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Dust Donut is a cheap solution for protecting expensive Canon lenses from the elements

DSLR owners know that the lenses are the most valuable component of the camera. Sure, DSLR bodies aren’t cheap, but a lens can be equally expensive (if not more) yet it will hold its value far longer than what’s attached to it. It’s why most new DSLR bodies can still use lenses from decades ago. But lenses are susceptible to damage from dust and moisture, which can build up over time if the lens isn’t cleaned regularly. As TechCrunch reported, to solve this issue with his Canon EF lenses, a California-based photographer, Tyler Sterbentz, has launched a Kickstarter project to manufacture the Dust Donut, which adds a weather seal to any Canon EF-mount lens, even the ones made by third-party manufacturers.

The Dust Donut is a rubber seal that attaches to the mounting surface of an EF-mount lens to prevent dirt and moisture from forming around the area where the lens meets the camera. According to Sterbentz, almost 75 percent of Canon’s EF lenses lack some sort of sealant and there is currently no way to add one. If unprotected, dust and moisture can cause hazy optics due to condensation or fungus growth, not to mention resolution loss. When installed, the Dust Donut creates a seal that’s similar to the ones found in Canon’s high-end L-series EF lenses.

So far, the project has already reached its goal, although there are still 39 days left to pledge your support (as of today). Pledges start at $1, but for $600 Sterbentz will provide you with a personal photo safari tour of his hometown of Joshua Tree and the surrounding area, as well as a few Dust Donuts for your lenses. Production would begin in March, and backers who order a Dust Donut would receive the product in April. Sterbentz is already at work on versions of the Dust Donut for Nikon, Olympus, and Sony cameras.

(Images via Dust Donut)