November 26, 2014, 09:28:33 AM

Author Topic: Your technique for switching lenses in the field?  (Read 8099 times)

RobT

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Your technique for switching lenses in the field?
« on: October 26, 2012, 04:05:48 PM »
I feel like this is a stupid question, but one of you (or all of you) must have a safer technique then me, and I'd like to start using it now that my clumsy fingers could cost me hundreds of dollars.

I always point the camera down when removing or adding a lens in hopes to minimize dust getting into the sensor, and add the rear element cap from the lens I just stuck on the camera to the one I just took off.

However, I have huge hands and have gotten into the bad habit of gripping a lens and something else (sometimes another lens!) in one hand while I put the other on the camera.

Do you guys put the lens cap back on always? Rear element cap? Always kneel down so if you drop the lens you're a foot from the ground instead of four?

I figured I'd ask now before you see me make a topic about shifted elements.

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Your technique for switching lenses in the field?
« on: October 26, 2012, 04:05:48 PM »

friedmud

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Re: Your technique for switching lenses in the field?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2012, 05:27:10 PM »
I wonder about this myself... and have gotten into some precarious situations before.

The best solution is to have another set of hands - my wife's work well for instance.  Here are my general steps for that scenario:

1.  Take off hood and reverse on the lens that is currently on my camera.
2.  Put lens cap on the lens that is currently on my camera (my lens caps are always in my front right pocket... so they are easy to get to).
3.  I use a backpack that I can swing around and get into without putting it down... so I generally swing it around and snag the lens I want.  Then I take off the front-cap (it goes in my front-right jeans pocket) and loosen the back-cap and hand the lens to my wife.
4.  Unmount lens and snag the loosened back cap off the lens my wife is holding.  Place back-cap on newly unmounted lens and stow lens in backpack.
5.  Mount new lens
6.  Swing backpack back around.

You can achieve this without the extra set of hands by doing the same thing but leaving the lens you're going to mount in your bag (with the front-cap off and the back cap loosened), but there is a moment where you have your lens unmounted and you've gotta snag the back-cap off the new lens and attach it to the old lens and put away the old lens and mount the new lens and that gets pretty finicky with all your gear dangling off of you.  Often I will just stop and set my bag down and do it on the ground... especially for heavier / longer lenses (harder to deal with with a single set of hands.

I'm interested to see what others do.

RLPhoto

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Re: Your technique for switching lenses in the field?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2012, 05:36:47 PM »
I flip my lens facing out from my BR strap. Pull out my other lens and Turn the lens on my camera just enough to un-engage the button. I remove the rear cap on the lens in hand and take off the lens on camera. Quick swap later, i put the rear cap back on to the lens I removed and back into my bag.

rjhigh

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Re: Your technique for switching lenses in the field?
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2012, 05:39:34 PM »
I use a Boda lens bag. It is great for weddings and will fit anything as big as 70-200 2.8's. I use it for quickly switching between 24-70 and 70-200. You leave the hoods on the lenses and hold them by the hood to take them out. It's really fast and only requires one set of hands. The bag is weather proof and you don't have to worry about putting end caps or lens caps on.

Ew

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Re: Your technique for switching lenses in the field?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2012, 05:59:28 PM »
Body facing down on strap, remove lens (to table, bag etc), remove rear cap from incoming lens, apply lens, use rear cap from incoming to close the outgoing.  Then worry about the front (it its on) - been using the Shootsac, so all caps end up going into a back pocket, then I sort it out at the end of the shoot.

It gets more cumbersome when you want to slap on / remove a 1.4x / 2x in between the body and your 70-200 !

I usually have the rear caps all rotating between lenses, and the extenders have a different depth cap it seems - I've lost one and none of the lens rear caps seem to fit!

Step rings help with both filters and front caps (I really like the 3rd party Nikon-like caps) - not having figure "which one is in the pocket".  They do get in the way of hoods though - as most of my filters are 77mm.  This makes for a funky looking 40/2.8 (52mm thread) if I want a couple of 77mm NDs on it !
5D3 | 600D | EOSm | Samyang 8mm 3.8T | Samyang 14 2.8 | 17-40 | 28 1.8 | Sig 35 1.4 | 40 | 50 1.4 | 100 2.0 | 135 L | 70-200 4L IS + x1.4mk2 | Nippon Kogaku 50 1.4 (1965) | Nikkor 43-86 (mid 1970s) | M: 22

FTb-n

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Re: Your technique for switching lenses in the field?
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2012, 06:11:59 PM »
I use ThinkTank holsters deep enough to hold body and lens with hood in shooting position.  I generally don't use front caps on my 70-200 2.8L II and my 17-55 2.8.  The hoods always stay in the shooting position.

