Changing lenses with camera ON

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by pdechavez, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. pdechavez macrumors regular

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    #1
    Is it safe to do so? Or will it damage the sensors on my DSLR?

    Thank you!
     
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    #2
    No, but it's not good practice. With the camera on, it creates a charge which would attract more dust towards the (now uncovered) sensors and mirrors (I think).
     
  3. pdechavez thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    well, a lot of my friends who are semi-pro photographers change lens on the fly. I asked them "wouldnt that damage anything?". they sed that if they turned it on and off on and off on and off everytime they change lenses, it wud be worse of a damage.
     
  4. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    #4
    As I said, it doesn't damage anything, but attracts dust.
     
  5. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #5
    Nikon recommends you turn your camera power off before changing lenses. Thom Hogan repeats this warning in his reviews of the 70-200 and 70-300 - he says it has something to do with problems caused if you change lenses while the VR is still active. I don't know if that's accurate or not; but since most modern lenses include computer chips and electronic circuits... I think you're just asking for trouble if you remove a lens while the circuitry is still live, even if it's low voltage.

    I can't imagine it causing problems for the sensor; mainly just the lens.
     
  6. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #6
    Define "semi-pro".
     
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #7
    There is not only a fair amount of logic applied here, but also a fair amount of truth. Really, in DSLRs you usually do not have the start up times that you see in P&S cameras so why not turn it off to be safe?

    I am going to guess that whomever is saying there is more damage being done when you do not turn it off is unsure what they're talking about. I would venture to guess that most pro and even "semi-pro" photographers will have one or two bodies (usually two) with the lenses they intend to use most. There probably isn't much changing going on at all. I doubt if they're doing anything with any kind of action there's any "on the fly" changing. I think you've been misinformed.

    I'm going to echo Westside's question and ask you to define "semi-pro". Is that someone who is a pro but only part time? Do they lose their talent, skill, and experience when they're not shooting? :confused:

    Personally, when asking questions and then backing up your concerns by dropping the "my friend the semi-pro", it looks silly. Your question is quite valid, is often asked by new and old photographers, and should be asked. I don't recall but I believe some camera manuals may even speak to turning off the camera before removing a lens or memory card for a variety of reasons.
     
  8. Forced Perfect macrumors 6502

    Forced Perfect

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    #8
    I never shut mine off. I dunno, I've never had a problem and I don't really know anyone else who turns off their cameras either.

    I don't think I buy the "camera being on attracts dust" thing. I swear I read something with Canon dismissing that saying CMOS sensors don't create much of a charge. Although I suppose any charge is enough to get something to stick.

    Either way, I do it all the time with my camera on and I have clean lenses and a clean sensor. :p
     
  9. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    #9
    Sometimes I remember to turn the camera off, seems to have survived the occasions when I didn't.
     
  10. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    #10
    I can't speak for camera manuals, but all VR lens literature (that I've seen) warns to turn VR and the camera off before removing the lens to avoid chattering. However, they don't say it will cause irreparable damage; they just say the lens might start sounding funny, immediately.

    I turn the camera off while switching lenses. Why not? It takes a split second to turn off, and startup times on SLRs are measured in milliseconds… where's the tradeoff?
     
  11. 66217 Guest

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    #11
    I had never heard that of the VR lenses. I'll be careful to do it now.

    And I agree, turning the camera on/off won't make you loose time.
     
  12. wheezy macrumors 65816

    wheezy

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    #12
    I switch my lenses a lot during a shoot, and never shut off the camera. I've never had a problem either so I'm just going to say that... it doesn't really matter. Turn it off if you'd like, or leave it on. The second your lens shifts a millimeter off the points it's basically 'powered down'. AFAIK, there isn't a shutdown procedure in a lens so it's not like just holding down power on a computer to force shut-down.
     
  13. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Nikon doesn't seem to make that big a deal of it. They mention it more often in the troubleshooting "My lens is chattering! What do I do?" question than anywhere else.
     
  14. Trajectory macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    I never shut my camera off when changing lenses, batteries or memory cards, and have never had a problem doing that with my Canon Rebel XT.

    If you have an external battery pack and flash, it's a pain to shut it all down just to switch out a card or lens. I try to remember to turn it off when switching batteries, but, I often forget, but it hasn't hurt the camera at all. IMO.

    EDIT: I don't recommend that anyone do this, I'm just relaying my personal mis-use and result. Best to follow the manufacturer's instructions.
     
  15. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #15
    Uh, no. Read your camera manual. Excerpting from page 36-37 of my D700 manual - the section "Attach a Lens":

    1. Remove the rear lens cap and the camera body cap

    After confirming that the camera is off, remove the rear lens cap from the lens and remove the camera body cap.

    2. Attach the lens

    ...

    Detaching the lens

    Be sure the camera is off when removing or exchanging lenses.

    The italics are mine - but note it's the first thing they say in both places.

    I guess people just don't think about lenses as being part of an electrical circuit. You should always power down a circuit before breaking it. You don't unplug your TV without turning it off first. You don't pull RAM while the computer is still on (okay, the RAM is probably too hot to keep your fingers on, but that's beside the point :D). Sure, most of the time it won't break anything - but it's just not a good idea.
     
  16. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #16
    Agree with you. It's a good idea to turn the camera off to replace lenses, and to connect it to the computer to download photos. Although some people replace lenses when the camera is on stand-by, there is always the possibility for one to slightly press the shutter button by accident, which in turn can send power to the wrong electrical contact as the lens is being mounted.

    Now, about getting dust inside the camera when replacing lenses, there is is not much you can do to prevent dust from entering the camera, except for being a little cautious (if you have the time). For example, try not to change lenses in dusty or wety environments, and minimize the amount of time it takes you to replace a lens. Also, don't worry too much about it, because it will happen sooner or later and sensors can be cleaned.
     
  17. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

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    #17
    Will Ferrell.
     
  18. arogge macrumors 65816

    arogge

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    #18
    I like to reboot the camera when changing lenses, because it triggers the automatic sensor cleaning system. I hot-swap the lenses when I don't have time to waste on lens changes. Unless you have a Live View system activated, the camera sensor is not recording and it is behind the shutter curtain until the shutter release is triggered. An optical image stabiliser can be damaged if the lens is disconnected from the power input before the IS module spins down. It is similar to having a power outage while a hard disc is being written-to.
     
  19. jbernie macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

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    #19
    Like everything, there are best practices which we should all be following and then there is what we all do to violate those practices on a daily basis.

    I don't shoot pro, semi-pro, or even semi-semi-pro, just for fun, but if you can't turn of the camera, swap lenses and power on again in sufficent time you are either not proficient enough with your equipment and need to make the process quicker or too lazy to turn a knob twice or maybe you need to consider adding an extra body to your equipment bag so you only need to change cameras and not lenses.

    Obviously the more pro you are the more reason you have for the extra body and the less shots you miss in turn should have you earning more $$.
     
  20. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #20
    :p :p :p
     
  21. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #21
    It's not that big of a deal. Change the lens if you have to. If you feel better about shutting it off go ahead, if not then leave it on. You are more at risk for dropping your lens while shooting and changing them than blowing a circuit in your lens.
     
  22. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #22
    ^

    I haven't ever purposefully turned of my camera to switch lenses. I mean, it may be off already, but I wouldn't have turned it off for that reason.

    Some people get too caught up in the details. Just change your lens and get the shot!
     

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