Old 10-06-2008, 10:28 PM   #1
lock4244
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Default Costly equipment mistakes

So I was in a hurry, and I don't use zoom lenses, so when I quickly changed from my 50mm MF to my 180mm MF I left the 50mm on the roof of my car. Shot the train, put the ladder away in the trunk, put the camera back in the bag (all rushing), started the car and off I go to the next spot. About a 1/2 mile into the drive I hear a thump on the roof of the car, and look in the rearview in time to see my 50mm bouncing down the road and into a ditch. Oh fudge!

I pulled over, walked back and got my lens out of the ditch (dry ditch, thankfully). It's pretty much a write-off. Being that it is old and the body is made out of metal, the numerous contacts with the asphalt at about 50mph was absorbed by the body and it is severly damaged, but the glass is fine. I imagine a plastic body would have shattered and the lens would be in a million pieces. The body is so warped that I now have to wrench it to focus it (though the focus appears sharp), but the cap on the mount didn't come off, so it'll actually connect to the camera smoothly. It's useable, but is an EXTREME back-up. A replacement (used, can't find them new anymore) will run $250-400 in CDN peso's, depending on availability and condition.

Expensive way to learn a lesson in patience, but it could have been much worse as the 180mm cost me $1000 used... 12 years ago.
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:16 AM   #2
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Not so much train related but here is a recent one for me.

I was shooting a teen beauty pageant for the news paper the other day, I had my camera bag on a chair next to me, unzipped so I could make the occasional lens change faster. After a while I zipped it up halfway as I needed to walk around for a while.

About half an hour later I put the bag on my back, not thinking about the fact that it was halfway unzipped. About 5 minutes later I hear a loud thunk and look down to see my Canon EOS 1N with a powder drive booster E1 attached bouncing around on the floor. I didnt think much of it and figured since Canon 1 series bodies are made out of magnesium alloy that the body should not have been damaged.

After I got home and met the deadline for turning in the photos, I turned my attention to the camera, quite a few added scratches, the light for the LCD screen on top does not work, as the button was along a crack that runs from the hot shoe to the shutter release button. Also the auto focusing on it seems to have some problems now, though I have not had time to actually test that.

Sucks too, I have been trying to make an extra $300 by selling it lately, no longer can I get that.



The worse part about it, this large, durable, magnesium alloy body suffered more damage than my all plastic Rebel XT when dropped it in a slightly similar fashion over a year ago. It has a tiny little crack/scratch.
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:10 AM   #3
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Had tucked my Elan 7e away for the night (this is about four years back now) at an outdoor concert, when some old friends happened by whom we hadn't seen in a decade or so. They snapped a photo of me, the wife and kids. So I deemed to return the favor, and pulled my camera out of the bag.

Somehow, I didn't put it back into the bag right, as I was chatting more than paying attention, and I heard it fall from its perch, about five feet to the concrete amphitheatre floor, and then bounce. Cracked the LED screen, broke the lens. Made it one heck of an expensive concert.
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:50 AM   #4
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Years ago, I was a camera assistant on a music video. All the camera were Aaton 16mm movie cameras on Sachtler carbon fiber tripods. While we were setting up I was standing by my camera on the left of the stage when I saw the middle camera, about 12 feet away, start to slowly collapse on one leg.
I dashed over, spraining my leg on a loose rug. I caught the camera about 2 inches before it hit the floor.
Well, I was the hero of the moment and the rest of the night went fine.
The locks of this model tripod were not well made. I, of course, told the owner he should get the tripod leg lock fixed.
About a month later, I heard the same thing happened to this same cameraman. He hadn't fixed it and this time nobody caught it.
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Old 10-07-2008, 02:43 AM   #5
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Well I had a bolt come loose on a tripod leg , and dumped a EOS 3 200 2.8L and a 2X . Landing on a gravel road on the EOS 3 hit hard, it still worked but the AF was off, bent the lens mount. the 200 F2.8 and the 2X lived, the 3 was sent off for parts made $300. for it, a great amount i think for junk.
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Old 10-07-2008, 03:36 PM   #6
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I did not tighten everything on my tripod one night, and like an idiot walked away from the camera, turned around just in time to watch my camera hit the ground, did somewhat minor damage to my 28-135 lens, which ended up having to be sent off to Canon twice, first time cost me $130, to fix the physical damage, 2nd time was because canon failed to clean the large amount of dust that got in the lens on impact out. The 40D its self though survived with no damage.
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:12 PM   #7
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It was about eight years ago and we took our then infant daughter to the local parade. I had the Nikon 2020 in the parcel part of the stroller with a 70-135 Zoom on it. I forgot all about it when time came to fold and load the stroller in the van. Kersmash. Body was not repairable but lens was fixed although it has never worked 100% since. Replaced the 2020 with the F60 body for $500 only 2 years before getting a my first digital. Now I can't even get $50 for the film body.
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicHamilton
It was about eight years ago and we took our then infant daughter to the local parade. I had the Nikon 2020 in the parcel part of the stroller with a 70-135 Zoom on it. I forgot all about it when time came to fold and load the stroller in the van. Kersmash. Body was not repairable but lens was fixed although it has never worked 100% since. Replaced the 2020 with the F60 body for $500 only 2 years before getting a my first digital. Now I can't even get $50 for the film body.
Ric, I have a pair of Nion F3 SLR's, each with an MD4 motor drive. I check the going rate for them at the used section when I'm at Henrys, but to be honest, I don't think I'd like to part with them. Not just because I'd take a bath on them, but I also have an attachment to them. Some day, they will reside in a display case in the den... with the roadkill 50mm. It was the first lens I bought for the F3's.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:53 PM   #9
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Was shooting a wedding in an open-air, concrete floor venue (got a wedding there this weekend also - oh oh). I went to pick up one of my cameras from a bench, the strap got caught in the back of the bench, slipped out of my hand and hit the floor. My favorite wide lens took the hit, cracked around the mounting ring and I had to chunk it. When you point the camera at a group and the lens is a few good degrees off to the right, you know you've got issues. *sigh*
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:29 AM   #10
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I picked up a used Nikon 50mm F1.4 today for $360CDN... in fantastic shape. I had seriously considered a Zeiss ZF 50mm, but with taxes it'd be $930CDN, a little too rich for me at this point in time. I'm trying to save for a D300 and new wheels, so the used lens will have to do. The old one was an F2, so at least it's an upgrade.

