Forums > Photography Talk > View camera in inclement weather

Photographer

MKPhoto

Posts: 5665

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

What kind of protection do you use when using view cameras (large format 4x5, 8x10 etc)  in bad weather. By bad I mean a) light rain/drizzle b) COLD. Pouring rain and wind is too much for me...

Oct 08 12 07:31 pm Link

Photographer

Stephoto Photography

Posts: 19841

Amherst, Massachusetts, US

anddd delete, cause I can't read:D

Oct 08 12 07:32 pm Link

Photographer

MKPhoto

Posts: 5665

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

SPierce Photography wrote:
I put a plastic bag over it, cut a hole in for the lens, and off I go! its worked pretty well.

How do you focus, change film holders etc. Plastic bag is big enough for you and camera?

Oct 08 12 07:34 pm Link

Photographer

Stephoto Photography

Posts: 19841

Amherst, Massachusetts, US

MKPhoto wrote:

How do you focus, change film holders etc. Bag is big enough for you and camera?

OH! Sorry. I missed the "view" camera part. Actually just noticed, was coming back in to correct, and you had already replied. Never mind big_smile

Oct 08 12 07:35 pm Link

Photographer

Kaouthia

Posts: 3152

Lancaster, England, United Kingdom

Lightstand, speedlight bracket, and one of those big shoot through brollies you bought by mistake. smile

Oct 08 12 08:13 pm Link

Photographer

MKPhoto

Posts: 5665

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Kaouthia wrote:
Lightstand, speedlight bracket, and one of those big shoot through brollies you bought by mistake. smile

smile and a 20lb sandbag...Might as well have an "assistant" to either carry it or hold the said brollie.

Oct 08 12 08:19 pm Link

Photographer

-The Dave-

Posts: 8667

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

You could also get an underwater housing for it.
http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2711/4047906456_aa06d00c80_z.jpg

Oct 08 12 08:22 pm Link

Photographer

GER Photography

Posts: 8079

Imperial, California, US

How about using one of those portable picnic roof things you see everyone using at art shows in parks?? I've seen 10' square ones for like $60.00 at KMart.
Here's a place that has them!:-)

http://www.acecanopy.com/pop-up-tent-packages.html

Oct 08 12 08:23 pm Link

Photographer

Leonard Gee Photography

Posts: 16676

Sacramento, California, US

Bellows shade, bellows hood mask and a water proof dark cloth.

The shade and mask was part of the Sinar P kit. That protects the rain from getting on the lens. I have a waterproof dark cloth that goes over the shade protecting the shutter, but allowing me to cock and set it. The cloth drapes over the film back and stays on the camera the whole time.

http://www.capturescanprint.com/_pics/p3lenshood.jpg

-The Dave- wrote:
I always just used a trash bag, oatmeal container and a few rubber bands.

MKPhoto wrote:
Please clarify a bit.

Oatmeal container as lens shade. Plastic bag over camera, but you have to cut the bag to get at the shutter/f-stop and the film holder.

Oct 08 12 08:26 pm Link

Photographer

-The Dave-

Posts: 8667

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

I always just used a trash bag, oatmeal container and a few rubber bands.

Oct 08 12 08:27 pm Link

Photographer

MKPhoto

Posts: 5665

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

-The Dave- wrote:
I always just used a trash bag, oatmeal container and a few rubber bands.

Please clarify a bit.

Oct 08 12 08:29 pm Link

Photographer

Kaouthia

Posts: 3152

Lancaster, England, United Kingdom

MKPhoto wrote:
smile and a 20lb sandbag...Might as well have an "assistant" to either carry it or hold the said brollie.

Nah, just tent pegs & bungee cords.  Whenever the weather is a concern, I'm usually on soft ground anyways.

Doesn't need to be an amazing light stand, any old cheap crap will do, it's only holding a brolly.  I use the Konig ones (they're about £11 each), £3 flash bracket from China, and a £10 43" brolly.  Tent pegs & bungee cords you can get pretty much anywhere cheap.  It pretty much all fits in the little bag the light stand came in, just goes over my shoulder.

Oct 08 12 08:35 pm Link

Photographer

MKPhoto

Posts: 5665

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Kaouthia wrote:
Nah, just tent pegs & bungee cords.  Whenever the weather is a concern, I'm usually on soft ground anyways.

Doesn't need to be an amazing light stand, any old cheap crap will do, it's only holding a brolly.  I use the Konig ones (they're about £11 each), £3 flash bracket from China, and a £10 43" brolly.  Tent pegs & bungee cords you can get pretty much anywhere cheap.  It pretty much all fits in the little bag the light stand came in, just goes over my shoulder.

