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11-29-2017, 11:00 PM   #1
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Lens Swapping Without Caps?

Ok... so I'm using primes, I'm practicing lens swapping and the thing that slows the process down the most is the front and rear caps. Even with Optecs dual lens cap, the process is significantly slower.
There are a few videos on youtube that show people doing fast lens swapping, but I feel cheated as they are either in the kitchen picking up and putting lenses back down on the kitchen bench (without fitting caps) or one is actually in the field and doing a swap but then placing the lens in her bag without the rear cap on. This fact is touched upon and the justification is that it's fine if you know where the lens is, that nothing can happen to it and not bump another item etc... There's no doubt about it, avoiding any kind of capping action speeds things up significantly.

I have my first wedding shoot in a week or so, I shall be lens swapping a fair bit I imagine. I can't help feel the fluidity of the process as well as speed and success of the job (ie in getting those captures) would be significantly improved if I also adopted this 'non cap' attitude.

My set up is...;

- COSYSPEED Camslinger 160 (Pentax KP lives in here with one lens attached, such as DA15mm)
- Rock Climbing Chalk Pouches attached to this Cosy belt.

The chalk belts are where the other lenses live. Now it might be hard to see from the pictures but they have a draw string and further into the pouch the lining changes to being the softest felt material possible. I bought these as lens pouches as they seemed to be the best value pouch I could find, a similar sized pouch from a different retailer are 2-3x that price and I don't like zip exits, I fear the metal zip could damage the glass.

Now of course if its wet then all of this is a different story altogether, but if the weather is dry, I'm entertaining the idea of not bothering to cap the front or rear of the lenses when swapping. The only thing in the pouches will be the lens, and it is super soft inside. I have a rocket blower attached to a strap, a couple of quick bursts on each side before attaching and I can't really see the harm? Obviously if I am somewhere sandy then I would need to pay close attention to what gets in the pouches, and in general transportation they would be capped. I'm talking about being mainly vertical and shooting on a job and not bothering to cap... am I mad? If the lens has a long hood, then keep it on, that also helps protect. Perhaps screwing on a generic UV filter to protect the lens glass is enough insurance at least for the front...

Do we have any 'non cappers' here? Is this a thing? Are we all too precious about such things? If a rear or front element does get scratched, is it an expensive thing to replace? Do we service lenses in this business also (for dust inside etc)? (I have only once serviced my camera body...).

Curious minds want to know!

Cheers,

Bruce

11-29-2017, 11:30 PM   #2
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when I'm swapping lenses in the field, I tend to not bother with the front cap, leave the lens hood on, and insert the lens, front down, into my bag. I do try to get rear caps on, I'm concerned about both the rear glass and the contacts/levers on the back of the lens. I don't use filters on the front, a good hood is usually much better protection, and greasy finger marks are apparent on whichever glass is the front of your system.
Over the years, I've acquired a few snug, soft plastic rear caps that pop on and off, rather than bayonet, I used to not think they were as good, but I can pop them on and off faster than the bayonets. I don't remember now what they came with. They are not marked "Pentax".

when I get home and stuff gets stored for awhile, I try to get both caps back on each lens, after dusting with a blower.

I don't do weddings, so can't comment on the speed needed to change, but I'd focus more on changing carefully, 'cause screwing it up, either lens or body, will cost you more in the long run.
11-29-2017, 11:39 PM   #3
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If possible carry multiple camera bodies, then you do not have to swap lens.
When it comes to caps, I always put caps on body and both the ends of the lens. Before dismounting the lens put the front lens. Then dismount the lens and put the cap on body. Lastly put the 2nd cap on the lens. I have tied caps to lens. I buy after market caps, drill holes and tie thread. It looks crude but works for me. I do not like to see any imprints on front or rear elements of lens.
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11-29-2017, 11:40 PM   #4
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I put one optec double cap on each lens in the bag and I swap that way. I have dropped a lens in a bag without a cap in a hurry but it bugs me.

11-30-2017, 12:00 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-Three Quote
when I'm swapping lenses in the field, I tend to not bother with the front cap, leave the lens hood on, and insert the lens, front down, into my bag. I do try to get rear caps on, I'm concerned about both the rear glass and the contacts/levers on the back of the lens. I don't use filters on the front, a good hood is usually much better protection, and greasy finger marks are apparent on whichever glass is the front of your system.
Over the years, I've acquired a few snug, soft plastic rear caps that pop on and off, rather than bayonet, I used to not think they were as good, but I can pop them on and off faster than the bayonets. I don't remember now what they came with. They are not marked "Pentax".

when I get home and stuff gets stored for awhile, I try to get both caps back on each lens, after dusting with a blower.

