That’s right in case you haven’t heard today is in fact lens cap appreciation day. This is the day we take out our lens caps, admire them and thank them for their service to our lenses. In photography it is often the little things that are important. The lens cap main utility is protect the glass from damage caused by impact, and preventing gear, twigs, fingers, you name it, from contacting the glass elements and damaging either the glass or its coating. Lens caps also prevent dirt from getting inside lenses, especially some zoom lenses where the inside is somewhat exposed. Lens caps are also used by Do-it-yourself types to mount new and exciting things on there lenses.
Anyway take a moment and think of all the times that you have been thankful you had a lenscap firmly attached to your camera. How about that time you dropped it, ran into a shrub, stuffed the camera somewhere it really shouldn’t have gone. Or those times your subject turned on you, a baby’s slimy hands, a cats wet nose, or a liking dog. Ok a UV filter saved me from those moist attackers, but still a lens cap would have been nicer.
Lens caps, like filters come in too many sizes for my liking. I have a few extra caps lying around, but if I lose a cap for a lens I use often, none of the caps from my stock pile will fit, and I’ll have to get a new one. Usually I go to eBay and get a direct from China lens cap. Lens caps attach to cameras is several ways, there are those that act as a sort of clamp by gripping the filter threads. There are slip-on lens caps that use friction to hold on, and these are the easiest to lose. There are also a few bayonet mount caps, and those automatic ones on point and shoot cameras that open close like shutters.
Lens caps are also a real pain, but worth it for all the reasons mentioned, but come on, do they have a second evil purpose? Where did I put that lens cap? Which pocket? Is it still in the camera bag? Did I leave it in the car? After I rip my hair out looking for the cap I ask the question, “Are there really lens cap gnomes?” Yes, they really exist, and are quite common, but the rare lens camp gremlin in far worse animal. They are those creatures that drop lens caps in mud, sand and snow. They run over your friend, the lenscap with a car, or feed it to a puppy. Oh the lens cap gremlin is a true evil beast. He gets into your head when using trying to take pictures, and makes you forget the lens cap even exists. This is a major problem when using an old rangefinder, where the viewfinder does not show what the lens sees. One of those gremlins got me on my first roll of film on my “new” Fuji 690III. A whole roll of film destroyed by gremlins, because it certainly wasn’t my fault!
Anyway take some time today and praise the humble lens cap, and then try and remember where you put the darn thing.