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Make your own camera rain cover from a plastic bag and a rubber band

By Nick Mediati (@dtnick) · Published April 02, 2014 at 12:22am.

Being the slightly crazed baseball fan that I am, I made sure I attended the opening night game for the Oakland Athletics on Monday night. I normally bring my trusty Canon T3i digital SLR camera with me to games, but with a chance of rain in the forecast, I wanted to make sure my camera didn’t get damaged in a sudden downpour. So I devised a simple protective cover for my camera out of a plastic zipper bag and a rubber band.

First, go rummage around your kitchen for a plastic zipper bag. The brand or type (freezer, storage, etc…) doesn’t really matter so long as it’s large enough to fit your camera. A gallon-sized bag should work for most DSLRs.

Camera in a bag.
It’s a camera in a bag!

Next, insert your camera into the bag with your lens facing down toward the bottom of the bag, then cut a hole in the bottom of the bag that’s big enough for your lens to fit through: It can be a little larger than the lens itself.

Slide your lens through the hole in the bag, then take a rubber band and secure the bag around the lens wright where it meets your camera’s body. You’ll want to use a fairly beefy rubber band—the ones used to hold bundles of asparagus or celery together at the supermarket should work—and you’ll want to make sure that it doesn’t interfere with the focusing or zooming mechanism on the lens.

A rubber band around the lens opening can help seal it off and keep water out.
A rubber band around the lens opening can help seal it off and keep water out.

As for the zipper end, you can leave it open if you want, or you can seal it up. If you use a strap on your camera, try cutting notches into the zipper so the strap can pass through.

This trick does have its limitations and drawbacks. For one, using the optical viewfinder can be a little difficult through a plastic bag—even a transparent bag can make the viewfinder image appear hazy. Also, while this trick can help keep your camera from becoming totally saturated in the rain, it is hardly waterproof: Water may still seep in through openings around the lens or camera strap. Also, it does leave the lens somewhat vulnerable to the elements, so you may want to leave your crazy-expensive lens at home.

Still, it’s an easy, inexpensive way to help keep your camera from getting wrecked in a rainstorm.

Got any tips for keeping your gear protected from the elements? Tweet us @makermouse.

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