Monday, March 15, 2010


Drizzly conditions make for slick pavement, which is great for photos but dangerous for walking. While photographing this flower vendor on the streets here in Hanoi about an hour ago, I stepped on a wet curb, slipped and fell, dropping my Mark II with the 16-35 f2.8 as I went down.
I saw the camera leave my hand, and watched its trajectory in slow motion, then heard that nasty shattering sound and saw some glass flying out past the lens hood as it hit concrete. All the Vietnamese sidewalk vendors gasped and frankly I feared the worst too. Picking up my camera, which had landed with the lens facing away from me, I was thinking to my self; this could be expensive, As I turned the camera towards myself I noticed that it was only the UV filter that had been obliterated. The lens’ front element was intact. I did a quick examination of the camera body as I picked the last chunks of remaining glass out of the bent filter ring.
I snapped off 2 frames; one of the crowd that looked on in horror (above) and one of the noodle shop guy who was standing next to me (below). Everything seemed to be working fine, so I showed the noodle guy the back of my camera, he broke out in a huge smile, the crowd cheered and I breathed a sigh of relief, raised my camera up high, smiled back at everyone and went on shooting.
Damn, these Canon Mark II bodies, and the pro quality lenses are built tough! I'm not so sure that a lesser quality, cheaper built camera and lens could survive this type of accident. Just another chapter in my "Thrashed Canons" story. Cheers, Karl


Edgar said...

Wow, these Canon pro equipments are real tough!

I think it does pay to pay a higher price for camera gear.

richNYC said...

Feel sorry for you. Glad it works;)

Reminds me of my accident when cycling in India. I had a few days to relax in Leh, Ladakh so I was riding my bicycle around town. I had my camera, Olympus E-500 with a cheap buget 14-42mm lens stored in a handlebar bag which I forgot to close... duh... While jumping over one of those road bumpers to slow down cars, my bag suddenly opened up and I see my DSLR flying out over my head and see it hitting ground about 8-10 feet behind me:( Camera worked no problem but the lens was done. No external damage visible on it (it was all taken by a lens hood and camera body) but something must have broken inside... For the next two weeks I was forced to use my telezoom (40-150mm)... Luckily, my girlfriend shipped me a new one I quickly grabbed of eBay to my next destination in Srinigar.

It all ended well;)

ruthdeb said...

Haha... *wow.* As I was reading that I just CRINGED.. (shattered lenses is a recurring nightmare of mine) Glad it ended happily and the 16-35 lived to tell the tale. You are so dang lucky. (I won't jinx you by wondering what else could POSSIBLY go wrong..)

Barbara said...

Great story, Karl! That ends the "filter vs no filter" debate for me!

Caryn said...

Now I see why you preach about having a filter on that lens! Glad to hear all is okay.

Aaron said...

Glad to hear that the camera survived the drop. Hopefully I won't have to test out my Nikon D700 body any time soon. Enjoy the trip!

Tom Hayton said...

On a shoot the other day I dropped a Nikkor zoom onto a hard concrete floor. It bounced, and came up fighting. Gotta love 'em! :D