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Thread: Learning from My Mistakes

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Learning from My Mistakes

    So, I try to be very careful with my gear. Every once in a while, I catch myself handling a backpack a bit too casually and remind myself of what is inside and move more slowly. But the gear is still inside a well padded backpack.

    I recently hiked Johnston canyon in Banff National park. My gear was nicely stowed in my backpack (GG 22 Kiboko). The trail was very slick with compacted snow and ice. My boots with Vibram's "MegaGrip" soles were actually doing really well (never fell, never close to falling). Granted, icetrekkers would have been nice, but those were in New Hampshire. In addition, while I hiked I was thinking of how to fall, etc, to protect my camera if I ever did fall.

    My point being, perhaps I was feeling a bit smug about how well I treat my gear as I saw pretty much everyone else hiking the canyon with their cameras dangling at their sides or from their necks and more than once I thought all they had to do was slip on the ice and their gear was a gonner.

    So....karma is real.

    I was hiking with a co-worker and her friend. After I finished up my waterfall pics, they asked for some pictures of them with the waterfall in the background. Of course I obliged. They wanted a bit different angle than what I had been shooting, so I moved my tripod, set it up again, briefly checked that it was stable, and started taking pictures of my coworker and her friend. After a couple of pictures, I caught movement out of the side of my eye and see my tripod tipping over. I lunge (which was probably pretty funny to see) and threw myself trying to catch the tripod as it was falling. I manage to touch the shaft, but not enough to stop the fall and I saw my camera land on some rocks.

    As for me...the impact on the rocks was enough to puncture my jeans where I landed on the rocks and the bruise is just about gone now that we are almost 4 weeks later.

    My gear...actually, I probably got lucky. My 5DIV still works, in fact, most of the pictures I've posted were taken after this incident, the EF 16-35 f/4 IS still works, but the lens hood, ND filter, and CPL (which were stacked) took the brunt of the impact and...…

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    I wish I could say my 5DIV came through unscathed, but....

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    There were a couple of things that I did wrong. First, the ground was uneven. So, my tripod could have slowly tipped, but this was long enough for me to check it, move to the side and start to take pictures of my friends. But, in retrospect, I wish I had taken more time to level the tripod as I do when I am shooting it. Also, it was just on dirt, and a bit of that could have given way. Or, maybe I didn't fully lock the legs and those gave way. A second more time making sure my camera was all set and this would not have happened.

    What I really wish I had done is either set the camera down on the ground or detached it from the tripod and had it at my side with my strap.

    So, move slow, take the extra second to properly protect your gear, have good equipment for yourself (while I wasn't slipping with the MegaGrip soled boots, ice trekkers would have been better), and have your gear insured. Of course, there is also the potential lesson learned of the conditions you subject yourself and your gear to take pictures and maybe slick, hiking over ice covered rocks isn't the best idea (where it tipped wasn’t icy). Or, at least, take your less valuable gear (for me, the M3 set up) when doing something hazardous. But, somehow, I do not think I am going to learn that lesson.

    So, I just now have completed my recent travel. The 5DIV is off for repair and the 16-35 is sent along for inspection even though it is working fine.
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 11-04-2018 at 04:41 PM.

  2. #2
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    Bummer ... so sorry for your misfortune but perhaps the hood and filters spared your lens.

    Good lesson for all to read and follow.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Eade View Post
    Bummer ... so sorry for your misfortune but perhaps the hood and filters spared your lens.

    Good lesson for all to read and follow.
    Thanks. Yes, I think the hood and filters spared the lens and maybe even the camera body from more damage.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jayson's Avatar
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    I cried reading that. Glad you came out of the fall okay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayson View Post
    I cried reading that. Glad you came out of the fall okay.
    Me too. Still, I guess you were lucky in the end with the hood and filter taking the worst blow. It's easier to replace than a lens and a camera.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    The final damage report is in....


    • $400 To repair the 5DIV ($372 plus $28 in shipping)
    • $45 EW-82 lens hood from Canon (granted, I could go off brand and spend ~$9)
    • $97 replacement cost if I wanted the same B+W non-MRC 6 stop ND filter (I am looking at the Breakthrough x4 6 stop -$173)
    • Looks like my CPL is discontinued, but the HTC version of the Kaesemann CL XS pro is $110 while the Breakthrough x4 is $149


    So, not taking a few extra seconds to secure my camera is going to cost $652 to $767. And that is getting off "lucky".....


    Speaking of crying a little......

  7. #7
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    Ouch. Definitely can't say that this hobby is cheap....

    I have dropped two lenses over the years and luckily only resulted in one cracked UV filter and one dented (but still functional) CPL. I consider myself very lucky. But there is not much worse than that heart-stopping feeling when you are watching a lens (or camera) falling and you know you're not going to catch it. I did this with my 16-35 f2.8 (version II) a few years ago in Iceland. Was changing lenses and it just slipped out of my hand over a guardrail... only ended up falling a couple feet but almost went over a much larger edge and it luckily survived. Another tourist next to me almost cried in sympathy when he saw it fall too....not a good feeling.

    Stephen

  8. #8
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    Ouch indeed! I had a similar but much less costly lesson recently as well. The saying goes" Photography and alcohol don't mix" ...well, it's true! My wife runs a Retro Dance party every Saturday at the restaurant where she works. DJ, singers etc, real night club vibe. I'm the designated photog. Got a tad buzzed () one week and the next day discovered a cracked UV filter still attached to my Canon 17-55 2.8. Yikes...the lens and my 7D were unscathed but lesson learned.

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