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How difficult was it to cut out the small parts where the tripod collar, VR knobs etc go? I am mainly interested in protecting my longer lenses from scratches and dirt when I sometimes have to lay them down on the ground when shooting sports. I'm glad to have found this thread because I was seriously considering buying three Lenscoats. However, at $80 each, that gets a bit pricey. Also I live in hot, hot, hot Florida and have Nikon (black) lenses. Does getting a lighter colored fabric help that much when it comes to heat protection?
do you mean how hard it is to cut the holes? First I cut the sleeve, which you do by measuring the lens (use a string to get circumference at each end point), then subtract 10-20% for a snug fit. If the pieces don't need a cone shape, it's a rectangle, if it needs to be wider on one and, you cut each side at a slight angle (trapezoid). The glue it and slide it on the lens, over any button or knob. The material is stretchy and you then can just mark the areas where you need to cut with a sharpie, pull off the sleeve, and put a piece of thick cardboard through the sleeve, then use an Exacto knife or just a fresh sharp box cutter blade to cut out the hole. Done unless you want to protect the cut out area with a thin layer of that glue, which more or less seals your cut.
I don't like plastic over buttons anyway, so I just leave those holes the way they are. Any piece that wants to slide off it's position can be secured with a few dots of double sided tape (glue will remove from lens with Goo Gone if you're worried). The piece around the lens collar has to be secured with tape.
If things don't fit or you don't like it, do another one, or cut them and reduce the size for a more snug fit, glue again.
Light fabric will reflect a lot more sun than black, which is why I chose this pattern. It probably averages out to a medium gray. I used to shoot Canon lenses and the white paint makes a huge difference on hot days.
Another option is that vinyl material mentioned on the previous page - there are very light colors available, but the process is very different and you can't quickly remove and re-attach, although I am not sure if that is really a thing to worry about. I prefer the neoprene for additional shock protection.