"How do you change lenses?" Sat 09-Mar-13 10:53 AM by JerryLoSardo
I'm sure this question must have been asked in the past, but I couldn't find anything through a NikoScope search.
When you're shooting in the field and need to change lenses on the fly, do you take the time to replace the front and rear lens caps on the removed lens? Or do you simply stow the naked lens in your bag or in your pocket in the interest of saving time? A professional photographer told me that he doesn't have time to replace lens caps while changing. That got my attention, since I've always handled my equipment with kid gloves (and I'm sure many (perhaps most) Nikonians, do the same).
So, is there anyone out there who does not replace lens caps while changing? If so, how do you minimize dirt/dust issues?
#1. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 0
Ely, Cambridgeshire, UK
change them as quick as possible - lenses are my tools; they live in my bag and get cleaned if dirty. When working I can't always take the time to mess about with caps - especially when working with animals or children so the lens just gets thrown in the bag and sorted out when I have time later on... It may seem rough, but that's the way it has to be I'm afraid.
#3. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 0
I guess there are multiple answers to this, but I think protecting your lens is extremely important and a rear (protective) lens cap can be rapidly (re-)placed. If you don't want to do that I would, at least, carry some (clean) re-sealable plastic bags to hold the un-mounted, un-capped lens.
#6. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 0 Sat 09-Mar-13 04:51 PM by quenton8
Part of the original question was "how do you minimize dirt/dust"?
to be quite honest, dirt and dust are not on my mind at that point in time
if you read the post and external references in a current thread here on use of wet wipes for cleaning lenses -- most dirt and dust at least on the front element won't affect things that much, at least not what you might get in a couple of hours
on the topic of "cleaning your lens" -- clean you bag! Vacuum it (after removing your contents!). In fact, keep everything you use as clean and free of dust as possible, when you have the free time.
I tend to put my lens down on its side, not vertically as its normally stored when its capped -- that way the dust has to fly up to get on the lens
#7. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 0
Rancho Cordova, US
I'm generally slow and deliberate so I take my time with putting lens caps on (front and rear). When shooting, I typically have lens hoods mounted so if I'm rushing to get a shot and have to change lenses, I'll just drop it into the camera bag front element down - the lens hood will protect it and slap on the rear cap of the lens that I'm about to use. Top cover of the bag gets closed. Lens caps typically go in the right front pocket until I have time to sort everything out.
After every shoot, the lenses gets wiped down and equipment sorted for the next time.
#8. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 7 Sat 09-Mar-13 05:05 PM by quenton8
Depends on what you are shooting.
I remember last Easter Sunday sitting quietly in our Church hall looking through my 70-300 at the workers in the kitchen when I heard many little feet running down the stairs -- someone said "Easter Egg Hunt". I figure I had about 2 or 3 seconds to switch to something wider before 30 kids burst into the hall.
On the other hand, shooting posed individuals or groups, I can blabber on for 10 or 15 seconds while shifting equipment -- so "it depends" -- but I tend to do the quick changes all the time -- guess so I don't have to think.
#9. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 4
Punta Gorda, US
>You may be able to put a cap on in 3 seconds, but in 3 seconds >you may well lose the shot -- it takes long enough just to >change the lens. >
OK, so three seconds may be too much time to spend protecting your lens from being scratched.
How about developing ambidexterity to the point that while your camera body is hanging from a strap around your neck you can uncap one lens while you're removing the other from the body and then cap the removed lens at the same time that you're installing the uncapped lens. That should really cut down the time needed to change a lens, reduce the number of missed shots and protect your lenses from being scratched.
#10. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 0
New York, US
I recap all the lenses at the end of the shoot. Normal handling, leaving caplets lenses in bags, even placing lenses on the floor (except for protruding elements), won't harm them in any way. At least it hasn't in almost 50 years!
Jon Kandel A New York City Nikonian and Team Member Please visit my website and critique the images!
#11. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 0
I hardly ever change lenses.I have three cameras and almost always have two of them hanging on me.If you might miss a shot putting your lens caps back on then how many do you miss changing your lenses?I wait untill a cameras replacment comes out and then buy the camera being replaced for close to half of the original price.I still change lenses at times,just before the shoot,not during.I'm not saying any specific way is right or wrong,just sharing how I do it. Troy
there is no problem to big or small that can't be fixed with brute strength and ignorance visit my gallery
#12. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 9 Sat 09-Mar-13 09:25 PM by quenton8
> >OK, so three seconds may be too much time to spend protecting >your lens from being scratched.
