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I bought this rain cover for my Canon 400D with a grip, a 18-200 mm lens and a Speedlite 580EX II.

rain cover

I was first considering making my own that would look like AquaTech ones but this one was cheap enough so I said what the hell...

It seem fine but the only problem I'm having is accessibility to a zoom and focusing ring on the aforementioned lens (and any other, for that matter). Luckily this lens isn't too small so the vinyl doesn't interfere too much. Do you have any ideas on how to use the zoom ring while the cover is on. It wouldn't be that much of a problem if this lens's front element didn't move when zooming but it does.

I would consider making adjustments to the cover but don't have the right solution yet.

Here are some:

  1. Perhaps a Velcro strap instead of the cord that it has now for attaching to the front of the lens?
  2. Or gluing a UV filter to the front of the cover so that it stays fixed when I use the zoom (but I think I wouldn't be able to screw the filter to the lens if it was fixed to the vinyl)?

Any other ideas?

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  • I don't have a solution, but for point 2 you would probably have to screw the lens into the UV and then attach the camera. That would limit your rain jacket to only lenses of that filter size too though. – Vian Esterhuizen Jan 10 '12 at 17:27
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    By holding the plastic against the ring to turn it, you are then restricting the plastic from moving forward with the lens. Probably not as much of an issue if the front is moving backwards. – Vian Esterhuizen Jan 10 '12 at 23:01
  • I think that you will find that accessibility, along with durability, is the reason that higher end covers exist :) – dpollitt Jan 11 '12 at 3:50
  • I don't need it to last that long. I only need it for photographing Holi festival on my trip to India and I need protection from water and dust. – user7264 Jan 11 '12 at 8:52
  • @dpollitt - I don't think that other (more expensive) covers deal with zoom lenses better. If you think they do, please tell me how they achieve good zoom control. – user7264 Jan 11 '12 at 15:50
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I'd go for a LensCoat RainCoat:

http://www.lenscoat.com/raincoat-c-34.html

It has a velcro bottom closure for tripod and access to the zoom. Slip your hand up there, and you'd be all set.

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  • It is nicer but there's still no adequate access to zoom ring. Besides, the cover is way too big for the lens I mentioned. Thanks for the idea though... – user7264 Jan 11 '12 at 8:50
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ThinkTank Photo makes a line of rain gear products. Hydrophobia looks like what you want: it specifically has openings for your hands to make camera access easy, and it's big enough to extend with a lens as it's length changes while zooming.

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UWA Marine makes a line of waterproof flexible housings for surf, poolside, kayaking, etc. (i.e., not deep-diving) for DSLRs.

Their U-BFXZ100 housing can accommodate a pro body with grip and attached flash, with a zoom lens with a maximum front-to-rear dimension (from filter ring to back of camera) of 275mm. The Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS has a maximum length (at full extension) of 172mm. This housing will accommodate your setup.

enter image description here

Note that the left hand zoom access is not a hole in the bag — it's a sort of built-in glove, so the hand is still external to the airspace of the camera.

The only thing that might be a drawback is that the image you posted shows your camera mounted on a tripod. This housing, being a flexible waterproof "bag", does accommodate tripod mounting — it's hand-held only.

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