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Changing lenses the right and quickest way

Having “interchangeable” lenses camera or DSLR comes with one key disadvantage over point and shoot pocket cameras and that is having your sensor smudged with dirt and dust particles whenever you want to change a lens. However, if you change lenses quickly using the proper way, you will reduce the risk of having those patches on your final photo.

Switching lenses outdoors in a windy environment also represent a bigger challenge of keeping your mirror and sensor away from contamination. Some people prefer to always keep their all-in-one lens because they are afraid of smudging the sensor. If you follow these guidelines however, I guarantee in most cases that your camera and photos will be OK.

  • First make sure you camera is turned off and don’t touch it for like 5 minutes. Having the camera turned on while switching lenses can attract dust. Electric charge will actually attract dust like a magnet.
  • Next, check your target (new lens) for dust before attaching it and blow and liquid clean it to be on the safe side.
  • If you are shooting on location and outdoor in a risky environment (wind water, desert, dust, etc.) find a shelter like your car or indoor place and change lenses there.
  • Don’t leave the camera body open for too long. Make use of the body cap that came with the box. Better yet, don’t remove the lens before having the other lens ready for the switch thus reducing the time amount the sensor is exposed to dust and dirt.
  • Make sure both lenses have their lens caps on.
  • Set the target lens on a flat surface with the front glass pointed down. Loosen the back-end cap without completely removing it. Try doing this with one hand
  • Always point the camera body downward to eliminate dust particles flying in the lens opening.
  • Hold the body with your left arm (if you are right handed and viceversa if you are lefty).
  • With the other hand (right hand), completely remove the target lens cap and position both lenses perpendicularly against each other’s front glasses.
  • Rotate the source lens counter-clockwise (Canon) to completely remove from the body.
  • Align the indicators (white or red dots on Canon) of the target lens with the body.
  • Rotate clockwise with the target lens while the camera is still pointing downward.
  • Place the back-end cap removed from the target lens onto the source lens.

The whole operation should not take more than 30 seconds max. Practice it few times to become acquainted to it. Don’t rush through the process. A dirty sensor is better than a broken glass! With practice, you should be able to switch lenses quickly.