I bought the AF Nikkor 300mm f/4 IF-ED, and I use it for birding. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with Camouflage vinyl for any telephoto lens and if they found it beneficial; Is there a specific type of camo that works better? (e.g. Digital vs. Real Tree, etc.) And if so, is there any where I can buy a vinyl camo cover for this lens? If not I already found where to buy the 3M camo and will just measure out the correct sizes for the lens and make a camo cover myself.
Lenscoat.com is the place I think of when this question comes up. They don't explicitly offer one for the 300/f4 IF-ED, but they do have one for the 300/f4 AFS. That lens is 4mm longer and 1mm wider than your lens, so I would think that it could be accommodated. Give them a ring - there might be issues with the tripod foot or something.
Thanks! I like what I see- do you think the coat (fabric) is preferable to the vinyl adhesive? Do you also think it's just a better idea to get something like the raincoat (from lens coat) rather than just a cover? Or do you think that would be more of a nuisance?
Idunno. I don't use the LensCoat ones. I have ThinkTank HydroPhobias for rain and generally adverse conditions. Most of my subjects with long lenses (motorsport, baseball, equestrian) don't get fooled by camo!
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
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I have in the past used the lenscoat on some of my larger telephotos. It's a nice product, but I always took it more for keeping my lens surface from getting scuffed up, then actually benefiting my invisibility in the field.
Thanks! I have been reading other reviews of similar items and have found that many people find the camouflage to be less important on the camera and lens than on the photographer. So unless someone else convinces me otherwise I may be leaning towards avoiding such products.
This is the "Stealthy Photographer" group on flickr. Decide if you look cool or ridiculous on your own.
For myself, I bought the Lenscoat stuff when I got the 500mm and monstrous Gitzo 5 series tripod. It's cute, but it has to be some of the most cheesily constructed yet overpriced stuff I own. Honestly, those guys can't even cut a straight line on a lot of the pieces. Does it help me get closer to my subjects? Beats me. It does stop stuff from getting banged up, which isn't a bad thing. It will not protect your gear from rain, or dust, or sand in any meaningful way. You'll need a rain cover for that (Lenscoat actually makes a pretty good one).
Thanks for the links- I guess the camo never hurts. I think I am just going to make my own rainproof camera/lens cover that will work for both bad weather and good. And of course if I find this too much of a nuisance for shooting I will make a less bulky camo cover for the lens. Thanks for the help!
Birda and humans(as well as all sighted mammals) are not as keen on spotting still objects unless they reflect unnaturally, but we are geared to spotting eye in any environment. So putting camo on lenses will likely not help much except for rain and snow protection if you do not also camo your eyes. Wearing non-reflective sun glasses would be more effective in evading detection than adding camouflage. Being still also is more effective than camo. Erratic behavior or motions will perk up attention sooner than routine repetitive motions. Researchers in animal behavior and social groups find that by being just part of the background activity, going about their own tasks of writing. light housekeeping(camp cleaning) or grooming was more effective when trying to get close and not attract attention than stealth techniques. Someone/something waiting and watching generators more sense of threat than the same going about their business. So if the other aids are taken care of, it can't hurt to add another even if it is not terrible effective on its own. Stan St Petersburg Russia
I agree totally with Stan. I don't have a camo on my 300mm f4, but I do on my Sigma 50-500mm OS. I don't believe it necessarily helps in the disguise application, but I bought it principally to protect the lens. Extended to full zoom the Sigma can easily be bumped or scratched and that why I bought it. The 300mm f4 can be carried in a deep holster bag so I didn't feel I needed protection.
Perhaps the problem is more of an issue with Canon users as the lenses are white, or even the Nikon white lenses.