Peak Design CaptureLENS

This week it's another Peak Design product, the capturelens!

It's no surprise that Peak Design has made it once again to my personal kit selection, they seem to be targeting areas that have the potential to make significant differences in wedding photography and photojournalist workflows.  Last time however, I was forced to give one of their products (the Everyday Messenger) less than stellar reviews.  How does the CaptureLENS hold up in my opinion?  Let's take a look!

 
 

Single Sentence Summary

This product convinced me that Peak Design is here to stay.

Why I bought it

One word: Efficiency.  When I'm shooting weddings, and occasionally within military contexts, I need to be able to swap lenses in record time.  I can't always be diving into a bag, sifting through gear, or sending an assistant to collect what I need.  I needed a way of easily swapping lenses on the fly that wasn't relying upon a bag or strap, as it would get in the way of my dual harnesses.

What I Like

As always, simple beats everything else.  This unit functions quite easily with a pull-and-twist design that allows me to quickly swap lenses in seconds.  It's a light and sturdy design that functions extremely well, and coupled with the ProPAD it's reasonably comfortable, and easy to adjust for locations (backpack strap, belt, etc.)

Once again I like the look of the unit.  It's as if Peak Design really focuses on refining their image for all their products to be sleek and stylish.  The CaptureLENS does everything I need it to, and when it draws attention to itself it certainly isn't in a bad way.  The locking mechanism is very strong, and though it's taken a number of direct hits, it has never let me down or let go of lenses aside from when I want it to.

What I Don't

As noted in my previous review, the CapturePRO system doesn't work well with the Everyday Messenger.  They designed them (apparently) to function well together, but I've found it does nothing but put the balance off and pull the bag in an awkward direction.  I feel like it's something that the designers should have foreseen without even needing to test it.  Why would they market it as a selling point is beyond me.

The screw system.  When you're using just the CapturePRO or the CaptureLENS by itself, without the ProPAD, you can use the screws that come with the PRO itself, no problem.  When I'm using it on a belt with the PAD I need to have the longer set of screws that come with it.  The thing is I don't always use the PAD, so when I go to hook it onto something without the PAD I now have the long screws sticking out.  I doubt that anyone is ever carrying around their spare set of screws, I feel like a better system should have been developed.

It's not Peak Design's fault, but I can't use a unit like this in the field with the military too often.  There's just a bit too much vulnerability.  I wish the unit offered a weather-sealed connection to protect the lenses from picking up dirt.  When I'm rushing around moving vehicles in a muddy training area, I can't risk exposing the lenses to muck and dirt, because the last thing I need is that getting into a sensor or the likes.  But again, that's not the fault of Peak Design, they obviously weren't designing this for military contexts.

Bottom Line

A great investment.  It saves me moving back and forth to my equipment bags/pelican cases to change lenses.  It looks good, it's simple to operate, and it locks onto the lenses solidly.  If however you don't shoot in many situations where you need to change lenses in a rush then it may not be for you, as it exposes the lenses and keeping them in a bag or case might be preferable; in which case you may want to consider this.

Score

9/10

As always, I'm not sponsored, nor do I want to be.  I like being able to say what I want without the pressure to pander to someone, that way you know that if I'm recommending it it's because I think it's a good decision for you guys.

-Wes.