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Thread: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

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    How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    Dear all

    I was wondering how you go about protecting that nice tech cam setup of yours when going to more difficult landscape locations, ie antarctica, iceland, etc. or even in tropical conditions (ie rainforest) or deserts. Is there some sort of plastic cover one can buy with cutouts for the lens front and the back with rubbers or so?

    I imaging adding a UV filter to the lens is also a clear must.

    I saw in some Alpa posts from Ryan Ni that the used some sort of plastic contraption - feedback highly appreciated.

    Also about backpacks - what in your view is the most well protected bag for trips under heavy wind, snow, rain?

    When using the XF system I wonder how to protect any protruding lens as well.

    Many thanks for your feedback all!

    Best
    Paul

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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    Actually the last time I found myself in bad conditions (high wind, ocean spray) I left my Cambo safely tucked away in the bag and used my X1D.

    But to answer your question: on their infamous "Pigs" (anti)workshops Ken Doo and Don Libby would hand out disposable shower caps (the kind you'd find in hotel room amenity kits). These can be used to cover the back and the top of the body. I imagine if using a compact tech cam one might be able to hook one end of the cap over the front of the lens shade (which I would definitely use to shield the lens). This isn't by any means waterproof but does offer some amount of protection, enough to get things done quickly if conditions aren't too terrible. If rain is coming down vertically and not coming at you sideways, an umbrella (and patient spouse to hold it, or so I'm told) can also be helpful. I think others here have used their tech cams in pretty tough environments including Iceland - would be interesting to hear their experiences.

    As for protecting the backpack from water, various manufacturers supply waterproof covers - basically big showercaps that are held snug with elastic. However if conditions are really bad I'd suggest wrapping the contents inside the pack in plastic garbage bags, which is actually not so inconvenient if you stow your gear in an f-stop ICU or equivalent.

    John
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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    The shower cap idea is a good one. I need to grab a few of those next time I travel (which will be who knows when...). I generally just improvise something if it's a bit of snow, spray or drizzle. Torrential downpours are another matter.

    As for packs, I don't worry about moisture anymore now that I discovered the Ortlieb Atrack through a previous thread.
    * The post from Pelorus that caught my attention is here: https://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium-...tml#post808740
    * And here's a post I made showing my setup in a slightly larger Atrack than the one Pelorus uses: https://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium-...tml#post810506

    In a nutshell, the thing is waterproof. Not water "resistant" -- waterproof. If it's zipped properly, you can submerge it and it will keep everything dry. I use it in all kinds of wet, boggy, muddy, snowy conditions. I just drop it on the ground, unzip and get to work.

    Rob
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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    Best bag to carry to be totally waterproof is the lowepro dry zone 200. It’s black vinyl with a 100 percent waterproof zipper. Just like the zipper on a dry suit.

    I carried one for years on my creek trips and never worried about wet crossings.

    You would use the Lowe zipper bag with a better pack as the Lowe pack that comes with the 200 is terrible.

    https://www.lowepro.com/us-en/dryzone-200-lp20080-pww/

    Zippered bag will fit in most packs like an fstop or similar.

    Paul C

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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    There's very little that a plastic garbage disposal bag, some tape, and maybe a bungee cord or two cannot protect adequately.

    G

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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    You'd be surprised how well your technical camera, lens and MFDB will perform under adverse conditions. The below image is of my first Cambo while photographing waterfalls in Oregon. It was wet---and I could only take a couple shots before the lens element became coated by the heavy mist produced by the waterfall (Lower Proxy). No issues at all. I simply dried everything afterwards. My attitude is that once conditions get "too bad" and beyond what either you physically and/or your equipment can handle---it just isn't fun anymore, and I put the camera away. The hotel shower caps provide good light protection. If your hotel has shower caps in somewhat small or flat pouches----grab them! These are ideal to keep in your backpack, weigh nothing, and don't take up space. Keeping a microfiber cloth in your bag also provides good protection by throwing it over your rig or simply using it to dry everything off.

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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    I bring lots of microfiber towels to cover the camera and lens. I donít use any UV filters, just the lens with various hoods. Two lenses do have center filters though.

