DIY Protective Jacket For Sigma 150-500mm Telezoom Lens

Simple protection against light knocks, abrasion and light rain

The soft casing of this Sigma lens is big and takes a lot of space in the bag. I need another form of protection from all those knockings and jostling that are inevitable while the lens is in the bag during handling. I need to take care of it even from scratches so I decided to make a protective jacket for the lens.

I folded a camping mat around the lens and did some markings. Then I laid it flat and drew the outline for the jacket and cut it. A piece of black cotton cloth was then glued and covered all the surface area and lastly I sewn Velcro® straps on three locations. Since there was empty space at the mount side of the jacket with the lens inside and to prevent the jacket from caving in, I cut out strips from the camping mat and made a circular filler for the space.

The finished jacket

Filler to plug in the cavity on the mount side

Filler in action

In retrospect if I were to do it again, I shall glue on one side with cloth of the same exact size and on the other side with cloth of bigger size and then just fold it over.

During one of my outings, I found another use for this jacket. Since the lens is not weatherproof, I found it quite adequate to use as a protection against the weather when it drizzle slightly.

Update 27 January 2012:

It can also be used as a backup lens hood. Tried and tested recently when I forgot to bring along the hood.

The Sigma 150-500mm Lens Hood

Sigma 150-500mm Lens Hood

The hood that came with the Sigma lens that I bought was not locking when attached to the lens, not even a feel of tightness. I regretted not to give it more attention and to rectify it. Eventually I lost it when it decided to go for a swim in the sea while I was on a ferry.

It was made of plastic, thin, large and elastic. When I got the replacement, I made a study of its locking mechanism. There was two length of grooves on opposite sides on the circumference at the tip of the lens with a small mount at the end of it. On the hood it was the opposite, there was two short length of ridges on the inner circumference that would slot along the grooves on the lens. Each of these ridges had a notch about 5mm from both ends (one was redundant). By design, this notch was supposed to sit over the mount on the lens after the leading edge of the ridge had scrapped over the mount and lock the hood in place. In my case, this did not happened as it was loose. I assumed that it was either due to manufacturing error/defect or the elastic nature of the thin plastic hood that caused the hood never got to lock in place as designed. Probably my old hood had a low ridge because I did not feel any resistance when attaching the hood. Or perhaps it was ok only that it needed brute force to get the ridge ride over the mount. It’s tight when new I guess.

Groove & Mount on lens

Ridge and Notch on hood

 

Update 11 October 2016

The new Sigma 150-600mm has an improved locking mechanism with better locking.

Blinking Brake Light

4th Brake Light

When I’m driving at night and if I stop at the red traffic light, I would glance at the rear view mirror to see if there is any vehicle coming. If I see one, I shall release the brake paddle and press it again just to make sure that the driver behind take notice of my stationary vehicle.

Due to my concern, I had contemplated with the idea of putting a fourth brake light, a blinking brake light to my vehicle. An accessory that was not meant for aesthetic value but for safety reason. I hesitated.

Two weeks ago I stopped at a red traffic light. A few seconds later, I heard a very quick pulsating sound that came from behind me. Through the mirror, I saw a car trying very hard not to kiss the rear end of my vehicle. Immediately I released the brake and tried to surge forward but to no avail. Just as I was about to press the pedal to accelerate and avoid the impact, I got an involuntary push from behind.

The damage

Luckily the brake had been released else the damage would be more severe. The other party driver owned up and paid me for the repair. It was settled amicably. Later a friend of a friend of mine told me that it could be reformed back by applying heat and since I had the necessary tools I decided to do the repair myself.

So now after a DIY repair, I had installed not one but two blinking brake lights. The decision was made after I witnessed the effectiveness of two blinking brake lights as compared to vehicles with only one blinking brake light. As they say in my lingo, “Kalau tak nampak pun nasib!”1 Savvy?

At least the probability of awareness is increased

Note:

1. “Kalau tak nampak pun nasib!” literally it means “If not see still, luck (not the jolly kind)! To put it in context it means, “Still if it cannot be seen then it is the driver of the vehicle behind and/or my day!”