Once you said that, it will be rather simple  to machine a bracket that will attach to the tripod and hold the speedlight bracket. Thanks!

Oct 08 12 08:46 pm Link

Photographer

MKPhoto

Posts: 5665

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

http://www.capturescanprint.com/_pics/p3lenshood.jpg

So the waterproof cloth will cover the whole thing, from the hood, all the way back? how do you see the settings on the shutter?

Oct 08 12 08:50 pm Link

Photographer

Kaouthia

Posts: 3152

Lancaster, England, United Kingdom

MKPhoto wrote:
Once you said that, it will be rather simple  to machine a bracket that will attach to the tripod and hold the speedlight bracket. Thanks!

Haha, glad to be of service, good luck! smile

Oct 08 12 09:12 pm Link

Photographer

Dannielle Levan

Posts: 12857

New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada

Husband with an umbrella. Although, i've never had issues with the rain here in Vancouver. More so with the cold, with my older cameras.

Oct 08 12 09:17 pm Link

Photographer

MKPhoto

Posts: 5665

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

mmcreative wrote:
Husband with an umbrella. Although, i've never had issues with the rain here in Vancouver. More so with the cold, with my older cameras.

sad ..Separated.

Problems at Vancouver cold or Winnipeg cold levels?

Oct 08 12 09:20 pm Link

Photographer

-The Dave-

Posts: 8667

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

-The Dave- wrote:
I always just used a trash bag, oatmeal container and a few rubber bands.

MKPhoto wrote:
Please clarify a bit.

Leonard Gee Photography wrote:
Oatmeal container as lens shade. Plastic bag over camera, but you have to cut the bag to get at the shutter/f-stop and the film holder.

Yup, seeing things were not a big deal as I used clear trash bags and I reached up into the bag to change settings and holders.

My biggest problems used to be seeing the ground glass with my head inside the bag as I can't see things close up, pretty much everything was a guess. Took more bad shots than good due to focus issues.

Now I live where it hardly ever rains... smile

Oct 08 12 09:34 pm Link

Photographer

Flick

Posts: 1582

London, England, United Kingdom

I have a couple of these for my studio lights in the rain and I am pretty sure they would be handy for a LF camera too

http://www.amazon.com/Sunshine-Kids-Adj … B001N75WZM

Oct 09 12 05:26 am Link

Photographer

Z_Photo

Posts: 6978

Huntsville, Alabama, US

i think it entirely too big a pain in the ass so if i am going to shoot in those conditions i use 35mm.  the one time i had the 5x7 out in a light rain i had the luxury of shooting under a rain cover (4 legs and a vinyl "roof")

Oct 09 12 05:41 am Link

Photographer

Light Writer

Posts: 18387

Oakland, California, US

Clearly there are degrees of bad weather.
In fairly mild inclement weather a couple of umbrellas, a tarp, and rain poncho work well. Dedicate one umbrella to go over the camera, another for your gear, keep your holders, meter and magnifier under your poncho.

As the weather gets worse (and in dust storms), it's often best to have a cheap backup body, which one can risk losing, and an inferior lens. (In dust storms, never change lenses in the open air, be prepared to have to deal with scratched and spotted film.)

Renting a minivan and shooting out the back/side door is good too.

In the cold, watch out for misting within the lens itself, letting the lenses get to ambient temperature is important. Fingerless gloves are vital. Read the specs on your light meter, it may have degraded performance below a critical temperature. Watch out for where you breathe, your hot breath under a dark cloth on the ground glass is a nuisance. Watch out for the ambient temperature of the holders too, moisture can accumulate within the holder if not at ambient temperature.

In snow, make sure you settle your tripod. Don't just put it in the snow, force it down and jiggle it, settling it before you put the camera on.

Drips under trees are easily forgotten, and those drips are guided by the photography gods to land in the most inconvenient spot. Always.

Oct 09 12 06:23 am Link

Photographer

PhillipM

Posts: 6670

Martin, Tennessee, US

Light Writer wrote:
Renting a minivan and shooting out the back/side door is good too.

I've shot lighting from the inside of my SUV in the back, with the rear hatch open.

