Camera bag let in water


Link Posted 01/01/2012 - 23:43
It may be a bit late now but does anyone have any advice about the aftermath of my camera bag letting in a lot of water in heavy rain today.

I have a Lowepro Slingshot 102 AW bag that is just about big enough for my main kit of K-x, 18-55, 55-300 and Tamron 10-24 lenses with binoculars and bird book in the top section.

I have used the AW cover previously a few weeks ago, but we were only about 15 minutes from the car and everything was completely dry. Today we were out for about 40 minutes in very heavy rain after a couple of lighter showers earlier.

We had to get to the in-laws after our walk so it was not until we got there and I got the bag out of the car that I found the bag was completely soaked. I think that because the AW cover does not cover the back of the bag the rain ran down my back and soaked in around the edges of the cover.

The stuff at the top of the bag was completely dry and the kit lens (in the pouch for the 55-300) was fine. The grip end of the camera was wet and the 10-24 was soaked - with water actually dripping out around the focus ring ... Oops!...

I dried off the outside of the K-x with a towel and then opened up the battery and card hatches, took tem out and left it to air in a warm (not hot) for a couple of hours. After reinstalling batteries and card, the camera seems Ok.

For the Tamron I towel dried the outside of the lens and kept working the zoom and focus until I could see no more fresh water on the barrel. The lens elements were still misted, so I remove both caps and then left it to air in a warm place. The elements have now cleared, but can I expect the lens to be OK now?

Has anyone any recommendations for a similar style bag that would provide a more waterproof home for my kit?
Pentax K-x, 18-55 DAL, 18-250 DA, 50-300 DA, Tamron 10-24 Di II, Pentax DA 40 XS, DA 21 Ltd, Sigma 170-500 APO, A 50 F2.0, Vivitar PKA 2x converter, Jessops PKA extension tubes. Samsung GX-10, 18-55.
Pentax Q, Q7 + 01 + 02 + 03 + 06
Pentax ME Super, MG, K1000, Cosina CS-1 (+auto attachment).
Various PK lenses.


Link Posted 01/01/2012 - 23:51
Can't help with an alternative bag but I waterproofed my Lowepro bag (Nova 1AW) with a spray that I got from a high street camping/outdoors shop (think of birdfeed) that is used for footwear/ jackets etc.

During a very wet trip to the Lake District my waterproof Gortex jacket had water in the pockets but my camera bag, slung over my shoulder, was dry inside.

Hope this helps



Link Posted 02/01/2012 - 09:36
Billingham bags reist the weather very effectively, without leaking seams and gaps.

Many bags have gaping openings even when closed and theses are useless, even though quite expensive and well made in other ways.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 02/01/2012 - 10:11

I have the same bag and think it excellent BUT Lowepro should pick Derbyshire for field testing don't you think?

I find the rain cover fine in the main but many years of motorcycling taught me that the dearest 'waterproof' gear has its limits!

I keep my KR in its own shoulder bag with the 18 - 55mm in the middle of the Lowepro when expecting heavy rain or dust. The pull out cover will go a long way over if fitted tightly (not easy in a hurry) but as you say not the back if you have water running down your neck from a raincoat. I've not tried plastic zip bags for the other lenses as I wouldn't want condensation inside lenses.

In a perfect world we'd all be well off and have K5's and waterproof lenses BUT they too must have their limits!

Sunny but cold today in Derbyshire so must get out in the Peaks while we can! Happy New Year all!


Link Posted 02/01/2012 - 16:18
I hope your 10-24 survives ok - I am not sure what I would have done... maybe cleared the water out as you did and then left it in the airing cupboard? I remember recovering a soaked mobile phone that way once.

In terms of a 'proper' waterproof camerabag, that is something of a holy grail I think. I use a couple of lowepro AW bags and have found them pretty good (worked fine through three days of tropical storm, although I did 'double bag' the stuff inside the bag just in case) although I imagine their water'proof' technology is the same as you had on your slingshot. I did find this website:


which looks promising... Alternatively, I carry some cheap plastic bag 'rucksack liners' which I can use if the weather gets really bad.
Mat W

My Flickr: link


Link Posted 02/01/2012 - 17:36
Trouble with most camera bags is that they are designed to make it easy to get kit in and out, leaving openings for heavy rain to get in!

I had a bridge camera in a Lowe so called All Weather that got soaked in a fairly light shower. The rain cover fixed at the top of the belt loop and left all around the belt loop unprotected. My waterproof provided the channel for the water to pour in! I think the idea of the rain cover is good but it has to cover ALL openings and straps to work. As you pointed out the usual problem is that all the straps are rarely protected because you would not then have rucksack straps available. A bin bag over the top would work but you could not carry it as the straps are underneath!

