Flip lens cap….I’m embarrassed to even ask. When I was 18 I bought my first SLR the Yashica Penta J (1962+). I was taught that when you buy the camera you face down the camera and put a UV filter on the lens “in the store” so the lens will always be “factory-fresh.” So today the very thought of removing the filter to shoot feels like it’s an abomination. Regretfully, I am not very gentle with my cameras. So I thought if I breathe in heavy, close my eyes and remove the skylight filter I should is at least have a lens cap in place. Reality is I will either forget to use the lens cap or more likely loss it. So the idea of using a flip lens cap came in mind. It seems awkward, but maybe it’s a way to go. Has anyone used a flip lens cap or have any thoughts. I’m so embarrassed. Ben
Well, you are going to re-ignite a long running difference of opinion about the use of protective filters. I'll chime in first: there is no "right" or "wrong", just your own preferences.
I don't put any filters on my lenses unless needed, like an ND or CP filter or closeup lens for creative effects. Less crapola out front, less optical degradation. Plus I don't have to remove the protective filter to put on a creative filter.
I always use a lens hood to shade and physically protect the front element.
The lens cap goes in my pocket when I'm shooting, so it's close by when I need to put it back.
I drag my cameras everywhere when traveling and hiking. My lenses have survived wind, water, sand, dust, and my ham-handedness (and occasional greasy fingerprints). YMMV.
Thank you for your input. Even though the controversy to UV filter or not to UV filters is still open and strong, I have accepted the arguments that except for special filters to remove the my UV filters from my lenses. This for me is a leap of faith. Now my wife claims that I’m a klutz and going senile which I will not publicly admit (except to you). Now remains the question of to use flip lens caps or not. That now is the question. If anyone has used these flips and how inconvenient are they. Ben
Thanks Steve, I have never been w/o a filter on my lenses for over 50 years and accept the logic to remove them. Will do as you both suggest, but it won't be easy. Could be getting married was easier.... Ben
"So the idea of using a flip lens cap came in mind. It seems awkward, but maybe it’s a way to go."
I have never seen a flip lens cap, but it seems to me it would prevent the use of a lens hood. If so, then I can't think of any reason why to use one - I *always* use a lens hood (except for the rare occasion that I must use the built-in flash). Like so many others, I use a filter on my lenses only when there is a specific need for it, but I always use the lens hood. Putting the lens cap in my pocket has worked for me since 1968 - it has always been there when I needed it.
Perhaps a better solution than the flip cap is the "cap keeper" - this is basically a loop of cloth that goes around the lens and sticks to the lens cap. If you take the cap off, it drops maybe six inches away. Mostly I do as the others - I have designated spots in my camera bags where the lens cap ALWAYS goes when I take it off. But on my Fuji x10, the cap is a bit thicker than usual and also much more likely to fall off by accident, so I use a cap keeper on that. You can make them yourself, but they're also $5 at most camera stores.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
Thanks for the idea. I'm going to try it out w/o "cap keeper" and see I will not loss a cap. If I do I will probably try and make a "cap keeper" that will be long enough to put the cap in my shirt pocket. Can't see taking photos with a cap dangling... Thanks again, Ben
When I was using Fuji bridge cameras, they supplied a very useful accessory that allowed you to clip the lens cap to the strap. It didn't swing in the breeze. You could also attach the cap to the strap with a supplied cord. Either way, it was a useful little tool.
Dave, Checked out the "FujiFilm Finepix S4200 Bridge Camera" on YouTube. I believe it was the same attachment you mentioned. Since not having a lens-hood a cap seems a must. I would think it would be easy to attach a "cap keeper" to the strap. Thanks for the suggestion. Ben
When stowing a 77 or 82 mm lens cap, a clamp to hold it on the strap or other spot will still be in the way due their size. I figure rear pockets were meant for lens caps stow them there. Last Friday, I shot in 4 different clubs and got home without one of the 77mm Nikon caps and had to put a Signa cap on the 70-200. Over the next few days I dropped by 3 of the places, the ones more logical to have found my cap. None were turned in or swept up. Last night I went to a different club and the waitress came to ask if I lost a Nikon cap. I said I did and she handed it over to me, but it was not mine, it was like new and I was not in that club that Friday night. Anyway, I have a "new" pristine 77mm lens cap. In the interim last week I went by a camera shop and they had no Nikon branded caps but had another which would work It was a bit thicker and had larger spring loaded releases, but it also had a thin lanyard with an elastic loop to go around the lens so it could be dropped in place and hand from the end of the lens. I tried it and although it fit and performed the function, it looked goofy and caused models to stare at it, below the center axis of the lens. It is now a coaster for my tea cup on my workbench. A $15 coaster. The only filters I put on my lenses, when needed are ND and CPL Stan St Petersburg Russia
I am from the opposite camp with regard to using protective filters. I keep Multi-coated Clear (Nikon NC, B+W 007 MRC Nano) filters on most of my lenses for protection. The lenses that don't have protective filters don't have filter threads. I also always use hoods. When using a quality clear filter, I see negledgable if any difference in IQ compared to a bare lens. The only exception is when shooting into the sun or a bright light source where I usually remove the filter.
I have many small nieces and nephews that are more often than not unpredictable and over the years, the filters have saved several lenses from damage.
If you do decide to continue to use a filter, you would be much better off to use a quality clear filter, such as the ones Marty named. UV filters are not required on digital and Nikon recommends multi-coated clear for protection. A cheap filter will likely cut into your qualtiy.
