For better lens caps, last part!!! : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi all

I would like to get from everybody which had troubles with lens caps just in short form what was the problem or damage and what was the solution. Also just report if you changed the cups bevor a damage or if you always put a filter in front etc. Then I copy all the mails and send them directly to Rodenstock and Schneider in germany! Thanks for your time and I`m sure we get better caps in the future.

-- Armin Seeholzer (, January 03, 2002


Armin, I'm a school teacher with second language students. Please let me help a little:

"Hi All:

I would like to get feedback from everyone who had troubles with their Schneider or Rodenstock lens caps in this present thread. I'll copy all your posts and send them directly to Rodenstock and Schneider in Germany! Thanks for your time and effort. I`m sure we'll get better caps in the future. Please reply below if:

1) You had a problem or damage due to an inadequate manufacturer's lens cap from Rodenstock or Schneider, and what was your solution.

2) Also reply if you pre-emptively changed the lens caps before damage could occur or if you proactively put a protective filter on the front thread, etc. (again, due to inadequacies of the manufacture's lens caps).

I'll copy all the mails and send them directly to Rodenstock and Schneider in Germany! Thanks for your time and I`m sure we'll get better caps in the future."

Armin, thanks for the offer of assistance.

O.k. forum members, let's step up to the plate and see if we can get a little, but important improvement in our expensive gear from the manufacturers. (I personally don't have any of the wonderful Schneider or Rodenstock lenses yet, so...)

I'm assuming Armin speaks German, and he could be a nice resource. It's tough communicating with the German photo companies in English (or French for that matter). Andre

-- Andre Noble (, January 03, 2002.

A naive question. Since the caps are plastic, could you heat one up in the oven and press something round into it from the 'lens side' to try to put some space between the cap and the lens? If it works, it's a cheap solution.

-- Tony Karnezis (, January 04, 2002.

Andre, I think that I will stick with Armin's original quaint English posting which is succint, at least.

By the way, 'everyone' is singular. It follows that it does not match with the possessive 'their' which is a plural case, a common mistake. An epicene 'his' would suffice, PC-ness be damned.

'Pre-emptively changed...before damage could occur...'. Hmm, sounds redundant to me.

An adverb follows a verb usually. In the interest of clarity, the rule can be broken sometimes. However, I grant you this is not the case.

Please do not take it upon your good self to correct another's post unless he, in this instance Armin, asked for it. It is not good manners.

Mea culpa.

-- Erik X (, January 04, 2002.

Hi all

Thanks for the crash course in english but lets get to business. I already now thad my english is bad sorry for that! I will write in german my mother lang. to Rodenstock and Schneider with the attached mails from "YOU"!!

-- Armin Seeholzer (, January 04, 2002.

Touché, Armin. Touché.

-- Chad Jarvis (, January 04, 2002.


Don't let the comments about your language skills put you off, some people are just ignorant of this world culture we live in, assuming everybody speaks and writes fluent English. We do appreciate your input to this forum. Thanks.

-- Jeffrey Scott (, January 04, 2002.

I just appreciate the fact that the educational system in Europe is so much better that that of the U.S., and that many of the people there can effectively communicate in multiple languages. It allows us (Americans) to benefit from their knowledge and experiences. Shame that we can't put our house in order and have our students learn our own language. Apparently classes in civility should be next on the list.

-- Wayne DeWitt (, January 04, 2002.

I knew exactly what Armin Seeholzer was trying to say. I doubt seriously he would know what I was trying to say if I wrote in German. Please folks, let's keep this forum for LF questions. English classes can be held on another forum. Incidentally, I have posted some great errors in English when I was in a hurry, and I am a former newspaper editor/photographer. Let's enjoy the forum and back off of dinging one another. Armin has been a great contributer to the forum.



-- Doug Paramore (, January 04, 2002.

I thinks Eric are a kOlleGe gRaduit!

-- Jim (, January 04, 2002.

Hi all

I`m still living and still waiting for answers of my original and first post re: damaged lenses and something like that because of bad lens caps as Andre then wrote in a better english for me thanks Andre! So please not more words about the language I have very strong shoulders for that! I will not test your german ;-)

-- Armin Seeholzer (, January 04, 2002.

Hi Armin

Steve Grimes will make lens caps for any lens you have, he made front and back caps for my Wollensak which fit like a glove, and aren't going anywhere near the front element.

The original caps on the Docter Optics I purchased are great, they fit like a glove, and seem almost impossible to mash in. I hope this helps.

-- Joanthan Brewer (, January 04, 2002.

Hi Jonathan

Steve Grimes is totaly okay but 1. he is not just around the corner for me and 2. if I buy a product like a LF lens then I would like to get a product with caps which are usefull and not have to be replaced bevor I use the lens. Better lens caps for all!

-- Armin Seeholzer (, January 04, 2002.

I totally agree Armin, considering the amount of money you spend on a lens you ought to have good caps to start with. There's got to be some bean counters somewhere who're adding up the pennies they save from not putting out.

-- Jonathan Brewer (, January 04, 2002.

Home work done!

Dear Sirs,

I seize this opportunity offered by Mr. Seeholzer to again send you some remarks on the lens caps that come with your large format lenses. I own six of your wonderful lenses, and all came with lens caps that, in my opinion, are not really suited to protect your high quality products. With lenses of small diameter, this is normally not too much of problem. But when the lenses reach a certain size, the caps are so thin and supple and so close to the lens surface that they can easily come in contact with the glass and damage the coating. This is probably not so much a problem in studio applications, for the lenses here sit in hard protective cases, but it is certainly a problem for the landscape photographers who have to stack their lenses in backpacks. The pressure on the lens caps and movements of the pack are putting the lenses at risk and I have had myself a Super-Angulon 5.6/90mm damaged that way.

