View Full Version : Lens Coat alternative
05-11-2009, 11:42 AM
I'm about to purchase a canon 70-200 2.8 L lens. I'm looking forward to the conspicuousness of the white color and professional looking lens when I'm shooting sports or events and want people to ask about purchasing images. However, I'd like a way to be a bit more subtle when shooting urban portraits or photojournalism. I was looking at the black removable neoprene covers by Lens coat, but I'd rather not spend $80 for a square foot of neoprene. Has anyone found a good, inexpensive way to make those white lenses a little less noticeable?
05-11-2009, 06:27 PM
Hey Michael - that is a great choice for a lens! To be frank with you, I have never used a lens coat. I haven't really seen the need. I do understand the idea behind trying to be lower key in some situations. Aside from that, I haven't had too many problems with bumping my lens into things - the L-series lenses are pretty durable (as long as you don't drop them). I don't typically even see lens coats on lenses used by most photo journalists - and those guys bang their lenses up more than most.
I think it is hugely important to have a high quality lens filter to keep your glass from getting scratched. There are some purists that choose to go without a filter. I think the risk is just too great to not have one. I put a B&W UV-Haze filter (http://the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/B+W-67mm-MRC-UV-Filter-Review.aspx) on my 70-200mm. It's a worthwhile investment in the long run.
05-12-2009, 08:14 PM
Thanks for the recommendation, I've been trying to decide if I could get away with a cheap glass filter instead of dropping $100+ on a good filter. There is no way that I would use this lens without a filter, I'm careful with my glass but see no reason to risk damage to the front element. I don't have any misconception that a lens coat would do much to protect the lens from anything except scratches, but I am starting to photograph more hard news and the white paint just won't work if I'm shooting something emotionally sensitive. Is your 70-200 IS? What has your experience with the lens been?
05-12-2009, 09:05 PM
My lens is not IS - and I regret it. Overall, I love the lens - the bokeh is amazing for portraits at the longer end of the focal length. The IS version was just too much money at the time when I purchased the lens. I plan to switch it for an IS version sometime in the future (they are just so expensive!).
I would buck up for a high quality lens filter to protect the front glass. You are spending a pretty good chunk of change for the lens - it doesn't make sense to dumb it down with a poor quality lens filter (or none at all). I am thinking you could probably make a neoprene barrel cover and save money.
It's a great lens choice that will give you years and years of great service! I would love to see some of your first images.
BTW - the image below is a quick example of a portrait I took last weekend with the 70-200mm. EXIF on it is 200mm at 1/200 of second, f-5.0, ISO 200, handheld (since I have the non-IS version of this lens, I usually try to shoot on a monopod)
05-27-2009, 12:16 AM
I really like the portrait, it surprised me how short the dof is even at f/5 stops with this lens. I haven't gotten to shoot people with it yet, but i did walk down to a lake by my house and get this shot of a heron (at least I think thats what it is). Its not amazing and it is roughly processed, but its not bad for a shot to showcase what the lens can do. Even at 100% crop, the sharpness is awesome. I really considered the IS version, with the rebate it was only $300 more, but between getting just the IS or getting the non-IS and a 580ex II, i went with the second choice. There are situations where the IS and better weather seals would be nice, but I thought I could get more versatility with the light. Thanks for the advice, I am definately going to use a monopod with this lens for stability and weight management.
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