This is what separates the women from the girls, the men from the boys, the roosters from the chicks (?) Seriously. It’s that important and I’m that passionate about it.
A cause you can care about (finally)
If I see someone with a nice camera and they are walking around with their lens cap on it’s safe to say that they have more money than experience. I found a perfect image to illustrate the point.
Yes yes yes, I know the lens cap is there to protect the front element of your lens but how many photos have you made with that lens cap on? More importantly, how many moments have you missed with it on? This is the heart of my argument. The power behind a photograph lies in a moment. One small point in time that embodies what it felt like for the people in that image. A small point in time so poignant that we feel something too when we look at it. But how long does it take to get a lens cap off? I know it doesn’t take much time, but I guarantee you it takes long enough to miss a moment. A moment that may last only 1/8000th of a second. Are you ready for that?
Livin’ on the edge
Just do it! Take that cap off. Yes, you may have paid 100 – 2200 dollars for that precious lens so just protect it already with a clear filter and keep the lens cap in your camera bag. Spend a little bit more money for some “insurance” in the form of a filter. UV is the standard out there. Get one as clear as you can. You can spend as little as $50 for a big 77mm filter or as much as $150 on a B+W (the Mercedes of filters) clear filter. I have a lot of the latter. I recently started buying Nikon’s Neutral Clear filter from Jeff Snyder at Adorama. Nikon’s filter is inexpensive, clear (adds no color cast), and yes I know it’s not UV, but your camera’s sensor likely has a UV filter on it. Some of you have lenses with hoods on them, so that will help protect your lens from impacts too. And if you do scratch your front element a little bit, no worries. It will likely hurt the resale value more than the image quality. It’s the rear element that you’ve really got to protect. FWIW I’ve broken 2 filters in the past nine-years. The only times I use my lens cap is when I’m transporting the lenses un-attached to the camera body or if I am storing the lens.
The bottom line
If you’ve skipped my diatribe above and gone straight to this practical nugget then I commend you for being efficient in one breath and with another I say go read so you understand why being prepared for a photograph is so important. It’s the “why” questions in life that are important. The “how” questions will only get you so far. So take that lens cap off and let your clear filter in front protect your lens and capture the beautiful moments in life.