Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Lens Flipper!

At this time I must RETRACT my review of the Lens Flipper. I have had a $3599 lens to hit the ground and SMASH.

Rarely do I have to to such a retraction of my reviews and I am VERY sorry for anyone that purchased this product. If you DID purchase this thing STOP USING IT IMMEDIATELY!!! 

I have email documentation claiming that the Lens Flipper will hold up to 132 pounds.

As of this time I recommend that you DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT. 

I am in contact with Lens Flipper and we're working on a resolution/fix

That's all i can say, but I don't recommend using this product at this time.

The Lens Flipper is a cool little accessory that probably should have been invented ages ago! After many years of carrying around 2 cameras at events I found myself tiring of lugging around so much bulk especially when shooting events where switching from a normal lens to and ultra-wide or tele wasn't a matter of critical speed. So I started carrying one camera body and a spare lens.

The problem with carrying around a spare lens is that meant I always had to have some sort of bag on me and also led to logistical problems with finding the right bag. If the bag was too small, I couldn't pull of the change fast enough because I was fighting to get lenses in and out of the bag but I also didn't want to carry around a large bag which defeated the purpose of traveling light.

Using a bag for a lens changeout also led to fumbling around looking for lens caps and sometimes dropping lenses (a few times with pretty disastrous results). In any case, when I stumbled upon this new gadget, the Lens Flipper I was pretty excited (after initially kicking myself for not thinking about this myself!). This little device is the solution to all of the problems I listed above. First of all, it allows you to completely get rid of the bag and even better, it secures your lens from being dropped while you make the change.

Basically the Lens Flipper is a small double-sided locking lens mount. It has a strap that you sling over your shoulder you lock in the lens your not using and it hangs by your side keeping the lens close at hand. When you want to change lenses you simply remove the lens from your camera, lock it into place on the Lens Flipper, then unmount the second lens from the Lens Flipper and mount it to your camera.

It's really a simple device to use and makes lens changes in the field much quicker and easier than before.

The Lens Flipper is lightweight plastic device with a metal lens mount similar to the one on the front of your camera. My lenses securely clicked into place and I didn't feel any concern about the lens accidentally coming loose. It comes with a canvas and nylon strap that attaches to to swiveling mounts, which allow you to flip it over to access the second lens once the first is locked in (hence the name Lens Flipper). The strap is nice and durable and even has leather appointments where the canvas meets the nylon. It attaches to the Lens Flipper like any other camera strap and if you were so inclined you could put one of your own favorite straps on it.

I tried out my Lens Flipper with all kinds of lenses with no real issues, but I was a bit skeptical of hanging my heavier lenses on it. I did carry around my 70-200 f/2.8 VR for awhile with no issues, but I'll admit I was a little nervous. I did not however risk trying it with the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 | S because coming in at about 9 pounds and costing about $3600 I didn't want to risk it. However for standard zooms and prime lenses I had no qualms about having them hang from the Lens Flipper even while riding my motorcycle around town.
*edit: Lens Flipper confirms that it's rated to 132 pounds!

The only real issue I had with the Lens Flipper was that I often found myself hunting for the lens mounting mark. I work in the dark quite a bit and I often rely on tactile properties when changing lenses. I generally feel for the raised lens mounting marks on the camera body and lens to quickly line them up and on the Lens Flipper I had to actually look down to match up the dot on the flange with the dot on the Lens Flipper mount. It's a minor quibble, but it's something that really got in my way at times. Ideally, I'd like to see a small plastic lens mounting guide just like you find on most lenses today integrated, which would make locking the lens in easier especially in dark situations like concerts and nighttime events.

I highly recommend this little gadget if you want a quicker, and more importantly, safer way to change out lenses in the field. You can order direct at http://lensflipper.com/

Here's a video from the Lens Flipper folks showing you how it works.


The Lens Flipper said...

You can use the Lens Flipper for your largest glass. The weight rating is 132.277 Pounds!

The Lens Flipper said...

The lens Flipper by GoWing is aware of the issue and are investigating. We have also expressed that we will pay for damages for the borrowed Sigma Lens that Mr. Thomas was using. This is the first issue with a dropped lens that we have encountered and will investigate fully.

dr avinash bhatt said...

I was thinking of getting the product but now waiting to read an update from this incident. Any word on the investigation.

J. Dennis Thomas said...

They are mad at me for reporting this. They demanded I take it down. I wrote an update here: