefer rain covers that have an eyepiece, like Aquatech or ThinkTank - it's that much easier to use, and worth the small increase in price.
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Rob Bye, Photographer
Winnipeg | MB | Canada | Posted: 9:58 AM on 10.01.09
->> Nick, you may want to look at this: http://fotosharp.com/camouflage_rain_covers.html

I picked up one of these covers a couple of months ago, but haven't yet used it enough to give it my full endorsement. It seems pretty good. I like the design and the quality, but I want to test it more... The camo pattern makes it easy to hide remote cameras.

It might not be what you're looking for, but the price could make it worth taking a look.
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Alan Look, Photographer
Bloomington | IL | United States | Posted: 9:59 AM on 10.01.09
->> Nick, I have the Storm Jackets. Rip-stop nylon in 3 sizes with barrel stop bungee's on each end. No tripod hole or eye piece. I put a tripod hole in mine. The ripstop will keep the hole the size you want, but I put some gaffers tape on mine just to give it a finish. Of course, if your not using a pod, you have to make sure the hole is at the bottom so it doesn't leak.

They come in 3 sizes and come with a small carrying pouch with a clip that you can use to hang them on your belt or bag. I use the medium on my 70-200, but you can get by with the small. I just like the extra room. The large fits my 600 f4, but I wish it were just a bit longer. It works better on the 300 2.8. The small works well on a flash or on small lenses.

If you take the time to put them on correctly, they are adequate protection for what I shoot in here. Fortunately, that hasn't been a gully washer for a few years. I typically get more wet than my gear.

I won't try to compare them to anything else. I've never had an aquatech and the Tenba thing I had needed a rocket scientist to figure out how to use it. The only other thing I have use is some self-made gear from the arms and legs of a pvc rain suit. That works just about as well as anything else I've used including the Storm Jacket. One suit will produce 4 pieces of protection. A little velcro to make some adjusters and some glue to fold over the cut end and your dry all night. I still use them when I get caught without the SJ's, I keep them in the truck as a just in case. They are a bit heavier.
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Max Waugh, Photographer
Bothell | WA | USA | Posted: 10:03 AM on 10.01.09
->> If you're really looking to save money and can sew (or know someone that can), you can put together something out of marine-grade waterproof fabric, mylar, and a few other materials. Obviously this is the route for the true penny-pincher, but I just returned from the Great Bear Rainforest in Canada using the covers my wife made several years ago, and they held up yet again in heavy rain. It's a viable option if you do it right.
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Matt Kartozian, Photographer
Scottsdale | AZ | USA | Posted: 11:31 AM on 10.01.09
->> For shorter lenses I like the cheap clear bags from Optech. I dont encounter rain often and when I have they work great. They are small enough that I keep a pair in every bag just in case. http://optechusa.com/product/detail/?PRODUCT_ID=73&PRODUCT_SUB_ID=
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David Manning, Photographer
Athens | GA | | Posted: 11:56 AM on 10.01.09
->> Matt, i tried those cheap Optech rain sleeves in the middle of a monsoon at the Georgia/ASU game.

And ya know what? It practically made the camera unusable. It was not practical for fast camera switching in the middle of game action and thanks to the sleeve slipping, i missed a touchdown right in front of me.

SO they may be good for dust storms or going out and shooting in the rain but they are not practical for Sports photography, IMO.
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Marc F. Henning, Photographer
Bentonville | AR | USA | Posted: 12:19 PM on 10.01.09
->> without a doubt, ThinkTank's Hydrophobia rain covers. i know a couple of photogs who switched from Aquatech to ThinkTank not because of the lower price, but because of the superior design. i use one on my 400 and love how you can keep it rolled up on your lens while covering an event and then deploy it when necessary. you can't go wrong with gear made for photojournalists, by photojournalists.

marc
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Matt Kartozian, Photographer
Scottsdale | AZ | USA | Posted: 1:47 PM on 10.01.09
->> David, as I said shooting the rain for me in pretty limited and they worked the few times I used them. If I shot in the rain regularly I would look at other options.
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Denny Medley, Photographer, Photo Editor
Kansas City | MO | USA | Posted: 3:50 PM on 10.01.09
->> Another big vote for ThinkTank's Hydrophobia. I've (unfortunately) had to use it very, very many times, and it's never failed me, nor gotten water inside the cover at all. For rain gear, it's very easy to use and maneuver your controls while keeping both hands dry. For your high $$ gear, it's really a very small investment compared to repair costs, plus the downtime.

I know they're working on a revolutionary design for smaller lenses that should be out (hopefully) by the end of the year - don't quote me on that - I do not work for TT, nor have any reliable insider information. I just keep bugging and begging them like many others to put one out!
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 5:11 PM on 10.01.09
->> The great thing about think tank unlike other gear designers is there first versions always wok well . The hydrophobia works well and I am glad I upgraded even though there price was lower then what I went from. Now when do they come out with a cover for short glass?
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 10:25 PM on 10.01.09
->> About OpTech:

"SO they may be good for dust storms or going out and shooting in the rain but they are not practical for Sports photography, IMO."

I shot the USPSA Nationals in Tulsa last year under a Hurricane!!

It all depends how you use them!! I Gaffer Tape the bag to the lens shade and I managed to get enough Great Images to make them to major Manufacturers Calendars this year!!

I have used them consistently and successfully for over one year.

Y
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David Manning, Photographer
Athens | GA | | Posted: 12:38 AM on 10.02.09
->> Yamil,

I need to be able to switch cameras in a heartbeat and not have the raincover get in the way of operating the camera.