    I think the biggest protection tool is workflow: the systems you build and memorize. Do you always flip the backpack lid closed so you donít forget when it is raining or snowing? How do you change lenses? Where do you set your bag?

    I will often place a small cloth right over the Copal shutter just to keep it from getting soaked. Personally, I think rain and snow are fairly easy to deal with. Salt water is a different story.

    The good news is, there is not a whole lot of electronics going on. There is in the digital back, but those are pretty robust and sealed reasonably well.

    Dave
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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Spinnler View Post
    Dear all

    I was wondering how you go about protecting that nice tech cam setup of yours when going to more difficult landscape locations, ie antarctica, iceland, etc. or even in tropical conditions (ie rainforest) or deserts. Is there some sort of plastic cover one can buy with cutouts for the lens front and the back with rubbers or so?

    I imaging adding a UV filter to the lens is also a clear must.

    I saw in some Alpa posts from Ryan Ni that the used some sort of plastic contraption - feedback highly appreciated.

    Also about backpacks - what in your view is the most well protected bag for trips under heavy wind, snow, rain?

    When using the XF system I wonder how to protect any protruding lens as well.

    Many thanks for your feedback all!

    Best
    Paul
    Hi Paul,

    Your question(s) cover many different conditions. Arctic cold, rain forests, and deserts are all very different. Here's my experiences...

    COLD: This year and winter in the high Arctic from mid-Feb to mid-Mar w/ XT and XF. There is no moisture (its all frozen) when its always below 0F and down to -40F/C, and one needs to assume the wind blowing, sometimes "blow you over" hard. Keeping batteries warm/next to body is critical, otherwise they're useless and nothing else matter after that; i.e., your camera is useless. I learned to plan out the shot before pulling any gear out of the pack to reduce exposure to the elements. I used "Ziplock Big Bags" to change out backs and lenses - facing into the wind so the bag's opening end was leeward. Amazingly, in one series of images after a back change, the "dust" on the first images disappeared in the later ones. I assume the small ice particles that got onto the sensor during the change in the bag in 30-50mph winds and snowstorm, melted from the back's heat and disappeared. ***In constant sub-zero the haptic glove choice is crucial.*** I tried 4-5 brands and settled on the Hestra biking glove (no I'm not sponsored). Its thicker and every other brand lost shape and wouldn't "haptic", and my fingers remained warm enough for the few seconds required to make the shot before stuffing them back into my mitts.

    RAIN: I shoot in Scotland every year (sadly, probably, not 2020) and in 2018 spent a couple of weeks in the Faroe's, where in both locales the weather is always "Scottish" and rains, snows, sunshines, and is windy, all in the same day. Suitable sized plastic baggies with slits cut for the lens work well enough with some rubber bands/bungies. I've yet to find a suitable designed cover for cameras and lenses that works any better and most don't provide enough room for my hands/fingers. In most cases i just keep everything covered w/ a suitable sized plastic bag until my image moment appears, then uncover what's necessary to make it, re-cover, repeat as necessary.

    DESERT: It's only about the dust when the wind blows and I've not found a remedy. Dust gets onto and into everything and requires hours spent in post cleaning up the images is my only solution. Last year I actually sought out a dust storm and shot it w/ my XF. The result has been one of my most successful images, but I'm guessing there are at least 40 dust bunnies I had to discover and remove in post.

    PACK: As a former climber/mountaineer I'm particular and I've tried everything, and for my various tech cams find the ThinkTank First Light 40 to be far and above the best. Its deeper and handles my Arca Rm and thus the smaller P1 XT, but more importantly, the dividers are really rigid and the lenses can be secured tightly. Its not s sloppy pack and carries well on the plane and on the back. I love my Lowe 450AW I've used for 3 or 4 years for other cameras b/c its lighter, but the sturdiness of the TT for tech and lenses works really well. For nearly 1 month this year my tech gear traveled nearly every day in the TT pack on a snowmobile in what was at times extreme conditions and everything returned home w/out issue.

