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Gear Talk => Canon General => Topic started by: gbchriste on April 02, 2014, 07:50:09 AM

Title: How To Water Proof?
Post by: gbchriste on April 02, 2014, 07:50:09 AM
I'm thinking about going on a couple of kayak excursions of the streams that cross the forested areas near where I live.  A couple of them are well known kayaking destinations.  Although I was quite an experienced canoer in my youth, I've never handled a kayak before and I know that even for experienced kayakers, an occasional capsize is not uncommon in some of the narrow passages where a run in with a submerged stump or overhanging tree limb can catch you up.  One of my main objectives of course is to do some photography along the way.

My question is how to stow my gear when it's not in use so that in the event of a capsize, it stays perfectly dry.  I would need some sort of water tight container that could hold a 5D III body, 70-200, and 24-70 lenses, but be small enough to not take up the whole boat.

Any suggestions?
Title: Re: How To Water Proof?
Post by: Don Haines on April 02, 2014, 09:27:43 AM
I'm thinking about going on a couple of kayak excursions of the streams that cross the forested areas near where I live.  A couple of them are well known kayaking destinations.  Although I was quite an experienced canoer in my youth, I've never handled a kayak before and I know that even for experienced kayakers, an occasional capsize is not uncommon in some of the narrow passages where a run in with a submerged stump or overhanging tree limb can catch you up.  One of my main objectives of course is to do some photography along the way.

My question is how to stow my gear when it's not in use so that in the event of a capsize, it stays perfectly dry.  I would need some sort of water tight container that could hold a 5D III body, 70-200, and 24-70 lenses, but be small enough to not take up the whole boat.

Any suggestions?
It is hard to beat a pelican case for water resistance, but they are particularly awkward to carry in a kayak. One big enough for your body and lens will not fit into the hatches of a sea kayak and for a river kayak... forget it!

You could try a "dry bag". You can find them at just about any outdoors store. Get a heavy duty one, they are a lot tougher than the lightweight hiking ones. put in a towel for padding and throw in a few desicant packs "just in case" and you can keep it in the cockpit with you.

http://www.cascadedesigns.com/sealline/dry-bags/ecosee-bag/product (http://www.cascadedesigns.com/sealline/dry-bags/ecosee-bag/product)

I use a 5L one for my SX-50 and a 10L one for my DSLR
Title: Re: How To Water Proof?
Post by: expatinasia on April 02, 2014, 09:58:54 AM
You could try a "dry bag". You can find them at just about any outdoors store. Get a heavy duty one, they are a lot tougher than the lightweight hiking ones. put in a towel for padding and throw in a few desicant packs "just in case" and you can keep it in the cockpit with you.

I use a 5L one for my SX-50 and a 10L one for my DSLR

I agree. Dry bags such as those are really terrific. They even have back pack varieties.
Title: Re: How To Water Proof?
Post by: Pakneh on April 02, 2014, 11:30:48 AM
I have brought my DSLRs on two Canoe trips and in both cases kept them safe with the earlier recommended dry cases. None the less I was constantly worried about my equipment's fate if the worst should happen. I have used an Outex case twice, once during a rain storm during a Fishing Tournament in October and during a snorkel adventure in Costa Rica. The air in the Outex case gave my 7D some buoyancy, so I was not worried it would sink and although there was a minor....wee bead or two of water in the case after a half hour paddling around in salt water, I like the option of being able to take photos in nearly any environment. 

I'd recommend an Outex case for the main camera body and lens for that absolutely no worries your gear will get wet option while you are paddling in a canoe feeling.

http://www.outex.com/ (http://www.outex.com/)
Title: Re: How To Water Proof?
Post by: sanj on April 02, 2014, 12:44:18 PM
Either do it right or be prepared for the worst.
Title: Re: How To Water Proof?
Post by: gbchriste on April 02, 2014, 01:53:21 PM
Either do it right or be prepared for the worst.
Do you have a recommended approach other than those already suggested that you consider to be the "right" way?
Title: Re: How To Water Proof?
Post by: Don Haines on April 02, 2014, 03:29:34 PM
Either do it right or be prepared for the worst.
Do you have a recommended approach other than those already suggested that you consider to be the "right" way?
And keep in mind, you are not after the best solution, you are after the best solution that will fit into a kayak.....

There are also deck bags that you can bungie onto the top of your kayak.... but the seal isn't as good as a dry bag. They are more convenient though...

I won't be home until late tonight, but when I do, I'll try to remember to post some photos of various solutions... expect to see them tomorrow evening.

