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Tips and Tricks for Changing Lenses?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by jloden, May 24, 2012.

  1. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    I did a search and couldn't find any info on this. This isn't limited to MFT cameras obviously, and it may sound like a dumb question, but since the GF2 was my first interchangeable lens camera the whole process was new to me.

    I'm wondering if there's better ways to change lenses on the move - without dropping anything :tongue: And of course tips on how to keep the sensor exposed as little as possible. I usually cap the lenses' rear element as I go and change as quickly (and as infrequently) as possible but sometimes I feel like I need 3 hands if I don't have a table or something to set something down on.

    Anyone have any tips and tricks for changing lenses, especially on the go?
     
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  2. Gusnyc

    Gusnyc Mu-43 Veteran

    306
    Mar 9, 2010
    New York
    I could suggest is to point the camera to the floor when you change a lens. The gravity will help to avoid the biggest particles (or hair) entering the camera, since these things will be falling, not going upwards (unless there is wind, in which case I wouldn't change the lens unless I can take cover).

    Another thing I do is to turn on the camera as soon as I change the lens. Olympus cameras shake the sensor when you turn them on. I imagine Panasonic does the same thing.

    I don't know how effective these recommendations are, but I get a little bit of peace of mind.
     
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  3. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    Use a body cap? Generally, as soon as I unmount a lens, I replace it with the body cap. Then, I don't feel like I need to hurry and I don't have to worry about covering the mount opening on the body, and I can take my time fiddling with caps on the old/new lenses. When you're done changing lenses, just screw the body cap onto the loose lens rear-cap, and shove it in the bag.
     
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  4. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    Apr 12, 2011
    I'm interested in this too as I always feel clumsy when I'm doing it. What I've got so far is -

    1. Get a bionic 3rd hand

    2. Avoid dusty/windy conditions if possible.

    3. Keep camera pointed down when the sensor is exposed.

    4. Keep rear lens element pointed down until just before installing.
     
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  5. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Change lenses as little as possible! Zooms help in this area. However sometimes you need a different lens!

    One trick I do is change the lenses inside a bag. By bag I mean a backpack or camera bag. I have a Tamrac lens bag to carry the lenses in and when I switch I use the bag to help protect them and the camera as much as possible. If you are outside turn your back to the wind to prevent it from blowing crap into the camera. Make sure you have the camera secured to your person somehow, strap or rig, that way your hands are free for the lens itself.

    I had a terrible time when I first started using m4/3 because I am an old Nikon man and they turn opposite directions! M4/3 turns clockwise to lock and Nikon turns counter-clockwise.
     
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  6. dylandingo

    dylandingo Mu-43 Regular

    186
    Nov 12, 2011
    La Crosse, WI
    I got this tip off youtube awhile back ago and it only seems to work with small lenses(perfect for all the great primes we have for the m4/3 system.) First you remove the back cap off the lens you want to throw on your camera and hold it in one hand with your pinky,ring, and middle finger(I prefer using my left hand for this). Then while holding the camera in your other hand(right hand for me) so that your thumb can hit the lens release, you match up the red dot of the lens you're putting on with the one that is on your camera body already. From there all you have to do is hit the lens release and remove the lens with the remain thumb and pointer finger of your left hand(if you're like me) and attach the new lens that is being held with your pinky and ring fingers. If you did it correctly when you pull the first lens off the dot on the new lens and camera should match up. This seems to be the quickest way I have found to swap lenses and you can still hold the camera with the sensor down to keep dust out.
     
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  7. Brianetta

    Brianetta Mu-43 Veteran

    438
    Sep 5, 2010
    North East England
    Brian Ronald
    This is probably the only time I use my camera's strap. Camera on my chest, one lens in each hand, lens cap in my shirt pocket, or hanging from a little finger.
     
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  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    This is basically what I do, but I generally manage to have no lens on the camera for such a short second or two that I just set the camera with its back on the top of whatever bag I'm carrying (if I have more than one lens, I always have at least a small bag) and the sensor pointing up - the strap is still around my neck so I don't need to worry about dropping it. I release the old lens and give it about a quarter turn so its still secure but will come off really easily, then I take the rear cap off of the new lens, line up the red dot, and then literally lift the one lens off as I'm putting the new one on. The sensor is almost never exposed for more than a second. I twist the new lens into place, then let it hang from the strap while I stick the rear cap back on the other and put it in the bag.

