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Easy outdoor lens changing

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by angloasturian, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. angloasturian

    angloasturian Mu-43 Veteran

    Years ago when I was using an OM1 with 3 lenses I devised an easy way to change lenses when outdoors.
    Let’s imagine you’ve got the usual bag with at least one spare lens,
    So, what do you do?
    1. Camera in one hand – unscrew lens with the other.
    2. Now you need to put the rear lens cap on the lens. So, unless you’ve got three hands you either let the camera hang from its strap (neck or wrist) or put it down somewhere (sometimes not possible and never advisable). Or you hold the camera and put the lens down.
    3. You put the lens cap on and return the lens to the bag. You take the cap off the new lens, drop it in the bag and then attach the lens using both hands. And all this time your camera is hanging from its strap open to the elements.

    My solution:
    Glue a strip of Velcro to the underside of the top flap on your bag so it’s pointing up when the bag is open. Then glue strips of the other part of the Velcro across the back of the caps.

    So now the process is:
    1. First have a lens cap already stuck on the strip on the bag.
    2. Unscrew the lens from the camera and put it in the cap. Twist to screw on and detach it from the strip so you can put it in the bag. . You have one hand free to hold the camera horizontally (sensor down) for protection.
    3. Take the new lens and stick its cap to the Velcro on the bag. Twist to unscrew the cap and then attach the lens to the camera. This way you always have the camera in your hand.
    I used this system for trips to Austria, Hungary, Egypt and Thailand and it worked flawlessly.

    If you're thinking of trying this - read my post below (7) Important - Velcro first
    • Like Like x 10
  2. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Interesting..I may have to try that out! Thanks for the idea.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Colin, you are The Father of Invention! What a smart and simple solution.:thumbup:
    • Like Like x 1
  4. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    An elegant solution to a situation we all face.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. stanleyk

    stanleyk Guest

    May 26, 2010
    • Like Like x 1
  6. antithetic

    antithetic Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 7, 2010
    City of Angels
    I'm definitely going to incorporate this too! Many thanks! =]
    • Like Like x 1
  7. angloasturian

    angloasturian Mu-43 Veteran

    IMPORTANT - Velcro

    If anyone is thinking of trying this - remember Velcro has two sides - one with hooks that stick to everything and one with a furry, fluffy texture that doesn't. Make sure you stick the fluffy side to the lens caps (so they don't stick to everything in the bag) - and the 'hooked' side to the bag flap (when not in use put a strip of the fluffy tape over this to cancel its 'stickiness')
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Great idea. I was having an awkward moment the other day trying to fit on another lens onto my D90 and I was really thinking to myself "Brady, it's about time you get yourself a girlfriend". She could be my lens holder.

    BTW, If there are any girls out there that would like to see if they could get the job of being my GF and a important lens holder, drop a line:rofl: I'm easy to get along with. haha.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Icon, I'm going to have to have a talk with you about possible girl friends.:eek: :wink:

    Colin - excellent point about which part of that velcro to put where.:2thumbs:
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    For folks who have trouble with this, the velcro idea seems like a good solution. But I have to ask, do most folks find changing lenses outdoors that tough? I'm generally carrying a bag of gear (either a Domke F6 or F5xb) along with the camera. The camera and case are both slung over my left shoulder and sit in the general vicinity of my right hip. And both have tops that are wide enough to support the ep2 on its back (with the extra safeguard of the sling strap I use). So, with that as a support, here's my routine, as best I can explain it.

    1. Pull the lens you want to change to out of the bag and close the bag.

    2. Put the camera on the top of the bag, back facing down, lens pointing up.

    3. Unlock the current lens and turn it just far enough so it won't relock, but its still snugly attached to the camera.

    4. Hold the new lens in your left hand and remove it from the rear cap with the cap still in your hand and hold the lens in your right hand, open side down, with the red dot lined up and ready to quickly insert into the camera.

    5. Turn and remove the old lens with your left hand and in the same basic movement place the new lens into the camera body and twist it into place. The sensor is pointing up during this exposed transition, but I can generally do this quickly enough that its only exposed for a half second or maybe a second before the new lens is on the body. And then maybe another half second or so to twist it into place and lock it.

    6. Both the old lens (open end pointing down) and the cap are in your left hand, so the final step is to twist the lens onto the cap and put it back in the bag.

    I can't tell you how many times I've done this in the past several months (certainly 100 or more), but it enough to know that I've never had any trouble. The worst thing that's ever happened is I didn't get the new lens in place correctly right away, so I may take another second or so to move it into the right position and lock it on the body, but the sensor is basically covered this whole time, with just a tiny exposed area around one edge of the lens for that extra couple of seconds. My right forearm is basically wedging the camera in place during the operation, so its not going anywhere. I've just never found anything difficult about this.

    Maybe this would be more difficult with a traditional neck-strap and a different type of bag, but with the sling strap and the bag also carried messenger style, it seems like the most natural thing in the world. I wouldn't do it in the rain, but I wouldn't change a lens in the rain regardless unless I had the whole operation well covered by something.

    Oh, and Icon, one more thing your girlfriend/wife/partner wouldn't have to do, making you that much more likely to FIND one! :cool: 

    • Like Like x 1
  11. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Since I hike a good bit, I struggle, I mean absolutely struggle with changing lenses effeciently. I have some questions for what Ray has mentioned.

    I normally keep my PEN on a wrist strap on my right arm. The problem is, I'm right handled, not left handed.

    This is what I do, but its horrible. Anyone have better ideas.

    1. With my bag slung onto my right hip and my camera around my right wrist, I pull the lens out of the bag and take the back cap off. I put it back in the bag front side down with the cap on.

    2. I then take the lens off the camera with both hands. Its awkward because the camera is attached to my right wrist, meaning I hold the camera with my right hand and pull it off with my left, which isn't easy since I'm right handed.

    3. I take this lens, put the caps on and put it in my bag. At this point I'm holding the camera in my right hand.

    4. I grab the lens thats ready to go with my left hand and attach it to the camera. Again awkward because I'm right handed. I take the front lens cap off and its read.

    This processes for me takes almost 2 minutes which is tedious when I am hiking.

    If someone has a better way while the camera is on my right wrist, I'm open for suggestions.
  12. angloasturian

    angloasturian Mu-43 Veteran

    Djarum, I'm right - handed and use a wrist strap. If you find your system so difficult give the Velcro trick a try - I'm sure you'll find it helps after you've practised a bit.
  13. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I just had my camera out on a bike ride with the 9-18 and had a wrist strap on it - bike rides are about the only time I use a wrist strap. So I just tried a lens change without taking the wrist strap off and, using the exact same method I discussed a couple of posts ago, I had the lens out of the bag, changed, and the old one back in the bag in about 20 seconds, same as with a sling strap. Maybe it depends on the wrist strap but mine was no problem. I reached into the bag with my left hand instead of my right since the camera was on my right wrist, but otherwise, it worked exactly the same. There might be factors or wrist straps that would make it more difficult, but give it a try - worked for me.

  14. pcnyc

    pcnyc Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 15, 2010
    Good tips, I will give all of them a try. Maybe I don't need to get a 14-150mm afterall?
  15. chalkdust

    chalkdust Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 29, 2009
    McKinney, Texas
    I tried some "simulation" lens changes. Then I decided to go for it. So I now have a bunch of fuzzy back caps and a hooked velcro patch on my bag. I hope to try it out "in the field" at Octoberfest this weekend. My only question now is which hand is used to hold the beer? Thanks, Colin, for a very inventive and helpful idea!
    • Like Like x 1
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