Friday, June 8, 2012

Review: Op/Tech Rainsleeve

Raindrops clinging to leaves and spiderwebs are so pretty ... but to photograph them, you have to take your camera out in the rain. I've always dealt with that by only using my (less expensive) Lumix in iffy weather, but after a year and a half with my first DSLR, the Nikon D7000, I finally got fed up with my point-and-shoot's limitations. That was my one big take-away lesson from shooting in Fiji - learn to use my 'good' camera in 'bad' weather.
Rainsleeve and Rainsleeve Flash
Op/Tech 18" SLR Rainsleeve

But I'm still a nervous nellie about breaking it, plus I've become very fond of Ginormica, and don't want her to get soaked. So I started reading up on rainsleeves. Some people swear by a plastic bag. Some people spend over a hundred dollars on a complicated and tailored rain coat for their rig. I read dozens of reviews, and finally opted for Op/Tech's bare bones rainsleeve.
It's basically a fitted plastic bag with a drawstring at one end to snug up around your lens (if you have a lens hood, you can pull the sleeve up to the edge of it.) There's a hole to fit around the camera eyepiece so you can see what you're shooting. The plastic is thicker than grocery bags and thinner than a painter's tarp; it feels reasonably sturdy. You could tear it if you tried, but not easily.
If it really pours, you can close the drawstring. Your hand does get sweaty inside the plastic, and yes, it can be awkward to maneuver inside the bag, but those are problems with even the high-end raingear, and this costs $6.50 for a two-pack.
Having this in my arsenal gave me the courage to bring the Nikon on the Ship Harbor field trip, where I happily played with raindrops.

Verdict: Cheap and serviceable.

All rainsleeve photos by Op/Tech USA


  1. A most interesting review. I'll have to see if this is available in France. I presume it is, perhaps under another name or brand.

    1. I did a quick search on Amazon France and found several: so I'm sure there are plenty of sources. Good luck!

  2. And most importantly, I love your two raindrop photos.