Roger's Corner

What the Well Dressed Photo Geek is Wearing

Published December 18, 2012

A New Addition to the Royal Lensrentals’ Garb

I generally consider jeans and any shirt with a collar to be dressed up. There are, however, certain occasions when ‘clothing makes the man’, as they say. For example, when interviewing job applicants, I usually wear the 800mm Hood of Camera Knowledge. Dressing appropriately for the interview, I believe, helps predict whether the applicant really is someone we’d bring into our little circle of trust. Or maybe helps them predict if they really want to work here.


Dressed up and ready to interview potential employees. 


Drew, on the other hand, not only carries the Scepter of Digital Images, but also wears the Cape of Many Reflections during his staff meetings. I would never wear that. It’s just tacky and not professional at all. But I was a bit jealous of all that gold and glitter he had.


Drew addressing the technical support staff.


“So”, I thought to myself, “What can I get that is understated, subtle, classy, but yet shows everyone the kind of lens Geek I really am? Plus it needs to be something much better than Drew’s outfit.”

To the rescue came my brother-in-law, Jim Cooper. Jim is a fine-art metalsmith and one time curator of the National Ornamental Metal Museum, who makes pretty amazing things (yes, I’m making a shameless plug hoping he’ll give me something cool for Christmas). A while back I gave him glass elements from a number of salvage lenses and asked if he could make something suitably photo-geek-like out of them.

Coop took a couple of glass elements, some copper, brass, gold leaf, and other stuff and made the ultimate photographer’s belt buckle. If I recall correctly, that’s the second element from a Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS II on the front. I have no idea which lens he used for the second element.



Because Coop knows I spend a large part of my days getting dust out of lenses, he put some gold dust in between the two glass elements in the buckle. Here’s a first: Lens dust that enhances the image.



So at the next Lensrentals meeting, I’ll have it all: 800mm Hood of Kowledge, Scepter of Digital Images, and now the Belt Buckle of Lens Clarity. Eat your heart out, Drew!


 A Bit More Swag


Well, we pretty much covered the hand-made goat’s milk Camera Soap last time. I’ve got a few bars left so the first 5 people who ask for some get some! (Sorry, we can’t ship outside the U. S.)



But realizing some of the people I send holiday gifts to are kind of sensitive and would be offended if I sent them some soap, even cool camera shaped soap, I had to have a back up plan.

What do I know a lot about, maybe more than most people? How could I use this knowledge to get the perfect thing for dozens of people?

Of course! Since it’s start 6 years ago, Lensrentals has been fueled by massive (you might consider it amazing) quantities of caffeine. Some of us have our little habits. Like the executive who starts his day with a Red Bull followed by a Mountain Dew chaser. Or the one who chews caffeine laced chewing gum all day.

Most of us, though, get by with good old-fashioned coffee. Lots of coffee. About 10 pounds a week. We’re also very picky about our coffee. We love love love some Jamaican Blue Mountain or Hawaiian Kona, but did I mention we go through about 10 pounds a week? That stuff is expensive!

We tried lots of other coffees, Tanzanians, Kenyans, you name it. We’d go a month or so, then change to something else. But about 3 years ago we settled on one coffee and haven’t changed since.

Every week our dealer (Jersey Shore Coffee Roasters) sends us a couple of 5 pound bags of Brazillian Monte Carmelo freshly ground. We’ve tried about 60 different kinds of coffee, but this is what fuels Lensrentals day in and day out. We love it. I figured most of the people I know would love it. So I had some half-pound bags of drip-grind made up for Holiday Swag.

So the first 7 people who leave a comment with “I want some caffeine!” get a half-pound bag of Lenrentals’ finest.

I’ll list the winners as an addendum here. First time commenters get held until approved, so thir comments may not appear immediately, but we’ll go by time posted.

Caffeine Swag is Closed!!!!

DarrinG, Zed Martinez, Ben, Tobi, Nick Kiest, YN, Josh, Brian, and Mike email your shipping address to roger at

So far I only have Nick and Zed’s


Soap Goes to;

Adam, Stacy,  John, and Matt. Same thing on the addresses, please!



Roger Cicala

December, 2012


Author: Roger Cicala

I’m Roger and I am the founder of Hailed as one of the optic nerds here, I enjoy shooting collimated light through 30X microscope objectives in my spare time. When I do take real pictures I like using something different: a Medium format, or Pentax K1, or a Sony RX1R.

Posted in Roger's Corner
  • I got a LensRental “biogons” shirt. Do not need any soap.

  • Nqina Dlamini

    It seems like you guys have such fun in your office. The “800mm Hood of Camera Knowledge”, I Loled.

  • Aaron

    You’re brother in law has some awesome stuff. Expensive, but awesome. That boudoir pillow stool he has on the sell page? Yea, that’d be fantastic to have in a photo session.

  • Made me smile.

  • Matt

    I’d like some soap, please!

  • John P

    If there be any soap left I woud happily receive some.

    I suppose if there was going to be dust in the lens, I would go with gold dust. Perhaps this is a future marketing ploy “At Lens Rentals, we only use the purest of gold dust in your lens” :p

  • Henrik

    I want some EF800mm f/5.6L IS USM!

  • Roger Cicala

    Actually it was a laughing person with a cell phone. The photo op lasted about 12 seconds. If he had seen a camera it would have been even less 🙂

  • Is the soap all gone? I’d love some!

  • Feng Chun

    that’s fast!

  • Pete Johnson

    Forgive me but I must ask. With maybe millions of dollars worth of cameras and lenses in your wharehouse, What Is With the picture of Drew? A spy camera peeking out of a buttonhole? A Holga? Or was the taker laughing so hard (with Drew, not at him, of course)that VRll or not, the shaking was just too much to compemsate for? This might be a good image to advertise with as the “Before I found Lensrentals” example.

  • TM

    Soap.. why soap? That could totally be some delicious chocolate!

  • Roger Cicala

    I honestly don’t remember, but I would expect the lens survived and new elements put in. But literally we have bins and bins of scratched and chipped elements. Just gave a bunch to the a local high school science department.

  • CarVac

    I don’t want caffeine.

    What happened to the source 70-200/2.8L IS II? Did it get totaled in an unfortunate accident?

    (I went to check if the second element was fluorite, like it is in the big superteles, but it’s just low-dispersion. For some reason the fluorite element is smack in the middle.)

  • I want some caffeine!

  • Kyle Brightman

    I want some caffeine!

  • Zack

    I want, nay crave, caffiene!

  • Thomas

    I NEED some caffeine!

  • Tiffany

    Soap me! (I want some caffeine too!)

  • I want some caffeine!

  • Adam Innocent

    I’d like some soap please!

  • Mike

    I want some caffeine!

  • Brian

    I want some caffeine.

  • I want all the caffeine! and soap!

  • YN

    I want some caffeine!

  • I want some caffeine!

  • Tobi

    I want some caffeine!

    (If you’re shipping outside the US…)


  • Ben

    I want some caffeine!

  • I want some caffeine!

  • DarrinG

    I want some caffeine! I’m in the process of trying to find a new coffee to replace my old standard, this might be just the thing.

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