BTW... are you talking about a sea kayak or a river kayak?

Title: Re: How To Water Proof?
Post by: jhpeterson on April 02, 2014, 03:34:45 PM
As one who has made a career photographing from water, I know from costly experience there is no way to be "totally waterproof". But, you can vastly improve your odds if you take a few precautions.
The hard plastic case (Pelican or similar) is one of the best solutions, but, as pointed out, is probably too bulky to be useful when kayaking. Same goes for what I usually use, a large cooler, in which I fit two or three bodies and a few long lenses.
I also kayak quite a bit and, when I do, I use a dry bag. While it would be smaller than a case, I'd make sure it was large enough that your equipment could be quickly taken out and stowed inside. (Not sure what is worse, missing that important shot because you didn't get to your camera fast enough or ruining it because you couldn't put it back before the big splash.)
Before you set out, I would make certain that your dry bag is truly dry. I'd run a test each time you use it, without any gear, just to make sure the all the seams hold and there are no pinhole leaks. It might have worked fine the last time, but setting the bag down on a rough surface, like rocks or gravel, even a small piece of class hiding in what you thought was a safe spot, can cause a puncture (likely one you can't see, but will still let water in).  Also, avoid quick changes of temperature, as taking the bag from warm to cold, or even cold to warm, yields condensation.
Just to be extra safe, carry a towel in the bag as well, and use it to wipe up any moisture before it has a chance to find its way to your gear.
And, one more thing, make sure your bag is well-sealed, so give it at least three turns.
Title: Re: How To Water Proof?
Post by: rowancastle on April 02, 2014, 04:30:39 PM
Hi,

I do a lot of trekking and have found the best solutions for keeping camera gear absolutely dry is to use Beta Shell cases for your lenses (see www.betashell.com (http://www.betashell.com) for info) and to use the large Wanganui case from aquapac: http://store.aquapac.net/explore-product-range/waterproof-ipad-laptop-cases/large-whanganui-fits-ipads-668.html (http://store.aquapac.net/explore-product-range/waterproof-ipad-laptop-cases/large-whanganui-fits-ipads-668.html) to store your DSLR. I have found that if I remove any tripod mount, I can even keep my 5D Mk III in the wanganui pouch with a 24-105L or 16-35L II mounted on the camera.

All of these products will survive submersion for several minutes if used in accordance with the instructions. For extra protection I put the betashell cases inside a kayak dry bag (in my case the dry bag is used as a rucksack liner). Hope that helps.
Title: Re: How To Water Proof?
Post by: nonac on April 02, 2014, 04:47:33 PM
I kayak and have a small pelican case just big enough for my camera and most used lens.  It rides between my legs in the kayak where I can get to it quickly.  I carry two other lenses in a dry bag in the hatch.  I rarely ever change lens, but I have them if needed and will stop to retrieve them and change them out.
Title: Re: How To Water Proof?
Post by: TexPhoto on April 02, 2014, 06:26:37 PM
All of the above are great ideas.  But consider just getting a waterproof camera, or a camera and enclosure.   If you are into sports/water/active lifestyle think how many more photos you will get with a good waterproof cameras.  Point and shoots, GoPro, mirrorless like the Nikon AW1.  Not asking you to give up the DSLR, just add to it. 

I have been shooting with a Canon G-12 in an enclosure but really like the Nikon AW1.
Title: Re: How To Water Proof?
Post by: gbchriste on April 02, 2014, 09:25:07 PM
All great suggestions!  Thanks.
Title: Re: How To Water Proof?
Post by: gbchriste on April 02, 2014, 09:25:50 PM
Either do it right or be prepared for the worst.
Do you have a recommended approach other than those already suggested that you consider to be the "right" way?
And keep in mind, you are not after the best solution, you are after the best solution that will fit into a kayak.....

There are also deck bags that you can bungie onto the top of your kayak.... but the seal isn't as good as a dry bag. They are more convenient though...

I won't be home until late tonight, but when I do, I'll try to remember to post some photos of various solutions... expect to see them tomorrow evening.

BTW... are you talking about a sea kayak or a river kayak?

