Do you always lose your camera lens cap? That makes the two of us. I often get frustrated whenever I forget where I placed the lens front cover. Fortunately, I found a way to prevent it from getting lost—using a lens cap string.
To attach a lens cap string to the camera, find the small hole or loop (usually on the side) where you can insert a cord. Take the other end of the string and tie it to the hole or attachment point on your camera.
Below, I will show you detailed steps on how to tie lens cap string to the camera system. But if your lens cap lacks a string, you can connect it directly to your camera lens. Or, if your camera does not have a specific attachment point, you can mount it on the lens barrel or any flat surface. This article will also teach you how to complete these two DIY methods.
What Is A Lens Cap String? And Do I Need It?
A lens cap string or tether refers to the thin strap that connects the lens cap and camera body. It can also attach to the lens barrel if your camera lacks an attachment point. It prevents the front lens cap from getting lost. It gives you peace of mind, so you get to focus on capturing the perfect shot in front of you.
A lens cap string usually comes in the form of third-party lens caps. This accessory is typically included with the purchase. However, it is possible to buy a separate string, which you can attach to your existing lens cover. Then, you can fasten it to the camera body to avoid misplacing it.
Now that you know what a lens cap string is, you might ask yourself: do I need it? Well, that depends on you. If you are reading this article, you likely need it to prevent losing lens caps. But if you are still undecided, think about your specific circumstances.
Do you often find yourself misplacing the lens cover? Then, do not overthink and get a string right away. You will also benefit from it if you want to protect your lens when not in use. However, those who do not like dangling accessories from their cameras might find a lens cap keeper too annoying. And if you often use a tripod, you will also find no use for a string—it will just be in the way. You can always slip the lens caps inside your front left pocket.
Why Is The Lens Cap Important?
As previously mentioned, the main purpose of a lens cap string is to prevent misplacing the lens cap. But what makes the lens cap so important? Can’t you just use your lens without it?
Technically, you can use the camera lens as is. When I lost my lens cap, I did not bother getting a new one for the first few weeks. However, during that period, I noticed that I needed to clean my lens more often than usual. I also ended up scratching the glass due to mishandling. That is when I realized the importance of the lens cap. If I hadn’t misplaced it, it could have prevented the damage.
While it may seem like a pointless piece of plastic, the lens cap protects the front glass element. It keeps away dust, dirt, sand, and other particles that may get stuck on the front of the lens. It also prevents scratches on the delicate glass, which usually happens when the lens touches another surface. Simply putting the lens uncovered inside a bag with your other stuff can also damage it. Even mirrorless cameras should use lens caps – it is essential to use the cap to protect the camera lens when your gear is not in use.
How To Attach Lens Cap String?
Attaching a lens cap string to your camera is usually a straightforward process. Below, I will guide you through a few different ways to tie the lens cap string, depending on your unique circumstances.
With An Attachment Hole
If your camera body has an attachment point on its side, follow these steps to tie the lens cap string.
First, prepare the cord for attachment. You can buy a camera lens cap with a string already tied to the cover. All you have to do is connect it to the camera body.
But if your cap includes an untied string, you can attach it yourself. Locate the small hole in your lens cap where you will insert the cord. This opening is the same one where you attach the camera strap. Take one end of the lens cap string and slip it through the hole. Depending on the string design, you may also have to insert the plastic attachment through the hole.
Once the string is through the hole, secure it. If it has a plastic design, fasten it in place.
Next, find the attachment point on your camera body. Most models will have a small hole or loop.
Then, gather the other end of the lens cap string. Insert it through the hole in the camera body. To secure the string in place, make an overhand loop knot. Ensure the loop is large enough for the lens cap to slip through it.
Finally, give it a gentle tug to ensure the lens cap leash is properly fastened. You can now enjoy the benefits of this cord.
Without An Attachment Hole
Does your camera lack an attachment point? Fret not! You can still secure the lens cap leash to the camera in two ways.
