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Monday, June 13, 2011

What to do with your lens cap

AF-S Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED

After seeing the flurry of activity on Twitter about a kickstarter project designed to hold your lens cap on your strap, I was rather surprised that so many photographers feel like they need a "solution" for their lens cap. Here's what I do:

When I pull my camera out, I take the lens cap off with my left hand and stick it in my back pocket. There it stays until I'm done shooting or want to switch lenses. Cap goes back on, and lens goes back in the bag. Most lens caps are pretty durable, so sitting on them isn't an issue. Since I've conditioned myself to always put the cap in my pocket, I never have to scramble around trying to find it. I noticed condensation on the cap from my body heat/moisture sometimes - simple solution is to put it in my pocket so that the "front" of the cap (the side that goes away from the lens) is facing my backside. That way any condensation will happen there and won't get on the lens when I cap it back up.

What do you do with your lens caps? Do you use a strap or some sort of system to keep track of them while shooting?


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  1. Same here, except I use the front pocket. Conditioning is the way to go with anything. I've never lost a cap - though I have put the camera away without it...oh the horror (sarcasm).

    I can see why some people like this little gadget. But I won't be purchasing one.

  2. Mine goes in my back left pocket. Downside is that I don't put it back on after shooting, so it wears a circle in my shorts. :-/

  3. @ Travis - uh oh, hope you had a UV filter on that lens! (sarcasm).

    @ Dan - might as well just pull the caps off all your lenses and leave them in a drawer somewhere...

  4. Front pocket but I also lose 1-2 per year. $2.32 at amazon for a replacement. I'm OK with that :)

  5. I got my start in Photojournalism. My boss at the newspaper told me if he ever saw a lens cap on any of my gear while I was shooting, he would take the lens cap in question.

    Now, when I buy any lens, straight out of the box I take off the lens cap and put it back in the box, and put a UV Filter on the lens. I haven't used a lens cap in at least three years and none of my lenses are any worse for the wear.

    In the last year, I've removed the UV Filter from my 50mm and 35mm lenses and instead left the lens hoods on full time to protect the front element. My 70-200 has the lens hood on full time as well as a really nice UV filter that doesn't degrade the image quality like the typical $20 filters tend to do...

    So far, no lens casualties despite a lack of lens caps - plus, I'm way faster when I catch a moment I want to photograph. Power. Aim. Shoot.

  6. mine stays in my bag; when I'm grabbing a new lens out of my bag, I'll take the caps off while it's still in the bag. Sometimes, if the lens I'm taking out has the same filter size as the lens I'm putting in, I'll just put the lens cap on the lens going in.

    That said, I've been trying out what TH does as of the last 2-3 months. That is, I'll just leave both caps for each lens at home. It's not as bad as I expected (and no, I don't have a proper camera bag that'll keep all the lenses separate)