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Crash bang wallop!


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Crash bang wallop!

5 Jul 2020 6:44AM   Views : 255 Unique : 176


That awful moment when you feel your grasp slipping – was the first thing you noticed the thud as your pride and joy hit the ground?

The first camera I remember dropping was a Lubitel 2, an incredibly cheap and oddly-specified Russian camera. I’d bought it in a tourist shop in Leningrad on a schools cruise in 1971, if I remember rightly: I paid around £2, in an assortment of coins from three or four countries. But it was plastic, and brittle plastic: a drop onto concrete rendered it useless, the back parted from the rest of the body.

In fairly quick succession, two cheap straps deposited two Contax bodies on the deck, cracking the pentaprism in each case. This was in the days when Photax had a showroom on York Street underneath Waterloo Station: the second one, broken in London, was repaired the next day.

Since then, high impact events have done less damage to my kit. My favourite lens – locking tab worn down from use – plummeted three feet to the pavement outside Moor Street Station in Birmingham, landing on the aperture ring. Amazingly, the only result was considerable stiffness of the ring: after a trip to the local repairer it’s been fine, with a new mount (that locks onto the camera) and a little easing of the bent aperture control.

A couple of years ago, a missed footing led me to fall over in Birmingham, and land using my newly-acquired Alpha 7R as a landing device. There are scratches on the baseplate, but operation is unimpeded – it was around a year before the hand holding onto it would grip properly.

In the last few days, I’ve been playing with a Nikon brick. Would that I had checked that the strap was securely attached: and that after the first drop, I’d checked the other end. It was equally poorly secured, leading to a second drop. Nikon’s reputation is undamaged, as is the camera.

I suppose the lesson I learn from this is to do periodic checks on straps and so on: the majority of them are prone to wear and tear, and won’t last forever. If there are clips, check them! Look at attachment points. And never, ever, buy a cheap strap that looks good but doesn’t have the engineering to back up the appearance…

The model in today's image is (of course) my friend Joceline: delicacy forbids me showing you the grim reality of a broken camera... Joceline looks as if she may be contemplating a dropped camera, though...


5 31 1 United States
5 Jul 2020 2:15PM
HIstory gives us experience and learned lessons.
Remembering our history prevents us from reliving bad lessons and allows us to grow and evolve using positive lessons learned.
Minty805 Plus
5 42 9 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2020 2:37PM
The benefit of straps seems to be a bit controversial; I've seen several people report that they don't use them, preferring either a wrist strap or none at all if the camera has a well proportioned grip.
I tend to be risk averse, the aversion rising in direct proportion to the value (financial and emotional) of the equipment, and always have one or the other in place.
An incorrectly fitted strap almost caused me to drop my newly-acquired Pen F a few years ago, but my other half pointed it out in the nick of time.
However, one reason some people don't like straps became painfully clear to me last year, when I dropped my valued EM1 and brand new, pro-grade zoom. I'd put it down on a picnic table, then, when I picked it up again, didn't notice the strap had caught under the edge of the table, yanking it out of my hand.
Those who have had the experience will know all too well that pit-of-the-stomach reaction, followed by a deep dive into the murkiest reaches of one's vocabulary.
Luckily for me, the table was mostly on lush grass, so the camera landed softly and harmlessly. Only the lens hood brushed the concrete plinth, leaving the tiniest of scars, which is now seared into my consciousness, hopefully to prevent such clumsiness thereafter.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1868 England
5 Jul 2020 4:01PM
Straps are really useful for carrying a camera around, at the ready, so I have them on almost all my cameras. In the studio, though, they often get in the way, so I don't have them on absolutely everything.

The important thing is to learn when stuff goes wrong...
5 Jul 2020 6:51PM
Experience gained, is directly proportional to the amount of equipment wrecked...!
I don’t use camera straps, prefer to keep a vicelike grip on the camera itself and stuff it into the shoulder bag when required...
But a good point you raise guv..

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