Lens Cap Debate

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by e²Studios, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2005
    So I am in the middle of a debate with a friend, she seems to believe that the lens cap should always be on the lens, and promptly returns it over the lens when she stops shooting whatever it is that she photographed. Now me on the other hand, if i am awake and the camera is close by i want to be able to reach, grab, and shoot whatever it is that got my interest, the cap i noticed sometimes is hard to get to with the lens hood over it, i have accidentally smudged my finger on the glass/filter a few times, and in general i tend to keep it off unless i am sleeping or nowhere near the camera. I know its there to protect my glass, but as i see it thats another reason why i have at least UV filter at all times over the glass.

    I cant see the harm in keeping the cap off in order to save time to get those quick shots, but i got stares earlier today from my friend as if i were committing a crime when i took a photo and then sat the camera near me and *gasp* didnt replace the lens cap..

    What do you guys usually do?

  2. Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    I never have the lens cap on the lens unless it's not being used at all.

    I make keep the cap with me, but generally, I deposit it into my backpack once I'm ready to shoot.
  3. macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    When I'm shooting I have the lens cap off and stashed either in the camera bag or in one of my pockets. If I'm out for an afternoon in a situation where I know I'll be shooting frequently I have the camera around my neck, usually turned on, and the lens cap stashed in the bag. When I'm not shooting and know that I'm not likely to for a while, then the camera is off and the lens cap is firmly on the lens. If I sit down to eat or drink something, such as when I am at a party, the camera, with lens cap attached, goes right into the bag for protection. At home, unless I'm in the midst of a project, the camera and lenses are safely stowed in a camera bag. If I'm messing around with a project such as tabletop still life or macro photography, then I'll keep the camera and lens out and ready to go. Sometimes in the summertime I'll also keep the camera ready to grab in a hurry if I'm out on my balcony and see some interesting birds and/or wildfowl. One time I was sitting on the balcony reading the camera manual with the camera beside me (I'd just bought the D70) when suddenly I smelled smoke and saw smoke wafting around the corner from the building next to mine. I grabbed the camera, reflexively pulling the lens cap off and sticking it in my pocket as I was running out the door to the street, where I was able to shoot images of a truck that had caught on fire. Fortunately, no one was injured and all ended well in that incident.

    Where I tend to be a little too casual is in using lens hoods. I hate the things. Yes, I know they're very useful and can make a difference, but very often I don't bother with them.
  4. macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Usually it is off unless the camera is off. Lens cap on = camera off. However, if I am hiking up somewhere or something with the camera around my neck I will certainly put the cap back on. Or if it is windy and I am around sand/dirt. But I have UV filters on my lenses so that pretty much acts as the cap.
    It would take too long to remove cap and turn on my camera...what if something awesome happened in 2 seconds? I'd still be checking my meter!
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 13, 2004
    Boise, ID
    With the UV filter you should be fine, unless you really abuse your gear. If I am shooting, the cap is off. If I know I won't be shooting for a while, then by all means, cap it.
  6. Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    I generally have the lens cap off when taking a picture... :D
  7. macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2002
    The lens cap is on only when the camera is off.
  8. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Lens cap off here

    I believe that is the reason they invented UV filters. :)
  9. -hh
    macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    Lens Cap = Power Switch

    The way I operate, the lens cap works with the power switch.

    IE, Turn the camera on, take the cap off.

    Turn the camera off, put the cap back on.

    Of course, there's always going to be exceptions to the rule, but in general, the cap not only prevents (minor) damage, but helps keep dust off the lens surface.

  10. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    If the camera is in the bag the lens cap is on...

    If it is out of the bag, I'm using it so the cap is off.

    I had a freak accident happen a few months ago with a UV filter that I still haven't figured out. I swapped my zoom for my 105mm and took the lens cap off. I looked through the lens and something just wasn't right. When I turned it around to check the front the UV filter was cracked right down the middle. The lens had been in the bag, in the studio and unused for a couple of weeks.
  11. macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)

    Ouch! Thank goodness the lens itself was OK. Far easier and less expensive to replace a filter than a lens!
  12. macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I put the lens cap back on when I put the camera back into a backpack or bag. If the camera is out the cap is off.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    I think that lens was around $800 or $900 when I bought it 13 years ago.
  14. macrumors 68030


    Aug 5, 2004
    a profane existence
    When not shooting for a period of time -> lens cap on.

    When I am shooting/know that I will be -> lens cap off
  15. macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop
    -Ed H

    Actually, UV filter notwithstanding (which I don't use), this is why the lenses are coated.

    I agree with the others, I only cap it when in bag.

    Oh, for everybody, an excellent resource for we Nikon-heads is http://www.bythom.com

    Edit: My speling is reeeeally bad today.
  16. macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    Yes! I've got one of his e-books. Another great place to hang out is the Nikon Cafe at http://www.nikoncafe.com. There are a lot of good discussion forums there as well as some competitions and several forums specifically for displaying and discussing one's work.
  17. macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    Same here. :)
  18. macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2004
    State College, PA
    I'm very particular about things getting on my lenses, so I always keep the cap on.

    During shooting, I will leave the cap off while I shoot, but I put it back on if I need to walk somewhere, or won't be shooting for a few minutes.

    I'm more careless when I have a UV filter that can take a blow, but I don't have one on my digital, so it gets babied :)

Share This Page