Photography Tips

How to Make My Super Easy, Ridiculously Cheap, DSLR Rain Cover

How to Make My Super Easy, Ridiculously Cheap, DSLR Rain Cover

A week or so ago I posted a photo-essay about shooting portraits in the rain in Bejucal, Cuba. I mentioned a cover I made with a plastic bag for my DSLR, which led to some inquiries from readers asking how they could make it themselves. After a lot of soul searching (I was planning on applying for a patent on my design), I decided it was better to be helpful than a millionaire.

Here goes…….

Ingredients

  1. ย Your DSLR lens and lens hood attached.
  2. A plastic bag.
    • At home, I use the small garbage bags for bathroom wastebaskets. I like them because they’re tapered at the bottom which means a lot less bulk, but any plastic bag will do. Tip: When traveling, snag your hotel room’s laundry bag. In the end, the thickness and size of the bag you choose should depend on how hard it’s raining or how windy it is. If it’s really bad weather go for something a little thicker.
  3. Large rubber band.

Assembly

  1. Slip camera into the bag so that the lens and hood are facing the bottom of the bag.
  2. Pull the bag taut around the lens and hood, just below where the hood screws on to the lens, and secure it with the rubber band.
  3. Poke a small hole in the plastic that’s covering the lens opening, slowly widening it ( you want to keep it tight) until you can just slip the edges of the hole around the outside of the lens hood.
  4. Ta da! You’re done.

I made a super quick video if any of this doesn’t make sense. Forgive my video skills, I ain’t no Spielberg. I put it together at 6am this morning which is why I’m all hands and no face. Waaaaay too early for my mug.

Street vendor in the rain in New York City

An image I took in a rainstorm where I got soaked but my camera didn’t!

Susan Portnoy The Insatiable Traveler

Me using an EXTRA – Large version of my rain cover. I was shooting elephants a few hundred yards away with a very big, long lens. Photo: Toni Suddes


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Perfect for travel: Don't spend a lot of money on a rain cover for your camera. Grab a rubber band and a plastic bag and you're half way there. [Video tutorial]

72 replies »

      • but tell me, how do you clean your lense if there still got some rain drops on it? Is there an appropiate way without leaving water stains or harming the lens?

      • Sure.. I bring along a tissue or some other absorbent cloth and lay it on the lens to soak up the moisture. I don’t rub the lens with it. Then I use a shammy or other lens cloth to clean it. I always bring around a small bottle of lens cleaner too if I think I’m going to be in a situation where it might get dirtier than normal.

  1. What a creative idea! I’ll have to try this the next time I am stuck taking photos in the rain. Also, your photos are just as inspirational as they are beautiful! It is awesome that you are able to travel to so many counties and shine a light on the local cultures and people. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It definitely works and I love that it’s dirt cheap. LOL

      I’m so happy you’ve enjoyed the photos. My goal is to do just what you said, “shine a light on the local cultures and people,” and I’m glad that’s coming through in my work.
      Thanks for your kind comments and I hope you return to the blog. If you’d like to get automatic updates, enter your email on the homepage (right hand side) after clicking on Get Updates By Email.

    • Yay! I’m so happy you like it. Thank you. I’m lucky yes, but I also make it a priority.. I’ll put money toward a ticket (or a camera) before I spend it on shoes. LOL I hope you come back. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Ahh! I love this post. I do this religiously with my DSLR as I live in Oregon, where it never stops raining, and can’t afford a water housing haha. It’s so cool to know you’re doing the same! I usually just the large storage plastic bags but a trash bag is a way better idea! Thanks!

    • Lol… I’m just too generous I guess Elen! ;). Thanks about the photo. I was pretty happy with that one even though I was drenched. Not my camera mind you, but I was a mess.

  3. Susan, that is an awesome video for newbies and those of us who have “weathered” storms and waves. Even if you have “official” covers, they are often not with you are the right time, and you can always have a rubber band in your camera bag–and find a plastic bag somewhere on some random street in the middle of nowhere. Nice work Susan! Love the video.

Would love to hear from you!