    To conclude this long-windedness, I've found the right plastic bags or baggies can work well and I keep my gear in the pack or covered until needed.

    Hope this helps,
    Robert
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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?


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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    Quote Originally Posted by rsinclair View Post
    I tried 4-5 brands and settled on the Hestra biking glove (no I'm not sponsored). Its thicker and every other brand lost shape and wouldn't "haptic", and my fingers remained warm enough for the few seconds required to make the shot before stuffing them back into my mitts.
    I had a similar issue. Which glove from Hestra is your favourite? Is it the 'bike long SR 5' that you recommend?

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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    I have had recent and unfortunate experience with Hestra Alpine Gloves, which are designed for alpine skiing. I consider them useless in winter conditions below 25 degrees F. I cannot imagine using a Hestra biking glove in real winter conditions unless they are used as a liner under serious alpine gloves.

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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    Quote Originally Posted by hcubell View Post
    I have had recent and unfortunate experience with Hestra Alpine Gloves, which are designed for alpine skiing. I consider them useless in winter conditions below 25 degrees F. I cannot imagine using a Hestra biking glove in real winter conditions unless they are used as a liner under serious alpine gloves.
    I considered it would be understood in my post they were used as liners...

    "...my fingers remained warm enough for the few seconds required to make the shot before stuffing them back into my mitts."

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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    Quote Originally Posted by anyone View Post
    I had a similar issue. Which glove from Hestra is your favourite? Is it the 'bike long SR 5' that you recommend?
    I wish I could tell you which model, but alas they have way too many on their site and I'm not seeing them. But I don't think it's the one you mention as I don't recall a mesh material. They're stored for the summer, but if I can remember, I'll seek them out and respond.

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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    Quote Originally Posted by rdeloe View Post
    The shower cap idea is a good one. I need to grab a few of those next time I travel (which will be who knows when...). I generally just improvise something if it's a bit of snow, spray or drizzle. Torrential downpours are another matter.

    As for packs, I don't worry about moisture anymore now that I discovered the Ortlieb Atrack through a previous thread.
    * The post from Pelorus that caught my attention is here: https://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium-...tml#post808740
    * And here's a post I made showing my setup in a slightly larger Atrack than the one Pelorus uses: https://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium-...tml#post810506

    In a nutshell, the thing is waterproof. Not water "resistant" -- waterproof. If it's zipped properly, you can submerge it and it will keep everything dry. I use it in all kinds of wet, boggy, muddy, snowy conditions. I just drop it on the ground, unzip and get to work.

    Rob
    Thanks for the tip on the Ortlieb Atrack! It looks great. I had a hard time finding one since they won't ship to Canada right now, and my go to outdoor supply store says they are
    "no longer available" for some reason, but I found one in stock out west and purchased it. I am going canoeing next week and was planning on schlepping a pelican case but if the Atrack arrives it should improve my life considerably.
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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    One thing I have always done for general environmental protection is keep my camera in a stuff sack--a small bag with a draw string used in hiking/camping. It serves a few purposes. First, everything in my bag is covered when I open my bag so will protect gear from the element. Second, the bag fits the camera so when the bag is around my next or on a tripod, it can act as a dust or rain shield. I can simply slip the bag off and stick it in my pocket when I want to shoot. It makes for better protection than a lens cap while working. It does resemble a feedbag when I have my camera around my neck, but fortunately, I have never suffered from pride in being a snappy dresser.

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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    Quote Originally Posted by anyone View Post
    I had a similar issue. Which glove from Hestra is your favourite? Is it the 'bike long SR 5' that you recommend?
    Here's the link to the Hestra glove I used as a liner within the mitts (and their liner) > Yes, 3 layers + hand warmers (required by my guide).

    https://en-us.hestragloves.com/produ...5-finger-black

    I suppose technically they are not a liner and are actually a light to light-moderate weight active activity glove (cross country skiing comes to mind), but are in the bike glove section on their site. My guide used Hestra Alpine gloves within his mitts, but he didn't need the haptic or finger dexterity. We both used Hestra Army mitts.

