According to this article, there are a few main differences.
One difference is that if the thing that is being caused to do something is inanimate, it can sound unnatural:
The reason for this is that the causative construction implies a willingness of the thing that is being caused to do something to do that action. So because of this, in your example, レンズをあちこちに巡らす is probably the more natural construction.
Another difference is that there is a difference in meaning:
make the passenger get off the vehicle
let the passenger get off the vehicle
In the former, the driver or whoever causes the passenger to be motivated to get off the vehicle. The latter is a routine thing in that the passenger is just let get off.
Semantics of Japanese Causativization (1973) gives the following example for the difference between the transitive and the causative intransitive when the direct object is inanimate.
This is used when the engine is stopped through normal means such as a key is used to turn off the engine.
This is used when the engine is stopped through abnormal means such as putting sand or rocks in it. In other words, the engine is unable to be controlled through normal means. When the causative intransitive is used, the engine is seen as a not just an inanimate object, but as a thing that can act/move on its own.
Thus, レンズをあちこちに巡らせる likely implies that the レンズ was moved around unnaturally (i.e. it wasn't supposed to be moved in the first place or the ability to move it was damaged/broken so some unusual methods had to be used to move it).