Weather Resistant Camera Cover

A detailed lesson on how to make a weather resistant camera cover
Eric Goodwin

More and more camera companies are making weather resistant cameras and lenses, which in my opinion, is fantastic. As a product photographer who takes photos of technical outerwear, bags, and other outdoor gear, it's important to be able to shoot in the rain, snow, dust, etc. Also living in Vancouver, BC means needing to be comfortable out in the rain, which includes photography.

But not all cameras and lenses come with weather resistance, in fact most don't. While my camera of choice (the amazing Fujifilm XT-3) is weather resistant, pretty much all of my favourite lenses (the Fujifilm 18mm F2 / 35mm F1.4 / 55-200mm F3.5-4.8) don't feature weather resistance. Other amazing Fujifilm lenses like the 18-55mm F2.8-4 / 56mm F1.2 / and 23mm F1.4 also don't feature weather resistance, and when your camera is weather resistant but the lens isn't, well, then nothing is water resistant.

So what are you to do? Make yourself a custom weatherproof camera cover! Follow the steps below to make a lightweight cover that will turn any camera/lens combo into a tough, weather resistant combo.

For this project you will need about 1/2 yard of waterproof fabric (ideally with a bit of stretch) We are using some leftover three layer waterproof breathable ripstop from a recent outerwear project. You will also need about one yard of cording (shock cord, static cord, paracord, etc.) and two cord locks (that fit the size of cord you are using) That's it!

First up measure your camera and lens combo, in this case we are using the Fujifilm XT-3 and the 35mm F1.4 - although we made sure that the lens portion was wide enough to fit over the Fujifilm 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 (details on that down below)

Tools to measure
How we measured the lens - you don't want it to fit too tight, make sure to keep it a little loose!
How we measured the camera

This is what the pattern looks like for the Fujifilm XT-3 body and lens cover - large enough to fit both the the 35mm F1.4 and the 55-200mm F3.5-4.8

You can right click on the image to save the pattern to your computer

Feel free to download, copy and modify the pattern! It should be a similar pattern for most mirrorless cameras and lenses with only small changes in dimensions.

Next up - sewing the lens sleeve

Start by folding the sleeve in half along the long side (11")

I usually use about a 3/8" seam allowance

Sew the edges together leaving a 1/2" gap just before the halfway mark

Make sure you back stitch!

Next split the seam and sew the seam allowance flat (this part is optional but it gives it a more polished look)

Split the seam allowance underneath to both sides of the seam
Sew the seam allowance down on the backside - it can be a bit tricky but take it slow and make sure you don't accidentally sew through the other side of the lens cover!
What it looks like when finished

Next up sew a little loop of fabric (or in this case webbing) about 1.5" from the back of the sleeve. This is for the excess cording (again this is optional)

We used a small portion of 1" webbing

Now slide the cording through the hole in the middle of the sleeve, fold the sleeve in half around the cord, and clip the back of the sleeve together

You can also slide on the cord lock

Now with everything clipped, sew the sleeve together as close to the cording as your presser foot will allow

You can bump the presser foot right up against the cording

Then sew the back of the sleeve together as well

Try to use clips instead of pins for this project, you don't want to poke extra holes in your weather resistant cover!

Next you can clip the cord to size and tie or sew the cord ends together

We chose to sew the cord ends together for a cleaner look

Now take this chance to make sure it fits before moving forward!

Notice the sleeve wraps over the lens hood - having your cover extend to the end of your lens hood is a great way to keep water and dust as far away from your lens as possible!

Now on to the camera body cover!

With the hole for the lens being slightly off centre make sure you don't mix up the top and bottom!

Next cut out the hole for the lens sleeve

Take your time - you can always cut more but you can't cut less!
After clipping we noticed the lens sleeve was a bit tight so we trimmed a little bit more (this has been reflected in the pattern above)

Next sew the lens sleeve into the hole in the camera cover, making sure to keep the seam in the lens sleeve at the bottom of the camera cover

Kind of like setting a tiny little arm sleeve in a jacket!
Starting to take shape!

Now this is your first exposed seam so make sure to seal the edge of the fabric so it doesn't fray. Because we are using a synthetic fabric we just used a lighter to melt the edge of the fabric to prevent it from fraying, but you could also use bias tape, serge the edge like this - or if you really want to make it waterproof you can use seam sealing tape

Be careful using a lighter to melt the edge, you don't want to light your new camera cover on fire!

Now you want to fold the corners in, clip and sew them along the lines we made earlier - then trim and seal the edges

Make sure the edges of the fabric line up and the fold is right in the corner of the marks in your pattern
Trimmed and sealed with a lighter

Next in the centre bottom of the camera cover sew a little wedge leaving a gap just like the lens sleeve - then cut a small hole and seal the edge with a quick flick of a lighter

You can also seal the edge of the fabric with a lighter at this point as well

Now feed the cording through the hole and then wrap the fabric around the cording - clipping it together all the way around the opening of the camera cover

You can use shock cord or simple static cord for this - we chose a regular static cord
Making a sleeve for the drawcord

Now sew the cord sleeve closed all the way around the camera cover - and you're finished!

The last step!

There you have it, a simple, effective weather and water resistant camera cover! Is it as elegant as WR lenses? No definitely not, but now we can use lenses that don't offer WR in pouring rain and not have to worry! (well at least not worry as much)

As I mentioned earlier the camera body we use (Fujifilm XT-3) is weather resistant so we didn't put any protection over the back of the camera. If we were making this for a camera body that wasn't weather resistant a simple clear vinyl panel sewn to the top of the back would be very effective keeping water off the camera - while still letting you see the LCD screen.

Another thing to note is that I find it very easy to control the camera functions through the camera cover. The aperture ring, shutter speed, ISO dials, and shutter button are all easily located through the camera cover and don't require you to take the cover off to make changes to your settings. You can also change lenses without having to take off the cover, just loosen the cord at the front of the lens and pull the lens straight out the front.

Finally we won't dive into how to make the 55-200mm extension sleeve because that was made a few weeks ago and not documented, but it is quite simple and made just like the lens sleeve above (except it doesn't need any cording or cord adjustment)

Well that's it for this side project, we hope you enjoyed it!


Now rain is no match for your kit - but make sure to use a clear filter on you're lens for extra protection!
Clear vinyl could seal the back if you were using a non WR camera body
The lens everyone wants - The Fujifilm 35mm F1.4 WR (well DIY WR)
Tuck the cord under the webbing tab for a sleek, low profile look
The aperture, buttons, dials, and shutter are still easily located and adjustable through the fabric of the camera cover
The Fujifilm 55-200mm's large lens hood keeps water far away from the front element - the hood is so long that even when zoomed all the way to 200mm the cover is still over the lens hood
The Fujifilm 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 DIY WR