How to Make a Camera Raincoat

October 17, 2013  •  8 Comments

Morning Shower - MockingbirdMorning Shower - MockingbirdA morning shower is a refreshing way to start the day. {mockingbird}

Let's face it - there's nothing that can screw up a wildlife or nature photography outing more than rain.  Sometimes, you're in the field and it starts out of nowhere.  Sometimes, it may rain for days, and you just want to get out in it and photograph something.  While you may have rain gear, your camera might not.  So you stuff your camera safely back in it's bag or tuck it under your jacket or shirt to protect it from getting wet.  And it's at those moments you probably think, gosh, I wish I had a raincoat for my camera too!  Enter, the quick, cheap, camera raincoat you can make yourself and carry in your camera bag or even your pants pocket, just for these special moments:



This camera raincoat cost me $5 and 5 minutes to make.  Literally.  Of course they do sell camera rain gear out there, however, in comparing prices to how often I really would need it, I decided to do this project and make my own.  Please excuse the setting for these photos...I decided to write this up after several people had asked how to make it, and we did this photo tutorial really quick on my kitchen floor



Supplies needed:  One pair of waterproof jogging pants (any size, as long as the legs are long enough to go over your lens when fully extended).  These were purchased at the goodwill store for a mere $4.99.  A pair of scissors and duck tape.  That's it.  Really!  You may have a pair of these in the closet that you're not using anymore...if that's the case, you can save yourself the $5 at the store. :)  Make sure the pants you choose have an elastic band around the foot.  These actually have elastic AND a zipper to open the foot area up more, which makes it easier to put over the lens hood.



And of course, you may also have some little helpers, like Miss Peanut here. :) 



The first thing you need to do to begin your camera raincoat project is to extend your lens to its full length, with the lens hood attached.  You want to make sure the raincoat will be long enough to cover your longest lens.  You can make two different lengths to fit different lenses -- after all, you do have two pants legs to work with!  I cut the two I made about 3" longer than my camera measurement.



Once you have your measurement, lay the pant leg out flat and smooth it down the best you can.  Find where to cut on the pants.  You can mark it, tape it off, or eyeball it (that's what I did).  Starting at the ankle end, measure upward.



Then make your cut.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  The ends will be hidden.



After you've made the cut, turn the pants leg inside out.  



This is where we make the "hem".  Now, if you can sew or have a sewing machine, you can most certainly fold the edge over and sew your hem to make it nice and neat.  I don't sew.  I duck tape. :)  Fold the cut edge down about an inch or so (remember, you cut 3" longer than you needed, so you have room to work here) and then use a small piece of duck tape to secure it in the middle.


Then take a larger strip of tape to put over the short piece you used to hold your hem down.  Press it all down securely, flip the pants leg over and do the same thing to the other side until you have duck tape covering the whole hem.  Have I said duck tape it wonderful stuff?  Well, it is.  


Turn your pants leg...I mean camera raincoat...inside out again to reveal your finished product.



Now it's time to try it on!  Slip the elastic over the end of your lens hood.  In my case, I unzipped the end first, and zipped it back up once I got it over the hood. Like this:



Here's a side view:

And a back view, revealing the camera controls, which is loose enough to put your hand inside and operate the camera, but it will still give you protection from the rain:



And now my little helper asks, Are we done already?



I hope you find this tutorial useful and will enjoy making raincoats for your camera and various lenses!





Really cool and creative idea! Thanks, Jai =)
Great idea! Off to Vinnie's with me… to hunt for pants! Your little Peanut is just so cute! :)
Pam Holdsworth(non-registered)
Super idea! I wish I had known about his years ago before I purchased a camera raincoat. Love your helper. Sharing.
wayne burchwell(non-registered)
Great idea. I will make one too. Wish I had a helper like yours.
Barb's Burnt Tree....Barb Dalton(non-registered)
Thanks again! I can't wait to get to the thrift store and get mine made!
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I am a photographic artist living in Tennessee, and I love to spend my days in nature capturing life's most serene and peaceful moments, whether it be in landscapes, watching birds and wildlife, or simply enjoying the beauty of a simple flower. I hope you enjoy my work, and that it will bring a moment of serenity into your day. --Jai Johnson 


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