The Fastest Way To Change Lenses On Your DSLR

If you're like me, when you head out with your camera to do a shoot, you can spend quite a few minutes swapping lenses, taking off the lens cap, and then putting the other lens back in its protective box or sleeve. Not so for professional photographer Jasmine Star, who shows us in this video how to do it in seconds.

There's no one single enormous time saver here; it's a matter of adopting the fastest possible flow to get the old lens off, the new lens on, the old lens stored, and yourself back to shooting the subject at hand. Those seconds you spend fumbling with sleeves, boxes and lens caps could mean the difference between getting a shot and missing it.

The video above shows you Jasmine's workflow (twice over, even), and she has it down to about three to six seconds per swap. It's simple — she removes the lens caps at the beginning of the shoot so she doesn't have to fiddle with them when changing lenses, and is a practised hand at how the lens mounts so she doesn't waste time getting it to fit before it's secured. She cradles the old lens on the inside of her arm before stashing it. It also doesn't hurt that she's using a side-access camera bag that makes reaching in and getting what you want easier than taking off a backpack.

Commenters over at point out that Jasmine may be risking her lenses and her camera sensor this way — with no cap on the mount size of the glass she may damage them, and there's a risk of dust falling into the sensor while she changes lenses. She points out she gets her lens serviced twice a year, angles the camera down, and notes that if you're not a pro shooter, the risks are minimal.

How to Quickly Change a DSLR Lens [Jasmine Star Photography Blog via]


    It's fast, but I'd much rather take the extra 10 secs to get lens caps on front and back. And you only need to drop the lens once to regret it.

      i've got changes down to about 20 seconds including reaching into my bag, grabbing the rear lens cap, detaching the lens on the camera, affixing the rear lens cap and mounting the new lens. i don't really worry about the front cap

    Definitely! grab the new lens, spin the back cap off with your tumb then stick the cap in your mouth, make the change then place the cap on the redundant lens.

      Unfortunately, the main lens I am changing lens is to/from the tokina 11-16 which means changing front and back lens cap size compared to the 35 and 50mm.

    If you're not a pro shooter then you don't need to change lenses that fast.

      If you're a pro shooter you can probably afford to own more than one body and a set of suitable lenses (and even an assistant), and not have to bother changing at all.

        You don't even need to be a pro shooter. My original DSLR died a while back and I bought a second hand replacement off eBay for a couple of hundred dollars. After a while I decided to have a fiddle with my old broken camera and managed to fix it (involved soldering some *very* small components, so not a job for everyone). I now have two cameras to carry around and rarely have to change lenses.

    Damn, I treat my lenses like they're fucking bombs that could go off at any second. There's no way I'm doing the above with an L lens that cost me $1800.

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