Jerry Jaynes Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina
I used to use skylight filters back in the day. I think camera store loved selling them... Pure profit. Then I met a guy who was also stringing for AP (this was 1982) who not only never used filters, he never used lens caps. And it showed. His glass looked like hell.
But his photography was amazing, and there was no way to tell that his lenses were a train wreck. The photos were clear and sharp and perfect.
I personally always use a hood and keep the lens cap off whenever the lens is on my camera. I've lost too many pictures trying to take off the lens cap before taking a picture. I also don't want to think about where to put the lens cap. It's always in my bag.
>I personally always use a hood and keep the lens cap off >whenever the lens is on my camera. I've lost too many pictures >trying to take off the lens cap before taking a picture. I >also don't want to think about where to put the lens cap. It's >always in my bag.
I totally agree, Camera out and ready and turned on and ready to shoot!
When shooting events with a single body that needs lens changes I put them all in my bag without caps, front or rear and if closed up between changes, and blowing out the back of the lens just before mounting it, I find it speeds the whole process a lot, and has not increased dust and lint on the lenses. As soon as it is over or during a break I put all the caps on. The only lens I do not put in the bag is the 70-200, it is the most used and stays hanging by my side on the Black Rapid sling strap if I mount a smaller lens. That way I can use a small flip top bag a 24-70, 85 1.4 and 24 1.4. I have experimented with and without caps while in the bag and see no difference in shots. I always keep the hood on however. Stan St Petersburg Russia
Tue 23-Jul-13 02:25 AM | edited Tue 23-Jul-13 02:36 AM by tfeazel
What's a "flip lens cap"?
Well, if I'm reopening a painful controversy, then so be it.
I have used a skylight or other zero filter factor filter on my lenses since the time I accidentallly planted a large greasy thumbprint on one of my favorite lenses, and was never able to get the oil from the surface of the lens, despite repeated cleanings.
That was about 1965; cleaners were not as good as they are now, and most employed ammonia in their formula. Ammonia attacks lens coatings.
But filters are easy to clean with dish soap and water, and when dried properly, are free of flare and distortion inducing oil.
Oil from fingers causes flare and is the enemy of lens clarity; it cannot be removed without harsh chemicals (dish soap has to be completely rinsed away, or it will spot).
I have seen reflections and a few other image degrading artifacts produced by filters, but these were very few, and were mostly intentional. This is my take on the filter issue.
Several years ago, I accidentally chipped the front element of my 28-105mm Nikkor by banging it against the corner of a metal sign when walking around on vacation. As a result, I resolved to... always use the lens hood (I had left it off on this occasion because the HB-18 was rather large). If a filter had been fitted it would most likely have cracked and would have needed replacing.
I think lens coatings and cleaning tools/fluids have improved greatly since 1965 - I've never been unable to remove a fingerprint from a recent lens.
That's not to say that my approach is the only "correct" one - we all have to make up our own minds - but it's good to do so in possession of all the relevant data.
OpTech makes something called a Fast Cap, which is exactly what you're looking for. Have a look at them here, though they may not have the size you're looking for.
I haven't used a clear or UV lens filter in years. A circular polarizer or a neutral density filter is useful from time to time for particular exposures, but that's about it. My lens hoods work perfectly well for protection. Once I start walking, hiking or urban exploring in some city, with my camera on my shoulder strap, the lens cap is off and doesn't go back on often for many, many hours. Why miss a street shot or a wildlife shot because I'm fiddling with a lens cap?
Hi Howard, Thanks for the link. I have come to the conclusion to try to go w/o a UV filter and use only the hood, with the occasional use of the polarizer. I have several guests coming and going that are staying with us and they are keeping us busy. Must admit it was funny when a friend picked me up several days ago and I decided to remove the filter and have the hood on while using my lens cap. Using the lens cap was to help me get use to the idea I’m w/o a UV filter. So I clipped on the lens cap and as I got into the car I heard a faint noise. There was the lens cap rolling away. I took it as an omen… . Thanks again, Ben
Mon 29-Jul-13 03:10 AM | edited Mon 29-Jul-13 03:11 AM by Clint S
I have dropped my fair share of lenses over my life time and had skylight or UV filters bent, twist and bust, but luckily no damage to the lenses. My lens caps are only on for transporting and storage and removed for the entire time I’m shooting. When done for the day the caps go back on and I clean my gear when I get back to the office or home and store them.
I’ve tried lens cap keepers and things like flip caps, but they seem to get in the way or cause problems with using lens hoods so they are not for me.
Several years ago I bought into the idea of no lens filter. Not long afterward I was in a grandstand changing lenses and dropped the lens I was replacing. The hood popped off the first surface the lens hit and continued falling down through supports for the grandstand. When I retrieved it the lens threads were pretty beat up but the rest of the lens was fine and the hood was no longer useable.
I went out and purchased used filters of the correct size, broke out the glass and have just the filter rings in place and I can still use the lens hoods. For most of my lenses I can use a CP or ND filter without removing the filter ring.
Clint, I’m decided to go w/o any UV filter and hope I won’t regret it. Even though I have bought only HQ filters, it just seems logical that a UV lens would slightly degrade a photo. Nice idea using the filter rind (w/o it’s glass) the replace the thread so you can use a lens hood or any other special filters. Ben