Protect your camera equipment: a cautionary tale

A little over a year ago, while I was taking pictures of the bat colony under the bridge pictured below, my 50mm 1.8 lens dropped out of my hand and rolled down that hill and likely plopped into the snake filled bayou waters below it. I spent a while looking for it but only found the end caps and even looked the other day with no luck.

Waugh Street Bridge Fun

Waugh Bridge Bat colony attempt #2

That was a pretty cheap lens valued at about $130 and even cheaper used so while it stung a little, I was glad that at least nothing happened to my beloved Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 lens which currently is valued at $2000 and not much better used. As you can see from the picture below (taken from the Nikon website so don’t sue), this is a very serious lens. In fact, it’s Nikon’s sharpest lens and the only 14-24mm lens out there and in a class all its own. The fact that I love this lens is really the gist of this rant.

A couple of weeks ago at the dog show while I was packing, the lens fell 6 inches! ONLY 6 INCHES! (please, no “that’s what she said!” jokes…this is serious). Anyhoo…the zoom ring became stuck and would only move if forced to and it was not a pleasant feeling while rotating it around the shaft (I’m warning you!). It seems that the sharpness of the lens comes with the price of its fragile nature. Back when I had my cheapie 55-200mm VR lens (mostly plastic), I could drop that thing and not much would happen to it, but this lens is heavy, and full of glass.

There is a bit of irony because the pro camera bodies are very very solid – in fact there is a video somewhere on youtube of someone smashing and setting a 7D on fire and the damn thing still works but it appears the lenses are not as lucky. I’ve sent the lens to Nikon for an estimate, but a rough estimate is $300-$600 for this sort of thing. Take care of your shit.


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