Another Sony 400mm f/2.8 Lens Gets Slammed by a Speeding Baseball

The crack of a bat crushing a baseball is one of the quintessential sounds of summer. However, for sports photographers, the cracking sound of a big, expensive front lens element is becoming depressingly common. Not even two weeks after a foul ball shattered a photographer’s Sony 400mm f/2.8 G Master lens, a baseball has hit another photographer’s 400mm f/2.8 GM lens.

As reported by Sony Alpha Rumors, a photographer at a Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) game was the unfortunate target of a foul ball down the first base line. The photographer, stationed just behind the dugout, had the hard-hit ball rattle around the front of his lens.

Thanks to the lens hood taking the brunt of the baseball’s force, the photographer seems to have escaped with nothing but a frightening encounter and a great story.

Another Sony 400mm f/2.8 GM hit by a baseball

After flying off the bat, the ball spins around the inside of the lens hood — like a basketball that circles the rim — and shoots out to the side. Sony Alpha Rumors wonders if the lens’s front element received a scratch during the ordeal — it is impossible to tell based on the video.

The Sony 400mm f/2.8 GM is an expensive professional lens priced at $12,000. While a damaged front element does not cost $12,000 to fix, it is far from cheap.

Photographer Jim Rassol, who was shooting a Major League Baseball game when his lens was shattered by a foul ball last month, received an outpouring of support from fellow photographers and Sony itself, which agreed to fix the lens at a discounted rate using the funds that were raised for Rassol by a GoFundMe started by fellow photojournalists and Rassol’s friends.

“Sony has been remarkable in this process. Usually, you only see this kind of outpouring of support when you lose someone. It’s so humbling to see how much people care about you,” Rassol said in response to the incredible support he received from his peers and Sony. “This means the world to me, thank you,” he added in a Tweet.

Fortunately for the CPBL photographer, it appears he will not need a new lens or any extensive repairs. As PetaPixel explains in its guide to using lens hoods, protecting the front of a lens is a great reason to keep the lens hood on.