Ricoh Patents Impact Absorbing Lens Cap

Ricoh may be working on a lens cap that can protect your lens if dropped, and will automatically open and close.

ricoh lens cap

ricoh lens cap

The basic design of the lens cap has remained mostly unchanged for years — but a new patent filed by Ricoh in Japan just might make things a bit more interesting. Spotted by Japanese site Egami, this new cap would have two features that differ from what you generally find attached to your glassware.

The cap will have a built in impact zone to absorb force, protecting your lens from direct pressure. From the diagrams, it looks like there's just a little bit of give in the cap, so not every bump and jostle is applied directly to the front element. I don't know if it would be enough to protect from a major fall, but it's a step in the right direction.

The second feature is described as "automatic opening and closing," and unfortunately, without a better translation, it's hard to understand what that actually refers to. Maybe when you power on the camera, a lens element moves and automatically pops of the cap, or perhaps a way of removing it without requiring you to pinch it off. If any of our readers are able to offer a better translation of the original Japanese and let us know what it would actually do, that'd be great.