Changing Lenses on the Fly - Help!!!

Started Jul 24, 2012 | Discussions
Myer Senior Member • Posts: 2,783
Changing Lenses on the Fly - Help!!!

I have a T2i and my everyday/travel lens is a 15-85.

I have a 55-250 that I seldom use and don't take it on most trips.

However, national park trips with wildlife are the exception. I realize that 55-250 is not sufficient for distant wildlife but I'm not interested in sitting on a chair at a viewpoint all day looking for a wolf a mile away.

It's those closer animals I'm interested in.

Clearly, changing lenses without dropiing one or both and keeping the equipment reasonably clean was intended for those with more than two hands. Also, want to be able to change lenses without taking off my backpack and kneeling.

I have a soft-formed LowPro (foam padded and not a pouch) lens case that I can hook to the back of my backpack on one side and have it accessible without taking anything off.

It's the actual process of changing the lens that concerns me. One off the camera. Other out of the case. One into the case. Other onto the camera. Etc.

Any help would be much appreciated.

canuck dave
canuck dave Senior Member • Posts: 2,922
Re: Changing Lenses on the Fly - Help!!!

I've been changing lenses on-the-fly for over 30 years, and in my film days was doing it much more often.

I don't have any special technique to share with you since it often 'depends'. With my 400L on and going to the 15-85 I might even have the 15-85 in a pants pocket, ready to mount, and your 55-250 would likely fit in a pocket. And the 400 goes into its case.

I tend to and try to travel very light, and that includes for hiking. It's crazy to take along much more than you really need.

Regarding lens changes, I have seen working pros whose lens changes would bring some to tears watching them, including 2-3 lenses rolling about the trunk of a car traveling between car rally stages!

OP Myer Senior Member • Posts: 2,783
Re: Changing Lenses on the Fly - Help!!!

dave,

Thanks. That pocket idea might be an idea. i'll try it when I get home this evening.

I'm not carrying any camera equipment other than the lens.

However, I'll have some stuff in the backpack such as rain top, rain pants, sweat pants, sweat shirt, some water, snacks, etc. have to be ready for quick changing weather.

M

Timbukto Veteran Member • Posts: 4,988
Re: Changing Lenses on the Fly - Help!!!

Google quick lens swap on youtube.

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Shorthand Senior Member • Posts: 2,972
Re: Changing Lenses on the Fly - Help!!!

The long and short of it is that you have to have an empty place that you can put the lens while you swap out the back end cap.

Examples of "empty places":

  • An empty slot in your camera bag (this is why you never quite fill it up)

  • A pouch of some kind

  • A companion's hand

  • A flat surface

  • A second belt or strap-mounted lens pouch.

  • etc.

However you manage it you have to always have an empty place to put a lens while you're transferring the end-cap to make this work.

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Roberto Piazza
Roberto Piazza Regular Member • Posts: 259
Re: Changing Lenses on the Fly - Help!!!

Have you considered a reporter/fisherman vest/gilet ?

http://www.google.it/search?hl=it&pq=reporter+vest&cp=9&gs_id=1n&xhr=t&q=fisherman+vest&rlz=1C2FDUM_enIT488IT489&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1304&bih=683&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=wgsPUNSKHq_44QTK0oG4BA#um=1&hl=it&rlz=1C2FDUM_enIT488IT489&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=reporter+vest&oq=reporter+vest&gs_l=img.3..0i19.22573.24757.10.24991.12.7.3.1.1.1.234.1312.0j5j2.7.0...0.0...1c.bgLnK2oonQE&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=6f28078fd44c55ab&biw=1304&bih=683

I have got one, and very often it's SO convenient !

Buy one with many large pockets, and your lenses and many other things will easily fit, will be easily reached and -also very important- they will cause you no problem when walking, seating, climbing, crouching etc. etc.

ciao

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photonius Veteran Member • Posts: 6,780
Re: Changing Lenses on the Fly - Help!!!

Myer wrote:

I have a T2i and my everyday/travel lens is a 15-85.

I have a 55-250 that I seldom use and don't take it on most trips.

