Review: OP/TECH Rain Sleeves (Original)

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Covey22, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. Covey22

    Covey22 SC Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    915
    Feb 3, 2012
    August is always a hit or miss month up here in the NorthEast. It's either hotter than Hades or Rainy like the next Flood. I decided my years of skimping and using cut up trash bags (albeit higher quality double lined) needed to stop. Poked around on Amazon and found these:

    https://smile.amazon.com/OP-TECH-USA-9001132-Rainsleeve/dp/B000PTFDYO/

    For USD7 a pair, I thought "Why the heck not?"

    They seem to come in four sizes. You can reference the full specs here:

    Rainsleeve™

    I bought the Original, which was probably longer than what I needed to cover; a Fuji XT-10 with an off-brand L-bracket and a Fujinon 55-200 OIS. The Small would have probably fit better, but I was worried about the lens being too long when fully extended to 200mm. It sort of worked out in the end, but I had to do a bit of finagling because I had too much sleeve to work with.

    First off - they come two to a flat pack - crisply folded. Take a good long look because that's the last time you'll see it this neat.

    As per the manufacturer's page, the sleeve is a dog-legged tube of transparent poly plastic. Seems sturdy enough, it didn't rip or tear despite being pulled at all day.

    You insert the camera at the end where there is a red Op/Tech logo. The front of the lens exits where the drawstring is on the sleeve.

    There is an eyepiece opening (literally a hole in the plastic) just about where the dog leg turn starts.

    Field notes in use:

    The eyepiece portion was the biggest showstopper. XT-10 owners don't have a removable eyepiece or rubber bumper like the higher end cameras. I noticed this the night before when I tested it in the house. As a result, I used a rubber band laterally wrapping around the left side of the camera, going around the "prism" bump. This more or less kept the eyepiece opening in place. You'd normally remove the eyepiece, push the viewfinder base through the hole, replace the eyepiece bumper to hold it in place.

    The too-large diameter of the sleeve had a lot to do with this, but there was some play even when I tightly pulled the cord end around the 55-200's hood. Given it was raining, I wanted as much offset as possible from the water and the front element, so the hood stayed on no matter what. It may work better on the lens end itself where there are ridges and edges to keep it in place. The smooth hood would eventually allow the sleeve to push forward and drape itself, blocking the view.

    My hands felt pretty cramped, and I can't imagine what it would be like with the Small version - I had to adopt a classic Left hand cupped underneath lens mount bottom (palm against camera base) while right hand was manipulating shutter button and controls as expected. There were times I just left my hands in place, even when the camera was hanging by my sling strap, I wasn't sure I'd get them back into position.

    As expected, things get sweaty under a poly plastic that doesn't breathe. Condensation forms, so forget about getting a clear view of your rear LCD. In a steady rain, you probably don't want to expose any part of the camera unless you really must.

    Overall, it did work. I did lose some moments when the eyepiece opening slipped off - this was before I perfected the rubber band work-around. And the sweaty hands can't be helped as I kept the camera up for long periods (I was photographing a music festival).

    I'll have to test it again - I have a larger lens coming soon, so the camera+lens combo should be a better fit for the sleeve size. Still not sure what I'll do about the eyepiece - maybe some gaffer tape or I'll revisit the rubber band. I'll update this thread again in the future.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
    • Informative Informative x 3
  2. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    Thanks for that review, Armando. I was considering something like this, myself, so I could use my non-WR lenses, and also maybe the FZ1000, in rainy weather, but I don't think I'll be bothering, given the sweaty and condensation aspect, which would really worry me.
     
    • Like Like x 1