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Author Topic: My stupidity, and a happy ending.  (Read 3199 times)
Andy Barnes
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« on: November 27, 2009, 06:41:03 AM »
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I managed to get away recently down to Cornwall, in the south-west of England, for a long weekend of landscape photography.

We were in the middle of a bout of severe winter storms which made photography that weekend a little tricky, but I managed to get up on to Bodmin Moor during a brief lull to take photos of some of the granite tors there.

After one and a half chilly hours on an exposed hillside I was just beginning to think of winding down and packing up. I turned my back for just a moment to check on the cloud cover and the setting sun. Crack. A sudden, powerful gust had picked up the tripod and camera, and thrown it against one of granite rocks. I turned back just in time to see a piece of circuit board fly into the air. Not good.

I cursed my own stupidity at not weighing down the tripod with my backpack for extra stability. Worse, though, was the fact that I had (deliberately) not renewed my photo insurance for this year. Times are hard, we have to be careful with money, so I thought it would be prudent to save the money for something we really need, like, oh, shoes for the children.

However, when I finally got back to the cottage and had warmed up enough to take a close look at the damage I was pleasantly surprised. The Lee filter (prone to scratching at the best of times) and attachment were untouched. My 5D had some deep scratches on the corner that hit the rock, revealing the alloy underneath the black veneer, and some deep scratches on the LCD screen, but that was it. The glass of my trusty 17-40mm lens was untouched, but the rear barrel (as you can see in the photo) had sheared off from the force of the blow.

Back in London I took the lens along to the Canon Repair Centre in person. No problem, they said. The next day they emailed me an estimate for the repairs: £88, including tax. I was expecting a lot more (although as my wife pointed out, this is still three or four pairs of shoes for the children). A week later the work is done, and as I sit here typing this I am expecting UPS to turn up at any minute with my lens.

I have to say that I have been very impressed with the service I've received from the Repair Centre. They really put the "can" in Canon (and yes, I did have to think about that one for a little while. I would never have made a good copywriter).  

Attached is the last photo I took before the accident. It was about forty minutes before sunset, high up on Bodmin Moor (about 1,180 feet or 360m). Although it looks calm in the photo there was a with a strong south-westerly wind, probably gusting up to 35-40mph. I believe the culprit responsible for wrecking my lens is the shifty looking piece of granite at centre front. Yes, the one with the lichen.

So, has anyone else had any equipment catastrophes that they would like to share?
[attachment=18208:ll_6902.jpg]
[attachment=18209:P1010023.jpg]
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Rob C
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2009, 09:13:36 AM »
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[quote name='andyb' date='Nov 27 2009, 01:41 PM' post='328142']
So, has anyone else had any equipment catastrophes that they would like to share?






Jeez, Andy, I wouldn't do that to anyone!

Rob C
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2009, 10:44:43 AM »
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My sympathy, Andy.

I'll mention only a couple that resulted directly from my own stupidity.

1.    Years ago I had an ancient 8x10 view camera with a new 300mm Komura lens firmly set up on tripod. While turning around to fetch a film holder, I bumped a tripod leg and knocked the whole thing over. The camera wasn't any more shaky than before, but the outer lens element had separated slightly from the next, making a visible flaw near the outer edge of the lens. Fortunately, stopped down to f/8 or below it had no effect on the image.

2.    I had a nice Pentax 67II with the metered pentaprism set up on tripod next to my car in a parking lot. I hadn't gotten the camera plate into the quick-release correctly, and a breeze sent the camera off, landing on the pentaprism. Fortunately, the camera and lens were fine, but the pentaprism was pretty beat up. I sent it to Pentx repair service and they deemed it unfixable. So I bought a replacement and soon sold the camera (after going digital).

But neither of these was as painful as what happened to a couple of friends of mine who went out on a shoot together, both with 11x14" view cameras. One of them backed his Land Rover over the other's camera, not realizing where it was sitting.   