I don't do weddings, so can't comment on the speed needed to change, but I'd focus more on changing carefully, 'cause screwing it up, either lens or body, will cost you more in the long run.
I also a few of those caps that kinda 'bend' on rather than twist, and they are far faster agreed. The DFA 100mm hood is nice and long and protects nicely, the FA50mm hood is rubber and collapses tho, and the plastic hood I have for it kinda snaps on and off too easily for my liking, however the FA50mm is pretty recessed anyway. The DA15mm has a retractable hood (so not really stiff enough to stay in the extended position that long), and I haven't acquired a hood for the DA40mm XS yet. Giving it a go now, practicing, it really seems harmless enough, as long as you pick up the lens reasonably carefully without touching the glass, that would be the worst.
11-30-2017, 12:05 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxfall Quote
if possible carry multiple camera bodies, then you do not have to swap lens.
^ this ^
11-30-2017, 12:27 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
^ this ^
Isn't this the proper answer for this situation ? Little doubt I my mind.

I might not bother with the front cap, as I use B+W protective clear filters anyway, but never the rear cap. If the rear lens is marked it will degrade the image much more than marks on the front. And swapping lens that have not been protected with a rear cap, accelerate the risk of dust migrating to the sensor. Why risk it ?
11-30-2017, 12:27 AM   #8
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To me with a DSLR, my top concern is not to get dust into the camera or onto either rear element during the swap. I always bring a spare rear cap (that belongs to the lens on the camera. So my procedure would be:

a) If there is any wind, turn my back to it.
b) Grab the spare rear cap.
c) Point the camera down, remove the lens, and put the rear cap on it.
c) Swap lenses from my pocket/pouch/case/etc.
d) Remove the rear cap for the new lens and attach the new lens to the camera.
e) Put the spare rear cap in the same place every time so you know where to find it. Don't put it in a pant pocket full of lint (next time you wash and dry your pants, pull the pockets outward so they get well cleaned and don't collect lint). A common way dust migrates into the camera and onto the sensor is via a dusty rear element.

Full disclosure: I probably never do it the same way twice. If it's a dusty environment, my priority is reducing the amount of time the camera is lensless. If my lenses have hoods, and if I store them front down, the front caps are very low priority while actively shooting.

When I was a working pro on film sets, I rarely swapped lenses because I had a camera body for every lens. Two or three were around my neck and I'd just swap cameras to use different lenses. My neck and shoulders get sore just thinking of that.

11-30-2017, 12:30 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxfall Quote
If possible carry multiple camera bodies, then you do not have to swap lens.
When it comes to caps, I always put caps on body and both the ends of the lens. Before dismounting the lens put the front lens. Then dismount the lens and put the cap on body. Lastly put the 2nd cap on the lens. I have tied caps to lens. I buy after market caps, drill holes and tie thread. It looks crude but works for me. I do not like to see any imprints on front or rear elements of lens.
I like that innovative solution, on large big ass lenses I can see that being a clever and worthwhile solution. However I have just a DFA 100mm and a FA50mm as my main shooters for the event, I don't believe any groove exists for something like that...

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I put one optec double cap on each lens in the bag and I swap that way. I have dropped a lens in a bag without a cap in a hurry but it bugs me.
... but that isn't the point anyway as I like UncleVanya also have optech double lens caps and has been my method to date thus far. I have even used white nail polish to mark the bumps in the groove cap of the optech caps to make alignment with the lens red/orange circle/dot easier and faster. I have mastered this swap fairly well, but that is in theory, when you are rushed, have flashes on vello cables attached etc, it all just adds that extra time when making a change, even finding the right lens cap that you ditched (not the optech rear cap).

It just occurred to me that once at the job, if weather permits perhaps to just disengage all front and rear caps and then there is nothing in a pouch other than the lenses. Just quick swapping, take the lens off the camera body, place in an empty pouch, reach for the other lens in the other pouch and attach.

One thing that has occurred thus far as I practice this method, is that with the white polish marker on the optech rear cap, it is actually quite handy having the lens attached to that cap as then you know where the red/orange circle on the actual lens is, it makes the connection slightly easier. If pulling the lens out of the pouch I have to hunt a little more sometimes to find that red dot.

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
^ this ^
I do. KP and K-1 will come with me, KP in side holster, K-1 around the neck. Likely one will have the DFA100mm and the other the FA50mm. Or perhaps the KP with the DA15mm so I can immediately do a wide shot. But yeh, basically 4 lenses, 2 bodies, only 2 lenses in two pouches at any one time, I shall still lens swap from time to time tho I believe...

I'm starting to think use optech rear caps only, just for the white polish line markings that actually helps me locate the red dot on the lens once i dismount it from the cap and then makes attaching to the camera body easier. But perhaps just ditch the front lens caps for the day...
11-30-2017, 12:32 AM   #10
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First, I have to mention; I have never shot commercial level wedding but I did my sister wedding with 2 Primes, FA35 and DA15. I could get away with the 35 mm 90-95% of the time. Need a lot of work, better say running but change lens less give me more time to work on composition. And I switch to 15mm only when I am in a really tight space.


I am somewhat similar to K-Three. I don't bother with the front cap. Just keep the hood on. I am using a Rock Climbing chalk pouch attached to my belt too.