Oct 09 12 06:29 am Link

Photographer

Richard Klein Photo

Posts: 175

Buffalo Grove, Illinois, US

You can always buy a large light proof changing bag to load and unload holders in.  Drape it in a large garbage bag with holes cut in it so you can insert your arms into the changing bag sleeves.  I have shot in driving rain storms with my 4 x 5 outfit and it is not fun.  I use a Calumet focusing cloth covered in garbage bags secured with bungee cords or gaffers tape to protect my head while focusing and keep the top of the camera dry.  I also use garbage bags taped to the sides of the camera and atop the bellows lens hood.  No matter what I did, I still got wet if it was windy and really had to watch out for the camera getting wet as well in spite of my best efforts.

Oct 09 12 06:45 am Link

Photographer

AgX

Posts: 1315

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US

MKPhoto wrote:

sad ..Separated.

Problems at Vancouver cold or Winnipeg cold levels?

Yeah, I was reading your OP and thinking that you might want to define cold. Cold in the 'Peg is an altogether different beast than almost any place else. I'm pretty sure the phrase "dead of winter" was first coined in Winnipeg. big_smile

Oct 09 12 07:06 am Link

Photographer

Jhono Bashian

Posts: 2432

Cleveland, Ohio, US

garbage bag and gaffer tape

Oct 09 12 07:13 am Link

Photographer

GER Photography

Posts: 8079

Imperial, California, US

AgX wrote:

Yeah, I was reading your OP and thinking that you might want to define cold. Cold in the 'Peg is an altogether different beast than almost any place else. I'm pretty sure the phrase "dead of winter" was first coined in Winnipeg. big_smile

Hehe, yeah!! at Winnipeg temps, you could have clouds inside the bellows!!! Can you say microclimate??:-)))

Oct 09 12 07:19 am Link

Photographer

MKPhoto

Posts: 5665

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Cold like, f... cold. ..Are shutters in LF cameras OK for -30 cold? will bellows crack at -30.?

Winter landscape here looks at its best when it is .... cold, infinite visibility, world as sharp as a razor. sky uniformly blue. True North.

As far as drizzle, I see.. improvise until you are satisfied with the result wink. Construction grade garbage bags and gaffer tape (is that British for electrician tape - one that peels without residue?) under umbrella being solutions of choice.

Thanks!

Oct 09 12 08:52 am Link

Photographer

Kaouthia

Posts: 3152

Lancaster, England, United Kingdom

MKPhoto wrote:
Construction grade garbage bags and gaffer tape (is that British for electrician tape - one that peels without residue?) under umbrella being solutions of choice.

Nah, electrical tape is PVC.  Gaffer tape has a sort of woven fabric type consistency (like duct tape, except it doesn't rip the planet in half when you pull it off). wink

Oct 09 12 09:06 am Link

Photographer

Harold Rose

Posts: 2925

Calhoun, Georgia, US

MKPhoto wrote:
What kind of protection do you use when using view cameras (large format 4x5, 8x10 etc)  in bad weather. By bad I mean a) light rain/drizzle b) COLD. Pouring rain and wind is too much for me...

I have an umbrella clamp.   with a goose neck,   Clamps to the tripod  and works quite well..

Oct 09 12 09:14 am Link

Photographer

Macphoto

Posts: 682

Baltimore, Maryland, US

A models changing tent works well, folds up and gives just enough room to work.

Oct 09 12 09:27 am Link

Photographer

MKPhoto

Posts: 5665

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Kaouthia wrote:
Nah, electrical tape is PVC.  Gaffer tape has a sort of woven fabric type consistency (like duct tape, except it doesn't rip the planet in half when you pull it off). wink

Yep, duct tape is like the Force, has light side, dark side and holds universe together.

I am going to test all these idea this afternoon: 34F, light snow...

Oct 09 12 09:49 am Link

Photographer

Wayne Stevenson

Posts: 124

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

"will bellows crack at -30."

Even if your equipment isn't antique or vintage, and has a good quality leather, I would be worried the adhesives would be brittle. There is no telling what was used.

Definitely the temperature to use a bag bellows, or make your own bellows and use adhesives that remain flexible in cold temperatures.

As for the lenses, if your clockwork has a good synthetic lubricant in it your shutter shouldn't cease up on you. But the likelihood of that is pretty slim unless you lubricate your own.

But anything below -30C, I use a 35mm Canon A-1 or TLR. Spring back springs stiffen, plastic darkslides and film holders get brittle. Your breath freezes up your focus screen and focusing hood quick. Not to mention it's always dark here in the winter. So focusing is a pain already.

Oct 09 12 09:58 am Link

Photographer

RSM-images

Posts: 4226

Jacksonville, Florida, US

.

Use a tent.

.

Oct 10 12 03:22 am Link