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Confessions of a Gadget Junkie – Silicone Lens Caps
The secret is out! Photographers love a good gadget! I have yet to find a hobbyist or a professional photographer who doesn’t regularly check out the latest and greatest inventions and doohickeys that might just make their job a bit easier. I must confess – I, too, am a Gadget Junkie. It goes far beyond photography for me – I love gadgets for everything. The odder the better when it comes to household tools. As long as they work, that is… Naturally, that translates into photography for me. So without further ado, I present to you the first installment of:
In this series, I will share with you the latest thingamajig that I just couldn’t resist trying out!
I have seen this item pop up on my Facebook feed several times. Of course, once I clicked on it the first time, the sellers stepped up their game and began pushing this into my feed everywhere! Big Brother is out there… But I digress. And that means it’s a good time to start at the beginning.
I lose my lens caps. There. I have admitted it. I have tried all kinds of fancy little ways of keeping them, but I just haven’t been able to find something that works. And yes – I have even tried the little sticky pad with the elastic strap to hold the cap on the lens. Nope – dangling lens cap always in my way – and then the stickies would lose their stick, come unstuck, and poof – lens cap gone!
Next, I tried the clip on lens cap pincher that clips to my camera strap and uses a spring mechanism (think clothes pin) to pinch the cap – easy in and easy out, right? Looked great on paper, and then as soon as I clipped the cap into the pincher, it popped out. Voila! Lens cap gone.
Then I tried the lens cap mount that fits on the camera strap. The kind that lets you mount your cap on it just as if you were mounting it on the lens. Great idea! Until you change lenses and the next lens cap is a different size. I guess you could line up a few of them on your camera strap to accommodate all of your lens sizes. Sounds comfy, doesn’t it? Ugh!
Click HERE to find out what other gadgets, gizmos, and doodads I carry in my camera bag!
Of course when gadgets didn’t seem to be working, I began trying my own ingenuity. First, the lens cap in the bra method (sorry dudes), but then I ended up with a sweaty lens cap that was not fit to be put back on my lens, not to mention how very professional it looks to go digging in my brassiere for that cap each time I want to put it on or take it off my lens. Of course, next I tried my pocket. Pants pocket, jacket pocket, any pocket will do. I even tried a t-shirt that had a lens cap pocket built in. But it was never clean when I needed it. Sigh. As for the pants and the jacket – let’s just say I’ve left a trail of caps in multiple venues and even sent one to Goodwill in a jacket I was no longer using. Sigh.
I almost gave up….
At this point I had simply given up on the lens cap dilemma. I simply stopped using them. I know, I know…. Save your objections. I learned the hard way that this is just a bad solution. Yep – you guessed it – tossed one of my favorite lenses into my bag without a cap, and the next time I pulled it out, it had a big ole scratch right across the glass. It’s okay, you can take a minute to cry with me here. And then maybe you’ll curse the nasty business that is the lens cap along with me!
Enter the Silicone Lens Cover
Now you can imagine, as I have admitted to loving gadgets, that when I first saw this silicone lens cover pop up in my feed, that I simply had to check it out. Unfortunately, the first ones I saw were nearly $50! That seemed a bit steep for me, especially since I had become wary of the many seemingly perfect solutions that were far from perfect. I couldn’t justify another $50 for a gadget that would probably end up under the seat of my car or in a pocket that finds its way to Goodwill.
But one day I had had enough frustration. I decided to go to my favorite supplier of gadgets, Amazon, and see what I could find. Imagine my amazement when I found these silicone caps that I had been secretly coveting – from many sellers at many prices – and most of them less than $50!
Know someone else who loves gadgets? Click HERE for a list of 25 great photography gift ideas, gadgets included!
Now let me be the first to say that you get what you pay for, so perhaps the $50 caps are a better investment. But for me it just made sense to get a feel for the concept before investing the big bucks. So, I studied all of the prices on Amazon and decided to give these a try.
I pressed “buy now” on a set of 2, size Large, and waited skeptically for them to arrive. Two days later (thank you, Amazon Prime), these little babies showed up in this tiny, unassuming box.
Pros & Cons
So now let’s talk about the pros and cons of these little guys.
- They are super-duper thin and lightweight.
- They come with two kinds of attachment straps, heavier adjustable wrist straps and lightweight elastic straps that stretch around the barrel of your lens. I have been using the heavier adjustable straps on the barrel of my lens. Easy to pop off and put on my wrist, but I prefer them right on the lens.
- Very, very stretchy – easy to put on and off the lens.
- Easy to clean with soap and water.
- Keeps moisture off the glass.
- Interchangeable size fits multiple pieces of glass, so no keeping track of which cap goes on which lens.
- They don’t always line up perfectly across the glass, so you either need to fuss or accept that they may look crooked.
- The silicone collects dust and pet hair. Ew! There may be a way around this – just haven’t found it yet.
- If you use the straps, they are still dangling from something – wrist or lens, but they are lightweight enough that they don’t clank against anything or feel annoying to me like a lens cap.
I have had them for about 2 weeks and have used them for a couple of sessions – one portrait and one landscape session. So far, they have outranked any of my previous attempts at covering my lenses and keeping the caps convenient and handy.
These handy gadgets have been worth every penny of my $14. They add virtually no weight to my camera bag and give a thin layer of protection to my glass in addition to keeping dust and sand out of my lenses, even though they collect a bit of pet hair and dust.
Please let me know in the comments if you’ll give these silicone lens covers a try, and what you think!
And since I love a good gadget, please shoot me any ideas you have for camera gear you’d like me to try!
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