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Panasonic Lumix LX3 Lens Cap – The Journey

Panasonic Lumix LX3 Digital Camera

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.

In reality, I tried the Ricoh LC-1 Lens Mod but found that it doesn’t work with my Lumix LX3. The lens motor is simply not strong enough to push open the Ricoh LC-1 lens door springs consistently.

 

 

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

Lumix LX3 with Conversion Adapter and UV Filter

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.

Lumix Lx3 Screw In Metal Lens Cap

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.

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12 comments

  1. why not just get a Canon PowerShot S90<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=ultrarevie-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B002LITT42&quot; width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />? same level camera essentially and has a built in lens cover, is smaller in size, and with the lensmate adapter it can be used with filters as well.

  2. I just use the included tether on my stock LX3 cap, easy to remove and usually I hold it out of the way between my 4th & 5th fingers – almost don't think about it any more. But I would like to use a polarizer, so I may investigate using the adapter. I'm not sure it will fit into my hip belt pocket though, which is where I like to keep the LX3

  3. Clinton – I didn't like the stock cap all that much. But the adapter is not really that big – on the other hand I have pretty big hip belt pockets on all of my packs. :-)

  4. Derek – didn't know it even existed.

  5. really? i feel like it's gotten almost as much press as the lx3. weird. dpreview did a review on it recently. it got a fairly good review. i think about on the same level of the lx3. some things are better some are worse i think was their basic conclusion. i got it for it's smaller size since i am rarely in a situation where i can carry a camera out of pocket. i am waiting on the lensmate adapter since it was sold out before it was even supposed to be available, but have gotten a polarizing filter and an ND so far. One of the issues is that it is hard for people to hold apparently? Dealing with mostly p&s cameras i thought it was fine and not a big deal at all. even has a little area built in to help your thumb grab it. but oh well. there is a grip sold for it that adds zero actual width to it and helps a lot. it can be found on the lensmate website or a couple other places. im not one of those people that tries to convert others to what i like, but let me know if you want any more info.

  6. I appreciate the info Derek, but I've spent my nickel and I actually like the Lumix.

  7. I concur – I held out a long time before getting a new camera, waiting for technology to get to a point where small and flexible came in the same package and I'm very happy with the LX-3. Don't see myself upgrading any time soon….

  8. ~ Yes, the LX3 and S90 seem to be positioned as direct competitors. I didn't know about either of them, despite a keen interest in the topic, and each of those cameras having a wildly enthusiastic following. It's annoying to spend huge amounts of time parsing obscure attributes of gear, but that's the price we pay for having a wonderful selection.

    ~ EL, I'm certain that the best solution to your lens cap problem involves some form of beer can remanufacturing.

  9. That got a laugh! I can retire on the profits.

  10. Thanks, this article is very helpful, now I know how the LX3 looks like with the additional Adapter Tube… I think I will just buy the cheap compatible 3rd Party Adapter Tube from E-Bay sellers in Hong Kong/China… can't afford the one from Panasonic :-(

  11. The adapter tube really makes this camera rock. The ability to add different filters really expands it's range.

  12. One of the great things about point and shoot compact digital cameras like the Lumix LX3 is that they are compact… well, yours is not anymore, but I guess you don't mind :)

    Thanks for the review anyway, it nearly fixed my problem.

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