Near-disasters with your equipment

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by luminosity, May 15, 2009.

  1. luminosity macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    I shot some pictures tonight at a school dance tonight, and just as I was leaving, with my camera around my neck, I felt one strap give way. Nine times out of ten, I don't have it directly in my hands and it crashes to the ground, damaging or ruining my Nikon 17-55 lens (which is insured, though the D300 it's on is not). I just happened to have my hands on it when it gave way, and all I had was relief at my good fortune.

    What near-disasters (or not so near ones) have happened to you?
  2. adrianblaine macrumors 65816


    Oct 12, 2006
    Pasadena, CA
    I haven't had anything personally, but I did have a friend who was getting his camera bag out of the trunk of his car, and the borrowed Canon 70-200mm 2.8 lens slid out and fell 2 feet to the ground smack on the mount end. All it did was dent the protective plastic cover and worked fine.
  3. Chappers macrumors 68020


    Aug 12, 2003
    At home
    I carry my kit around in a non-padded bag, one day whilst cycling to work I hit a hole in the road and camera + 200mm lens were ejected at speed from bicycle basket and hit the road.

    I could have cried when I heard the sickening thud of camera arriving on tarmac.


    Pentax build quality +1

    not even a mark on the camera and it's still going strong.
  4. panoz7 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2005
    Raleigh, NC
    I got a new tripod head with an arca-swiss mount about about a month ago. Early last week I was in a gallery taking some shots. I slid my camera into the mount, tightened it, and tilted it forward to align the shot. It fell forward off the head and hit the concrete floor lens first from about 4 feet in the air. Turns out I had only slid half the rail into the mount. It was balanced fine when it was completely upright but once it tipped there was nothing holding it.

    Amazingly the lens was completely fine. That's L glass for you... the camera wasn't quite so lucky though. Everything still works except for the metering sensor. It got knocked slightly out of alignment and in it's new position it doesn't receive as much light so it now wants to overexpose shots by about 8-10 stops.

    I'd been meaning to upgrade anyway, and now I have a nice new 1d, but I'd rather have not been forced. Lesson learned.
  5. TheReef macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
    I've had close calls but nothing disastrous yet.

    ^^same thing here except I was quick enough to catch the falling camera.

    Similarly putting the neck strap around my neck but missing (don't ask), again caught it.

    I've also left the lens half screwd in, and when I picked it up and held it by the lens the camera almost fell away.

    The most scary was when I was in the water I forgot to tighten one of the tripod legs, and the tripod fell into the water and again caught it.

    I've had waves splash onto it but nothing the weather sealing can't take.
  6. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    On my way to the Airport, the shuttle bus driver made some quick turns and because I wasn't paying attention for a second, my camera bag hit the floor. It cracked the UV filter of my 80-200 zoom and I was really scared that my lens would have taken the brunt of the impact. Fortunately it's still working just fine (without UV filter, mind you!).
  7. Obsidian6 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 29, 2006
    Laguna Niguel, CA
    Two completely separate incidents, both terrible.

    1: I was in the studio with a 10D and a 200mm f/1.8L (this was around 2004 so the 10D was still hot stuff!). The worst possible thing that could have happened, did happen. The tripod head was not as tight as I thought it was (given that the lens was quite heavy, it MAY have pulled it loose, I'm not sure. At any rate, during this tipping over incident the sheer weight of the lens caused the tripod plate to ALSO come loose! The whole thing came crashing to the cement studio floor!!!

    When I picked it up, I was prepared to kill myself, but all appeared to be well! The lens was a rental from school and when I turned it in I told them what happened, they said "oh don't worry, it happens a lot, thanks for being honest"
    Turns out the only damage that happened was to my 10D, I broke the pop-up flash. That's what hit the ground first, glad that's all that broke!

    Situation 2: I was doing a model shoot down at the beach, I was shooting with my Mamiya RZ67, I decided to be dangerous and actually get in the water for a closeup shot. While focusing, a larger than normal (for the current tide) wave came right up and SOAKED my camera. Thankfully again I was spared and nothing was ruined, even the film was OK! I'm convinced that camera could survive a nuclear blast.

