The Camera Bag: Backer Capper Device Helps You Swap DSLR Lenses More Quickly


posted Monday, May 21, 2012 at 3:27 PM EST

Backercapper-logoI may never drop another camera lens again thanks to a new invention called the Backer Capper Lens Swapping System from the folks at camarush. The device, which is shown in prototype in the image to the right, looks remarkably like a lens cap mounted on a belt but it solves the problem of the “third hand.”

You know what the "third hand" is, right? It's the thing you wish you had when you're hastily trying to change lenses on your digital SLR out in the field.

Here’s how the Backer Capper helps with that scenario. With your DSLR in one hand — just Nikon and Canon models for now — you twist and remove the lens with your other hand. Most of us can do this. Next, twist the lens into the rear lens cap that has been held in place magnetically to the Backer Capper on your belt.

Put this capped lens somewhere safe, such as in your camera bag or on a table (or, since it's protected by the back cap, even on the ground). Now with your free hand, take the other lens out of the same camera bag (or from the table) and attach its rear lens cap magnetically to the Backer Capper and twist it off the lens.

Now, simply mount this lens to the camera body. Good job.

Some real world issues may get in the way of the Backer Capper success though. First is the increased use, as noted, of all-purpose zoom lenses. Second is that lots of photographers use their camera shoulder strap to hang their cameras from around their necks or over their shoulders, thus eliminating the need for a third hand in the first place.

Finally there is the need for a camera bag or somewhere to put the lenses. Isn’t the camera bag a third hand too?

Needless to say, the Backer Capper is an interesting solution to a low tech problem. In fact, right now, for free, I will tell you how to construct a device that can truly eliminate the need for a third hand.

Since I'm the "developer" and free to jokingly plagiarize, I'll call it the Back-to-Back Capper. You can make one at home with just two matched or identical rear lens caps and some Crazy Glue. Find a comfortable workspace and carefully glue the caps back to back. The hard part comes next: letting the glue dry.

Now attach the Back-to-Back Capper to a lens by twisting one of the rear lens caps onto the lens. When you want to change lenses, take the lens you want to change off the camera and, with a twist, attach it to the glued-on rear cap on the Back-to-Back Capper. Twist off the other lens and attach it to the camera. Surprisingly this can be done with only the usual allotment of hands: two.

Camarush's Backer Capper currently only works with Nikon and Canon lenses but developers say other models are on the way. Additionally, the makers are currently raising production funds on Kickstarter. With a pledge of $20, donors will get a Backer Capper and two caps. Once production is in full swing, larger pledges will get you more caps. Read more about it here.

All of this makes me think about that old Zen koan: What is the sound of one hand changing lenses?

Check out the Kickstarter pitch video for the Backer Capper below.