shades & back caps/commentary


Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Oct 1, 2010
I discovered this forum a couple of days ago and have been reading old posts. Lots of good stuff here.

But I have also read some IMHO misguided comments re lens shades and back caps.

Re shades, I read a discussion that centered on whether a shade for the Oly 9-18mm was necessary to prevent flare. I think this misses a very important reason for shades: protection. Back when I was more serious about photography and lugged around a lot of heavy Nikon equipment and prime lenses, most of the lens shades looked like they had been through a war. Chipped paint, bent edges, etc. The point, of course, being that the lenses that carried them were pristine. Shades are cheap; lenses are not. IMHO even with everything being plastic, there is no question that lens shades are necessary -- regardless of flare considerations.

Re back caps, I read a post where the writer was advocating not using them. Just toss the lenses into bags because dealing with back caps was such a hassle ... Arggh. Here is the way to handle back caps, an idea I saw on a Leicaflex many moons ago: double caps. Specifically for M43, take a pair of Oly back caps, rub the flat sides against sandpaper to raise a little tooth, then epoxy glue them together. Put one double back cap on each lens that you carry. Now, when changing take the lens off the camera (hanging on a strap), take the desired lens out of the bag and attach the first lens to the open back cap. Flip the assembly end-for-end, then release the desired lens, put the first lens in the bag and the desired lens on the camera. No need for three hands to juggle two lenses and a loose back cap -- because the double back cap is always attached to at least one lens.

(Panny back caps are deeper for no good reason; Oly back caps make a more compact assembly.)

(Here is a photo of a commercial double back cap: The amazing thing is that the sellers of these do not understand their use. The sellers say things like "store lenses back to back" and "save space." Nonsense. One per lens -- you will be a happy lens-changer and the rear elements of your lenses will always be protected.)

Hope this helps someone.

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