The see through lens cap
"Throw away the lens cap." That's what the photo instructor said on the first day of class at the University of Missouri Journalism School. His reasoning was that the time it takes to remove a lens cap, could result in missing the picture.
The told the class the best thing was to have a UV filter, it's a clear lens cap, and will protect the lens.
That was back in the film days, but now with digital some say filters distort light hitting the sensors. And, some of the new shorter zoom lenses have elements that make it hard, or, impossible to protect the front element with a filter. Fortunately, the shorter lenses have rugged lens hood that keep the lens from touching the bottom of my bag.
But with my longer telephoto lens the hood makes the lens too long and it sits "top heavy" inside the bag. (Risks falling out, puts weight too much weight on the lens hood and risks breaking it.) So, I take the lens hood off and turn it around, before putting the lens inside the camera bag.
If I'm in a hurry, I don't even bother to put the hood on, especially shooting inside and it helps me blend in and not be noticed. Now I'm sorry, I scratched the lens!
I was shooting in a hurry, changing lenses and dropped my 50-200mm down on top of the rear lens cap, or was it the flash tripper? I didn't see there was something in the compartment and now I scratched the front element.
A little late, but the lens now has a Tiffen Protection and UV control filter. Thought that since I wasn't shooting sports or chasing ambulances that I didn't need a see-through lens cap.
Something that helped film lenses will also useful on digital cameras to reduce "bluishness" UV rays shooting distant landscape scenes. BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THAT IT PROTECTS THE FRONT ELEMENT. It's protects both in the bag and while shooting. (Blowing sand, for example)
Be prepared, protect the lens with a see thru lens cap, it's never too late to get a UV PROTECTOR (Tiffen filters feature the ColorCore for consistent density and color.:eek: