In a previous post, I talked about the importance of being careful when switching your camera lenses, in order to avoid dust from gathering on your camera’s sensor. But I didn’t elaborate much on how to switch your lenses, so here’s my method for switching camera lenses:
- Put your camera on a flat surface, so that the lens is pointing straight up
- Unlock the lens on your camera body, and turn the lens just a little bit so you can let go of the lens and it remains unlocked (but it’s still resting on the camera body)
- Remove the cap on the bottom of the new lens you want on your camera
- Hold the new lens in your right hand, and twist off the lens on your camera with your left hand
- Quickly mount the new lens with your right hand and lock it onto the camera
- Put the cap on the bottom of the old lens
You should also be careful about where you switch your lenses. When possible, avoid switching them in windy or dusty areas and take advantage of protected areas when you can:
Switch your lenses at home. The night before you go out for a hike, think about what you might photograph on that trip, and put the appropriate lens on your camera. For example, in the spring, when I know I’ll mostly be photographing close-ups of flowers, I’ll always put my long telephoto lens on my camera the night before I go out on a hike.
Switch your lenses in the car. If lighting conditions change on your way to a trailhead, then you may start thinking about photographing different subjects, which may require a different lens. So, it’s helpful to take advantage of your car’s protection from the wind and switch your lens in the car.
Switch lenses inside your camera bag. If you have to switch your camera’s lens while you’re out on the trail, then try to do it inside your camera bag, or at least use part of your camera bag to shield your camera and lens from the wind. Also, if it’s especially windy out, then try moving to a less windy spot to switch your lenses.
The basic strategy is to avoid changing your lens in windy conditions, where the most dust is flying around.
How do you switch your lenses?
Have you found another way to switch your lenses that minimizes exposure to dust? Please share it with us by leaving a comment below! Thanks 🙂
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About the Author: Steve Berardi is a naturalist, photographer, computer scientist, and founder of PhotoNaturalist. You can usually find him hiking in the beautiful mountains and deserts of Southern California.