Broken Bat Smashes Camera Lens at MLB Playoff Game

During Game 4 of the series between the Yankees and the Rangers this past tuesday, a player broke a bat when making a hit and the broken end of the bat flew all the way into the camera well, shattering the front of a Canon DIGISUPER 86II TELE xs camera lens worth $90,000. Luckily there was a protective filter being used over the lens, though it will still cost $20,000 to replace it. What’s neat is that cameraman Steve Angel kept on shooting with the smashed lens, framing the scenes through the small hole in the shattered glass until the camera was replaced an inning later.

Here’s how it unfolded on TV:

You can also watch a higher resolution version over on

I guess shattered bats are another reason you should use UV filters on your lenses.

  • Fenriq

    Awesomeness! Love that the cameraman just kept rolling (probably knowing he’d just gotten absolutely crazy footage!).

  • Chung Dha Lam

    That why you need to use an UV filter.

  • Anonymous

    Why would it cost $20,000 to replace the UV filter? It seems like most lenses offer ways to mount filters that only take a couple minutes to replace. To have a design that requires disassembly to replace a filter is a bit much.

  • Colin Peddle

    The filter itself probably costs 20000, not the act of replacing it itself.

  • Anonymous

    If that’s true, then that’s a damn expensive filter. I don’t think it is the cost of the plate, because then that would make it more expensive than most or all of the individual lenses inside the lens assembly.

  • Anonymous

    A good 6.6″ x 6.6″ UV filter plate by Shneider Optics or Tiffen is $350, and I think it’s coated, all the options at that price seem to be made with good quality Schott optical glass. The pricing is from B&H’s web store. I don’t know if that’s big enough, but I think that should be enough to give you an idea of what the cover plate might cost. I think it needs to be about 8″, but it’s been a while since I’ve been around that kind of lens, maybe that’s overestimating the size.

  • Anonymous

    that cameraman just lost a least a good couple minutes off his life on that one.

  • Ben

    The front element of this lens is about 10″ in diameter, and is essentially a built-in optical flat. Generally these lenses are not user serviceable. This is a large & expensive piece of coated glass, however I’d definitely query a $20,000 bill if only the front element was broken.

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  • Wing Wong

    Hmm.. expensive front coated glass shattered… I doubt the lens behind fared much better. There are probably scratches and nicks from glass fragments and debris on the actual coated lens surface. That’s going to be expensive. Much of that cost will probably be in lavor and re-certification of the camera for use.