Never had a scratched lens in 40 years of photography (well, only about 30 using something that changes lenses )
> >How about developing ambidexterity to the point that while >your camera body is hanging from a strap around your neck you >can uncap one lens while you're removing the other from the >body and then cap the removed lens at the same time that >you're installing the uncapped lens. That should really cut >down the time needed to change a lens, reduce the number of >missed shots and protect your lenses from being scratched. >
#13. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 0
Tallahassee, Florida, US
I always replace the caps, and I'm pretty methodical in my lens changing. I might make an exception if I needed to to get a shot, but in practice, I find that I have time to change lenses by:
1. Place the front lens cap on the lens I'm removing.
2. Set the lens I'm going to mount down with the rear cap up. Loosen the rear cap on that lens.
3. Remove the lens on the camera, setting it with the rear element up. Move the rear cap from the lens being installed on top of the lens just removed.
4. Mount the new lens on the camera.
5. After the new lens is mounted on the camera, tighten the rear cap I have already placed over the lens just removed.
6. The removed lens is now secured with both caps on. Remove the front cap from the lens just mounted and I'm ready to shoot.
This just takes a few seconds. I don't even think about it because I do it so often. With a repetitive action like this, muscle memory takes over and the change happens really fast. The camera body and rear elements of my lenses are exposed for only the briefest period of time.
As for dirt/dust issues, I may clean my sensor once or twice a year, but I really don't have those issues, probably at least in part because I am careful to minimize the time my camera and rear lens elements are uncovered.
This may not apply to everyone, but I really don't find myself in a situation where this method is too slow.
#14. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 12
Punta Gorda, US
> >Never had a scratched lens in 40 years of photography (well, >only about 30 using something that changes lenses ) >
Neither have I over the same period of time. We both must be doing something right.
I would just hate to accidently have a lens scratched due to my haste in trying to get a shot so I almost always take the precautions. Like others indicate in this thread, if you set up a routine you don't even think about it when you cap your lens and it really takes next to no time. Better safe than sorry.
#15. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 0
I've seen pros (people making money shooting) keep front and rear lens caps off as they rapidly switch among 2 or 3 lenses. Since it is "only" a hobby for me, I usually keep lens caps on whenever a lens is not in use.
When I am changing lenses, I try stay attentive to what I'm doing (for example, by talking to myself in my head) so I don't do something silly like placing my 70-200 VRII in a bag and then tipping the bag up and dumping the lens onto a concrete floor.
#16. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 0
Seattle, WA, US
I have been shooting film and digital SLRs since the 1980s as a hobby. - Remove the old lens from the camera, drop into the bag hood down - Transfer the end cap from the new lens to the old one. - Put the new lens on the camera. - Remove the lens cap from the new lens, drop into bag/pocket - When done shooting put all the front caps back on the lenses.
Dust has never been a concern for the mid-change.
---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+ Joseph K Seattle, WA, USA
#18. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 17
I tilt the camera forwards to avoid ingress of nasties, undo the strap first if connected to a tripod ring, release the lens, place in bag, fit new lens, reconnect strap to tripod ring. I say this because if the kit is carried with a sling strap attached to a tripod ring rather than the camera body, take care to remember not to let go of the body! I saw a guy with a Canon 5D do exactly that and watched in disbelief as the camera descended to a concrete path and a premature death. The camera was new and it's a long time since I've seen a grown man cry
#19. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 13
Yep, that exactly how I do it too... Adding that in the meantime I keep the camera looking downward (and/or out of main wind) 8 I'm usually having the "new" lens in the cradle of the arm (#2 & #3), and put back the used lens in a "safe" place (pocket or bag) after #5 and before #6 (some pictures aren't worth the noise of a lens crashing on the pavement !)
Of course, years of training, changing film with a Leica M at marriages, helps a lot...
#20. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 0 Sun 10-Mar-13 11:31 AM by jrp
San Pedro Garza García, MX
At least replace the rear cap on the displaced lens. All of my lenses have an A2 warming filter on, so the front cap is not critical. However, I find myself almost always finding the time to put on the front cap too in the lens before it goes into the bag. It helps that most of them are 77mm size.
As Jacques has mentioned, dismounting a lens and mounting the new one is mostly dustless when the camera is facing down and protected with your own body against the wind.
Only at places like White Sands this built-in reflex practice has not been enough to keep the dust away from the sensor.