Again, (expensive) lesson learned.
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Old 11-12-2008, 12:16 AM   #11
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Luckily I have only had a very near expensive mistake.

On a trip down the coast one time a couple years back, we knew an XPT was coming along and I wanted to try a different angle of attack at this certain spot, which involved clambering up a reasonably steep cliff, about 20 metres high.

So I gets my camera out of the bag just in case I don't make it up the cliff in time, but could still get a decent shot. I decided to take the bag up with me just in case I needed to change lenses when I got up there, as I had the 55-200mm on the camera.

However, after I got the camera out of the bag, I forgot to zip it up again....

So I start clambering up this cliff, and nearly at the top, my foot slipped out a tiny bit, enough to make the bag hit the cliff and turn upside down...

I then hear something rolling down the cliff behind me, so I look back to see my 18-55mm (kit) lens tumbling down the cliff having a jolly good time..

I let it go until after the train passed, at which time I headed back down to collect the lens. To my complete disbelief, the lens only had a couple of scratches on the outside, and otherwise was perfectly fine. I tested it out on the camera, it and worked perfectly well!

I still have it today and use it on occasions to get a wide angle shot or 2, but I always make sure my bag is zipped/clipped up when I carry it anywhere!
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:10 AM   #12
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In a similar vein to the last one, I was once waiting on top of a cliff just inside the mountains, when the wind blew my tripod + mum's film P&S over the cliff and down all the way to the CPR tracks...I still can't believe everything was fine. Well, it's hard to tell if the camera was fine, it was crap anyways. And still is.
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:17 PM   #13
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A few weeks ago, I grabbed my camera bag off the floor, hoisted it over my shoulder and before I knew it, my camera went flying through the air. It landed pretty hard, and my 17-40 took the brunt of the imact. There's a nice crack now near the zoom ring that I can seen into the lens with. It now doesn't focus clearly at 17mm. I hate when I forget to close my bag and the camera falls out...especially when it flies 6 feet through the air.

Good thing I have insurance on it.
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:40 PM   #14
Dennis A. Livesey
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Red face

Fortunately I haven't broken the REALLY expensive cameras at work.

(Yesterday was my first time with the RED camera and the main question was "which button turns it on?")

Mostly my own casualties have been the protective filters.

Still, I have a nick on the front of my beloved 15MM.

Years ago, I was going to my nephew's wedding and I had my Nikon FM with the 50MM on it. I got out of the car and picked up the camera with butterfingers. It went lens down onto the asphalt. Unbelievably, only the protective filter cracked, the lens was fine as well as the camera. Apparently the asphalt that warm June day was just soft enough.

My girlfriend once spilled 7-Up on my Nikkormat. The meter always was twitchy after that. (I married her anyway.)
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