View Full Version : Another Lens Cap Rant

Mark Stahlke
10-May-2006, 21:42
Two weeks ago I received a brand new Schneider Super Symmar 150 XL. I mounted it on a lensboard, looked it over, and then set it on a shelf (sideways, no pressure on either lens cap) because I didn't have time to do anything with it. Today I took it off the shelf, popped off the front lens cap and noticed that the numbers from the inside of the lens cap were imprinted on the front element. Right in the center. They weren't there when I first checked out the lens. Luckily, a couple of minutes with a lens tissue had it looking new again but... GRRR! *scary face* GRRR!

As much as we pay for these lenses, you'd think the manufacturers could supply lens caps that won't damage the lens. Now it seems I'm in the market for a large, expensive UV/Protector filter just to protect the lens from its own cap. Isn't that the dumbest thing you've EVER heard? GRRR! *scary face* GRRR!

Whew! Thanks for listening, I feel better now. By the way, it's a stunning piece of glass. The lens caps, on the other hand...

I'm off to give Schneider a piece of my mind. I hope I have some left when I'm done.

Ron Marshall
10-May-2006, 21:55
SK Grimes sells a cap machined from hard plastic that is apparently difficult to deform. About the same price as a good filter.

Doug Dolde
10-May-2006, 22:17
But you lucky dog...what a killer lens !

10-May-2006, 23:09

Now, tell us how you "really" feel about the plastic lens cap issue! :)

Just kidding! :) Actually, I don't blame you for being p*ssed at the manufacturers for the cheap plastic caps!

I think the metal caps that SK Grimes manufactures are amongst the best around. During a shoot one time, a friend dropped a fairly heavy clamp onto the front end of a lens that was standing upright. Good thing I had one of the metal caps on it! [Sounds like a commercial in the works, doesn't it? But, I don't have anything to do with SK Grimes other than being a client.]

I often wonder what would have happened had the cap been plastic as opposed to metal.

The Grimes caps aren't cheap but, IMHO, it's a pretty small investment considering the value of your lens!

And, btw, I agree with what Doug said... you lucky dog! :)


Emre Yildirim
11-May-2006, 02:13
I noticed something similar today with my 75 SA. Since my last post regarding lens caps, I went ahead and ordered the Kaiser caps from B&H. After putting the cap on the lens, I noticed that there is about a 1mm clearance between the glass of the front element and the lens cap (so it virtually touches the glass). The middle of the lens cap has "67mm" imprinted, and if I even slightly touch the cap once it's mounted on the lens, it leaves a little smudge mark on the glass.

This can't possibly be good. I blame this on Schneider however, for designing the thread stuff on the front element the way they did. It doesn't happen on my 180 Nikkor, because there is plenty of room between the cap and the glass. But now that I think about it, it also happens with the rear element of the 75 SA. Should I be concerned?

Emre Yildirim
11-May-2006, 02:14
Oops, I meant to say it has "70mm" imprinted on it, not 67!

Steve Hamley
11-May-2006, 04:49
I had S.K. Grimes make caps for my 150mm SS XL and my 55mm Grandagon. Moden caps just don't cut it with large diameter glass. I just couldn't imagine carrying either of these in a pack with the OEM caps.


Andre Noble
11-May-2006, 06:43
Or you could substitute with a Nikon cap, which are MUCH better. (The Japanese do accesories vey well.)

Frank Petronio
11-May-2006, 07:51
If you don't have the money left over to have Grimes make you custom caps, you can take a cheap filter, knock out the plastic or glass (it better be plastic...) and use the ring as a spacer to give your front element some breathing room from the cap. If you are in an extreme situation it may vignette but I doubt it, and in any case you could remove it for actual shooting.

On flea-Bay there is a seller who has short metal screw-in lenshades for wide-angle . I put them some of my lenses and they help protect the front element from impacts as well as spacing things back. Then I find caps for the shade, not the front of the lens.

They are too short to be really effective lenshades but they don't hurt...

Another thing I found - for smaller lenses, not your 150XL - is a series of stepped step-up rings for only $20 from the same eBay guy. From 40.5 up to 86mm in popular steps. I just screw a few steps into a lens - then you can always use a flat metal screw in lenscap (cheap and bullet-proof) and get a minimal short lenshade too.

For the dSLR I always use the short metal Nikon screw-in hoods, even when they make a dedicated junky plastic shade. The metal shades have saved the lenses numerous times.

Ron Marshall
11-May-2006, 12:33
You can also use the front "cap" from a set of filter storage caps. It is a flat round threaded plate that will screw onto the front threads of the lens. But personally I prefer push on caps.

Mark Stahlke
11-May-2006, 20:47
Thanks for the kind words, commiseration, and suggestions. Today I picked up the cheapest 62mm filter I could find and knocked the glass out of it. I'll use the ring as a lens cap extender for the rear.

I also ordered an 81A filter to use as a screw on lens cap for the front after carefully testing to make sure the filter doesn't contact the front element. Since 95mm filters are so expensive, I decided to get one that I might use as a filter too.

I'm really looking forward to shooting with this lens but I think it's going to sit on the shelf until I can protect it adequately.


Armin Seeholzer
15-May-2006, 13:15
Hi all
After I had a front with MC wiped of from the lens cap in the center of my Apo Grandagon 55mm because of a little mountain from the pressing cycle for the cap I got the front replased from Rodenstock and I switched on thad lens also to a very hard cap wich is also in the middle more away from the front!
On all other lenses many of them had also a mountain in the middle against the lens I used very fine sandpaper and made all flat inside also no. I killed!
Nock on wood they should be fine now!

ronald moravec
20-May-2006, 15:41
Caps used to be domed to clear the front glass. Now the filter rings barely stick out enough for a filter to clear the glass and the caps are flat. This is a cost reduction.

Mark Stahlke
2-Jun-2006, 18:16
Here is the final resolution of this issue.

I bought a Hoya 81A to use primarily as protection for the front element. Alas, the filter glass contacted the lens glass before the filter was screwed in all the way. Furthermore, the outside diameter of the Hoya filter is slightly smaller than the outside diameter of the lens cell so the Schneider lens cap wont fit. That option was a no-go.

Today I recieved a lovely set of lens caps from S. K. Grimes. $85.00 US but worth every penny of it. At long last I feel comfortable taking the lens out in the field to use it. I highly recommend S. K. Grimes lens caps to anyone who has this lens.

I just wanted to update this thread for posterity.

Ron Marshall
2-Jun-2006, 19:04
I bit the bullet and ordered from Grimes as well. 60mm cap $30, 70mm cap $35. Not cheap, but very worthwhile.

2-Jun-2006, 19:41
Hi Ron,

Think of it as a bit of insurance to protect your investment... :)

If a lens cost you $1,000... $30 looks awfully inexpensive if it saves your glass from being scratched to bits in the bag. :)