The first option is to use an adhesive. Stick it to one end of the lens cap string. Then, place another adhesive on any flat surface on your camera body. For example, you can secure it to the hand grip or the side of the body. Just make sure you are not covering the ports on the side where you insert the memory card and charging cable.
Another way to attach the lens cap string is to buy one with an elastic wristband. You can simply wrap it around the lens body or barrel. There is no need to peel away stickers or risk covering important connection ports.
Without A Lens String
If you have an existing lens cap without a string, you can attach the cord yourself. You don’t have to buy a separate lens cap with a built-in cord, especially if you are on a tight budget. Of course, that is the easiest way, but you don’t need to go broke.
Follow these steps to create a DIY lens cap keeper.
First, gather the necessary materials for the project. These include elastic, elastic cord, pliers, scissors, adhesive, a sewing needle, thread, and hook-and-loop closures. You will likely find these things in your home, except for the last item. Buy it at your local sewing supply store or online stores.
Once you have prepared the materials, grab the pliers and hook-and-loop closures. Bend the eyelet of the closure until it forms a 90-degree angle.
Next, use the adhesive (epoxy) to attach the eyelet to the lens cap. Work fast when sticking these two components because the adhesive might harden and dry.
Then, wrap the elastic around the lens barrel and cut it to the desired length. Sew both ends of the elastic onto each other using the thread and sewing needle. After, attach the elastic cord in the same way.
Finally, insert the cord into the eyelet. Make a knot to secure the lens cap keeper in place.
Can I Use Any Lens Cap String?
A lens cap string usually comes with a lens cap keeper. But if your lens cap doesn’t include one, you can make the string on your own (as I shared above).
While you can use other cords or strings, make sure they are thin and durable enough. The last thing you want is a flimsy cord that leads to a missing lens cap.
Additionally, cut the proper string length. It must be long enough to enable easy usage and removal. However, avoid a too-long lens cap string because it is a hassle when it hangs freely. It might get caught in different things while shooting with your camera.
Where To Buy A Lens Cap String?
You can purchase lens cap strings at camera accessory stores and photography equipment suppliers. You can also find these lens cap keepers at online stores. You are likely to buy them wherever camera lenses are sold.
How Do You Detach A Lens Cap String?
By now, you know how to tie a lens cap string to your camera. You may be curious to know how to detach it.
First, locate the end of the string connected to the camera. It must be tied to a loop or a plastic attachment on the body or lens barrel.
Depending on the way you attached the string, loosen the knot or unthread it from the attachment.
After that, you can freely remove the string from the camera body or lens barrel.
There is typically no need to untie the other end of the string attached to the lens cap.
Finally, store the lens cap string if you plan to reuse it in the future. You can keep it inside the camera bag or any secure place.
Avoid too much force when removing the lens cap string to prevent damage to your cap or camera. If you face any difficulty, refer to the guidelines set by the manufacturer.
How To Clean A Dirty Lens Cap String?
It is essential to clean the lens cap string once it gets dirty. Gently remove it from the camera body.
Then, soak it in mild soapy water. Gently scrub away dirt and debris stuck on the string. Finally, allow it to dry before reattaching it to your camera.
Will A Lens Cap String Block The Lens?
No, a lens cap string will not block the camera lens, as long as you have attached it properly. It will not show up in the frame because it is short enough to stay out of the way. As such, it does not affect image quality in any way.
The lens cap is an important accessory that keeps your lenses clean and free of scratches. However, it is easy to misplace it, hence the need for a lens cap string.
Most lens cap strings come with a loop or plastic attachment. You simply insert it through the hole in the camera body and tie the camera and lens cap together. However, some cameras lack an attachment hole. If that is the case, you can use an adhesive to stick the string to the camera or wrap an elastic band around the lens barrel. If there is no string, you can create one using sewing tools, as detailed above.
If your camera takes interchangeable lenses, keep in mind that it’s also important to use a body cap or rear lens cap to protect the body of the camera in addition to the lens.
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