Tip of the Day: No-fuss lens changing

I’ve noticed that people tend to get very anxious about changing lenses on their DSLR, almost as though they’re doing something that they’re not supposed to do.

The whole point of owning a DSLR is being able to change lenses. I know that initially it looks a big scary there inside a DSLR, but as long as you follow a few simple rules, you’ll be fine.

  1. RTFM – Read the Friendly Manual that comes with your camera.
  2. Change lenses with the camera off. Not only does this result in less dust being attracted inside the camera (because with the camera off there’s less static charge to attract the dust), but it also means that the camera gets a chance to properly recognize the lens when you switch it on.
  3. Practice changing lenses in the comfort and safety of your home before you have to do it outdoors in the cold/wet/dark.
  4. Different lenses and cameras have different markings to show you how to align the camera and lenses properly. Know where they are.
  5. Work close to the ground (kneeling/sitting) if you can, with something soft underneath you (camera bag or coat). That way if you drop something it doesn’t have far to go.
  6. Keep your back to the wind to reduce dust/dirt getting in your camera.
  7. If your camera is mounted on a tripod, leave it there because it’s one less thing to hold.
  8. Start by pressing the lens release button and part rotating the lens ready for removal. With that done, remove the rear lens cap from the lens you want to use. Now fully remove the lens off the camera, pop the lens down, pick up the lens you want to attach and fit it. Then pop the rear lens cap on the lens you removed. Work slow and methodically.
  9. When you’re done, turn the camera on to check everything is OK. This way you can be sure that the camera is detecting the lens, and also with most modern cameras, this will give the sensor a quick clean.
  10. Tricks like “one-handed lens changing” that you might see on YouTube are for people with big hands or deep pockets.

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