My suggestion would be to have caps made from a harder plastic (Delrin, hard PVC, Polycarbonate etc) for the lenses who have a convex glass that is very close to the caps surface (Super-Angulons, Super-Symmar). They should offer enough resistance to make sure that if one or two other lenses are piled up on top of it in the pack, they won't allow the pressure to put the plastic in contact with the glass. I would suggest that the outer surface of the caps remains flat and not convex, and that small caps should be made a little wider than necessary to have better stackable capabilities. I admit that in a perfect world, each lens should be wrapped individually, in a soft protective box, but in practice, this takes too much space in the backpack when you carry 10 different lenses and also makes setup of the camera and lens change slower (the best pictures often require a very fast reaction time!).

Whether these caps would be part of the normal delivery package or available as accessories such as through the B&W line of products, is up to you, but we, landscape photographers would certainly appreciate the safer lens caps.

I am thanking you in advance for your consideration, and presenting you my greetings and best wishes for the new year!

-- Paul Schilliger (, January 05, 2002.

"I pray thee cease thy counsel, Which falls into my ears as profitless As water in a seive." - S $20-35 for a lens cap. That is what steve grimes charges for a lens cap. He says manufacturing cost can be up to $18 for the plastic alone. His web page illustrates steps involved. xxx xxx

-- David (, January 05, 2002.

Armin: I wish my German was as good as your English. Your suggestion re lens caps is appreciated. I weighed several caps, with Rodenstock 's being so light and flimsy, 4.70 grams for a 60ID cap, it does not take rocket science to make a better one. Lastly, a no name cap of the same size weighed almost double (8.43 grams) This cap is extremely rigid and strong, more than enough for excellent protection. Paul: Polycarbonate, titanium, Kevlar and high strength composite plastics from exotic fibers, etc are indeed excellent for the purpose but technology is not a cure for greed, which is at heart of the problem. Additionally, excellent, CHEAP NO-NAME caps do exist. There, it is 'much ado about nothing'!

-- Julio Fernandez (, January 05, 2002.

Julio, I have placed Cokin caps in the front of all my lenses. They are good, except for the newer ones who have now a convex shape and are a danger for the lens placed on top. I cured that problem by placing them on the the stove to melt and flatten them. They look a bit strange now, but they work. The difficulty is to find no name caps for some of the back elements, their sizes are not all available in no name caps lists. If you know a brand that are really strong, please do let me know. All those I have tried so far are just the same cheap stuff. Another problem is that some special lenses such as the Super-Angulon XL and Super-Symmar are built in such a way that they really deserve a cap made especially for them. Except for that Super-Angulon coating damage that I had, I have been lucky so far, but I am always a bit worried for what might happen one day... Anyway, I think it's too stupid that owners of such high price professional tools have to find odd solutions. We have better things to do! ...such as writing vain posts in the LF Forum ;-)

-- Paul Schilliger (, January 05, 2002.

Paul: As always you make perfect sense and raise excellent points. Thanks, shall keep them in mind. One possibility that occurs as I write is to cast some epoxy about 3mm thick onto the exterior of the cap to provide reinforcement. This could be done by wrapping a ring of polyethylene sheet or silicon coated release paper around the rim (making another ring just a little higher than the highest point in the cap)and pouring the epoxy on top of the cap just short of the rim of the wrap. Epoxies are readily available in the DIY market, but their adhesion to the cap is no sure thing and has to be tested. Also, some of the DIY stuff can be brittle, than can be aleviated by laying a cut out of glass fabric under the cast. The idea of $'000 worth of glass laying inadequately unprotected makes no sense. I have to wonder about Lens manufacturers sense of value and self respect. Once I had a large, expensive Chrysler wagon with a small plastic electric seat control lever, probably 50 cents worth. It was destined to break and it did. The repair cost $700 as the seat had to be dissasembled completely to install a new one. Lenses with flimsy protective caps have Murphy's laws written all over them. It is only a matter of time.

-- Julio Fernandez (, January 06, 2002.

While I haven't had a damage problem, one partial solution that I use for some of my lenses is the purchase of a cheap used uv or sky filter, (or good one if you use them!) from a couple of my local camera store junk bins. The caps generally will fit over the filter. The derivative benefit I find is the lenses stay cleaner bouncing around in my pack. The rear element is a problem still tho for most lenses. (what ARE the threads in some of the rear elements?)

-- Paul Coppin (, January 06, 2002.

>> ... in short form what was the problem ...

The lens cap is too flimsy for the size of the lens and presses against the center of the lens causing wear of the coatings.

>> ... what was the solution...

Plumbing supply house. Namely, "end caps" made of PVC plastic used for various plumbing purposes (also available in rubber). They are available in a wide variety of sizes, but not many colors. I purchase a cap as well as a short section of PVC pipe to fit over the _entire_ lens, cut to length with a hacksaw, insert rubber sheeting as needed to ensure a tight fit. (Rubber sheeting available in various sizes from the same plumbing supply house as "gasket").

The resulting package protects the entire lens, sports custom paint job courtesy of my wife, and is a great subject of conversation when meeting other photogs on the road. :-)

Mike :-)

-- Michael Kelleghan (, January 08, 2002.

Hi all

Thanks for the contribution I have now enough ammunition for to write to the companys with very good lenses but very cheap caps! Hope it changes their mind for the future!

-- Armin Seeholzer (, January 08, 2002.

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