Anyone making their own lens cases?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by ultimind, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. ultimind

    ultimind

    990
    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    I've begun the process of fabricating my own custom lens pouches for each of my lenses. I'm currently making them out of a black heavy nylon exterior, a fleece middle layer acting as a cushion, and a yellow ripstop nylon interior. All topped off with a drawstring, just like the nikon bags... not to mention Nikon-inspired color theme overall. :smile:

    I would be curious if anyone else here has fabricated their own cases? What materials have you used, how did you figure out sizing, and such.

    This is only my second attempt at a pouch-style case for my 85mm F1.8. The first one didn't come out as clean... not that this one is super clean, but it's getting there :smile:

    I'm going to attempt to make another one this evening for my 180mm.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Do you have a price list:smile:

    They look great.

    mike
     
  3. ultimind

    ultimind

    990
    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    Thanks Mike! I don't think I could manufacture them at a reasonable cost right now. Considering that the amazingly-constructed padded LowePro lens cases are only about $15 for this size. This one took me about 90 minutes from start to finish. Now.. I haven't touched a sewing machine in nearly 10 years, so the whole process was pretty new to me. I'm sure I'll get quicker to more I make, but I don't think I would feel comfortable (not yet atleast :wink:) selling them.
     
  4. yeah, yeah...driving up the price already, huh:smile:

    Nice work, good luck.

    mike
     
  5. Nice job!
    Not for lens cases, but I do have a relative who made a couple of leather lens covers for my long glass (300 and 400 mm f/2.8).
    They are better than the ones provided by Nikon!
     
  6. MontyDog

    MontyDog

    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
     
  7. MontyDog

    MontyDog

    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
     
  8. wgilles

    wgilles

    Apr 25, 2008
    NJ
    Looks good!
     
  9. two slow

    two slow

    894
    Apr 22, 2006
    Talladega, Al
    Great idea. I may have my wife make one of these for my tripod.
     
  10. Hi Paul! :smile:
    With pleasure, here are a few quick snaps I took for you this morning (on my AF-I 300mm f/2.8).
    The cover, made by my sister-in-law, is of real leather.

    original.gif

    View attachment 262193

    View attachment 262194
     
  11. lisantica

    lisantica

    519
    Jul 4, 2006
    So. Calif.
    Wow!
    Nice leather cover frits, and ultimind that pouch looks great, love the color theme!
     
  12. David,

    Your drawstring would look much better with heat-shrink tubing instead of the tape.
    I'm sure you could find them cheaper elsewhere.

    Shoe strings would also work if they are not too long.

    The bag looks good by the way.

    MikeT
     
  13. Wileec

    Wileec Guest

    My pouches are going for the most rugged award . . . :smile:

    I don't remember where I read about making these, but I needed something for day-hiking/backpacking. None of the dedicated camera bags provide a place for hydration systems (like the Camelback brand, for example) and that is what works for me, so I had to come up with a way to protect my lenses and use the multiple packs I have. So . . .

    DSC_4668_cases_web.jpg

    They're not pretty, but they work.
     
  14. MontyDog

    MontyDog

    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
     
  15. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    Alberta
    David and Frits very nice work.
    Wileec: Damn are those ugly:tongue:. And they look total funtional and would give excellent protection:smile:. I think Im going to make some myself. thanks for the idea.

    Gregory
     
  16. ultimind

    ultimind

    990
    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    Mike, I've gotten rid of the black drawstring in favor of a yellow one, and I've been much more professional about the ends this time :smile:

    I made two bags yesterday, and each one is coming out a little better than the previous one. I may end up re-doing all of them in favor of zippered bags. There's going to be an awful lot of drawstrings in my big Tamrac bag otherwise!
     
  17. David,
    Back at the sewing machine eh?
    And still in R&D?

    Need I remind you that folks here are ready to buy? :biggrin:

    Well by all means post up a couple pictures of version 2!

    Actually, I can sew some myself. I used to work on sewing machines many years ago. :redface:


    MikeT
     
  18. Wileec

    Wileec Guest

    Ugly they are. I definitely wasn't going for style points with these. I've created all kinds of nice bags for other things as I'm fairly creative and have good access to many materials for outdoor clothing and products. And my wife has two sewing machines and a serger, so together we are a potent pair. The goal for these, though was protection I didn't have to give a second thought to. I wanted shock protection and physical protection and these accomplish that. I did use blue tape to go with the blue foam. :wink:
     
  19. Wileec

    Wileec Guest

    David,

    the one thing I would do differently with your bags, but it will add time and require more precision on your part. I would sew the outer layer and inner layer separately, so their seems could be inside, in essence against each other and not against the lens. Unless you hot cut those edges - over time they will fray, which means bits of stuff floating around with your lens. If you did hot cut the edges - depending on the quality of the cut and the thickness of the material, it can create an edge that is quite tough and scratchy - all the more reason to have those seems to the inside. The two halves plus whatever you incorporate for padding can be mated with a couple tacks at the bottom, then finished at the top, with drawstring, or zippers, as it seems you are now using.

    If you are using a non-cotton drawstring - burning the ends and rolling them (carefully!) in your fingers produces a nicely finished end that will not unravel - which I am assuming is why you had tape on the ends.
     
  20. ultimind

    ultimind

    990
    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    Wileec - On the latest ones I made yesterday, I did sew the outer panel separately... folded all of the edges in, sewed them. The inner yellow layer is folded over and sewn to the cushion layer. Then the inner/cushion sandwich is sewn to the outer panel. This created finished edges all around (I think!).

    I'll take some photos when I sew the next one. I know my technique is far from perfect, and like you said, the fraying is going to only get worse over time.

    My real goal is to create cylindrical bags with circular bottoms, but I haven't a clue how to sew the circular bottom piece to the cylinder.

    I'd also like to do rectangular cases for camera bodies, but again, sewing all the panels together is a bit out of my league at the moment! :smile: