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12-10-2012, 02:25 PM   #1
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DA 55-300 rain cover solution - Yay or nay?

I was shooting in some slightly drizzly rain yesterday with my DA 55-300, and when fully extended a lot of rain was hitting the extended portion of the barrel. I did my best to pat down the water with my glove to minimize the water that went into the lens as I retracted it, but I obviously could not do a super thorough job while I was on the move.

This led me to think about ways I could protect the barrel from water without resorting to awful, cheap-looking plastic bag MacGyver technology.

I think I inadvertently stumbled into a solution that same outing. A bunch of birds were taking off from a body of water, and I wanted to try and catch them in mid-flight before they went too far away. So I just whipped out my camera + 55-300 from my bag, without taking the time to reverse the lens hood properly (I always put it on reverse when I'm putting the lens back into the bag, more of a space issue really).

Lo and behold, the reversed hood was long enough to actually cover most of the barrel. With the 55-300 fully extended, it only leaves about a couple of centimeters exposed while fully shielding the rest.

So how do you keep the lens hood facing backwards while getting another proper lens hood facing forwards?

A possible solution presents itself in the form of some stacked step-up and emptied filters, with the glass elements popped out, to form a makeshift, permanent hood. This would require experimentation and research into the optimal combination of filter rings, but I've read about people doing this with other lenses, so I think it's doable.

Before I go out and buy some step up rings and cheap filters to destroy and experiment with, I wanted to get some opinions on this from some more seasoned photographers. What do you all think, yay or nay?

12-10-2012, 02:44 PM   #2
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Actually, ya only need ONE empty filter ring. Epoxy it to the bottom of an appropriately sized tin/plastic can and cut out the "donut hole" to suit the size of the ring.

You could also wrap thin plastic around the reversed hood and hold it in place with tape or rubber bands to extend the coverage of the hood.

Or wrap plastic material around the hood in such a manner that it covered the extended barrel when the hood was attached normally. A light weight tube of aluminum slit lengthwise and sprung just enough to grip the hood could be easily slipped on or off too.

12-10-2012, 03:24 PM   #3
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You could maybe come up with something using this and doughnut shaped pieces of ply or similar cut so they slide on and off the lens. It would expand and contract as you zoomed.
12-10-2012, 04:52 PM   #4
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Remember to paint the inside of any hood flat black to minimize reflections.

12-10-2012, 06:09 PM   #5
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Original Poster
pacerr, wildweasel - Thanks for the suggestions, but I was trying to shy away from the DIY stuff like glue, plastics, tin cans, etc. If I was looking for a solution like that, I would have no issue using the plastic bag in the first place. The hood and filter rings are already made specifically for cameras, so that's why I chose them.

jbinpg - That is good advice.

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