Protect Your Lens!

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Bravin Neff, May 9, 2013.

  1. Bravin Neff

    Bravin Neff Mu-43 Regular

    192
    Sep 25, 2011
    Detroit
    Bravin Neff
    I’m a junkie for m4/3 primes, and like anything valuable protecting them from damage is a consideration one can’t avoid. While mirrorless has moved us toward smaller and lighter gear, protection moves in the opposite direction. Camera bags add bulk, as do other products. Do you add this bulk, or do you risk your lenses by keeping things smaller and lighter?

    I have been doing the latter. And one night on the town concluded with me arriving home only to find my Olympus 12 f2 had a tiny ding on the body due to contact with something else. Knowing how much I love this lens (and how much it cost!) my heart was broken.

    I thought, why doesn’t someone make a cover to protect these things? Can they be protected without adding bulk? Can the protection be so compact that it is only slightly larger than the lens itself? Can it still permit full manual focus? Can it be made such that it doesn’t interfere with filters or other add ons? Can it be made in a manner that nothing contacts the lens itself, except a small band of plush material?!

    I searched for such a product and found nothing, so I decided to solve the problem myself. What follows is what I came up with. Please tell me what you think!

    O12 f2 naked and covered:

    8721326355_9bb5e5e9e9_c.

    8721327437_bab828a5e3_c.

    O45 f1.8 naked and covered:

    8721329077_8d4501a940_c.

    8721330227_6ff06621c8_c.

    O17 f1.8 naked and covered:

    8721331717_d0641bb982_c.

    8722452388_bcc50f35fb_c.

    PL25 f1.4 naked and covered:

    8721323997_cf3631b720_c.

    8721325079_0024bd7aa7_c.

    Even made one for the P20 f1.7!

    8722453632_0f32553d92_c.

    8721335217_b9eaaaf852_c.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. zcd

    zcd Mu-43 Regular

    39
    Mar 14, 2013
    Alberta, Canada
    Very nice work, how'd you do it?
     
  3. DeoreDX

    DeoreDX Mu-43 Veteran

    208
    Mar 13, 2013
    Alabama
    Interesting. Looks like they were made on rapid prototyping machines?
     
  4. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    Interesting and innovative.

    I keep my lenses in pouches and that works for me and I suspect may be faster than removing the cover from the lens to access on lens controls.

    Nice job though but not cheap unless mass producing - if that is your intention, it may prove a viable solution for many.
     
  5. zensu

    zensu An Old Fool

    Aug 8, 2012
    Southeastern USA
    Bobby
    An expensive form of manufacturing I've been told. (they do look very nice)
     
  6. Bravin Neff

    Bravin Neff Mu-43 Regular

    192
    Sep 25, 2011
    Detroit
    Bravin Neff
    In a nutshell, I reverse engineered my lenses, then designed covers in cad with the appropriate clearances along with the cloth material (on the inside), then trial-and-error'ed each one about a dozen times until the fit was right.
     
  7. Bravin Neff

    Bravin Neff Mu-43 Regular

    192
    Sep 25, 2011
    Detroit
    Bravin Neff
    You got it!
     
  8. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    I think it's a nice idea, but I am skeptical about what I think it would cost you to break even (or make a profit) on a development project. I would not want to pay more than $10 per cover for any of these lens covers. Above that, I would suffer the impact of the extra bulk of thin-walled pouches. (Are these made with a 3D printer?)
     
  9. Bravin Neff

    Bravin Neff Mu-43 Regular

    192
    Sep 25, 2011
    Detroit
    Bravin Neff
    The cover is designed such that it doesn't ever have to be removed. Of course it can be removed, quite easily, but by itself it stays put. For focusing, the entire cover itself is attached to the focusing ring, so manual focus is still fully available.
     
  10. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Very neat! Never seen anything like it. For prime lenses and m43 lenses without aperture dials it seems like a clever solution. Its the black olympus lenses people always wanted. ;)

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
     
  11. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    If the cover is linked to the focusing ring and moves easily, how do you mount and dismount the lens from the body?
     
  12. Bravin Neff

    Bravin Neff Mu-43 Regular

    192
    Sep 25, 2011
    Detroit
    Bravin Neff
    This is good to know, and thank you for your thoughts.

    I can't say what is ultimately better -- pouch or cover -- but I can say one thing in favor of the cover: it never needs to come off. So the lens is protected from inadvertent damage from (say), having the camera slung around your shoulder and making contact with random things. And the focus functionality is fully preserved. In a sense, the cover becomes the focus ring.
     
  13. Bravin Neff

    Bravin Neff Mu-43 Regular

    192
    Sep 25, 2011
    Detroit
    Bravin Neff
    You either pull the cover off first (just a small tug), or you squeeze the cover near the filter area, which is what I do.
     
  14. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    USA
    Pretty cool. I don't know if I would get one just for scratch protection, but it is pretty interesting.
     
  15. DeoreDX

    DeoreDX Mu-43 Veteran

    208
    Mar 13, 2013
    Alabama
    Seems like a pretty easy part to tool and make from something like silicone rubber or a TPU material or a plastic if you prefer. Even with a really low volume I bet per piece part costs would be dirt cheap, even amortize the cost of the tool into the part price I bet he could easily sell them at a profit for $10.
     
  16. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Veteran

    356
    Nov 18, 2011
    Very nicely done! If the price is reasonable I'd like to have one for the Oly 45.
     
  17. rozza

    rozza Mu-43 Regular

    89
    Feb 2, 2013
    New Zealand
    Great job Bravin. I have been working on exactly the same thing, but my reason was the desire for a black lens(17mm 1.8) as opposed to protection.

    I created my design in SolidWorks, but my efforts came to a halt at the (rumoured) announcement of a black 17mm. I have full access to a large engineering machine shop, but the other thing to slow me down was getting around to purchasing materials..

    Happy to share my models and ideas if you're interested!
     
  18. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Interesting product. I commend your design and fabrication skills. That said, I look at lenses (and cameras for that matter) as tools, so I don't get too concerned over their physical appearance with regard to small scratches and dings, so I don't think I would be likely to purchase something like this.
     
  19. Bravin Neff

    Bravin Neff Mu-43 Regular

    192
    Sep 25, 2011
    Detroit
    Bravin Neff
    Thanks for the kind words! I use SW as well and also work in manufacturing (CNC machines and process engineering). I'd love to collaborate on some camera stuff. PM me offline and we'll talk!
     
  20. cstevens

    cstevens Mu-43 Veteran

    411
    Feb 11, 2010
    UK
    oooo, yes please :) One for my 75, 45, 25 :)