    So those are probably my two worst accidents so far. Hopefully I don't have anymore!
  8. jake.f macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2008
    NSW, Australia
    I almost dropped my week old point & shoot over a cliff. For some reason it was the only time i didnt put the wrist strap on and i managed to grab it the second it left my hand.
  9. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Hmm, I got my camera lens smacked by a fist cause the crowd were dancing or technically jumping and he accidently smacked my kit lens with his fist, thank goodness it was my kit lens cause after that I find there is a bit friction at certain angle.
  10. Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    A couple of weeks ago I was carrying my camera on a tripod with a Nikkor 24-70 mounted. The ballhead felt like it was loose on the legs and while tightening it I must have accidentally tapped the lens release button. The lens separated from the body and fell about 4 feet to a hard packed soil/rock surface.

    The AF and zoom rings move freely, there are no scratches on the glass, and there are only a couple of nicks on the lens barrel and hood. However, test shots revealed that the impact knocked the lens out of alignment as substantial amounts of CA are now visible. The lens is currently with Nikon El Segundo for repair, but I haven't received a service estimate yet.

    I about had a heart attack when I saw that thing head for the dirt.
  11. dllavaneras macrumors 68000


    Feb 12, 2005
    Caracas, Venezuela
    I was in the botanical garden, photographing some bugs under a log, when the park guard's gigantic German Shepherd started running at me, snarling and ready to bite (insert "Cujo" or "Hound of the Baskervilles" references here).

    I slowly backed away, but tripped over a log and landed flat on my camera backpack, which had 2 lenses, external flash and video camera. My camera, macro lens, extension tubes and ring flash, which were on my left hand, were unharmed.

    The ranger apologized as he led the dog back to the station (it was nothing more than a big scare), and after I had recovered from the adrenaline rush, I checked my equipment. The only thing that got damaged was the external flash, whose red plastic cover for the IR detector got nicked in one corner. :(
  12. britincan macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Here now, but used to be over there.
    I had a similar 'experience' with my Canon 70-200 2.8 IS lens about 4 years ago. I had never done this before (or since), but on this occasion I carried the lens in my inside pocket to photography a fountain. As I was just about to change the lens from the wide angle to the zoom it fell out of the pocket onto the concrete. There was a deep thud sound as it hit the ground from 3 feet filter end (w/o the cap and hood). I was left with a small chip in the filter and a scratch on the lens body next to it. Oh and also a completely useless lens that would cost almost $900 CDN to repair through Canon Canada. It would need virtually all new internals to fix it. However, whilst it didn't ever work again on my 10D, which I still think is one of the best cameras Canon have made recently, it has worked perfectly on subsequent cameras I have had including the 30D, 40D and 5D. I guess I was lucky, but it did teach me a lesson.
  13. luminosity thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    I had another close call in October, with the D40 I used to have and the 60mm AF-S lens I also used to have. I was holding the camera in my hand, and the strap had gotten hooked around a chair behind me as I was going to pick it up off a table. The torque yanked the camera right out of my hand and onto the floor, with the lens on it. Somehow, the only damage was a small dent in the lens cap. The camera went down rather hard, and I don't understand how I managed to escape real damage.

    But, I'm certainly not questioning it!
  14. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    May 15, 2007
    I'm where I need to be
    I had a close call one morning while taking some photographs in a park. I was switching from the wide angle to the standard zoom. I had set my bag down on a park bench and was in the middle of doing the switch, set the lens on top of my bag. While in the middle of changing, I somehow nudged my bag and the lens went falling to the concrete. Well, I broke the lens hood, but thats it. Other than that there wasn't a single scratch. I certainly learned my lesson that day though. Now I am MUCH more careful about what I do with my equipment, especially when changing lenses.
  15. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    I was carrying my camera, unprotected in my book bag, the 24-70 ƒ/2.8 lens-up.

    While in physics class, one of my friends thought it would be funny to "weigh down" my bag…*and he dropped 2 2kg masses into my bag. Right onto the lens.

    The lens cap actually inserted itself into the lens, shattering the filter and damaging the front element. The AF was also screwed.

    Nikon "fixed" it, by replacing the AF system, but it still doesn't work quite right. If I thought it would do anything, I'd send it back.
  16. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Ouch, that sucks, did he know inside is a camera? I sometime bring my camera to class but I will hug it like crazy cause I know some students accidently will push the table or somethin.
  17. -hh macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth

    I "fell" on my 70-200mm 2.8 IS in a vehicular incident in 2006.

