Joe and Mary Ann McDonald's

Wildlife Photography

February 2006

Tip of the Month

LensCoat Lens Covers

Anyone using a big white Canon lens will, eventually, scratch and chip and otherwise mar the white surface of the lens, at least if you shoot in the field and actually use your gear! Many of my lenses that I've owned over the years have looked like they were owned by a war correspondent because of their looks - most of my big telephotos were no longer covered in white. None of these lenses had been dropped or banged, but simply, through the normal course of events in putting lenses in bags, sometimes resting a lens upon a rock, or innumerable other reasons, the white finish was rubbed off.

Nikon lenses, and other companies lenses as well, also have finished that will eventually be worn if they are not protected. My Nikon lenses, back in the days when I shot Nikon, suffered equal beauty challenges. Canon's white lenses, however, also have the potential to be distracting and also simply too noticeable. A big white lens could potentially spook a timid subject when the lens is moved. Wildlife, especially birds, often spook when confronted with rapid light changes - as the flick of a white lens may produce. White lenses are also too noticeable, and if I'm afield I'd prefer to blend in, often not because I'm trying to hide from the animals but to not be noticed by passing humans. In Yellowstone, a big lens seen from the road can invite curious on-lookers who may decide to traipse out into a field to investigate what you're shooting. With an inconspicuous lens, and especially if I'm wearing camouflag clothing, too, I don't attract that attention. For that reason, all of our lenses are covered in some type of camouflag cover, be that a rubberized coating or simply camouflag tape.

White tape does the job of camouflaging a lens, almost all tape also leaves a sticky residue if removed. The camou covers offered by LensCoat eliminates that problem, as these covers slip directly over a lens, snuggly form-fitting the lens by their design, not by any adhesive. The coverings were easy to put on and fit tightly.

Covers like those made by LensCoat have several advantages, including:
1. Camouflaging a lens - particularly important with Canon's white lenses, but almost as important for Nikon's black lenses. Either type can be seen at a distance but are almost invisible when covered by a lens coat cover.
2. Protecting the finish on the lens. If you think you might ever wish to sell a lens and upgrade, as you might as a rumored new Canon lens circulates, it certainly would behoove you to have a lens that is 'mint.' The LensCoat covers offer that protection.
3. Offering a degree of padding and protection. Since the LensCoat is rubberized, the lens has a built-in bumper that will offer some protection should another lens or object collide. I'm not talking safety helmets here, but a little bumper protection is better than none.
4. Insulation. In cold weather a rubberized covering simply feels better on your hands.

We will be offering the LensCoat coverings here at our office, so please contact us if you are interested.



Our Past Photo Tips of the Month:


ProShow Gold
Digital Slide Program

Workflow and Workload -
You can keep ahead


 DIGITAL- Digital Birding

 DIGITAL -Shoot for the Future

 DIGITAL-Shoot for the Future, Part II

 Capture 1's Most Useful Features

maximizing depth of field digitally

  Backing Up Your Digital Files - you'll need more than you think

 DIGITAL Photographing scenes with extreme exposure values

 NPN- Nature Photography Network - a digital forum for nature photography

 Digital Pro Image Management Software

 Watch Your Backgrounds
The potential of composites or shooting in RAW format

 A Great Website for Information - the Singapore Nature Photography Society

 Save Your Equipment from Crashing!

 The L-Bracket, the ultimate camera bumper

At the Pulse of Life
by Fritz Polking

 Carry Your Gear!

 Shooting in Inclement Weather

 Carry-on Luggage for small commuter flights

 Visual Echos Tele-Flash for the 580EX Flash

 Ask Questions
Before You Go

 Seize the Moment!

Geared Focusing Rail for Macro Work 

 Protecting your long lens from SAND, the pleasures of beach photography

 How do we protect our gear from dust, and carry our gear when on safari

 The Ultimate Flash Bracket
Padding Your Wimberley
Tripod Head

  Specular highlights and the flashing frog
 Using TTL flash with Hummingbirds  Testing your Flash's Aim
Maximum Depth of Field and Hyperfocal Distance - they're not the same thing!  If you see it, it's too late -- a lesson in anticipation  How do you shoot the Moon?
  Low level tripod work  A great depth of field guide  Wimberley 400 and 600mm IS plate

 Sigma's 120-300mm F2.8 APO HSM zoom lens

 Using The Wimberley Gimbal head with a camera body

 Sigma's 120-300 f2.8 APO
zoom telephoto lens

 Custom Function 4-1 for Nikon and Canon shooters

 Sighting in a very, very long lens
 The Nature Photography Network - a super website for images and information
  Take a Workshop First   Luck, what is it?  Don't take in baby wild animals

  Airline Carry-On Luggage -Let your concerns be heard!

 Disconnect -- travel precautions

Photograph America Newsletter
 Wildlife Portraiture

 Obey the Rules
The Ti Chi Stalk
Photographing Critically Endangered Sites Bushnell Night Vision Optics  Adobe Photoshop 7 for $300

 The Sibley Bird Guides

 Removing Cactus Spines

 Drying out boots with newspaper

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