Got a DSLR camera? Then you’ll be interested to hear about Lens Safe, a 3D printed security ring that prevents expensive lenses being stolen.
Rutger Geerling is a professional photographer of music, sports and travel. He’s a busy man with a stunning portfolio of work, but his job comes with an occupational hazard; lenses being snatched from camera bodies while the photographer is distracted.
The problem is that thieves have developed a sneaky trick. If a camera is secured to your body with a strap, it’s not so easy to steal. But if they hit the release button to detach the lens from the body, then they’ve just filched (potentially) the most valuable part of the camera.
As Geerling explains to PetaPixel:
“It happens when you’re shooting with two cameras in the crowd. You use one camera and the unused one hangs around your shoulder. That’s when thieves go for it and quickly release and grab the lens in one motion. The problem is that the release button is basically to well designed. You can unlock and take off the camera in one swift motion with one hand.”
The situation has led Geerling to devise a unique and inexpensive deterrent. It’s a 3D printed security ring that wraps around the lens mount and — most importantly — conceals the release button on the camera body.
Deterring Thieves with Lens Safe
The simple device is called Lens Safe, and was developed in collaboration with a chap referred to only as “Mark”, a friend of Geerling who is an audio technician for DJ Tiesto.
Basically, Lens Safe works by making it impossible to remove the lens with just one hand. The security ring forces the user to insert a finger beneath it to access the release button.
Perhaps this makes the process of switching lenses a little bit more cumbersome for the photographer. But professionals often shoot with multiple cameras to avoid having to change lenses. They won’t be impacted by the Lens Safe if they’re not planning on switching lenses often.
And besides, for many freelancers working at crowded events, it’s a small price to pay for added piece of mind.
Rather than marketing the product himself, Geerling has made the design freely available for download from PetaPixel.
If you have access to a 3D printer, you can fabricate the Lens Safe in less than an hour and using very little material. The current design fits Canon DSLRs only, but Geerling is optimistic that other designers will rework the model to fit makes of camera.
Alternatively, you can have one made by a professional 3D printing service using the ALL3DP Price Comparison Engine. Lens Safe for the Canon EOS 1 D and Canon EOS 5 D can be fabricated in polyamide plastic for prices starting at $5.56.
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License: The text of "The Lens Safe is a 3D Printed Camera Security Ring" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.