#21. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 20
Flat Rock, US
Treat your lens with TLC. Here is Nikon solution with their SB-8 case, which I have adopted in required situations. Three lens can be nested, locked in, in the F-mount lens retainer in the bottom of the bag with no rear lens caps. The case hung from your neck opens away from you exposing a handy and fast lens changing platform. I haven't done the timing but this solution saves a step with everything secure and protected. A couple of photos may illustrate. Admittedly this is an old case, though I prefer the word classic. When the bag finally fails, I will remove the lens mounting plate, which is screwed into the bottom of the case and build it into a new bag.
#22. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 20
Powder Springs, US
I do the same. The rear cap goes on every time and the front goes on, if there's time. I have Nikon clear filters on my lenses. I have one of the Optech dual rear caps and need a couple more. They prevent swapping or fumbling for caps.
Scott Chapin Powder Springs, GA, USA Nikonians Team Member
#23. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 20
>At least replace the rear cap on the displaced lens. >All of my lenses have an A2 warming filter on, so the front >cap is not critical. >However, I find myself almost always finding the time to put >on the front cap too in the lens before it goes into the bag. >It helps that most of them are 77mm size. > >As Jacques has mentioned, dismounting a lens and mounting the >new one is mostly dustless when the camera is facing down and >protected with your own body against the wind. > >Only at places like White Sands this built-in reflex practice >has not been enough to keep the dust away from the sensor. >
This is what I do.
However, I have an amazing inability to keep up with my front lens caps. I finally gave up and ordered a bunch of generic replacements. Have yet to scratch a lens because I keep a hood on 99% of the time.
working on it in Middle TN Nikon D3100
35 mm 1.8 Nikkor 18-55 mm Nikkor VR 55-200 mm Nikkor VR 55-300 mm Nikkor VR 150-500 mm Sigma OS Feisol CT3471 & Markins M20 ballhead
#26. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 0
Well, no specific methodology for me on Lens cap changing, just do what comes naturally. If I'm shooting some action, they just seem to fly on and off and get sorted out later in the bag. "Normally" though I do tend to cap them when I have the time. And, "normally" I brush / wipe or least check them for dirt before putting them on a body. I guess I do have one "tradition" and that is never keep a lens cap on while it's on the camera.
---------------------------- A picture is worth a thousand words! I took a photograph and couldn't think of that many. I guess I'll keep trying!
#27. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 0
Lake Elmo, US
I'm a fanatic about the body cap for the lens (that cap closest to the body....but the end cap for the lens is actually my UV filter. I wipe that filter down prior to shooting but it protects the lens surface just fine.
#28. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 0
I've read all responses and I think my own approach is most similar to Martin Turner's, although the detail may be different.
For shoots or outings during which I expect to change lenses on-the-fly, I always use a Think Tank harness + belt with pockets holding lenses that are selected for the particular occasion. Immediately to the left of the buckle, I ALWAYS have TT's large drop-in lens pocket and, BTW, I normally rely on lens hoods to protect the front elements of my lenses (OK, so not with fisheye lenses). I want the lenses to be able to give the very best images of which they are capable. For me, the only filters worth using are polarisers or ND, unless shooting on a beach or in a desert, where I would use a good, multicoated, plain filter for added protection.
The procedure is to remove the lens using both hands. After removal, one hand places it into the open drop-in pocket, front downwards. The second hand holds the camera with the lens "port" downwards. Depending where the new lens is located, I may have to move the camera bodey between hands. The free hand removes the rear lens cap from the new lens and puts it on the lens that's in the drop-in and then removes the new lens, which is immediately installed using both hands. I've not timed myself, but the procedure can be pretty quickly executed.
I do admit that switching between three or more lenses is slower and trickier. I always keep a body cap VERY easily accessible for use when I need more time (including when the new lens is way back on the belt.
TBH, as for a Meetup shoot which I attended yesterday, when we shooters had almost no idea what to expect, I take two bodies with lenses that complement each other...
#29. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 0
I have basic filters on all my lenses. I just put the lens back in my bag with the back cap on, and make sure to give my lens a wipe before I shoot. I would rather not have to take the time putin on or taking off lens caps. Or worst of all, having a lens cap dangling from my lens while I am shooting.
#31. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 0
I can't believe that time was really the problem. Different photographers are comfortable with different levels of care. I personally swap front caps, point camera down(my theory is less dust will drop on the sensor than if it's facing upward), remove rear cap of new lens, remove lens from camera put second lens on and then rear cap on removed lens. I think there is a possibility of dust getting into a lens without a rear cap. Especially a zoom. That's the procedure I'm comfortable with. I'm sure others are comfortable with less.