Ive tried the OpTechs twice and while they work great at keeping the camera dry, it just doesn't work for me. Thats great that it works for you, but i don't want the raincover to be the excuse of why i just missed a 56-yard-touchdown that happened right in front of me.
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Chris Peterson, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbia Falls | MT | USA | Posted: 10:04 AM on 10.02.09
->> Got any friends that fish?

Super cheap and they work: Cut out the leg from an old pair of neoprene waders. Fit to the lens. Add some Velcro to close up the end. Plus, the neoprene is a shock absorber.
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Randy Abrams, Photographer
Bath | NY | US | Posted: 12:17 PM on 10.02.09
->> I have the ThinkTank's Hydrophobia for my longer lens (400mm) and I feel very secure with it on. I had the Eyecup (DK-19)on both my bodies so it works great. I don't like it as well when I'm in portrait orientation, but other than it it's great.
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Ed Mulholland, Photographer
Pompton Lakes | NJ | USA | Posted: 12:17 PM on 10.02.09
->> ThinkTank Hydrophobia hands down...now they just need to release them for shorter glass...
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 1:14 PM on 10.02.09
->> "I need to be able to switch cameras in a heartbeat and not have the raincover get in the way of operating the camera."

I ran with Four Bodies, all covered in OpTech Gear!!

What is so difficult about that??

Everyone is different, you couldn't use them, that is OK!!

I could!!

The fact that they didn't work for you doens't mean that they won't work for someone else!!


I would rather roll with the Hydrophobia myself, but the current one is too big for the 70-200 and the 24-70!! The Op-Techs are the best solution, at this time for MY Personal needs.
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Luke Sharrett, Student/Intern
Forest | VA | United States | Posted: 1:31 PM on 10.02.09
->> I'm a big fan of the super high-tech "trash bag and gaff tape" system.
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Scott Sewell, Photographer
Topeka | KS | USA | Posted: 10:24 PM on 10.02.09
->> Another vote for the Think Tank Hydrophobia. I've used Aquatech and it was fine, but I like the TT better, especially how it can be attached to the hood and deployed when needed, or rolled back when it stops raining.

I've also used the Kata and their smaller cover is fine for something like a 70-200, but it's not even in the same league as the TT or Aquatech covers.
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Brad Barr, Photographer
Port St. Lucie | FL | USA | Posted: 11:03 PM on 10.02.09
->> Another vote for
http://fotosharp.com/30_camouflage_camera_rain_cover.html

at 44.95 its simple quick and easy....i just ordered another for my 400 thats on the way...

pretty much the exact same thing as the storm jacket without the huge logo...and 15 bucks less
bb
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Al Diaz, Photographer
Miami | Fl | USA | Posted: 12:18 AM on 10.03.09
->> I'm not happy with my Aqua Tech's. I already returned them once. At the Virginia Tech vs University of Miami game none of my rain gear worked very well. I need to do some reviving, it's past due. I too wonder about reviving the Aqua Tech's.
I'm also going to buy the ThinkTank Hydrophobia.
www.thinktankphoto.com/affiliate use Affiliate Code: AP-269
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Jason Miczek, Photographer
Charlotte | NC | USA | Posted: 3:40 PM on 10.03.09
->> Give Think Tank some time. I inquired a few weeks ago about a 70-200mm rain shield and I got an e-mail response from them saying one is in production.

From the response:

"We are currently finalizing the introduction of a new Hydrophobia for the 70-200 2.8 lens. This new product should be available for purchase in December."
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Marshall Wolff, Photographer
Framingham | Ma. | USA | Posted: 4:11 PM on 10.03.09
->> Does anyone remember PhotoFax raincovers. I bought them (for a 300 2.8 and for a 70-200) along time ago and they still work great. And cheap. I saw them on Penncamera.com a couple of years ago, but not now. Does anyone know what happen? Did they go out of business or get bought out?

Marshall
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PJ Heller, Photographer
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 7:52 PM on 10.03.09
->> "We are currently finalizing the introduction of a new Hydrophobia for the 70-200 2.8 lens. This new product should be available for purchase in December."


A year later than originally thought (see the thread
http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=31258
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Tim Casey, Photographer
Gainesville | FL | USA | Posted: 2:47 PM on 10.05.09
->> I use the OpTech for my 70-200, Think Tank for my 300 and 400. Before I got either one, I would improvise with Saran Wrap. I got a lot of laughs and comments about it, but I noticed a lot of people copying it the next year.

When a lot of rain is expected, I still wrap the lenses with Saran Wrap and use the OpTech & TT covers.

In ANY economy, it's worth the money on good rain covers. I got lucky for a couple of years before I laid out the money. What would you rather do, spend $200 on rain gear, or $1,700-$6,700 on a new lens?
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Michael Fullana, Photographer
Miami | FL | USA | Posted: 7:08 PM on 10.05.09
->> just received a fotosharp raincover... very impressed..
excellent product especially for the price..

http://fotosharp.com/30_camouflage_camera_rain_cover.html
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Hazrin Yeob Men Shah, Photographer
Selangor | MYS | Malaysia | Posted: 8:00 PM on 10.05.09
->> I used GriffGear (http://www.griffgear.com/pages/rainshields.htm) during rainy and dusty day at Asia Pacific Rally.

It works perfect for me.
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Thread Title: Rain Covers re-visited
Thread Started By: Nick Doan
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