Introduction: Cheap DSLR Protection Against the Elements

About: Aspiring product/package designer trying to improve her band. She loves to play the drums but wishes she had better recording equipment... oh, and more cowbell.

Okay, so I'm leaving to go camping in two days, and I've been putting off my camera preparation until the very last minute. 
I will be going camping on the beach, and I do not want to get my precious camera filled with horrible sandy awfulness.

I was originally planning to just put my camera in a ziploc bag, but the pictures came out much too hazy, so I had to come up with another idea.

Please excuse the poor quality of the photos of the bag with the camera in it (haha it's hard to get pictures of your own camera).

The good thing about this design is that the bag can be changed when it starts to wear out (not that I will be using it that often but anyways).

All in all this took me around an hour from start to finish.

The general design for this came from seeing commercial versions such as: (although not specifically those brands)

The problem with these were:
a) Cost
b) Either too small or too large for my oddly sized camera (Nikon V1)

Step 1: Prototype

I came up with the idea for this at two in the morning, and decided that I wanted to make a small scale version to see if it would even work.
So I dove straight in, and this is what I came up with, and how I did it.

(Please excuse the terrible image quality)
1. I cut the very top off of a water bottle.
2. I marked and cut a lens size hole in the cap.
3. I marked and cut a disc the size of the cap out of blister packaging (from one of my mini-lens, which I will be using to test this).
4. I cut a hole in the sandwich bag.
5. I stretched the plastic bag over the threads.
6. I glued the plastic disc onto the bottle cap.
7. I sealed around the edges with more hot glue.
8. I screwed the cap onto the bottle, over the bag.
9. Side View
10. I inserted my mini-lens to check the fit.

11. Test with the cover.
12. Test without the cover.

Modifications I will make to the real version:
- Glue the plastic disc to the inside of the cap.
- Maybe find a better material to use for the disc (although has to be easy to cut, and accessible).

Step 2: Materials/Tools

Heavy Duty Large Ziploc Bags
Plastic Jar and Lid
Plastic Water Bottle
Blister Packaging
Hot Glue
Binder Clips

X-Acto Knife
Hot Glue Gun

Step 3: Cut the Jar

I used a Dole Mandarin plastic jar, because it was the right size for my lens to fit in.

I started off by using an X-Acto knife, lightly scoring it and then breaking through carefully and slowly.
I decided to switch over to using a Dremel to speed up the process.

While cutting the jar with the Dremel, some of the plastic melted back together, so I used the X-Acto knife to break off the remaining bits.

Now you can discard the rest of the jar (or keep it like I did to store all the little plastic bits that end up EVERYWHERE).

Step 4: Smooth It Out

I used a sanding attachment to remove the burrs and even out the rim.
I then used a softer polishing attachment to further smooth it out.

Step 5: Cut the Lid

I traced around my lens cap and then cut it out and sanded it in the same way as with the jar.

Step 6: Cut Out the Window

I cut this out of some blister packaging I had laying around.

I traced it from the inside rim of the jar and then cut it out with a pair of scissors.

Step 7: Gluing

I started out by gluing it on the inside, and then sealing around the edge with more glue.


Step 8: Inserting It

Cut a small hole in the bag and stretch it to fit, don't just cut it to the size you need.

Keep in mind I cut the hole here too big.

Stretch the bag over the ring and screw the cap on.
You're finished :D

Step 9: Extras

I still couldn't particularly see very well through the viewfinder, so I used the part from my prototype as a little window for the viewfinder.
This isn't entirely necessary, and also weakens the apparatus, but I figured I would take the risk.

I generally use live view on my camera, but the plastic bag covers the sensor and turns on the automatic viewfinder, and I cannot do anything about that.

When sealing the bag I also fold over the zipper part and clip it with three binder clips, and then twist the excess and tie it off with an elastic band. 

I also cut a sponge into a donut shape and put it over my lens to keep everything in place, and then secured the outside of the bag with rubber bands.

Once again please excuse the poor quality of the photos of the bag with the camera in it

Step 10: You're Finished!

Now go off and take sandy wet pictures wherever you please!


Step 11: Photo Comparison

Here is the comparison of the photos.

I Could Make That Contest

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I Could Make That Contest

Weekend Projects Contest

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Weekend Projects Contest

Great Outdoors Contest

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Great Outdoors Contest