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How To: Make a storage case for your camera lens

By Francis D'sa /  11 Jan 2013 , 16:36

Those pursuing the hobby or profession of photography will definitely own a DSLR camera. And if you have a DSLR camera, a camera case is what you should already be having to safeguard your equipment and investment. As usual, the camera ships with a bundled basic stock lens. Some people go ahead and invest in an additional lens, be it a telephoto or a macro lens as per their requirement. This additional lens calls for an additional investment of a camera case or bag that can accommodate the extra lens. Well, this investment does not come cheap, but has to be done anyways. However, you cannot keep spending on a larger case or bag every time the number of lenses increases in your equipment list, isn’t it? Lastly, unless you are going on a long photography trip, you won’t carry all your lenses. So, what do you do with the other lenses when you are not carrying them along?

Your lens case is ready for use

A lens case made at home using recyclable parts

New lenses come packed in their own cardboard box with an antistatic and dustproof cover. But if you opt for a second-hand one, or if the box is damaged, your lenses cannot lie in the open. Left out in the open, they are prone to dust, moisture and most importantly, physical damage. The only option is to wrap them in a protective cloth and store them away. While surfing around the Internet, we hit upon the idea of using recyclable stuff from around the house to make your own lens case. We bring you the idea and how you can make one yourself. The materials required are easily available and are very cheap or almost free. The case can protect your lens from moisture and also from physical damage in case of minor drops or falls. Here is what you will need to make one for yourself.

What you require for making the lens case

What you require for making the lens case

Let’s get started. 

Step 1: Measure the DSLR lens against one pet bottle to find out the height requirement. Start from the bottom up and mark at least two to three inches more than the actual height of the lens. Now carefully and neatly cut along the marking and cut-off the top part. We need the bottom half which will now be the container for the lens.

Measure the lens height and cut the bottle accordingly

Measure the lens height and cut the bottle accordingly

Step 2: We now need to make a cap for the container. The other bottle’s bottom portion will be used to make the cap or lid for the container. Measure around two to three inches from the bottom, mark a line and cut the bottom out very neatly. You may discard the other (top) half of the bottle. Our lid for the container is now procured.

Now that the container and lid are ready for the next step, we suggest you wash and dry the two pieces before proceeding further. You can then check the lens case by placing the lens inside the container and closing it. If you need to make any adjustments to the height, you should do it right now. 

Place the lens and the cap to confirm everything fits well

Place the lens and the cap to confirm everything fits well

Step 3: We now need to join the lid to the container carefully in such a way that it can be opened and closed easily and freely. For this, we shall use the zipper we mentioned above. Now since glue and superglue would not work efficiently on plastics, we recommend sewing the two halves of the zipper to the container and lid. You may ask someone at home who is good with sewing. Unzip the zipper completely, measure the circumference of the mouth of the container and cut off the edges of the zipper accordingly. Using a thick needle and some strong thread, sew the zipper on the mouth of the container and the lid accordingly. You may choose to use a large stapler to do the same job instead of stitching. Some might consider it easier and faster—the choice is yours. Once done, your lens case is almost complete. You can check by fastening the zip and checking if the lid closes the container neatly and efficiently. 

Cut the foam according to the bottle height, base and the lid

Cut the foam according to the bottle height, base and the lid

Step 4: Since the case is now almost ready, we need to line it from inside to protect the lens from moving. Measure the inner circumference and the height of the container and lid together and cut out the foam accordingly. 

Step 5: Now measure the inner diameter of the container and cut out two equal circular shapes from the left over foam. This will form the base and top, which will be placed inside the container and lid accordingly. Insert these circular pads in their respective places and if needed, you can glue them in place too.

Place the foam pieces accordingly and attach the zipper

Place the foam pieces accordingly and attach the zipper

Step 6: Now neatly roll the foam and insert it into the container and cap. Use some rubber glue in some places to secure it to the walls. This will prevent the foam from sliding out while removing the lens from the case. You may choose not to do so if you want to roll the lens in the foam itself and slide it into the case each time you are done using it.

Your lens case is ready for use. You can place some silica gel pouches inside the case to prevent moisture from damaging the lens. Place your lens inside the case and safely tuck them into your bag, cupboard or drawer without the fear of ruining your lens. To make this case easier to carry, you can create a harness using some wide nylon strips. Secure the strips from under and around the bottle and make a handle or sling to easily carry it around. 

Your lens case is ready for use

Your lens case is ready for use

You can make similar cases for all your lenses depending on the type of lens and its size. Use the bottle sizes accordingly. You can also make smaller cases for all your other needs such as storing your lens filters, cellphones, compact cameras, or any other electronic items that need protection from moisture and physical damage. 

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