How to make a DSLR rain cover

Written by brian richards
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How to make a DSLR rain cover
Remember not to cover the lens of your digital SLR camera. (Nature Escapes)

DLSR rain covers are often expensive, especially when purchasing rain covers for each camera body and lens. However, it is possible to make your own rain cover out of household materials that works just as well for much less money.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Large sturdy bin bag
  • Scissors
  • Lens hood

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  1. 1

    Select the largest and sturdiest bin bag you own to make your rain cover.

  2. 2

    Cut a hole at the bottom of the bag with your scissors. The hole should be approximately half the diameter of the lens you plan to use.

  3. 3

    Put your camera and lens into the bin bag, and stretch the hole you cut over the front of the lens. At this point, only the lens's outermost glass should be visible from outside the bag.

  4. 4

    Secure the bin bag over your lens by putting on your lens's hood. This will also help to protect the lens from rain. If you do not have a lens hood that fits your particular lens, a UV filter can also be used.

  5. 5

    You can operate your camera by placing the bin bag over your head and body, and looking through the eyepiece of your camera. This will also help to keep you out of the rain, but may impair your vision and mobility.

    If this is unacceptable, cut a very small second hole in the bin bag that can be stretched over your eyepiece at the rear of the camera body. Like the lens hood or UV filter, your eyecup will help hold the bag in place.

Tips and warnings

  • Rain covers are useful not just for rainy conditions, but also for dusty conditions as well. If you are shooting in a windy, sandy climate such as in the desert or at the beach, a rain cover will also keep your camera safe from particulates that can get into your camera's body and scratch components.
  • If you need to rely on the camera's digital screen, consider using a clear bin bag instead of a black one. While these tend to be less sturdy and resistant to tearing when you stretch the bag over your camera, they will also allow you to see your camera's dials and knobs without putting your head inside the bag.
  • Other types of bags -- such as ziploc storage bags, shopping bags or even plastic shower caps -- can be used in place of a bin bag. However, the elasticity of bin bags along with their larger size make them a superior choice in most cases.
  • While a homemade rain cover will stand up to rain pretty well, very hard rain or a lot of time spent shooting in the rain can lead to a breach in your rain cover. Plan to check your camera and rain cover under some type of covering or an umbrella to make sure water is not seeping in.
  • While shooting in rainy weather can bring a number of shots that could not be obtained otherwise, always be cautious when shooting in a lightning storm.

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