Brian's Photo Blog — Article 217
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Incompetence at the Coast!
Saturday 5 January 2013   —   Category: Equipment
I got my new year off to a really bad start by displaying gross incompetence while visiting the California Central Coast earlier in the week. Fortunately, things didn’t turn out as bad as they could have.

One morning while staying in Santa Maria, I decided to make a short visit to the beach at Morro Bay, before stopping by Really Right Stuff in San Luis Obispo (where I completed college at Cal Poly) to check out some of their camera-support equipment.

I had put my Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera and most of my lens kit into my favorite Tamrac Evolution 8 pack, which was sitting on the seat in my rental car. I had previously taken the camera out of the pack in order to take a couple of photos. Then I parked near Giovanni’s (see photo to the right), slung the pack across my shoulder, and started walking across Embarcadero St. to take some more photos.

As I was crossing the street, I heard some loud clunking sounds. I turned around to see what was making the noise, and to my horror there was my precious Olympus 75mm prime lens in the middle of the road! Happily it was still fairly early in the morning and there was hardly any traffic. But still, I figured the expensive lens was a goner! How could I be so stupid as to not make sure that the zippered side flap on the pack was closed?

I really like this lens — it’s a stunning piece of craftsmanship that produces beautiful photos, as you can see in my Autumn Leaves 2012 photo album. Picking the lens up, I quickly surveyed the damage. The front is the heavier end, especially with the aluminum lens hood attached. Thankfully the laws of physics were in play, and the lens hood took the first force of impact, sparing the lens itself from major damage. As you can see in the photo to the right, the lens hood has a fair number of gouges and nicks — plus, it is also dented in the same area.

From what I can tell, the lens itself seems to be in working order. None of the glass is cracked, and both auto and manual focus seems to function properly. There are a few small nicks on the exterior, which will always remind me to be more careful and pay close attention to what I’m doing! It’s definitely a lot cheaper to replace a lens hood than the actual lens!

Olympus does not include the lens hood when you purchase one of their lenses, which is crazy considering the price of the lens. What is even crazier is that Olympus charges an outrageous $79 for this hood! There was no way I was going to pay such a ridiculous price, so I had originally bought a third-party version by JJC on eBay for “only” $39. Now I've order the exact same lens hood on Amazon for $33. It still seems kind of expensive, but the solid metal construction is worth it, as I discovered the hard way!

Well, that’s the end of the story of my New Year’s incompetence at the coast. As the saying goes, all’s well that ends well. Hopefully I have learned my lesson, and will never again have a lens go bouncing down the road — that’s a trauma and expense I would like to avoid at all costs!
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 217
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