Many professional photographers pride themselves on their speed and efficiency on the job. They can set up lighting equipment in a flash. They can pose a group of four toddlers before any of them has time to run out of the frame. They can change lenses in seconds. But is doing everything quickly always the best idea when you’re working with expensive equipment? Try not to cringe–or laugh–as you follow along with this photographer’s demonstration of his speedy, one-handed lens changing technique:
Will you be trying this “professional” method with your L Series lens any time soon?
Before you get too flustered, take note that the video is actually faked. In a follow-up video, Dennis Lee claims that he intentionally dropped a broken Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8 L lens in the video as a social experiment. He wanted to see how many views and comments the YouTube video would produce and how long it would take for it to get back to him via his friends and family. At present, the video has been viewed over 200,000 times and has received over 100 comments.
All of his kidding aside, Lee still stands by his quick lens changing technique, which he picked up from The Strobist. He says it works with all lens sizes and is completely safe when done properly. In fact, he suggests that his method is safer than using one hand to depress the lens release button and one to unscrew the lens; using just one hand frees your other hand to catch the lens if it does slip from your hand. And the advantage of moving quickly is that you’re less likely to miss important shots when you only have one camera body with you.
Proper lens changing technique is debatable. Photographers love to argue about which approach to using and changing equipment is best. In reality, everyone comes up with their own methods that work well for them and their gear. And if they’re lucky, they never make any costly mistakes that prove their theories wrong.
“Just like a pro.”
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