    Was in a safari jeep on a major road (translation: dirt road, occasional big potholes) in Western Tanzania; we were doing maybe 30mph because the Tsetse flies were bad ... hit a really bad set of potholes and we all went flying. My wife went up and came down on the seat railing...bruised ribs. I went up, hit the support crossbars ... mild scalp laceration ... and came down with the lens between me and the same seat railing ... knocked the wind out of me. Gentleman in the row behind us happened to catch the crossbars too - but right between the eyes, breaking his eyeglasses right in two. I think he landed on his Canon too...but all our cameras came out of it all better than we did.

    Given the knock, I was pretty well convinced that the 70-200 would probably have been broken, or at least knocked out of optical alignment. Not so. The only damage evident is that there's a paint chip down to bare metal about this big --> o <-- right on the zoom control a short distance to the left of the "70" marking...about where a tick mark would be for 55mm if it was a 50-200 zoom.

    I'm now easily 4000 more exposures later...all remain sharp, with no rattling pieces.

    So much for the good news story. The bad news story is that in 2007, I flooded my 16-year old 35mm underwater Nikon Nikonos V camera the morning that I was scheduled to dive with the Hawaii Kona Mantas that night. Cause was that I had simply pushed a marginal strobe synch cord around 3 years longer than I should have. I did end up salvaging that night dive by using a small digital P&S and the Nikonos's tray, strobe arm and wireless slave strobe ... which turned out to be somewhat of a blessing, since the plankton was so thick that there was a lot of backscatter.

  18. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    Man, where do I start.

    Shooting hikers in along a trail in Northern Maryland, in a river which had ONE spot that was deeper than 5 feet. Luckily I was able to grab onto a rock.

    Put my camera on the fence at an assignment. One photog's camera w/70-200 attached bumps EVERYONE's body and they all tumble down like dominoes. My D2h with 300 f/2.8 was caught, one photog's D200 with 70-200 slams on ground and the top LCD is destroyed. Worked otherwise though.

    D2xs dropped by fellow photos and battery compartment is jammed locking batt inside. (near miss since it was still functional..... I guess)

    300 f/2.8 stuck on D200 for NO REASON! (not a near miss sorry.)

    Camera bag dropped onto concrete. 50mm len mount smashed... 17-55 mount OKAY!
  19. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    I think this thread should be re-titled "Who not to buy used equipment from!"

  20. rouxeny macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2008
    Some time just after I bought my 5D and 17-40, I went to shoot Acadia National Park in Maine. I got a little too close to the waves and a wave completely washed over me, pretty much drenching everything. I quickly used a spare T shirt I had in my bag to dry off the camera and lens.

    5 years later they both work fine still. I do not think the 17-40 is weathersealed, and the 5D only partly so.
  21. Rotary8 macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2006
    my 14 month old daughter almost pulled my d700 off the coffee table. It was creeping further back and I noticed it moving on the corner of my eye. I turned around and the nikon was halfway off the table. I grabbed it in time >.< phew!
  22. LillieDesigns macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2005
    Los Angeles
    I was using my video camera to record some night shots in the woods one night last summer. I was on a small, abandoned, railroad bridge when I tripped on a piece of track. I fell to my knees and somehow manged to not break the camera or fall 30 feet onto jagged rocks. Just have to remember never to use the viewfinder as your 'eyes.' :eek:
  23. chocolaterabbit macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2008
    wow quite a few horror stories here. i've had it pretty good in comparison, at a model shoot i was changing lenses when a friend knocked my 70-200VR that i had set down at a bench. it rolled then clunk, hit the chair of the bench. considering how much of a tank that lens is, plus the fall was only 30cm, it was no big deal.
    however i did have a nightmare a few weeks later that i was taking photos and suddenly the 70-200 melted in my hands as i watched in horror :D

    at the same shoot another guy dropped his 70-200 f4 onto the pavement, at about 1m height. it went clunk but luckily everything was ok.

    the good thing about owning a 70-200 is that no one wants to play with it. everyone complains that it's too heavy, so luckily i won't have to worry about others dropping it :)
  24. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Wow, that must be an experience, how the heck did your lens get melted? As far as I know, lens are not made from chocolate :p
  25. luminosity thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006

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