Lenses with tape

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by BAXTING, Nov 7, 2012.


    BAXTING Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 5, 2012
    Los Angeles SFV, CA
    Real Name:
    I was looking through the 75mm f/1.8 image thread and there was some mention of taping up OLY lenses to make them somewhat more discreet.

    I did this this already with electrical tape because when my camera is set down the lens also rests on the surface where it lays. I'm most often in environment filled with dust and small metal bits and since I don't find myself using MF I just automatically did it without thinking. I even added a few small extra pcs on the underside for added protection.

    I don't know if it was a good idea or not, but it helps me sleep at night :biggrin: I guess it's pretty ghetto.

    Here's some images, each setup taken with the other.

    EP-2 w/ 20 f/1.7
    P1010969 by BAXTING, on Flickr

    P1010966 by BAXTING, on Flickr

    P1010955 by BAXTING, on Flickr

    GX-1 w/ 45mm f/1.8
    PB069406 by BAXTING, on Flickr

    PB069418 by BAXTING, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 1
  2. jumbotron

    jumbotron Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 9, 2011
    Vancouver, Canada
    I kinda like the stealthy look, but don't like the idea of that adhesive all over the lens barrel because of residue and the dust etc that it will inevitably attract. Something like a bicycle inner tube might make a nice grippy rubberized option without the sticky mess. Thanks for sharing.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Vinyl wrap might work also and be far more durable and have less adhesive residue if you remove it. I have used some of the 3M wrap and it is great stuff. Very flexable when you use a hair dryer to warm it up.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. AerialFilm1

    AerialFilm1 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 15, 2012
    Wekiva, Florida
    You should use gaffer tape. Just don't confuse duct tape or painters tape with real gaff tape. It leaves little to no residue when you take it off. The stuffs not cheap, but worth it. You won't find it at Home Depot or the like, but try a place in Burbank called FilmTools. Be cautious of the Cold Weather tapes. They can be a nightmare to remove if used in warm climates. DAMHIK.
    • Like Like x 3
  5. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    The adhesive on electrical tape gets pretty gooey when it gets hot, and it will leave residue behind when you remove it. I don't think I'd want to do this to my lenses.
  6. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Real Name:
    Sean Rastsmith
    Am I missing something, or does this make it nearly impossible to turn the focus ring?
  7. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
  8. Vincen77o

    Vincen77o Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 3, 2012
    St. Albans, Herts
    I wondered the same thing myself. I couldn't live without manual focus.
  9. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I think electrical tape, while very attractive, will be a problem over time with adhesive residue. Gaffer's tape is what I've used in the past to protect camera bodies and large lens hoods (like on 300mm and up). I've never taped up a lens.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. blue

    blue Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2010
    Some sort of neoprene sleeve cut to size might be a better solution here. You can get them as lens pouches etc, so would be a case of finding one that would grip on the lens you are using.
  11. arentol

    arentol Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2012
    I agree.

    But given we are photographers I would think this issue could be solved by using Gaffer's tape instead of Electrical. It wouldn't be quite as "sleek" looking, but it would be black and not leave much, if any, residue behind.
  12. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    So maybe I'm wrong, but won't the chemicals in the electrical tape erode the finish of the lens? Not a big deal, if your never going to give up the glass, but if you ever plan to sell it, you may lose quite a bit due to this.
  13. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    I like the OP's idea but agree with the concerns about tape residue. Though I have not worked with gaffer tape I don't think I have ever seen a tape where the adhesive didn't change over long periods of time. A neoprene sleeve sounds like a good improvement.

    There's no need, though, to fool with lens pouches. The stuff can be bought all over the internet. For example: Neoprene Closed Cell Foam and Specialty Foam Another one: Neoprene Fabrics and Sewing Neoprene Fabrics

    Another option for at least some lenses might be rings cut from bicycle inner tubes. I'm not sure how much variety there is in inner tube sizes though.
  14. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Real Name:
    I think there's still some shiny/reflective part to be covered in the middle of the 20mm to give it that true stealth look.
  15. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I have used a lot of gaff tape including for some long term uses. It will leave some residue on certain surfaces after long time use. If it gets real hot the glue can get sticky and UV can cause it to turn hard.

    I still think the best covering for DIY is the wrap vinyl as it is designed for things like this.
  16. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    Nothing is perfect. Vinyl tends to shrink over time. This can be mitigated by really tough and permanent adhesives but then we are back to the residue issue. I used to buy large quantities of vinyl decals like you see on gasoline/petrol pumps. They resisted shrinkage pretty well, but it was often more cost-effective to buy a whole new metal pump door instead of trying to get an old door decal off. On the other extreme, colored vinyl tape will shrink maybe 5-10% in a year, because the adhesive is much weaker.

    My experience. YMMV.
  17. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Yep ... and on the back a highly reflective, un-stealthy, rectangular glass that should be stealthed as well.

  18. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Electrical tape will destroy your paint finish. I'd just stick to gaffers tape, and reapply a fresh application every couple months or keep your camera out of direct sunlight and heat when not in use.
  19. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I wish the 45mm 1.8 came in black. Maybe it's just me, but I just can't get used to that faux metallic look. No problem if it was really metal, but it's painted plastic! I so wish Olympus would make the lens in black.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Real Name:
    I don't have the 45mm lens, but is there anything to prevent one from using model paint (such as Testor's) and a fine brush to overcoat the silver paint already on the lens?

    I'm thinking that maybe the Testor's paint would adhere to the silver paint as it would a base coat primer.

    I've used Sharpies upon occasion to black out white lettering (some devices just scream the brand name), and had acceptable results but don't think it would work well on a lens.

    It's only a $400 gamble...:biggrin:.