Never lose your lens cap again

I misplaced the lens cap for my Canon T1i camera recently. It wasn’t particularly difficult or expensive to find a replacement, but it was an unnecessary hassle that I would have preferred to have avoided.

When I replaced the lens cap I decided that I would secure it to the camera with a small and inexpensive leash designed expressly for that purpose. In fact, the lens cap tether was so inexpensive that I was left wondering why the camera manufacturers don’t just include them with digital SLRs. Then I realized that the folks at Canon would probably prefer to sell me replacement lens caps, which are much more expensive.

It might seem obvious, but it often makes sense for loss-prone items to be physically secured so they won’t end up missing when needed.

16 Comments for “Never lose your lens cap again”

  1. posted by Chaya on

    Talk about unitasker. Ever heard of a pocket?

  2. posted by Kristen@TheFrugalGirl on

    Chaya, that’s my method because I don’t have a tether. The problem is, some of my clothes don’t have pockets (women’s clothes often don’t!). Then I’m stuck holding the cap or tucking into my waistband.

    Amazingly enough, though, I haven’t lost a single lens cap in the almost 3 years that I’ve had my SLR.

  3. posted by Evan on

    Lens caps are unnecessary for most lenses but super wide angle lenses. Get a lens hood to protect the front element from bumps AND from stray light that will foul the photo. Lens hoods, especially those on leashes, are only great at ruining photos, either by taking too long to remove or by swinging into the frame for an odd angle. Ask any photojournalist and you’ll get this answer.

  4. posted by Chirag Shah on

    I’d have to agree with Evan. I used a tether for a while, but found that with the lens cap hanging off the end of my lens, it created a pendulum effect and created noticeable (at times) camera shake. I say either be more careful with the cap, or leave it at home and use a lens hood and cleaning cloth.

  5. posted by Anita on

    Not a bad idea for consumers who only use their DSLR with one lens, use it fairly infrequently, and/or put the lens cap on and take if off frequently.

    However, for more serious photographers this is an annoyance more than anything. A few reasons why I would not buy this:

    – having a strap around the barrell of my lens can make it uncomfortable to zoom or focus, depending on where the zoom and focus rings are located on each lens.

    – having a string and lens cap dangle from my lens would be impractical (it can get tangled in my camera strap or my fingers, I’d need to hold it out of the way when shooting downwards so it doesn’t get in the shot, I’d have to hold it out of the way when shooting upwards so it doesn’t get in my face or in the way of changing my camera settings…) and can also be detrimental to image quality (having the extra moving weight can add to camera shake, even on a tripod)

    – if you have more than one lens, you’d either have to own a bunch of these (one for each lens) or move the tether every time you switch lenses, which I imagine would be a pain.

    If you really want a gadget to hold your lens cap without getting in the way, I’d suggest the Hufa lens cap clip, which can be attached to your camera strap or to clothing: http://www.hufaholder.com/

    For my part, I’ll go without either. When I’m on a shoot or photo walk, my lens cap stays off for the duration, and only goes back on the lens when I’m done with my camera; in the meantime it stays in my pocket or camera bag (I’m sure to have either one or the other whenever I’m shooting). Never lost a lens cap; in fact, I bought an extra one at one point, in case I ever needed a replacement, and I’ve never needed to use it yet.

  6. posted by Steve on

    sorry but that would be completely impractical – much better to buy a UV filter which changes the image little if at all, costs less than a branded lenscap and just leave it on all the time.

    Also you do not want to be having to remove a lenscap at a critical moment – the camera should be ready to go!

  7. posted by Michael on

    I’m with Anita…the straps are impractical unless the cap can snap onto something and not swing around.

    And Steve’s advice about the UV filter is spot-on.

  8. posted by ecuadoriana on

    No lens cap for me! It is only used when my camera is in the bag. I am a semi professional photographer. A lens cap dangling looks unprofessional, first off. Second, yes, it does create pendulum motion and is also a distraction for any subject that is human or animal! For when I am out and about I use a hood and polarizing lens anyway, so they offer all the lens protection I need.

    However, for those who are not serious photographers, the weekend-out-with-the kids warriors, a lens cap tether is the way to go, because yes, they do get put down and lost! I’ve found them laying around everywhere that there have been families taking fotos earlier!

  9. posted by Pru on

    It looks like a really poorly reviewed product at Amazon, actually.

  10. posted by timgray on

    I have used those, and they do not last very long. I end up breaking the cord or mostly having the sticky fall off the lens cap.

    Get in the habit of the lens cap goes in your pocket, every time. And you will stop losing lens caps.

  11. posted by JJ on

    I am a hobbyist, who uses her slr regularly. Every time I get a lens, I get a tether. Why? Because it solved my problem. With my previous camera I kept losing the caps. This camera – no loss. I don’t care what the professionals do, I leave my lens cap on when the camera isn’t in use, and I do have the UV filter on my lens.

    Oh – and it doesn’t effect the way I shoot, does not get in the way of the lens and does not hinder focus and zoom for me. I guess it depends on how you use it.

  12. posted by Anna on

    My husband bought me one of these, I don’t always have a pocket handy for my cap and need to keep the cap on as much as possible when shooting places like the beach (constantly cleaning the sea spray off the lens isn’t my idea of fun).

    I wasn’t impressed with the quality of it at all. It lasted all of 30 seconds in the hands of my 1 year old before she managed to break it. Yeah, yeah I know a 1 yr old shouldn’t have it but short of placing her into a straight-jacket there isn’t much I can do to stop her grabbing things.

    She got hold of the elastic, stretched it out a bit and it never sprang back into it’s original state. She wasn’t that rough with it and only had it for a moment. Don’t know if I got an old or a defective one but am not going to spend more money just to find out otherwise.

  13. posted by Cyrano on

    The truth is you have to find a system that fits you as a photographer. Evan’s system of using lens hoods is great, but I know it wouldn’t work for me just because of the type of bag I have and the system I have of switching lenses (I’d have to put away the lens hood every time I switched lenses – even if I had one of those rubberized ones it would still be a pain).

    I put the cap in my pocket, but never considered that this may not work for women.

    I would hate having a lens cap dangling all over the place, but can see how that may be your best option.

    That said, I would hate putting those UV filters on my lens. My thought is I didn’t spend $1200 on my glass just to prop a cheap piece of plastic in front of it.

  14. posted by DeBergerac on

    To filter or not to filter debate aside, I would hope that if someone bought a $1200 lens, then they wouldn’t be shopping for filters in the cheap plastic department.

  15. posted by Felicia on

    My lens cap for my Canon camera has a clip on the inside of the cap. It is used to clip the cap onto the strap when using the camera.

  16. posted by HufaHolder on

    Thanks for suggesting the Hufa Holder, Anita! Check us out on Facebook for frequent promotions and giveaways.

    Good luck with the lens caps, everyone :)

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