I haven't had any such disaster since I moved to digital, nor have I poured used fixer back into the developer jug.   

Eric

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-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
michaelnotar
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2009, 02:31:03 PM »
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i dropped my canon 1v and 70-200/2.8 to concrete from waist level in about 2003. i thought i had a neck strap on it to catch it by but just had a hand strap. the lens barrel got slightly bent by the AF ring, but for just $200 US it was good as new. optics were fine, just the outer barrel got hit, no optical alignment problems. the side of the 1v body cracked, and its a full 1/8 inch thick. but it never affected the camera at all.

my 600mm f4 AF lens came back from antartica or alaska or something with an internal lens cracked, i suspect cold to warm temp changes. it happened to be one of the flourite lenses in the front, like 7 inches in diameter, it was like a $900 repair and it took a month to get the lens made from japan, installed and returned. but i didnt see any image problems when it had the crack.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2009, 01:16:44 AM »
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Last one of any consequence was back in 1980.  I was out on the St. Lawrence river at low tide, and had my Minolta XD-11 and 400mm lens set up on a tripod.  It was really windy so I had the tripod legs set really wide, but not to be outdone the wind changed directions and blew the whole thing onto a rock.  Snapped the tripod collar on the lens and dented in the camera body by the film advance lever.  Minolta gave me a trade in on the body, and I patched the lens collar with some 1/8" brass and epoxy.  Lens was okay.

Mike.
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chex
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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2009, 06:49:53 AM »
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I believe newer higher end canon/nikon lenses have a break point just in front of the mount to protect the lens in case you wack it against a slab of granite. Good to know it works/is cheap to repair after.
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Rob C
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2009, 10:10:42 AM »
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Quote from: chex
I believe newer higher end canon/nikon lenses have a break point just in front of the mount to protect the lens in case you wack it against a slab of granite. Good to know it works/is cheap to repair after.




I would doubt that very much.

Why would you, as a maker, cut yourself off from another sale if a repair is cheap? Or does the repair bring the maker more profit than does a new lens? I would be more inclined to suspect you have simply discovered the weakest bit in the build of the thing.

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2009, 10:12:55 AM »
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How odd: double post!

Rob C
« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 10:13:30 AM by Rob C » Logged

dspeed
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2009, 03:28:37 PM »
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At last, a place to showcase my talents!

1977  Utah:  Dropped Nikon F2 (in Nikon case inside backpack) 200' onto rock (climbing).  Zero damage to camera (my psyche took some time to recover)

1993 New Jersey:  Drove over same F2 (w 50mm f1.4 lans and no case) on a limestone driveway with a 1953 Dodge truck. Cosmetic damage only.

Dave
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EduPerez
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2009, 03:31:15 PM »
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Mental note to myself: remember to add a piece of rope to the backpack, and always use it to weight the tripod.
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Rob C
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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2009, 11:09:41 AM »
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Quote from: dspeed
At last, a place to showcase my talents!

1977  Utah:  Dropped Nikon F2 (in Nikon case inside backpack) 200' onto rock (climbing).  Zero damage to camera (my psyche took some time to recover)

1993 New Jersey:  Drove over same F2 (w 50mm f1.4 lans and no case) on a limestone driveway with a 1953 Dodge truck. Cosmetic damage only.

Dave



That's what one part of 'pro' quality used to be all about.

Rob C
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tokengirl
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« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2009, 10:53:35 AM »
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Dog vs. Tripod = trashed 100mm macro:


Good as new after $120 repair.
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Chris Pollock
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« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2009, 03:14:48 AM »
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The wind once blew over my tripod with 5D Mark II and 70-200 F4 L attached. Fortunately they landed on grass, and the camera unscrewed itself from the tripod's ball head as it hit the ground. Apart from the lens losing a tiny bit of paint, there was no apparent damage at all. Both camera and lens have been working fine since then.
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