Automatic Lens Caps
One of the great things about point and shoot digital camera is that they have an automatic lens cover system the protects your lens from dirt and scratches. So when I upgraded from a point-and-click Canon PowerShot SD850 IS digital camera to a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 , it was a shock to realize that I had to manually remove a lens cap whenever I wanted to take a photo.
This inconvenience was good in some ways because it raised the barrier to taking a photo, since I had to stop, take the lens cover off, tuck it safely away, and then shoot my shot. My photos became more considered and composed as a consequence. But I still longed for the convenience of an automatic lens cover.
Lumix Lens Mod
I googled and googled for a solution to my problem and found that other Lumix LX3 owners use a Ricoh LC-1 Lens Cap on the Lumix instead of the factory cap.
Here’s a short video of how it works, in theory.
That wasn’t the end of the world because the Ricoh Lens cap is incompatible with filters, which you want if you plan on doing any outdoor photography with the Lumix LX3.
Lumix LX3 Conversion Adapter
In order to use a filter, the LX3 requires a Panasonic DMW-LA4 Conversion Adapter which screws onto threads surrounding the lens and protects it when it is extended. It makes the camera more bulky, but it still fits into my backpack hip belt pockets and is way smaller than a full DSLR.
The Conversion Adapter works with 45-46 mm threaded filters. I keep a Tiffen 46mm UV Protection Filter on the adapter all the time to cut down on ultra-violet glare and protect the LX3 Lens surface. In addition, I replace the the UV filter with a Panasonic DMW-LPL46 46mm Polarizing Filter to reduce the glare of reflective surfaces and enhance blue sky color in outdoor shots.
Screw On Lens Cap
Which brings us back to finding a good lens cap for the Lumix LX3. This becomes dramatically easier once you upgrade to the Conversion Adapter because you can find a 46 mm screw-in metal, plastic clip-on, or rubber push on cap for it.
These are quite inexpensive if you order them from LensCaps.com. I ended up deciding to go with a 46 mm metal screw-in cap, which screws right onto my UV filter, but can also screw onto the Conversion Adapter itself.
I’m pretty happy with the end point of this journey, but it caused a fair amount of anxiety for me until I sorted it all out. Hopefully you can leverage my experience.
Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.