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March 21, 2006


Anthony Yan

I think there is a practical reason that lense caps are black. I was warned never to point my SLR camera at the sun for long periods of time, even if the shutter is off. Why? Because the lense will focus the light on the shutter's curtain, and can burn it. My guess is that lense caps are black to prevent damage like this.

But since I'm not a photographer, I'm not sure if this is actually true.


Up front it seems like a novel idea. You look through the camera and see the words "remove the lens cap". You slap your head and say, "gee" I forgot to remove the lens cap. Well, since this could only work with an SLR, then looking through the viewfinder and seeing nothing would make you say... "gee, I forgot to remove the lens cap".

Lens caps are black because there is less of a chance of light getting in. This is only crucial when film is used.


I believe you're right. That's what I'd learned when I took up photography in the early 1970s. However, I don't think that this has applied for the last two generations of cameras, digital or otherwise.

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