Introducing: ReadyCap Lens Cap Holder
What do you do with the lens cap when it's not on your lens? Do you stick it in your pocket? Or do you have one of those strings stuck to the cap that lets it dangle from your camera? The pocket can introduce lint to the cap, and then onto the surface of the lens, potentially ruining the clarity of your photos – not to mention the nuisance of keeping your lens clean. And that string? When it isn't in the way of your shot, it's in the way of your hand…it's annoying to say the least. These were not acceptable solutions to the creators of the ReadyCap, which is a new and alternate solution to holding your cap when it's not in use. It's a simple solution really: It is simply a place where you can clip your cap when it's not in use. You can fasten it to your belt, your camera strap or bag strap or otherwise.
Think of the ReadyCap as a filter ring that your cap can clip into. The base features a 58mm filter ring with a back that can be fastened wherever you need it. The ring is just like a typical lens filter ring comprised of a threads that any filter can screw into. Or, more importantly, your lens cap can clip into. The base is made of heavy duty ABS Plastic, so it's durable and will stand up to whatever stresses you can put it under. Across the back is a plastic band – also made of ABS Plastic – that is held in place with two thumb screws. The strap is reversible to accommodate straps or belts of varying sizes. For narrow straps, you can fasten the band one way. For thicker straps, you can flip the band over.
If your lens requires a different size than the base – which again is a 58mm filter ring – then you can use a step-up or a step down ring, also available from ReadyCap. Note that when you order ReadyCap, you can specify the size that you need and the step-up or step-down ring that is required is only $1 USD more (additional rings, in case you need to fit more than one lens, are quite reasonabl priced). The step rings are made of aluminum and are machined like any other high quality step ring or filter.
I will admit that before the ReadyCap was brought to my attention, I was a pocket guy. It really is amazing how many things you tend to ignore when they become routine. I was finding myself frequently cleaning my lens, and cleaning my cap, because of the lint that is inevitably in my pocket. Now I'll be honest…if something like the ReadyCap never came along, I'd be perfectly content to keep cleaning my lens and my cap. But, since it did come along, I really see how my whole routine has improved.
I shoot with a sling style camera strap, so the ReadyCap finds its way to the strap on my camera bag. My camera bag has a few loops on the front where I can feed the band of plastic through and fasten the ReadyCap securely. It's at a convenient place – just at breast level – where I can quickly and easily access the cap. Well, to be honest, it's not the cap that I want in easy access. I shoot very often with my Circular Polarizer filter, but it isn't ideal for every shot. So it is frequently going on and off of my lens on a fairly regular basis, especially when I'm working on an assignment where conditions change frequently. If there is anything worse than having a lens cap in your pocket, it's having a filter in your pocket. So I don't have to do that anymore. And I can stack filters on top of each other indefinitely and I can get to them whenever I need them. The cap just slips on top like it would if the filters were on my lens. This is where I see the greatest merit in the ReadyCap system.
There are two lenses I shoot with frequently. My walkabout lens uses a 67mm filter ring. My 50mm uses a 52mm filter ring. ReadyCap was nice enough to send us both step rings for our review. At first, I would have thought having to switch the rings would be annoying at best. But I grew to like it. I have a set of filters for each, and I stacked them on top of the appropriate step ring, and then I would store them that way when I was out shooting. If I switched lenses, I would switch the entire stack. The ReadyCap base would stay in place, and I had the convenience all the same without much effort.
There was but one minor issue that I had with the ReadyCap in all of my use. The thumb screws holding the fastening bend onto the base are loose. Someone with clumsy fingers could easily lose the screws, and so I would encourage you to be careful with the screws. I brought this concern to the attention of the manufacturer, and they informed me that an extra set of screws is to be included with each ReadyCap moving forward.
It's amazing how one takes their own habits for granted until something comes along to show us a solution. ReadyCap didn't necessarily solve a problem that I was having. But they did introduce a new way of looking at one specific aspect of my routine. The ReadyCap is quite an economical solution that will save you a bit of frustration and some time during any of your shoots. If it didn't also accommodate filters, I wouldn't be so inclined to speak so highly of the device. But that is compliment to the thought behind the design of the ReadyCap. It's designers were thinking clearly about how it would be used.
Now the ReadyCap is a young product from a young company. This is a very good thing, as entrepreneurs are known to listen to consumers. I see this product as filling a need, and at it's price point it is destined to carve a niche in the accessory market. I consider the ReadyCap as an initial offering. I wouldn't be surprised to see a few other neat products from ReadyCap in the future. But that's besides the point. Truth is that the ReadyCap itself is a well design, well thought-out product that would be a worthwhile accessory. Especially considering it's price point: For a limited time, the special introductory price for the ReadyCap is about $16 USD ($15 if you only need the 58mm base). Starting on January 1, 2013, the normal price for the ReadyCap is anticipated to be $19.99 USD for the base, and $21.99 base plus one adapter.
You can get the ReadyCap direct from their website.