Accidents and Damage

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by scorpion_tyr, May 4, 2010.

  1. scorpion_tyr

    scorpion_tyr No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Nov 15, 2009
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    Longview, Texas
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    Just thought I would share a "horror story" that happened to me, and maybe hear some from other members here. Feel free to post!

    I had just transitioned from film to digital with my Canon Rebel XT (when it first came out). I still had a few lenses from my film days. I packed everything in my camera bag and went on a horseback riding adventure with my then girlfriend (now wife). Since we were riding quite a ways into the deeper woods of East Texas I also put a handgun in the front pocket of the camera bag... just in case.

    I got some great shots on the way in, and around a river. On the way back I decided to push my riding skills to the next level. I took off at a full gallop with my girlfriend close behind. All of a sudden I felt my backpack get very light and heard her screaming for me to stop. I quickly stopped and turned around just in time to see my camera bouncing down the hard dirt/rock road and the lens flying off.

    The weight of the handgun bouncing up and down had pulled down on the backpack and had managed to unzip the main compartment. All of my equipment had fallen out at a speed of about 25 mph and from a height of 6-7 feet onto a very hard dirt road with rocks and gravel all over the place. It was a beginner's set-up, but still had over $1,000 worth of equipment that I just knew was all lost.

    After several bad words I walked around gathering up my equipment and fearing for the worst. Suprisingly it wasn't as bad as I thought. Here's a quick break down of the damage (I apologize if terminology is a little off):

    Canon Rebel XT: Several "battle scars" (deep scratches) but still functions perfect to this day (well, as perfect as an XT can with almost 60,000 shutter actuations). No real physical damage.

    Canon 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 II: Plastic mounting ring broken, and it flew off the camera. Several scratches, no broken or scratched glass. Still functions great if I hold it onto the camera.

    Canon 35-80mm 1:4-5.6 III: Auto/Manual focus switch broken completely off. Stuck in manual focus. A few scratches, no broken or scratched glass. Still works great, just no auto focus.

    Canon 75-300mm 1:4-5.6 III: A few light scratches, front glass retaining ring cracked, but still holds the glass in place. No broken or scratched glass. Still works great, just gets a little dust inside.

    Sunpak DigiFlash 2800: Light scratches, still works good. Only the occasional hiccup, maybe due to the accident, maybe because it's a Sunpak.

    All sorts of different filters: I had them all in cheap cases which came apart easily so a few broke completely, but all were scratched and/or cracked.

    UV Filters on all my lenses: All were broken and shattered, except one which was cracked like a spiderweb. I really believe these little guys saved my lenses. I think they absorbed a lot of the energy of the lenses hitting the ground when they broke, therefore transferring much less to the glass inside the lenses. I know all these lenses are bottom of the line and very cheap, but they're still more expensive than a UV filter.

    As anyone who reads my profile can see, I still use much of this equipment. The only thing I really replaced was the 18-55mm and the UV filters. That only cost me about 4 minutes on craigslist and $75. I guess I'm pretty lucky, but I also see that Canon makes some tough stuff. Even their bottom of the line digital SLR stood up to that impact.

    Lessons learned: Invest in UV filters! Also I now NEVER keep the zippers for my camera bag centered at the top. I keep them all the way to the bottom on one side or another. I also don't keep my gun or anything else heavy in the front pocket.

    I was just reminded of this story as I prepare to upgrade my camera (hopefully tomorrow). I thought about switching to Nikon or at least trying them out before I got too invested in Canon, but after seeing how much abuse the Canon gear can take, I think I'm sticking with them. I'm not saying Nikon can't take the abuse, but I know Canon can, and I have too much invested now to swap over.

    I'd like to hear other stories of accidents or damage to equipment from anyone else who is comfortable enough to share. I know... it hurts, but it helps to get it out :lol:


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