#32. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 5
When shooting, when out in the field I'm using my Think Tank modular belt system virtually all the time, even when I'm also using a backpack with some extra equipment, and non-photo gear, like food, drink, clothes, and emergency supplies. I put the lenses in and out generally with no lens caps at all, though I have them with me. When through shooting, the caps go on, and when traveling, they are on.
I'm with Alex. Taking time to recap lenses can make me miss a shot, and frankly, the TT modules do a great job protecting the lenses and keeping them clean while shooting.
I will add that rather than constantly switching lenses, I often use two camera/lenses at a shoot where I would otherwise be switching lenses often. For example, at a recent event I was covering as a stringer, I knew I would be using my 24-70mm most of the time, so that was mounted on my primary body. I also realized I was going to need some wider shots regularly, so I had another body with my 16-35mm mounted. For other shots using other lenses, I had to switch lenses. That was done swapping with the 2nd body.
I bring this up because I wanted to inject that there are several ways to attack problems.
#33. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 0
Chula Vista, US
More often than not, I shoot in places where I cannot place lenses down while changing them, my bag is the holding area. Typically my lenses will have the hoods on, often I do not replace the lens caps while shooting, and lenses are placed front lens down in the bag.
• I'll remove the rear cap of the lens in the bag. • Remove the lens from the camera, replacing the rear cap, and place the lens in the bag. The camera sensor remains facing down or towards my body. • I then remove the next lens from the bag and put it on the camera.
My oldest lens is from the early 90s and has survived this routine well.
My camera bags are cleaned and vacuumed often, and several times before reuse if I shoot at the beach, around or on the ocean, or in a dusty environment. If my lenses have go in the bag without caps it is not a big deal.
When shooting in environments like sail boats I use two cameras and do not change lenses.
#34. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 33
Clint, you brought up an important point, which I don't recall anyone else mentioning. You clean and vacuum your camera bags often.
I do the same, and it makes a big difference in keeping my equipment clean. Sometimes, though not too often, unless the environment is particularly tough, I take a portable vacuum with me while traveling. About 18 months ago I shot extensively in the Negev and especially the Sinai desert. I brought with me my small portable vacuum, and I cleaned all my bags with it each night. It made a huge difference in the cleanliness of my gear. Of course, all the gear was thoroughly wiped down every night too, and while shooting my camera/lenses were in a Think Tank Hydrophobia to protect them from blowing sands.
#36. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 0
Western PA, US
I think the answer to your question depends on the genre you're shooting, the importance of the shot - and lastly, how fleeting the moment is. Also, one might treat equipment differently if it belongs to your employer (e.g. newspaper).
Given the cost of my pro glass - I am much more inclined to spend the few seconds it takes to properly swap out lenses to avoid damage. Even given that glass (under most shooting scenarios/apertures) can see beyond minor dust spots and scuffs, the thought of putting a noticeable scratch onto my front or rear element gives me pause. Don’t get me wrong, I put my equipment through its working paces – but I endeavor to keep it clean and damage free to ensure a long life (and high resale value).
But I can also see a photojournalist and/or sports shooter doing whatever it takes to capture the money shot - and if a few seconds makes the difference between getting it (or not), I can see where a less careful approach might be warranted. But so long as they have a well-organized bag with soft walls and no free radicals (e.g. unsecured objects that will scratch), they should be ok most of the time. Of course if you’re working in a dusty environment, even weather-sealed lenses can be prone to dust particles – so if you’ve got the time, it’s always a good practice.
If time is really that important, you'll carry two cameras with different lens set ups.
#37. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 36 Fri 15-Mar-13 08:42 PM by jrp
Prescott Valley, US
For the most part I work in large format and usually in industrial areas. I realize that for people on the move you may not want to change caps/lenses. For me though the care and maintenance of my equipment is handled the same way I shoot which is preconceived and planned out. The maintenance of equipment is, for me, an extension of the way I photograph. Having said that normally I am creating shots not capturing them so I rarely have that sort of "must have the shot" pressure. I did do a shot for a printing company that required 17 separate exposures on a single piece of film. My words to the lab - "my entire career is on this one piece of film". lol :=} Isn't every shot that way? The shot turned out but that shot took 4.5 hours to shoot. I am not a quick shot person so I rarely do not have time to maintain the equipment as I am sure everyone here does if time permits. The key is creating the time to do that.