Any good waterproofing needs to be like the tiles on a roof, overlapping in the opposite direction from the water flow direction or a total seal like on the waterproof bags in that link. The total seal is probably the best for wind blown rain as you can never be sure which way the water will flow!

Personally, I usually opt for a normal rucksack with a liner like these link.


Link Posted 02/01/2012 - 17:46
wrap the lens in fine muslin or the like ...take a tupperware box,partly fill with rice,insert the lens then cover completely with more rice! works a treat! DS ,DA18/55,DA16/45.DA* 50/135,"A"1.7 50MM..."A" 70/210..M 50mm f2...Tamron 90mm macro,28/300 Tamron,200/500 Tamron 6.9....A Pentax DA*300... Sigma10/20,FA31mm 1.8 Ltd*********,FA 77mm Ltd!


Link Posted 02/01/2012 - 21:34
Hi all, thanks for the advice.

It was much better weather today, so I went for a couple of hours walk with my younger daughter this afternoon. The camera and all 3 lenses seem to be working fine, thank goodness.

I think I will look into Bernard's suggestion of additional spray proofing as I would rather stick with the same bag. I think that as several people have suggested double bagging might help with waterproofing but not with access. A separate lens pouch may help for the lenses off the camera, but a plastic bag may be the best option to protect the camera when it starts raining heavily, if it is safe to get it on without getting the camera wet outside the bag.

Pentax K-x, 18-55 DAL, 18-250 DA, 50-300 DA, Tamron 10-24 Di II, Pentax DA 40 XS, DA 21 Ltd, Sigma 170-500 APO, A 50 F2.0, Vivitar PKA 2x converter, Jessops PKA extension tubes. Samsung GX-10, 18-55.
Pentax Q, Q7 + 01 + 02 + 03 + 06
Pentax ME Super, MG, K1000, Cosina CS-1 (+auto attachment).
Various PK lenses.


Link Posted 03/01/2012 - 00:50
Its naive to think a camera bag will be waterproof. All bags will let in water through seams and under flaps etc etc

Having walked a fair bit with a rucksack and cycled a fair bit with panniers, I always put my kit in a big plastic bag inside the outer bag and roll the top over. Once the bag straps are tight it will hold the roll in place and keep the contents lovely and dry.

I don't know if Ortlieb make camera bags but I'd bet they are waterproof.

When kayaking, the camera goes in a padded shoulder bag, in a waterproof roll top bag then in a peli case!

I look at the Lowepro AW letters meaning about the same as Pentax WR.
Lurking is shirking.!


Link Posted 03/01/2012 - 08:50
The only waterproof cases are the Pelican ( and similar. They are excellent for travelling but they are not for putting on your back!

I find the Lowepro bags do offer good protection, but not in a downpour. To be honest, I don't take my cameras out in heavy rain and a waterproof compact may be the better option!
My Photobucket


Link Posted 03/01/2012 - 09:19
My bags all contain some extra plastic bags for nasty weather - a tip I was given at the outset . OK they are not particularly good bags - some Apple double thickness white plastic bags which will take the K-x and attached lens and some small ordinary plastic carrier bags for the other bits and bobs that you don't want getting wet .

And yes - it's it wet I do try not to take the K-x out - the wee OptioP70 if I really do need a camera then
let the education continue

proud owner of a couple of cameras and a few bits and bobs


Link Posted 03/01/2012 - 20:58
The only comment I can make comes from the backpacking angle rather than that of camera bags.

When backpacking the assumption is that your rucksack will not be waterproof and therefore all of your gear must go inside a waterproof liner inside the rucksack. Other than Ortlieb, as Dougf8 has noted, I think it is the only way.

This can be as simple as a bin liner or a stronger waterproof bag.

I have heard of waterproof packs but I prefer the simpler and cheaper option.



Link Posted 03/01/2012 - 22:19
We were not expecting heavy rain on Sunday - I could not have persuaded the family to go for a walk had we known!

I used to go cycle touring myself 20-25 years ago, so like you Doug I used to double bag everything. This was easier for things you did not need to access until you arrived somewhere. The Carradura bags I had were actually pretty good at keeping water out, but I was able to keep my camera in a small camera bag in the middle of the handlebar bag so that it was still reasonably accessible, but did not get at all wet in worse weather than Sunday's.

As I said above, and techno-terminator suggests I will have to make sure I carry some plastic bags with me in future.

Pentax K-x, 18-55 DAL, 18-250 DA, 50-300 DA, Tamron 10-24 Di II, Pentax DA 40 XS, DA 21 Ltd, Sigma 170-500 APO, A 50 F2.0, Vivitar PKA 2x converter, Jessops PKA extension tubes. Samsung GX-10, 18-55.
Pentax Q, Q7 + 01 + 02 + 03 + 06
Pentax ME Super, MG, K1000, Cosina CS-1 (+auto attachment).
Various PK lenses.
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