Nobody likes losing their lens cap but as we all know, that small little piece plastic is so easy to misplace! Well, fret no more because the DIY lens cap is here to save the day!
Whether you have already lost your lens cap(s) or are paranoid about losing them and thus leave them at home all the time (like me) this tipster will put all your worries to rest!
DIY your own environmentally friendly lens cap and you’ll never bemoan the loss of your lens cap/worry bout losing your lens cap the next time you leave the house! You can even attach your DIY lens cap to your camera so you won’t lose even that!
Things you’ll need:
clockwise from top
- Compass that thing you use to draw perfect circles…not the one you use to find North
- Chain and/or handphone strap
- Scissors (I forgot to photograph this)
- A thumbtack/pin (I forgot to photograph this as well :S)
This is a really simple tipster that only requires a few minutes of your time…and lots of scotch tape! Without further ado, lets get started!
The first thing you need to do, is to measure the diameter of the lens of your camera. Eg. 5cm for my Holga, divide this measurement by half for the radius of your lens and draw a circle with your compass on the cardboard. Cut this circle out and compare against your lens.
Trim the circle cardboard to fit. The circle should cover your lens well but not be too big, if not your lens cap will be too loose.
Next, using the diameter of your lens which you measured just now, multiply this number by π or 3.14 and add another 1cm to this new measurement. Eg. (5cm x π or 3.14) + 1cm = 16.7cm Basically, the longer the better as this will be surround your lens and there needs to be an overlap to ensure minimal light leaks.
After you’ve cut out the 2 pieces of cardboard, you may wish to trace and cut out a duplicate of these 2 shapes from a page of a magazine or wrapping paper to dress up your lens cap later on. As you can see in the photo below, I used a page from the IKEA catalogue. (:
Important! Make sure the rectangle cut out of your magazine page or wrapping paper is wider than your cardboard rectangle. This is to facilitate better assembly of the circle and rectangle together.
Once you’ve done this, glue the respective pieces together and cut the hanging portion of the decorative layer into little strips as shown in the picture.
Assemble the pieces together as shown in the photo below, with the decorative layers facing outwards and glue or scotchtape them together! Using your camera as a gauge, close the rectangle into a circular wall with the circle cardboard in side of it. Remember that the rectangle must have an overlap while encircling the cardboard circle. Also, leave at least half a cm of the wall of the lens cap jutting out at the top of the lens cap i.e. above the cardboard circle so that you can attach your lens cap to the camera body later!
Try on your lens cap now to see if it fits well. Adjusting the fit in the previous step is a little tricky, and always err on the larger side because if the lens cap is too loose you can always tighten the fit with added layers of scotchtape! Once you are happy with the fit of your lens cap, which should be snug enough that it will not fall off, but not too tight that it cannot be removed, we are ready to move on to the next step!
With a thumbtack or pin, carefully poke a hole into the half a cm wide portion of the circular wall of the lens cap. Make sure the hole is not too close to the edge of the wall.
Attach a jumpring and chain to the hole you made with pliers. You should be able to get these supplies easily from a beading store. If you live in Singapore, I suggest you check out People’s Park Centre in Chinatown.
Now, for the next step, there are 2 ways to go about this.
1. You can either attach the chain to another jumpring and attach this second jumpring directly to the side of the camera body
2. You can choose to use a handphone strap accessory also sold in most beading stores instead. I suggest you choose option 2 if, like the diana, you do not want to scratch the plastic body of your camera when using metal parts. Furthermore, when you use a handphone strap accessory, you can change lens caps more easily to match your outfits or the camera skin!
Since this is a DIY lens cap, don’t expect it to be 100% light-leak proof…unless you use a ton of opaque tape! You can however, choose to colour the inside of the lens cap black to minimise light leaks. Using thicker cardboard and opaque tape will help significantly as well. For me, the lens cap is more a decorative accessory than something to keep light out! (: