Free yourself from the lens cap tyranny.

You need lens caps when the lens is in the bag, or off the camera:

But do not feel bad if you do not want to use the lens cap when you are using your camera. Pros seldom do; amateurs almost always do.I can instantly see how experienced someone is by checking whether they walk around with a lens cap on their camera.

Why pros do not use lens caps? When you are using your camera, the lens cap is in the way. It prevents pictures. To prevent damage, use a lens hood instead, and perhaps a filter on the lens – although even filters are seldom used by the pros. You use filters when you are in the rain or snow or at the beach. Otherwise, use the lens naked. Better quality, no hassles, and you do not lose those $30 lens caps.

(If you do, or even before you do: buy brandless $6 lens caps. That way an inevitable loss does not hurt as much).

0 thoughts on “Freedom.

  1. You know, I’ve always thought having the cap on my camera such an ‘obstacle’. It often made me miss photo ops: by the time I take off the cap, the moment (or the subject)is gone! But I was also scared of ruining/scarring my lenses. I recently got filters so I will follow your advice! By the way, I’m not a photographer, I hardly know anything about photography, but I am learning and find this art fascinating.


  2. Thank you for your words of encouragement, Michael! I often get frustrated because of my lack of technical knowledge but I try not to let that get in the way and just keep shooting!

  3. Loved to see your pics. I am looking at the snow outside (-20C) as I Look at your wonderful Asian scenes.

    As for learning: read good sites (maybe like this teaching blog!), and do ask me questions – I’ll answer them on the blog.

  4. Thank you, Michael!

    Like I said, I know next to nothing about photography. I always loved the art – but as in admiring other people’s work. I began using cameras after I became a Mom, 4 years ago. My camera back then was a Canon 400D. Now I also have a Canon 40D. I use both now, but mostly the 40D. Let me add I haven’t figured out either one of them. As for lenses, I have the 18-55 mm kit lens, a 70-300 mm that I hardly ever use because I just can’t handle it, a 55-250 mm which I kinda like, and most recently a 24-70 mm that I got for Christmas. People around me think I’m a photographer because I’m always shooting and that just makes me smile. My main subjects have been my girls but lately I try to shoot other things. I started with the automatic mode but hated it right away because pics just turned either too dark or too bright. The mode just didn’t give me automatically nice pictures! So I tried P and stuck with it, until recently. I am trying the AV mode.

    As you can tell, I don’t have a specific question to ask you yet but I thought a quick overview like this might help when I start asking you questions!

    Thank you for allowing novices like me to join. 🙂


    p.s. I wanted to say that I found your blog via bkkphotographer’s blog, which I stumbled upon a few days ago while surfing for ‘knowledge’! I enjoyed his photos, also because I was born and raised in Bangkok until I moved to Laos.

  5. The 24-70 is a great lens. Also, consider a very wide lens (10-20 or 10-22).

    My advice:

    1. Learn Av and “Exposure compensation” (search for it here on this blog). That’s your main mode.

    2. Learn to use one focus spot (not the mode where the camera chooses the focus spot).

    Those will go a long way to making you a confident photographer!

  6. Hello Michael,
    The lens cap is not always my friend, like other readers, I miss out on some shots because of the lens cap. I would have say, the worse is, you get your camera set up, mount it on the tripod. Ready to take the first photo and then you realize the cap is on. It’s ok if you’re taking photo of your pet because he doesn’t say anything. It’s different when it’s portrait. From now on that will be first thing I do.
    Thanks Michael

  7. Plus, its really embarrassing when you lift the camera to take a photo and then have to bring it down to take the lens cap off. Your subject (especially if its family/close friends) will really chime in on you when you do it hehe.

  8. In Thailand we have a lot of silly rules that few people take seriously but from time to time somebody in uniform will decide to try to enforce. One of them is “no photography on the Bangkok Subway”.

    Since the 2006 bombings the subway has stationed security guards and a metal detector at every entrance. Once or twice I’ve been accosted by a security guard when carrying my DSLR “naked”, i.e. without its lens cap. He seemed to think that I was not allowed on the subway unless my lens was capped. As if that was going to stop anybody taking photos…

    I told him not to be silly and continued on my way.

  9. Indeed.

    And re the lens caps: I have people in my classes all the time who, after I say “lose the lens cap” and “put them away for this class”, continue to put the cap on every time – in three hours they will put the cap on, and take it off, 100 times. I cannot convince them to take the lens cap off and leave it off even for three hours in a classroom. It’s so ingrained… so I’ll repeat: LOSE THE LENS CAP! 🙂

  10. Since Jan 3rd when you posted this, I try and leave the cap off. i was once like your students. I still leave my filter on most of the time for protection. I guess, I get that from being raised by my grandparents. They didn’t have a lot, so to my grandmother protect everything…lol

  11. Oh, and I am not recommending being reckless. If the lens is in danger (rain, snow, grubby little fingers) leave a lens filter on; and always use a lens hood. They protect, as you know.

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