The Sound of Crunch as my Camera hit the Concrete
That time I destroyed a lens
I turned around and my heart dropped. There was my one month old camera and 10-24mm lens rolling down the concrete steps of a London tube station. The lens mounting surface still attached to the camera body. My heart sank and all I could think was ‘oh F*ck…’. I just destroyed a lens…
Traveling full time is full of adventure. Meeting new people and seeing lots of amazing sights is great. People often tell me I am living the dream. However, bad stuff still happens. This story is about one of those times
Things started going downhill after attending an awesome 90’s party in Tooting, a suburb of London, UK. The walk to the tube station on my way home was raining and windy. Normally the directions in the stations are awesome. Late at night a lot of areas are shut down and the signs led me to a dead end. So at 4:00 am after going the wrong way I was backtracking and rushing to catch my train.
I was hurrying down a set of stairs when I heard the ominous smack of a metal object smashing into the concrete near my feet. Looking down there was my brand new camera on the ground. APCS sensor exposed to the world. Beside the camera, most of my lens rolling towards the next step. Part of the lens still attached to the camera body. That was a total ‘oh sh*t’ moment…
Apparently my backpack was not been zipped up all the way. The weight of the camera in the bag pulled the zipper open more. Going down the steps was enough to unzip the bag just enough for the camera to slide out, and crunch.
Picking up everything I stuffed it back into my pack not even considering the sensor was still unprotected. Thinking back I should have taken a photo of the scene but I was in a rush to catch my train. I was also in shock at what just happened. When I got to the train I remembered I had my second lens so I attached it to the camera to protect the sensor from the dust and moisture in the air.
I felt like total crap. Both camera and lens were just over a month old. On the train home I sat dumbfounded. I just stared out the window at the passing concrete walls, amazed at my capacity for being so careless. The cost of replacing the lens kept running through my head. Typically I don’t get upset when a piece of gear gets lost or damaged. But this lens was so new and expensive. I was feeling stress over where I would get the money to pay for a replacement.
When I got to my hostel the first thing I did was post about my stupidity on Facebook. I wanted everyone to share in my misery. I got some sympathy and understanding. Why is it that having people share this kind of pain helps things feel better? Misery loves company?
Then I got a taste of the power of Facebook. A friend suggested the purchase protection insurance on my credit card might cover this incident. I hadn’t even considered this option. I purchased the lens using my Visa card. Checking the benefits that come with the card showed this damage qualified. According to the benefits agreement any damage or theft within 90 days of purchase is covered!
A call to Visa, and three transfers later, got one of their insurance agents on the phone. They sent me a form to fill out along with a list of documentation I needed to provide. The agent said the entire purchase price is covered under the insurance. WooHoo! As soon as I receive the refund I will be buying a replacement lens.
Though I went though a few days of misery in the end things are turning out ok. Not having that lens is inconvenient but I still have a second lens I can use to keep shooting.
I guess the lesson is to make sure my zippers are done up?
Has anything tragic like this happened to you while traveling? Share in the comments section below.