After mentioning the dust that you’ll encounter in my Death Valley Racetrack story last week, I had a few questions on what I use to protect my camera in the elements. I’ve gone through a few different options over the years. For starters, every time I’m in a hotel room I take the shower caps and put them in my camera bag. They come in really handy in light rain and dusty conditions, but they’re really only good if you have a smaller lens on (like my Nikon 16-35mm). Even then, it’s a tight fit. And definitely not so great for a larger 70-200mm though. The next best thing after that for me, has been a garbage bag. I always keep them with me. But the problem there is that they’re only good for covering the camera if you’re out in the elements – not using it. It’s really hard to actually operate the camera with a bag over it.

The Opteka SRC-40
So eventually, I realized I needed something better and more reliable. After doing some searching and reading reviews I settled on the Opteka SRC-40 from Amazon.com. It fits right over the camera, has pull cords to keep it closed, and a transparent area on the back so you can still see and operate your camera. It’s got two areas on the side that are angled downward for your hands to slide in without letting in water from above.

opteka1

I’ve been in light rain and extremly dusty conditions with it and it’s kept my gear safe. Now, I haven’t had it in a total downpour yet (but I’m sure I will), but so far I’m really happy with it. And the best part? It’s only $20. Seriously folks, NOTHING in photography only costs $20. It’s also extremely well made and collapses down to a fairly small size to easily fit in your camera bag. It’s a little bit of a paint to put on the first time, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not bad at all.

Here’s the link if you want to check it out on Amazon.