‘Accidents Will Happen

By Jack Berglund
There are lots of sayings in the English language which turn out to be very apt. This morning I confirmed that ‘more haste’ does mean ‘less speed’. I had noticed a bird (of the feathered variety) outside my wBindow and decided I wanted to take a photo. I have been considering renting a long (300 or 400mm) lens one weekend to try some bird photography and I thought this would be a good chance to try some test shots before taking the plunge. However, in my haste to change lenses, I left my 12-24mm lens on its side on the table in my living room. Apparently NY apartments aren’t 100% level and it promptly rolled off on to the floor with a smash.

As you can see in the photo, all did not go well. I’m hoping the damage is superficial but the UV filter is not only smashed but also dented in some way that makes it impossible to remove. I’ll let you know how the repair experience goes. It does confirm one thing, always put a UV filter on your lenses for protection. They are cheap, don’t make a noticeable difference to image quality and will save your lens one day.

Remember: ‘A stitch in time, really does save nine’.

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  1. Hi Friend,

    I like your writings, your first featured photo and especially the Nikon lens mug. 🙂

    I run a photography portal in Hungarian, called Fenyertek.hu (it stands for Exposure Value in English).
    I would be more than happy if I could use you photo of your broken lens as an illustration for my coming article.
    Since th portal is a non profit one, I cannot pay for the usage fees of your picture.

    What would you say?

    Thanks a lot.

    Best regards,
    Tibor

    • Hi Tibor,
      Glad you like the blog. Feel free to use the photo of the broken lens. Hope you can put it to good use.
      Regards,

      Jack

      • Hi Jack,

        Thanks a lot. 🙂 You’ll see the article from Monday morning here (well, Hungarian): http://fenyertek.hu/2010/10/objektiv-hiba-javitas/.

        Best regards,
        Tibor

    • Rob Smith
    • January 11th, 2011

    Nice blog. Sorry to hear your lens suffered… but I am not convinced. My thoughts on this subject are simple. A lock of a filter on your lens for “protection” would have simply prevented you from having a broken filter. The filter likely broke because it is cheaper, thiner glass than the front element. I see a lot of broken filters and blogs about how the filter “saved” the lens. I rarely see a smashed front element. Perhaps someone will in with a story of a broken front element story.

    • It’s true that the filter would shatter much more easily that the lens itself. Seeing more broken filters than lenses doesnt suggest to me that filters don’t offer protection to the lens. The lens had landed on the frame of the filter pushing it inwards and shattering the glass. Would this have broken the front element? Maybe not but it would definitely damaged the frame around the front element probably making it impossible to mount a filter. Not dropping the lens in the first place would be a better policy than mounting a filter but unfortunately, accidents do happen.

    • Rob Smith
    • January 11th, 2011

    Nice blog. Sorry to hear your lens suffered… but I am not convinced. My thoughts on this subject are simple. The lack of a filter on your lens for “protection” would have simply prevented you from having a broken filter. The filter likely broke because it is cheaper, thiner glass than the front element. I see a lot of broken filters and blogs about how the filter “saved” the lens. I rarely see a smashed front element. Perhaps someone will in with a story of a broken front element story.

    • Deni
    • August 11th, 2011

    Hi, were you able to get the damaged filter off, repair the lens and put a new filter on? The same thing just happened to my Nikon 10-24mm with Hoya filter-the camera fell off while mounted on a tripod that I was carrying (from 5 foot height). The filter broke and is dented making it impossible to remove. My D90 and lens are fine but I would like to be able to mount a new filter on the lens. Currenly at a repair shop so we’ll see. Just wondering how your story ended. Thanks!

  2. @Deni I was able to get the filter off but it took a lot of work. The damage to the filter made it impossible to unscrew. I was eventually able to get hold of one end of the broken frame of the filter and pull it inwards out of the thread and repeat the process over and over as each piece of the frame broke off separately. Once off, the threads seemed undamaged and I was able to add a new filter

    • Yvette
    • June 7th, 2012

    Hi Jack,

    I hope you won’t mind if I use your photo as an example of a broken lens in my sort of ad of getting an insurance for photographers to prevent total loss in case of accidents. I am only starting as an agent and could not pay you for the use of the photo.

    Hope to hear from you.

    Thanks.

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