However, national park trips with wildlife are the exception. I realize that 55-250 is not sufficient for distant wildlife but I'm not interested in sitting on a chair at a viewpoint all day looking for a wolf a mile away.

It's those closer animals I'm interested in.

Clearly, changing lenses without dropiing one or both and keeping the equipment reasonably clean was intended for those with more than two hands. Also, want to be able to change lenses without taking off my backpack and kneeling.

I have a soft-formed LowPro (foam padded and not a pouch) lens case that I can hook to the back of my backpack on one side and have it accessible without taking anything off.

It's the actual process of changing the lens that concerns me. One off the camera. Other out of the case. One into the case. Other onto the camera. Etc.

Any help would be much appreciated.

As others said, for the 55-250 IS a pocket would work, I do it sometimes.

Usually I have a shoulder bag, with three slots. In the middle slot is the camera with lens mounted, left and right a UWA and a tele zoom.

So, you pull out the camera from the side of your body and shot.
To change lenses, there are two ways:

  • Either you use the should bag as a table, i.e. remove rear cover of new lens, remove old lens from camera put cover on, now put lens in bag, take out new lens and mount.

  • Or with my not too big lenses (including the 10-22, and 55-250) I can actually manage everything outside the bag, i.e.

I pull the new lens out of the bag, release its rear cover, but still keep both the lens and cover in my left hand, remove mounted lens with right hand (press release with a finger from left hand), put new lens on camera with left hand, put rear cover on old lens, put in bag. Lastly, tighten the lens on the mount, if it didn't completely lock into place (happens if you were not holding the lens in the left hand in a good position). Ok, difficult to explain, but I think you will find videos on youtube how to do this. And I don't have big hands, so most should be able to do it.
And it's quite fast, since you don't have to put things anywhere.

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Digirame Forum Pro • Posts: 34,217
Re: Changing Lenses on the Fly - Help!!!

With the use of these smaller EF-S lens, I most always use a minimum of two cameras with lenses attached. I've been doing that for a long time, first with my Olympus system. For a little extra weight, I'm able to quickly pull out the camera and lens combination I want. There's no longer any hesitation of whether or not, should I change the lens. There's less missed shots and more opportunities for photography.

This is very important when I'm faced with these situations...when I'm taking pictures under an umbrella as rain falls, at people events where time is critical, when I'm around a lot of other people, when there's a lot of sand, dust & wind, and when I just don't want to take a chance of dropping the lens or camera.

All of that goes away with the additional camera, which I jokingly call a large lens cap. This may not be for everyone, but a lot of photographers are seen with more than one camera and lens. Usually they have one slung over the shoulders and one in the hand. I prefer to carry them in two side bags for convenience.

Anyway, this is what I do. You may decide that it's what you would like to do too. A lot of my "Show Your Snaps" photos were taken this way (as seen in the last set). It's also a good excuse to convince yourself to buy that next new camera.

OP Myer Senior Member • Posts: 2,783
Thanks for the Idea - Youtube

I went to Youtube and found an excellent clip by Ben Willmore.

I tried his method a few times, made a few slight adjustments and I think I'll prectice each day over the next week or so and have it down.

Never more than one lens in each hand at a time.

Thanks again for the idea to go to Youtube.

lostearstudio Junior Member • Posts: 45
Re: Thanks for the Idea - Youtube

would a magnet harm the camera and len?

Cause I'm thinking of mounting a small magnet on both the camera strap and on the lens' cap so I can have a quick and accessible place to hold the cap as I change lens.

I could take the len I want to put on the camera. put the len cap on the magnet change the len then quickly put the len cap back on the other len that was removed. This should reduce the internal exposure time to the element, I think.

::EDIT::

another idea to skip on the magnet. I know that a rear len cap can lock to a body cap quite snugly and quickly. So we could purchase the canon body cap like in this amazon listing, http://amzn.com/B00007E7K1 . Then mount the body cap on the camera strap without worry of damage to anything other than the extra body cap.

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photonius Veteran Member • Posts: 6,780
Re: Thanks for the Idea - Youtube

Myer wrote:

I went to Youtube and found an excellent clip by Ben Willmore.

