Make your own quick-change EF lens bag!

Do you want to use prime lenses more, but find the frustration of frequent lens changes too much to deal with? I have a solution for you!

When I was in Moscow recently at a friend’s wedding I noticed the photographer there was switching lenses quickly, just taking one off, throwing it in his bag, and pulling out another. None of the lenses had front or rear caps and the (expensive L series) lenses were just rattling around in the bag. I admired the rapid switching he was able to achieve but thought there must be a way to achieve this rapid switching without risking the lenses.

So I came up with this.

First, you need an over-the-shoulder camera bag. This is one I had spare.


Next, order some cheap replacement body/rear caps from ebay. I bought six of them, but how many you need depends on the lenses you are using and the size of your bag.


Take the rear caps out. You don’t need the body caps, but they are always handy to keep as spares. If you don’t want them send them to me, I have a load of EOS film cameras that need them 🙂


Open the bag and clean it. Mine was full of sand which was not a great start. Yes, last time I used this bag was at the beach.


Now, cut a piece of strong coated cardboard (like this, with the shiny white surface), or thick plastic sheet, to fit the inside the bag. It doesn’t have to be accurately cut (actually, I’m only saying that because I did such a bad job of cutting it myself.)IMG_3984

It should fit tightly with no movement. Like this.


Now, pack in the lenses you want to use. make sure that there’s room to take every lens in and out easily, and that the bag can still close. Don’t forget to keep the lens hoods on when doing this part!


Now, take everything out and reassemble the lenses in the same order on your piece of card. Ok, I didn’t put them in exactly the same order because I wanted to arrange the lenses with the tallest ones on one side to give me room in the bag afterwards to keep the camera body.


Draw around the bases onto the card. It doesn’t need to be that accurate.


Take off the lenses (put the original caps back on) and leave the caps.


Next job is to glue the caps onto the cardboard/plastic with superglue. This is why we needed a coated cardboard to give a strong bond.


Now, this is VERY important.

Do not glue the caps with the lenses attached. In fact, don’t do this anywhere near your lenses. You do not want your lenses anywhere near superglue fumes.


Leave overnight (it may be safer to leave it a few days just to be sure that the fumes have completely gone) to harden and for the fumes to dissipate, then put back together, and load your lenses and camera (with a body cap) into the bag. Don’t try to put a seventh lens on the camera, because you then lose the whole point of the quick change!


So, in use, open bag, take first lens, attach to camera and when you want to switch lenses quickly, you can easily take off the lens, screw it into the free cap in the bag, then pull another lens out and use that. Unless you’re using two bodies at once (when things get more confusing) the lenses will always go back into the same gap they came out of.

Have fun! And if you build one do send me photos of it.


2 Responses

  1. Twig Caudieux says:

    Bravo!! Now be sure to patent this!

    • jolyon says:

      No, I don’t believe in patents for things like this. I’d rather that people were free to build their own and make their own variants of it. All I want is to see what people come up with 🙂

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