Any photographer worth their salt knows that at some point, they’re going to be losing lens caps – either while out in the field or somewhere at the bottom of their bag. Most of us have spares, but for those who don’t Canon may have an answer to your problems.
The Japanese camera manufacturer has recently filed a patent (number 2019-113645 (opens in new tab)) in its home country for a barn door-like lens cap that simultaneously works as a lens hood as well.
First spotted by Canon Watch (opens in new tab), the “invention works as a lens hood function at the time of shooting and as a lens protection function at the time of non-shooting, thus eliminating the need for lens cap attachment / removal and barrier opening / closing operations”.
The idea behind Canon’s design is that it will be permanently attached to the lens, so losing another lens cap might be a thing of the past.
However, Canon only uses the term “digital camera” in the patent, so whether the new lens cap design will make its way to the new RF-mount lenses or the older EF, EF-M or EF-S lenses remains to be seen. Instead, the patent seems to be for lenses with extending barrels that are typical for point-and-shoot snappers.
There have been solutions for the lost lens cap problem in the past – Canon is by no means the first company to try and solve this issue.
The Olympus LC-63A lens cap has been around for a very long time now, and was designed to fit on the XZ-1 and XZ-2 compact cameras. It’s attached to the lens barrel via a screw mount and automatically opens and shuts when using a button on the camera itself.
For those of us with multiple lenses for DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, Kuvrd (as in ‘covered’) launched a very successful Kickstarter campaign in 2017 for a silicone-based one-size-fits-all lens cap that claimed to be waterproof, dirt-proof, shock-absorbent, portable and malleable, but it wasn’t designed to be permanently attached to the lens itself.
While Canon’s design is still just a patent, it would be nice to see a major manufacturer provide a solution to a common problem that most photographers face.