Review: Peak Design Lens Kit

As professional travel photographers, we are always on the lookout for products that will make our life easier in the field. We currently use the Peak Design Everyday Sling 10L (V1 & V2 versions) camera bag for the majority of our day-to-day shooting, and as brilliant as the bag is, it still doesn’t solve the age-old issue of the awkwardness of changing lenses. This generally is not an issue for some genres of photography such as landscape, sports, or nature as they generally stick with a single lens – but for travel photography and street photography you have a tendency of changing lenses a lot (well, at least we do!).

The Issue

Changing lenses has always been awkward and time-consuming for us – opening the bag, removing the lens from the camera, putting the lens in your camera bag, removing the lens body cap from the replacement lens, putting that body cap onto the lens you removed, attaching the new lens, and closing your bag. All this while trying to keep your camera facing down so you do not collect dust on the sensor (especially for a mirrorless camera users).

The Solution

Peak Design developed the Lens Kit (LENSkit on the product packaging) for the photographer who wants quick and easy access to lenses without the need to open their camera bag. The product has been designed to be primarily used in conjunction with the Peak Design Capture Clip (below left) although it can also be adapted to use with the Peak Design Slide camera strap and anchors  (below right) as well.

The Product

If purchasing the product as new you will receive it in a box (see image right). The box will contain 1 x Lens Kit, 2 x caps, 2 x Anchors, and a soft pouch. If buying second-hand make sure the extras are included.

Please Note: The Lens Kit currently only works with 1 of 3 lens types: Canon EF, Nikon F or Sony E/FE.

The Lens Kit is made out of rigid glass-reinforced nylon with a bayonet lens mount present on each side made from machined aluminium. It weighs just under 200g (5 oz). To release the lens there are red buttons on the side of the Lens Kit that will need to be depressed. To line up the lens when attaching there is a red triangle on the mount as well as a white circle to help line up with your lens markings.

There are 3 anchor connection points on the Lens Kit for the Peak Design anchors. The two on either side of the collar are generally used for attaching a strap when using a single lens on the Lens Kit. If using 2 lenses, Peak Design suggests that you use one anchor point on the collar and the anchor point on the top of the Lens Kit.

You will also be provided with 2 caps for the Lens Kit. When the product is not in use these are handy for sealing the interior of the Lens Kit but more importantly, the cap will help protect the metal lens release pin from getting damaged. The cap fits quite snugly so there is little chance that this will come off when in the field.

The Lens Kit also swivels and locks in 4 directions to allow easy access when changing lenses. To rotate the lens you must pull the lens section outwards from the collar section and twist. This takes a bit of practice as you do not want to depress the red lens release button while rotating as this could result in the lens being released.

Photography Planner

When would you use the Lens Kit?

Everyone has different shooting styles, so it is very much a personal preference on how you utilise this product. We can only discuss how/when/why we would carry it in our photography work. There is a multitude of scenarios where you may/may not use this product. Some scenarios that we would use this product are as follows –

  1. We would use it if we needed to change lenses quickly. We have timed how long it would take to change lenses using the Lens Kit (20 sec) as opposed to changing a lens using our Peak Design Everyday Sling 10L camera bag. It took half the time using the Lens Kit. So if changing lenses quickly is a requirement then the Lens Kit will certainly save time.
  2. If we were doing a road trip and wanted to shoot without having to get our camera bags out of the vehicle or alternatively if we were home/away and wanted to go out but not take a camera bag with all our gear.
  3. Possibly when we knew that we would definitely only need 2 lenses (and it was not going to rain wink).
  4. Many churches and museums do not allow you to take a backpack/large camera bag with you. These will need to be checked in. The Lens Kit will make it easy to carry extra lenses. You will have the ability to carry 3 lenses.

How could you use the Lens Kit?

For us, we really don’t like the idea of leaving the Lens Kit with an attached lens for extended periods of time hanging off our camera bag, strap or belt. We just prefer that the lens remains protected in the camera bag. In our Travel Photography, we can be walking for 10-12 hours a day and therefore would not permanently have it in use. However, as mentioned above, there are certain scenarios where the Lens Kit is an invaluable tool.

 

  1. As we use a Peak Design Everyday Sling Bag 10L, it can be attached to the bag with the Capture Clip, however, we found (for us) that it works really well attached to a belt – see image below left.
  2. We don’t tend to use our backpack camera bags much these days. However, the Lens Kit can be used together with the Capture Clip attached to the backpack shoulder straps. For us, we find this position too close to the face and too obvious (basically it’s just too “in your face” – see image below right)
  3. We would definitely consider using the Lens Kit attached to a strap. This could be in cases where we wanted to carry 3 lenses but not necessarily our camera bag. Watch the video above for instructions on how to attach the strap.
  4. In most cases, we would only use it with 1 lens attached as this gives you an immediate spot to attach the removed lens.

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Saves time changing lenses
  • Reasonably priced (if bought as a single item)
  • Can be used in many configurations
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS

  • Can only be used with the Peak Design Capture Clip, Peak Design Slide/Slide Lite camera strap or Peak Design Leash. If you don’t have one of these then its starts becoming a bit expensive.
  • Not really a con, however, it is not a product that you would use if it was raining.
  • Only available for Nikon, Canon and Sony mounts.

Conclusion

The Peak Design Lens Kit is a well designed, reasonably priced, and practical piece of equipment that would be useful for many photographers in varying shooting scenarios. Would you use it all the time? -probably not, unless you are a dedicated street, amatuer sports (a sports photographer with only one camera body) or possibly a photojournalist – just to mention a few. Certainly, as travel photographers, we would use this product but only in some scenarios.

We would HIGHLY RECOMMEND this product however we recommend that you assess the scenarios of where/when you would need the product in your photography and purchase based on that.

Peak Design Lens Kit –  Buy at Peak Design / Buy in Australia
Peak Design Everyday Sling 10L bag – Buy at Peak Design / Buy in Australia
Peak Design Capture Clip – Buy at Peak Design / Buy in Australia
Peak Design Slide strap – Buy at Peak Design / Buy in Australia

To purchase any other Peak Design products not mentioned in this post click here to view on Peak Design or Buy in  Australia

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