Tech

Product Review: Think Tank Emergency Rain Cover

4.23.2020

Product Review: Think Tank Emergency Rain Cover
The cover attaches to the end of your lens or your lens hood with a non-slip cinch strap. As long as you're not shooting in the direction of oncoming wind, your lens should stay clean!

 

The Emergency Rain Cover packs down and stows away its carry case, which has a label showing which size cover it’s for that’s handy if you have more than one.
© Betsy Finn, Betsy's Photography
The Emergency Rain Cover packs down and stows away its carry case, which has a label showing which size cover it’s for. That’s handy if you have more than one.

Photographing in bad weather: What to do when the show must go on

When the weather gets bad, sports and wildlife photographers know to protect their gear with rain covers and finish the shoot. Portrait photographers tend to pack up and reschedule—or use trash bags or other makeshift solutions to protect their gear while running for cover. But there’s a more elegant solution. 

The Think Tank Emergency Rain Cover comes with a flat storage pouch and is easily stowed with the rest of your kit. I found it simple to unfold and put on my camera. First, attach the hot shoe mount and then secure the non-slip cinch strap around the end of the lens. If you have a lens hood, attach that to your lens before putting on the cover to better protect your gear from rain and snow.

The medium size covers my 70-200mm VR lens and camera with plenty of extra length. The clear panel allows you to look through the viewfinder, though you will need to trust your camera’s autofocus.
© Betsy Finn, Betsy's Photography
The medium size covers my 70-200mm VR lens and camera with plenty of extra length. The clear panel allows you to look through the viewfinder, though you will need to trust your camera’s autofocus.


The rain cover is designed well. I appreciated the drawstring closure at the bottom where your hands or a tripod/monopod insert to hold the camera. Another nice touch: The clear panel is placed perfectly for viewing both the top and back camera displays. You won’t be able to tell whether things are in focus easily due to the flexible plastic material, but despite that my images turned out well. And I wouldn’t have been able to capture them otherwise without exposing my gear to moisture.

You can see your camera’s controls and display through the clear panel in the cover.
© Betsy Finn, Betsy's Photography
You can see your camera’s controls and display through the clear panel in the cover.

 

Thanks to Michigan weather, I was able to test the emergency rain cover during a winter storm. I was comfortable using my camera with gusts of snow whirling around, though I did position myself so the lens wasn’t faced into the wind.

I was comfortable putting my cover-wrapped camera down in the snow.
© Betsy Finn, Betsy's Photography
I was comfortable putting my cover-wrapped camera down in the snow.


Some takeaways:

  • The cover will get rain/snow on the outside.
  • You may not be able to see the camera displays clearly through the water droplets.
  • The cover uses the hot shoe to secure in place, so you can’t use hot shoe-mounted equipment with it.
  • The cover kept my camera and lens dry, even when I set it down in the snow.

I love this product. It’s compact, inexpensive, and gives you the option of continuing to shoot or finishing up a session if the weather gets iffy. The Emergency Rain Cover does just what its name suggests—protects your camera in case of unexpected precipitation.


PROS:

  • Inexpensive
  • Packs small
  • Clear window to view camera displays

CONS:

  • Cannot use hot shoe mount while cover in use
  • May need more than one size
  • Not ideal for manual focus due to clear window material

Think Tank makes a number of rain covers for cameras, including more full-featured versions. The Emergency Rain Cover comes in small ($27.80), medium ($31.80), and large ($47.80). All sizes fit gripped or standard camera bodies, so the size you need depends on which lenses you use. Think Tank suggests small for up to 70mm f/2.8 or 105mm f/4, medium for up to 200mm f/2.8, and large for up to 400mm f/2.8 or 600mm f/4.

Betsy Finn, M.Photog.Cr., is a portrait photographer in Dexter, Michigan.

Tags: lenses

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