River.
Title: Re: How To Water Proof?
Post by: gbchriste on April 02, 2014, 09:33:53 PM
As one who has made a career photographing from water, I know from costly experience there is no way to be "totally waterproof". But, you can vastly improve your odds if you take a few precautions.
The hard plastic case (Pelican or similar) is one of the best solutions, but, as pointed out, is probably too bulky to be useful when kayaking. Same goes for what I usually use, a large cooler, in which I fit two or three bodies and a few long lenses.
I also kayak quite a bit and, when I do, I use a dry bag. While it would be smaller than a case, I'd make sure it was large enough that your equipment could be quickly taken out and stowed inside. (Not sure what is worse, missing that important shot because you didn't get to your camera fast enough or ruining it because you couldn't put it back before the big splash.)
Before you set out, I would make certain that your dry bag is truly dry. I'd run a test each time you use it, without any gear, just to make sure the all the seams hold and there are no pinhole leaks. It might have worked fine the last time, but setting the bag down on a rough surface, like rocks or gravel, even a small piece of class hiding in what you thought was a safe spot, can cause a puncture (likely one you can't see, but will still let water in).  Also, avoid quick changes of temperature, as taking the bag from warm to cold, or even cold to warm, yields condensation.
Just to be extra safe, carry a towel in the bag as well, and use it to wipe up any moisture before it has a chance to find its way to your gear.
And, one more thing, make sure your bag is well-sealed, so give it at least three turns.

Many thanks!
Title: Re: How To Water Proof?
Post by: gbchriste on April 02, 2014, 09:34:14 PM
Hi,

I do a lot of trekking and have found the best solutions for keeping camera gear absolutely dry is to use Beta Shell cases for your lenses (see www.betashell.com (http://www.betashell.com) for info) and to use the large Wanganui case from aquapac: http://store.aquapac.net/explore-product-range/waterproof-ipad-laptop-cases/large-whanganui-fits-ipads-668.html (http://store.aquapac.net/explore-product-range/waterproof-ipad-laptop-cases/large-whanganui-fits-ipads-668.html) to store your DSLR. I have found that if I remove any tripod mount, I can even keep my 5D Mk III in the wanganui pouch with a 24-105L or 16-35L II mounted on the camera.

All of these products will survive submersion for several minutes if used in accordance with the instructions. For extra protection I put the betashell cases inside a kayak dry bag (in my case the dry bag is used as a rucksack liner). Hope that helps.

Thank you!
Title: Re: How To Water Proof?
Post by: gbchriste on April 02, 2014, 09:34:34 PM
I kayak and have a small pelican case just big enough for my camera and most used lens.  It rides between my legs in the kayak where I can get to it quickly.  I carry two other lenses in a dry bag in the hatch.  I rarely ever change lens, but I have them if needed and will stop to retrieve them and change them out.

Thanks!
Title: Re: How To Water Proof?
Post by: Don Haines on April 02, 2014, 11:53:32 PM
Waterproofing technology.... Whatever you choose, it is not perfect. Nothing will survive immersion for hours, what you are doing is buying time, and in some cases, impact resistance.

You can go flexible, or you can go hard shell. Hardshell gives superior impact protection, and if the seals are good, great immersion protection..... A hard shell is the easiest to get gear in and out of but they are very hard to carry on a kayak. You can get a kayak deck bag.... And they are supposed to be waterproof, but they are not.... Roll the kayak and when you come up, it comes up with LOTS of water inside.

An interesting variation of hard shells are beta cases, a round lens case that provides great protection from impact and from immersion. They are the best way to carry a lens in a kayak.

Dry bags work well.... But beware of condensation and make sure you get at least 3 or 4 rolls of the top. Avoid the ultralight hiking bags because you will wear through them VERY fast. Avoid the clear ones because they are sticky and hard to get gear in and out of. I put a small towel and a desiccant pack into the dry bags to save me from minor leaks.

You can also go for a waterproof P/S camera.... But beware.... They do not float. You can get a float to hook onto the camera strap, or you can be like me and keep it in the pocket of the PFD and have a safety cord.

In the pictures.... Left to right... 10L dry bag that holds a DSLR and a good sized lens, 5L dry bag that is good for a compact DSLR and small lens (I use it for an SX-50), a pair of Beta Shells, and a Pelican case with a waterproof P/S on top of it. Behind is a LARGE pelican case and a guard animal to keep mice and tuna away from the gear. The bottom picture is a deck bag.... Use to hold your lunch.... Do NOT put a camera in it.
Title: Re: How To Water Proof?
Post by: Stewart K on April 03, 2014, 04:22:52 AM
LOL, I love the cardboard box in the background with the “cat shape” cut out, especially the ears ;D
Title: Re: How To Water Proof?
Post by: rowancastle on April 03, 2014, 09:50:52 AM
Good to see another vote for beta shell cases - best lens cases I have ever used.