Most of you probably throw these things away. Found in nearly every coffee joint, they can be useful right when you need them. I keep a few of them in my camera bag just in case.
They are coffee cup insulators. They wrap around your coffee cup to protect your hands from the hot coffee.
They are also good as makeshift lens shades. Occasionally, when out taking pictures, I find that I don’t have a lens shade for one of my lenses when could really use one. A coffee cup insulator happens to be fairly good at wrapping around the end of a lens. In a pinch, they can work as a temporary solution for shading out extraneous light.
The size can usually be fitted to the majority of lenses out there, they are flat, they take up little room in a camera bag or pocket and they usually have enough spring tension to hold on to your lens.
Sometimes, I cut a few down ahead of time for lenses that have a slightly larger diameter. The diameter of the lens shown above is actually just a bit too large. Most insulators are tapered and as such trimming them allows for a larger diameter. Most of them can be torn to achieve the same result. If the fit is a bit too loose, use the part that you cut off as a wedge between the lens and the insulator to make it fit a little tighter.
The best solution however, would be an actual lens hood made specifically for the lens being used. But in a pinch, you might want to recycle that little insulator the next time you buy a hot cup of coffee.
My book – Rethinking Digital Photography
Read more about great photographic techniques in my book Rethinking Digital Photography.
NOTICE of Copyright: THIS POSTING AS WELL AS ALL PHOTOGRAPHS, GALLERY IMAGES, AND ILLUSTRATIONS ARE COPYRIGHT © JOHN NEEL AND ARE NOT TO BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT WRITTEN CONSENT FROM THE WRITER, THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND/OR lensgarden.com. THE IDEAS EXPRESSED ARE THE PROPERTY OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND THE AUTHOR.