#38. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 0
Assuming I have time to do it by the book, I open my backpack and keeping the lens down, I detach it from the camera. In other words, I always keep the lens mount in the body pointing down. I put the lens, front element down, in a pocket in the backpack and move the rear cap from the new lens to the old lens. Then I mount the new lens on the body, which still points down. Then I close the backpack.
#39. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 0
I use multiple bodies so I rarely change lenses in the field. When I do, I always put the rear lens cap on. Since I keep hoods on all of my lenses and most have Nikon NC filters front lens caps are occasionally omitted if I am rushed. When I have an Assistant, I swap out the lenses and the Assistant takes care of the caps and storage. Then both caps go on the lens.
#41. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 39
Hey Marty, You know, I tried the multiple body method but I found the weight too, well, heavy. Not to hijack my own thread (how dumb does that sound?), but I'm curious: which two bodies do you usually use on a shoot? Does the weight bother you, or are you suffering for your art?
#42. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 41
Ely, Cambridgeshire, UK
don't want to hijack Marty's answer but if necessary I shoot a D2Xs with a 80-200mm f2.8 AFD and a D200 with a 20-35mm f2.8 AFD - sometimes the lenses are swapped. Generally the 80-200 is on a monopod just for ease of use...
#43. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 41
Jerry, I can't answer for Marty, but I will answer for myself.
I've got some events coming up which I'm doing. My two primary lenses for the events will be the 24-70mm f/2.8 and the 70-200mm f/2.8. Based on my expected position near the stages, my primary will be the 70-200mm which will be on my D4, and my secondary for the wide shots, will be the 24-70mm on my D700. I'll be using a Black Rapid Double (DR-1) to hold them at my sides for quick access to go back and forth. In this case, it's not the environment that's the problem, but the problem of not missing shots by going back and forth swapping lenses.
Last year when in Antarctica, and the prior year when in the Negev and Sinai deserts, I used two cameras with lenses to limit the need to swap lenses in the hostile environment of blowing sands. There was a day in the Negev that the sands were bad enough that I never swapped a lens the entire day and made do with my choices made before breakfast.
The weight doesn't bother me. You get used to it. When I go shooting wildlife in various locations, my typical setup is a D4, 500mm f/4, Gitzo Systematic 3 series, RRS BH55, Wemberley Sidekick, carried over my shoulder from location to location. I carry that load for hours, sometimes most of the day, putting it down only to shoot, eat or drink, or perhaps look up a bird in my Audubon or Explorer guide on my iPhone. I also carry around a 24-70mm for some landscape and other shots, plus odds and ends such as a spare battery and memory cards, etc., plus food and drink in my TT belt system. As I said, you get used to it. I do tend to switch shoulders regularly with the equipment on the tripod.
#47. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 41
I mix and match so it varies depending on the subject and ambient light level. If distance (parking lot to venue) isn't much of an issue, for paid work I usually bring 4 - 6 bodies. Most of the time I only use two or three bodies, other times I may use all of them. For field sports: D3s w/ 300mm or 400mm on a monopod, D3 with 70-200mm on one shoulder, and D700 w/MB-D10 & 24-70 or 17-35mm on the other shoulder. In good light, I might substitute the D300 for the D3s and the D2X for D3 or D700.
For indoor sports: usually D3s w/ 70-200mm and D700 w/ 24-70mm on my shoulders or one on the floor and occasionally between 1 and 4 remote bodies (usually multi-day events since it requires access and considerable time to set up before, and take down after).
For weddings: D3s w/70-200mm, D800 w/MB-D12 & 24-70mm, D2X w/ 17-55mm & Q-flash, D700 w/MB-D10 & 14-24mm, D3 w/85mm f/1.4 or 105mm f/2 DC, D300 w/MB-D10, 28-70mm & Q-flash second shooter or back-up, and a D200 w/MB-D200 with several back-up lenses, Speedlights, batteries, etc....
For events 2 primary bodies; and a back-up or two in the bag.
When I know I will be walking long distances, I will bring two bodies and the minimum amount of gear I need. That said, I always seem regret not packing something.
Over the years, I have gotten used to the weight. At least I get a good workout. I could use a caravan of camels or better yet elephants to lug all of the gear I carry.
#49. "RE: How do you change lenses?" In response to Reply # 13
Randy this is exactly how I have been doing it also for a long long time. I find if I plan carefully I can always make a change like this during a lull in the action. IMO most dirt & dust enters the body from the dirty lens you are mounting to it and not just having the body open. Leaving the lens uncovered just make it that much easier.