Depending on your subject matter, it can be a very good idea to take out a damage waiver when renting camera equipment. Wildlife photographer Andrew Kane learned this recently after renting gear from LensRentals for a shoot in Yellowstone. Here’s his account of how the borrowed equipment ended up broken:
I recently rented a D4, Wimberly head, and 600VR from you, and the day before yesterday, I had a little bit of an accident. I was photographing a coyote here in Yellowstone and I followed it into the woods about 300yds away from the road. As I am taking pictures of the coyote, I heard twigs breaking behind me, and as I turned around I saw it was a grizzly bear. I picked up the tripod with the D4 and 600 on it and slowly started to back away. The bear got closer and closer as I tried to back up. When the bear got to within 20 yds. of me, I bumped into a brush pile that I could not lift the tripod over, so I had no choice but to leave the gear and continue away from the bear.
Now here’s a divisive photo series that will draw both anger and cheers: graphic designer (and former Apple employee) Michael Tompert teamed up with photographer Paul Fairchild for a project titled 12LVE that consists of photographs showing annihilated Apple products. Here’s the description:
12LVE [...] provides society a mirror, forcing us to question our infatuation with mere objects. By annihilating the adored, pulverizing the precious, and obliterating the beloved, 12LVE reminds us that although these objects have become quasi-religious icons, we will soon discard and replace them with the new crop—sleeker, faster, shinier.
YouTube filmmaker Casey Neistat‘s DSLR recently took a tumble, breaking a piece off of the built-in lens hood of his Sigma lens. Instead of sending the lens in for repairs, Neistat decided to do a thrifty repair himself. After finding a similar-sized jar lid on some peanut butter at a local grocery store, he created a replacement hood himself by drilling a large hole and a couple small screw holes into the lid. He calls the project “The Peanut Butter Solution”.
Canon’s 50mm f/1.8 Mark II is a terrific lens for its price, but its build quality definitely leaves something to be desired. Do a quick search, and you’ll find legions of broken-hearted Canonites who had their ‘Nifty Fifty’ split into two pieces after accidentally bumping or dropping it. Flickr user tastygiant is one such Canonite, but he subsequently discovered an awesome use for the broken lens:
Being a geek, I figured I could use the broken pieces in the future, so I shelved it and bought a new 50mm 1.8 Canon lens. One day, while taking shots around my apartment, I stumbled across the broken lens again and decided to reverse the “barrel assembly” onto the front of my intact 50mm. Everything was blurry of course, but I noticed if I got very close to an object the detail came into view. After adjusting the aperture to around f5.6, I had a clear image.
It’s important to note that you should switch to Manual focusing and rotate the focusing ring to “infinity”.
This photograph was taken by a lens with some “obstruction” on the front element. Aside from the blurry patch of nastiness in the bottom portion of the frame, the rest of the image looks pretty decent. What do you think the “obstruction” is? A little dirt? A smudge where the photographer accidentally touched the front element? A scratch? The answer is a little closer to a scratch than a smudge… Click here to see the answer
An unfortunate photo-lover in Hong Kong recently got into a fight with his girlfriend, who proceeded to smash his beautiful collection of Nikon lenses. Among the casualties were a Nikkor 28-70 f2.8D, Tokina 28-70 F2.6-2.8, Nikkor 80-200 f2.8D, Nikkor 17-35 F2.8D, and a Nikon TC-20E teleconverter. Read more…
Dmitry Sklyarov of Russian software company ElcomSoft announced yesterday that the encryption system used by Canon to prove the authenticity of photographs is flawed and unfixable. This is the system that’s used to prove that images were not altered after being captured by the camera, and has applications in things such as court cases.
To prove their point, ElcomSoft published a series of ridiculous and obviously “Photoshopped” images (e.g. the astronaut planting a Soviet flag seen above) that all correctly pass Canon’s authenticity verification. Read more…
Have a busted lens that isn’t worth repairing? Instead of throwing it away, you can turn it into a flower pot! Kenneth Yung has a series of photos showing how he did this with his broken Nikon 18-55mm lens (translation here). This can definitely add a fun touch to any boring workspace!
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. Read more…