Lenses form an integral part of any photographer’s arsenal. Almost like an eye, its impossible to work if the lens is damaged. Even when they are not being used, the surface of the lens optics can be covered and scratched by dust or the packaging material. A lens cover or lens cap gives protection from scratches, dust and minor collisions for camera and camcorder lenses when they are not being used. There are also binocular lens caps, but those are beyond the scope of this buying guide.
Purpose of the Guide
There are many choices when it comes to lens caps. This guide aims to simplify the process of selecting a lens cap for your lens. It will take you through identifying the kind of lens cap you need so you can make an educated choice and pick the cap that’s perfect for your needs.
What are Lens Caps?
Camera lenses should always be protected when not in use. Buying lens caps are so much more economical than buying a new lens just because you may scratch it. Lens caps are built to protect the lens from damage. There are 2 kinds of lens caps: front and rear lens caps. Unfortunately, these are very easy to lose, hence a lens cap strap, or a lens tether, is also a good buy with a lens cap. Lens caps are manufactured by all lens makers, and are available at all retail dealers and online (especially at Unique Photo).
Features of Lens Caps
They come in 2 types: Front and Rear.
Front Lens Caps
Snap-On Lens Caps
Snap-on lens are attached to the inside ring of the camera lens. This kind of cap is suitable for photographers who use lenses that accept filters. Make sure that the lens cap is of the same size as the filters. You can find out the size by observing the side, front or rim of the camera lens. Given below are the standard sizes of the snap-on lens:
27 mm, 28 mm, 30 mm, 34 mm, 37 mm, 39 mm, 40.5 mm, 43 mm, 46 mm, 49 mm, 52 mm,55 mm lens cap, 58 mm, 62 mm, 67 mm, 72 mm lens cap, 77 mm, 82 mm, and 8 6mm
Push-On Lens Caps
The most popular of the lot, the push-on caps just fit over the lens. These caps are common but are not as effective as the snap-on caps. If the camera lens does not have filter threads then it may be the only choice for you. In order to find the right size, you will need to measure the lens with a metric rule. This will give you the size of the cap you will need.
These caps are made by the lens manufacturer customized for a particular lens. These caps are unique and will provide more area of coverage than the standard size lens covers. The best way to procure this type of cap is through the manufacturer itself.
Rear Lens Caps
Rear lens caps, as the name suggests, are for the rear of the camera when the lens has been detached from the camera. The rear lens cap is only required if the camera takes interchangeable lenses. You need to look at the camera and see if this cap is required for you. If one is needed then there are three varieties that you can choose from:
This cap is attached to the lens via twisting and locking on the bayonet mount of the camera lens.
These types of lens caps are for lenses that have a threaded mount.
They are the most common lens since they just slide over the mount of the camera.
Though there are three different types of rear lens caps, the best way to choose among them is to know the type of camera you possess. There are specific lens caps that only work with specific lens like the ones given below:
|Bronica ETR rear lens cap||Bronica ETR lenses|
|Bronica SQ rear lens cap||Bronica SQ lenses|
|Canon EOS rear lens cap||Canon EOS lenses|
|Canon FD rear lens cap||Canon FD or FL lenses|
|Hasselblad rear lens cap||Hasselblad lenses|
|Konica rear lens cap||Konica 35mm SLR lenses|
|Leica M rear lens cap||Leica M-series lenses|
|Leica R rear lens cap||Leica R - series lenses|
|Minolta Maxxum rear lens cap||Minolta Maxxum lenses|
|Minolta MD rear lens cap||Minolta MD and ML lenses|
|Nikon rear lens cap||Nikon manual focus AND Nikon Auto focus lenses|
|Olympus rear lens cap||Olympus manual focus lenses|
|Pentax K-mount||Pentax Autofocus and Manual focus bayonet-mount lenses (also used by Ricoh, Sears, Vivitar, etc..)|
|Yashica / Contax rear lens cap||Most Yashica and Contax lenses for 35mm SLR camera systems|
Top 5 Manufacturers
Canon has established itself as one of the best lens manufacturers. Canon’s lenses are always of the best quality. It is no surprise therefore they are also one of the biggest lens cap manufacturers as well. They provide unique caps for all their lenses.
Sigma is a third party lens manufacturer. Sigma’s lenses fit a variety of camera bodies. They make lens caps for all their products as well as third party caps.
Tamron is another third party lens manufacturer that also customizes its lens caps for their lenses. Tamron lens are of good quality and their lens caps follow suite.
A giant in the photography world, Nikon has been into almost everything and at the forefront of all things photography. Their caps are of impeccable quality. As all lens manufacturers, they also make caps unique to their lenses.
Fotodiox makes third party camera products including lens caps. Their products are of good make, and they also feature parts for rare and old cameras, like the old medium formats.
- Filters are camera accessories that are inserted into the optical path to give the desired effect. They are made from glass Rexene or plastic, but they generally also have an optically active coating on their surface. They come in various sizes, typically to suit the lens or lens mount they will be used with.
- Bayonet Mount:
- The bayonet mount is a type of mechanical attachment for fitting a lens to a camera body. It consists of a cylindrical male side with radial pins and female receptor that interconnect to form the locking mechanism that holds the lens in place.