    This is not a time consuming endeavor... BTW, I've done this with a wrist strap instead of a neck strap too and its a little trickier, but is still workable...

    -Ray
     
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  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The general rules are to turn the camera off before changing lenses (so the electric current doesn't attract the dust, and to point the camera down when changing lenses.

    Honestly though, with the SSWF dust reduction system of the Panasonic and Olympus cameras, you really have little to worry about with dust. I never worry about leaving mine exposed.

    As far as speed and accuracy in changing, that just comes with practice. Out in the field I usually swap my lenses with two in hand, two fingers on one lens and two on another. I can swap them with my eyes closed, and I don't use small lenses, either. Often I'll even have to start shooting with an extra lens still cradled in my fingertips, because there's no time to toss it in a bag. That's just the way it goes sometimes. You can't let worry over gear get the better of you. ;) I can only ever remember dropping a lens twice during a quick change, both times when I was still relatively inexperienced and once when my fingers were frozen in the winter freeze. Nothing happened to any of the lenses, even after rolling down the asphalt for meters.
     
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  10. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
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  11. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

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  12. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    - Dump the caps... both the front and rear.
    - Point the camera down.
    - Use bag or pouches that have individual compartments for each lens.
    - Always make sure you leave 1 compartment in your bag empty to accommodate the lens that is already mounted. Dismount lens, drop into empty compartment, reach into another compartment, grab lens, mount it. Having the 1 empty compartment means you don't have to juggle two lenses at the same time while in mid change.
    - Close bag flap afterwards to minimize dust in the bag itself.

    Seriously, leave the caps at home. I haven't used them in over 10 years. The last time I used one, I actually dropped the lens fumbling around with the darn rear cap...

    Warning... I've had a few people that use the double back caps mention cases when a lens fell off during a change. They don't lock so its easy for them to work loose or for the shooter to not realize they were not tightened. After much use, they also wear out becoming even looser. They were never designed to support weight nor the torque. If you go this route, at least hold it over your bag.

    Here is what I use on occasion when I don't even carry a bag. Just the camera and two lenses.

    383132207.

    A person with some ingenuity should be able to create a better "double cap" or lens holder like mine picture above using some spare cheap adapters or something.... something that locks. If you look closely at the picture, you can see the release for the locking mechanisms.
     
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  13. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Do you by chance have a link to the video? I think a video would be worth a thousand words. I'm not sure I followed all that :tongue:
     
  14. JudyM

    JudyM Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 5, 2010
    Westminster, MD
    What he said...except for the part about dropping lenses (sorry Ned).

    It takes practice. I don't worry about dust and stuff, if I did I'd never change lenses. I change lenses often...very often...when I'm out, even in wet and windy conditions. I just point the camera down, away from the wind, or shield it with my body. Sometimes I do the juggling act, like Ned. Other times I stand the lens I want to use up in my bag, remove the rear lens cap, remove the lens on the camera, drop that in the bag, grab the other lens and put it on the body. The whole process takes 10-15 seconds and there's no fear of dropping a lens.
     
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  15. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    Is this it?

    [ame=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBNyBnA-MFg&feature=youtube_gdata_player]How to Quickly Change SLR DSLR Camera Lens Large f/2.8's! - YouTube[/ame]
     
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  16. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    You know, I wonder if it makes that much difference with the automatic cleaning sensors on MFT cameras.

    I'd be curious to see what the sensor looks like on say, someone who changes lenses all the time in the field looks like compared to someone who only changes lenses in controlled conditions and as infrequently as possible. It'd be funny (and suit my cynical expectations) if we worry about this as much as we do and it turns out to make little to no practical difference :biggrin:
     
  17. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
  18. dylandingo

    dylandingo Mu-43 Regular

    186
    Nov 12, 2011
    La Crosse, WI
    Not the video I used but I am sure it is close enough. Goodluck!
     
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  19. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Just tried the method from the video out and it works great! It's a lot smoother, faster, and more secure than the awkward juggling I'd been doing. Now I don't feel so silly for having started this thread, it was already worth it! :2thumbs:
     
  20. There's video somewhere (phoblographer,maybe?) demonstrating how to quickly change lenses one-handed on an E-PM1. It's might be safe enough, but I just get the feeling that the method has disaster written all over it.
     
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