The Op/Tech Rainsleeve is a simple but effective product; it completely covers your camera in plastic and there’s a draw string at the lens end. It’s lightweight, reasonably priced, and I believe it’s a must have to keep in your bag at all times.
The Sony a7rII with the Op/Tech Rainsleeve
My Sony a7rII and homemade tripod work well with the Op/Tech Rainsleeve. There’s an opening in the rain sleeve that is meant for the viewfinder; this might work on some cameras (you may have to stretch it slightly) but I couldn’t get it to fit on the Sony a7rII. I find it somewhat unnecessary for its intended purpose as I can see through the plastic extremely well. With an optical viewfinder, you might not find this to be the case. I use the hole a place to screw my tripod into, without further piecing the plastic:
When mounted onto a tripod in this way, it’s slightly more difficult to navigate to the buttons because the hole in the plastic is positioned better for the viewfinder–the rain sleeve creases over itself a bit. However, you can easily press any of the buttons through the plastic, and I cannot empathise how easy it is to see the screen through the rain sleeve. If you’re using a tripod, you’ll most likely be using the rear screen; if you are not using a tripod, you’ll find it easier to pull the plastic slightly tight and the viewfinder becomes even easier to see. The Op/Tech Rainsleeve covers your arm rather like a sock; there’s no risk of water getting into the camera (you might want to put tape over the hole if you don’t intend on using it; however, I find that with the plastic stretched over my arm, it is a non issue as the hole is away from the camera.)
Water protection is essential for any camera
The Sony a7rII isn’t known to have the sealing Pentax might use in some of their cameras, but let’s be realistic, any camera can suffer the fate of water damage. The Op/Tech Rainsleeve is designed to be used with any camera, but as I own the Sony a7rII, I have reviewed it in this way. The Op/Tech Rainsleeves come in different sizes, and some even allow you to mount a flash. The one I own does not allow you to mount a flash, but I can’t imagine you would be doing much flash photography in the rain.
I’ve tried things like putting my Sony a7rII in a plastic carrier bag and putting a rubber band on the end or whatnot. It’s surprisingly difficult to cut plastic extremely cleanly and they’re not shaped for the task. For the sake of £5.99, I strongly suggest buying this product. I was given it to review but please note I would not use or recommend it if I didn’t think it was good; I would not want to risk my camera equipment.
The material of the plastic itself is thicker than something like a carrier bag. This should go without saying, it is still possible to pierce–please use it with care. Once it’s on the camera, you should be fine, but if your camera has any jagged edges, it could catch the plastic.
The original sized Op/Tech Rainsleeve
When used with a Sony a7II, Sony a7sII or a Sony a7rII, the original sized Op/Tech Rainsleeve seems to be the best. As you can see in the photograph below, there’s plenty of room to navigate around the cameras menus:
I recommend using a lens hood at all times because it helps prevent flaring; however, I also find they help extend the length of the lens a bit and this helps on smaller lenses when you want to pull the draw string of the Op/Tech Rainsleeve tight. Rain covers like these prove you don’t have to design special housing for a camera. So long as the camera is covered, the rain is going to bounce off onto the ground.
A product like this will not protect against long term salt corrosion, as such, if you shoot near the beach frequently, I recommend insurance; moreover, I also recommend using a lens filter as it often completes the sealing on “sealed” lenses.
Note: Two Op/Tech Rainsleeves are included when you purchase them at the links provided.