    Gloves, XF/IQ4150 + S-K 40-80, 5-min AFA image at ~-30C

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    Thank you! And really nice picture, well worth the effort!
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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    Quote Originally Posted by rsinclair View Post
    Here's the link to the Hestra glove I used as a liner within the mitts (and their liner) > Yes, 3 layers + hand warmers (required by my guide).

    https://en-us.hestragloves.com/produ...5-finger-black

    I suppose technically they are not a liner and are actually a light to light-moderate weight active activity glove (cross country skiing comes to mind), but are in the bike glove section on their site. My guide used Hestra Alpine gloves within his mitts, but he didn't need the haptic or finger dexterity. We both used Hestra Army mitts.

    Gloves, XF/IQ4150 + S-K 40-80, 5-min AFA image at ~-30C

    Click image for larger version. 

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    When you get down below 10 degrees F and the wind is blowing, it's amazing how quickly your hands become frozen and subject to frost bite if you use lightweight gloves for even 60 seconds at a time on and off.

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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    Quote Originally Posted by med View Post
    Thanks for the tip on the Ortlieb Atrack! It looks great. I had a hard time finding one since they won't ship to Canada right now, and my go to outdoor supply store says they are
    "no longer available" for some reason, but I found one in stock out west and purchased it. I am going canoeing next week and was planning on schlepping a pelican case but if the Atrack arrives it should improve my life considerably.
    A fellow Guelphite! Enjoy your Atrack. What size did you get? And where "out west" did you get it? Shipping from Finland was quick and inexpensive; bummer if they're not shipping now.

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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    I took a Hasselblad H2 and an IQ180 to the Central Highlands in Iceland for 10 days back in 2015. On the first day of shooting in strong winds and heavy rain, both the body and the IQ180 failed. Poor to no weatherproofing. I would never again take a digital back into these kinds of conditions. I know some may feel that they have no interest in photographing in these conditions anyway, but some of my strongest images have been taken in conditions that I formerly would not have dreamed of photographing in. I hate Iceland in the sun!

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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    Quote Originally Posted by rdeloe View Post
    A fellow Guelphite! Enjoy your Atrack. What size did you get? And where "out west" did you get it? Shipping from Finland was quick and inexpensive; bummer if they're not shipping now.
    I ordered the 35L. Was tempted to do the 45L as there is not much difference in cost/weight as you go bigger and the compression straps look like they can do a good job to make a bigger pack smaller, but the 35L seems like a good size for both cameras and non-camera stuff when called for. I didn't look into any European stores mostly due to shipping time... but the Ortlieb site (that sells in the US amongst other countries) simply said they were not currently shipping to addresses outside of certain countries.

    I found it in stock at VPO, which I had never heard of but seems to be a medium-sized outdoor outfitter chain in BC. Free shipping which is hopefully fast enough to get here in time!

    Glad to see other Guelphites on here!

    Cheers

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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    Quote Originally Posted by med View Post
    I ordered the 35L. Was tempted to do the 45L as there is not much difference in cost/weight as you go bigger and the compression straps look like they can do a good job to make a bigger pack smaller, but the 35L seems like a good size for both cameras and non-camera stuff when called for. I didn't look into any European stores mostly due to shipping time... but the Ortlieb site (that sells in the US amongst other countries) simply said they were not currently shipping to addresses outside of certain countries.

    I found it in stock at VPO, which I had never heard of but seems to be a medium-sized outdoor outfitter chain in BC. Free shipping which is hopefully fast enough to get here in time!

    Glad to see other Guelphites on here!

    Cheers
    I didn't know about them either. They didn't come up in my searches when I was shopping. Shoot, it would have been nice to buy from a Canadian company. Oh well, now I know. Thanks.

    In case any other Canadians are interested, it's called "Valhalla Pure Outfitters" and this is their website: https://vpo.ca/

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    Re: How do you protect your tech cam from ghastly weather conditions?

    I recommend a microfiber towel. It works well even in the rain forest, in pouring rain!

    Not an option in wind, but then again neither is any bellows based camera.

    Actus DB & IQ3

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