I tried his method a few times, made a few slight adjustments and I think I'll prectice each day over the next week or so and have it down.

Never more than one lens in each hand at a time.

Yup, that's the idea. However, I wouldn't put my rear lens cap in my pants pocket where it could pick up lots of dust and lint.
If a pocket, the breast pocket in a shirt.

But if possible, I don't put it in pocket at all to save one step. As mentioned, with smaller lenses I can hold it in the hand (palm) in addition to a lens.

Thanks again for the idea to go to Youtube.

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Jeager76 New Member • Posts: 22
Re: Thanks for the Idea - Youtube

the old standby of a camera/safari vest is good...as people have stated. You may also want to get a shotgun shell belt case that you can put on a loop on your belt. I've also taken to using one of those felt lined water bottle belt cases you can find at some hiking stores. It makes for a great protective case for a lens and I would suspect even helps keep moisture at bay.

OP Myer Senior Member • Posts: 2,783
Re: Thanks for the Idea - Youtube

The problem with most of these suggestions is wearing/carrying/having more stuff.

I have a backpack with rain gear, sweatshirt, sweatpants, snack, water, sun screen, etc.

I want to be able to hike and easily remove and/or put on the backpack without getting tangled. I have the lens case hanging from the back of my backpack with one strap paralleling one of the backpack straps down the front. I don't feel it when I'm walking yet I can easily reach and pull the lens bag to the front.

I didn't want a soft lens bag due to the conditions to I got a somewhat larger one that is foam shaped. Unfortunately it closes with a zipper so that takes two hands. What I did was attach some velcro to the cover and body so I can open and close it securely with two fingers of one hand. Actually, my concern wasn't so much opening the case but the lens fally out between putting the lens in it and attaching the other lens to the camera. With the Velcro I can just push it down and the cover is secured.

I want to be able to hike without my hands/arms hitting things on my belt.

I have a little cell phone carrying case that clips to my belt. Since cell service is so bad in national parks I may keep my cell phone in my backpack and use the case to temporarily hold the lens cap. That won't add anything that gets in the way.

DVT80111 Senior Member • Posts: 2,950
Tamrac Velocity 7X or 8X

Google it and watch the video.

I changed lens even while walking all the time.

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Shorthand Senior Member • Posts: 2,972
Re: Tamrac Velocity 7X or 8X

Ignore what I said earlier ... watch the video. I wish I had known this a long time ago :).

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canuck dave
canuck dave Senior Member • Posts: 2,922
Re: Tamrac Velocity 7X or 8X

Yes, the Ben Willmore YouTube video is good. He basically articulates what I do, in a clear manner.

Y0GI Veteran Member • Posts: 5,230
Re: Tamrac Velocity 7X or 8X

DVT80111 wrote:

Google it and watch the video.

I changed lens even while walking all the time.

Link to a video: http://www.tamrac.com/Velocity_Video.htm
Is this the video that you referred to?

Looks like a very handy system!
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jrkliny
jrkliny Veteran Member • Posts: 3,641
Re: Changing Lenses on the Fly - Help!!!

I am not sure if you have arrived at a solution or are still considering options. Years ago I went to a belt system. There are some fancy and expensive systems, but I just use a heavy duty web belt and appropriate sized Lowepro lens cases. The Lowepro cases are pretty stiff and well padded. As I remember, I bought size 1 cases and that case will fit most of my smaller lenses: 15-85, 60 macro, 35/2, 10-22, and 55-250. My 100-400 came with its own case. I can carry several lenses at once and even hang my travel tripod from the belt. I can access and change any lens within a few seconds while standing and sometimes even walking into position.

Here is a quick summary of the important steps
Unzip new lens case
Push lens release button and slightly turn lens
Remove new lens from case
Remove rear cap and hold both lens and cap in right hand
Make sure the index mark is pointing up

(If you have problems holding both the cap and lens, you can put the cap into the empty lens case.)

Remove lens with left hand while right hand moves into position and attaches new lens
Cap and stow old lens into a lens case on the belt.

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