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How to change lens w/ minimum dust?

F K , Mar 20, 2006; 11:19 p.m.

I've got 2 lenses, standard zoom and telephoto zoom. I've got one body, the Rebel XT. I'm going to be going to a beach resort, so I think I'll be taking a variety of pictures. Is it safe if I change lens whenever I want, but just do it quickly? Do people do that alot? Is there a better way? Thanks


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Denis Germain , Mar 20, 2006; 11:23 p.m.

A beach is not the best environment to switch lenses... flip your camera (lens down) before making the switch.

Dan Mitchell , Mar 20, 2006; 11:28 p.m.

The beach, eh? :-)

Here's how I minimize exposure of the camera's internals while changing lenses:

  1. I release the lens on the camera and turn it partially.
  2. I remove the rear lens cap from the lens I'm about to attach.
  3. I complete the removal of the attached lens and quickly move the other lens into position and attach it.
  4. I attach the rear lens cap to the lens I just removed.

I prefer to do this with the camera on the tripod. If possible, I swap lenses before going out into "the environment" - i.e., the beach.

In general I try to minimize lens changes. No matter what you do there will eventually be stuff on the sensor, so go ahead and get the equipment needed to clean in and learn how to use it - and learn how to use Photoshop to deal with the inevitable dust bunnies.

Mike Hounsell , Mar 20, 2006; 11:34 p.m.

The last guy said it all, If you get dust, Canon will do a one time no fee sensor cleaning. That's only for the sensor though. I got dust somewhere I couldn't reach myself, but not on the sensor, and Canon wants the standard $180 service fee to clean 1 speck of dust that has plagued my photos for 2 years on a 10D. But the last guy said the magic word...."Photoshop". Good luck with that.


Yaron Kidron , Mar 21, 2006; 12:57 a.m.

Last time I checked, there's more dust in my house than on the beach.

Neil D. , Mar 21, 2006; 01:04 a.m.

"Last time I checked, there's more dust in my house than on the beach."

No doubt you are right - but sand inside any mechanical device will shorten its lifetime considerably. Dust is inconvenient, but sand is abrasive!

Geoff Francis , Mar 21, 2006; 01:18 a.m.

Sand doesn't tend to fly around that much, except if it is blowing hard. Dust is everywhere and is invisible. I would not worry too much about changing lenses at the beach. I do it all the time. Just use common sense.

Mike Broderick , Mar 21, 2006; 01:29 a.m.

I use a system similar to the one described to change lenses quickly. To make sure it is quick, I usually hold the rear lens cap in my teeth while doing the switch. Then I can slap it back on quickly. If I don't have the camera on a tripod, I use the neck strap to support it. This does minimize my ability to point the "open" camera in the safest possible direction, though. I can face things vertically, but can't really hold the camera down as described.

One beach hazard besides sand is salt spray.

Tony Torres , Mar 21, 2006; 01:56 a.m.

My experience as an Eos 1 D's mark 2 is change lens when you can, don't change them outdoors, indoors is much less propensive to get dust in the chamber. Whoa buddy don't chanage lens in the beach, just change it indoors, wind, small particle of sand, humid salty air, hmmmmm, Lets put it this way, I had use Canon for 10 years now, all 1 series camera, when I changed to the 1ds mark 2, I just leave the lens attach to the camera, and change it very few times. Cmos seems to be very propensive to dust, believe me, I have a dust problems too, Canon has to come up with a cleaning kit or something, I am very disappointed in Canon on their behalf for this problem.

Alex Kinnan , Mar 21, 2006; 04:04 a.m.

I'm not sure of the truth of this, but I read somewhere that it is a good idea to turn the camera off before changing lenses. Something about the powered sensor attracting more dust.


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