Granted, if I need both lenses, I carry two bodies and avoid changing.  But, on occasion, I'll carry just the 7D with 70-200 and a 35 2.0 for wide shots (ok, normal shots on crop).  I would carry a single holster with side pocket for the 35.  It helps to have one pocket or bag dedicated to each lens so you don't have to swap them out.  When I change lenses, camera strap is around the neck, body is tilted down to avoid dust.  The mounted lens is removed and straight to the holster or side pocket, hood first.   Second lens rear cap removed and transferred to first, second lens then mounted to body.

Things were a little easier with the old FD lenses.  One could use the thumb to flip the rear cap off into the camera bag, then mount to the body one handed while still holding the first lens in the other hand.

Oh, for smaller lenses where I do use front caps, I use Tamron caps.  They are similar to Nikon and much easier to remove than Canon caps.  (There's no way I'm putting a Nikon cap on my Canon...just can't do it.)
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extremeinstability

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Re: Your technique for switching lenses in the field?
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2012, 06:20:19 PM »
Body facing up with lens on it set down on something.  First push button and losen that lens without pulling it off yet.  Hold other lens next to it facing up, remove end cap from bottom.  Then fast swap and hold the one you took off the same way it came off with the open end down.  Then put that end cap on that one.  If you always do it that way and fast enough it's hard to get anything in there. 

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Re: Your technique for switching lenses in the field?
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2012, 06:20:19 PM »

TexPhoto

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Re: Your technique for switching lenses in the field?
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2012, 06:20:36 PM »
1. Remove current lens.
2. Add new lens.
3. (maybe) remember that I should have turned the camera off,... turn off and on just run sensor cleaner.

robbymack

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Re: Your technique for switching lenses in the field?
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2012, 07:29:09 PM »
I think you are thinking too much about this.  Yes you can probably do a few things to minimize sensor dust, but if you think pointing the camera down or any other silly maneuver is going to keep dust out then I have a bridge in Brooklyn you can buy. A camera is a tool, use it. 

eli72

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Re: Your technique for switching lenses in the field?
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2012, 08:46:40 PM »
One other thing that I have used when I'm only using one body is to take two rear lens caps and epoxy them together back to back. Have that double lens cap on the second lens. When you get ready to change lenses, hold the second lens in your left hand, use the first finger on your left hand to press the lens release button on the camera, dismount the lens on the camera with your right hand, insert it into the open lens cap and tighten it. Then, holding the lens caps with your right hand, unscrew the second lens with your left hand and mount it on the camera. Takes very little time, and very little dust is going to get into the camera.

pwp

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Re: Your technique for switching lenses in the field?
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2012, 11:00:23 PM »
Assess the conditions. If there is discernible swirling dust or sand, I don't change lenses. Use multiple bodies where you know the conditions are going to make lens changes hazardous. Hopefully there is a car or an inside area to make the change.

I shoot a lot of medical stuff, so if I'm in a theatre, I know it's super clean so I can be relatively careless. In more averaged situations I switch off so there is no static charge on the sensor and just do it swiftly. I don't put body or lens back-caps in pockets where they may pick up dust & lint. Stored body & lens back caps are always locked into each other to keep them together & clean.

You can get over obsessed with this...usually it's best to read the conditions and trust plain common sense.

One definition of intelligence is the ability to differentiate between relative importances.  So if you're in a windy, dusty outdoor location, and suddenly the money shot or hero shot of the day needs a very quick change from your 24mm to your 300mm for example, don't sweat it for a moment. Make the change, get the shot and deal with a sensor clean later.

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Nishi Drew

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Re: Your technique for switching lenses in the field?
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2012, 11:20:30 PM »
Over time you'll get dust and other weird stuff somewhere in your system, you can be very careful and have a neat procedure in keeping things clean, but all it takes is one bad condition and all that caring was kind of pointless. Of course, if you think it'll help your body and lenses last longer then of course

RobT

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Re: Your technique for switching lenses in the field?
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2012, 11:12:24 AM »
I know I'll inevitably get dust in the camera after awhile, its not so much my main concern as is dropping a lens onto concrete.

Hearing that there are so many different techniques is helpful though. I think I'll start making sure the first lens is completely in the bag before pulling out the second.

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Re: Your technique for switching lenses in the field?
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2012, 11:12:24 AM »

SDsc0rch

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Re: Your technique for switching lenses in the field?
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2012, 12:35:42 PM »
have you guys seen quickdraw?

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1022605159/quikdraw-an-innovative-lens-holster

I'm curious how this system will work out - my interest is piqued

changing lenses is a challenge for me too..

SDsc0rch

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Re: Your technique for switching lenses in the field?
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2012, 12:49:18 PM »

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Re: Your technique for switching lenses in the field?
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2012, 12:49:18 PM »