What I can find in Japan is far thicker than typical Rock Climbing Pouch which offers more protection and I cannot say it is waterproof but it has no problem being used in the rain. It can put at less 2 primes vertically in there, if I want.

I think it is important to have the rear cap on when not use because I can see a small piece of metal that used for open / close aperture blade sticking out. I don’t know its technical name. That thing can be damaged or damaging another lens in the same pouch quite easy if left exposed. If you have one lens per bag, it might be OK to leave it there with no rear cap. But personally, I will put it on anyway. I don’t want to ruin their marriage ceremony because my equipment was broken and I couldn’t get the shot they expect me to get.
11-30-2017, 12:46 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pakinjapan Quote
First, I have to mention; I have never shot commercial level wedding but I did my sister wedding with 2 Primes, FA35 and DA15. I could get away with the 35 mm 90-95% of the time. Need a lot of work, better say running but change lens less give me more time to work on composition. And I switch to 15mm only when I am in a really tight space.


I am somewhat similar to K-Three. I don't bother with the front cap. Just keep the hood on. I am using a Rock Climbing chalk pouch attached to my belt too.

What I can find in Japan is far thicker than typical Rock Climbing Pouch which offers more protection and I cannot say it is waterproof but it has no problem being used in the rain. It can put at less 2 primes vertically in there, if I want.

I think it is important to have the rear cap on when not use because I can see a small piece of metal that used for open / close aperture blade sticking out. I don’t know its technical name. That thing can be damaged or damaging another lens in the same pouch quite easy if left exposed. If you have one lens per bag, it might be OK to leave it there with no rear cap. But personally, I will put it on anyway. I don’t want to ruin their marriage ceremony because my equipment was broken and I couldn’t get the shot they expect me to get.
Ah yes. good point, the rear is more than just glass, there's mechanical moving parts. Optech dbl rear caps for sure then, maybe ditch the front lens cap. I might have to try and find a better hood for the FA50mm or bung a filter on it.

Got a link to these other pouches you talk of?
11-30-2017, 02:16 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote

a) If there is any wind, turn my back to it.
b) Grab the spare rear cap.
c) Point the camera down, remove the lens, and put the rear cap on it.
c) Swap lenses from my pocket/pouch/case/etc.
d) Remove the rear cap for the new lens and attach the new lens to the camera.
e) Put the spare rear cap in the same place every time so you know where to find it. Don't put it in a pant pocket full of lint (next time you wash and dry your pants, pull the pockets outward so they get well cleaned and don't collect lint). A common way dust migrates into the camera and onto the sensor is via a dusty rear element.
I'd add to Alex's routine, which I roughly follow: each time I remove and replace a rear cap, I use a blower to blow dust from lens cap and rear of lens. Not speedy, I admit, but I once noticed how much dust had built up inside the rear dust cap and I thought, where's that going to end up ?

Also, I've cut a small rectangle of old fish pond liner (rubberised - tough and cushioned), that I sometimes use as a 'changing mat' - slips nicely in a side pocket of bag. I tend to use this when I change lenses kneeling down, when hands are cold, weather's blowing, or I'm just feeling clumsy. I've marked the mat with a clean-side mark so I know what side faces the ground.

So with mat process:
1) Kneel and mat on floor. (If ground wet, I've also a second mat to kneel on if I must. Yup, takes a little more time to deal with)
2) Remove replacement lens from pocket/bag. Blow dust off rear of lens and inside cap, replace loosely. Place on mat.
3) Back to wind and camera pointing down, remove lens from camera, place onto mat, downwind.
4) Flick off replacement rear cap from replacement lens (as it's lose) onto mat and in one movement fix to camera.
5) Retrieve cap off mat. Blow cap and rear of replaced lens. Re-fix and back into bag/pocket.
6) Slowly stand ;-)

Takes, around 40-50 secs * ( a little over a minute to put mat(s) away). Not very speedy, but It's what I find an acceptable time, with a balance of protection from drops and limits dust ingress.

* For curiosity sake I've just timed it - inside, admittedly.

Last edited by BarryE; 11-30-2017 at 02:51 AM.
11-30-2017, 02:59 AM   #13
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If I get a bit of time I might record my method and give yas all a gander (open myself to ridicule and criticism)
11-30-2017, 03:36 AM   #14
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although it won't protect against a blow, I have temporarily put lenses without front or rear caps into a large zip lock bag.

easy to do, protects against dust or sand

perhaps you could insert such a bag in your climbing bag and use the combination

my major problem is that I routinely walk around with a multiple pocketed vest and often have to search because I may have placed the caps in pockets and forgotten which one hours later when I change out lenses.
11-30-2017, 06:52 AM   #15
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Multiple Cameras

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
^ this ^
In the olden days before the turn of the Century I use to keep up to 6 Cameras in the truck of my car just for multiple film & ISO (ASA). That would be the answer today with multiple lens as the ISO is taken care of. 6 X K3's with different lenses WOW!!!!!. Oh geez my wife can see this can't she !

Last edited by honey bo bo; 01-06-2018 at 10:49 AM.
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