Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Gear Breakages on the Road

It's a sad fact that even if your travel is luxurious, things get lost, broken or just disappear while travelling.  Photographers probably have the worst of it as they tend to travel with an inordinate amount of additional gear, from lenses to computers , cables and of course filters. I got a shock when I pulled my 24-105mm lens out of the bag today to see the filter glass shattered.  It's never happened before and annoying seeing that it was only a week old.  All you need is a tiny nick in the edge of the glass element, then a slight knock, and it cracks.

Just in case I usually travel with a second camera body - in case disaster strikes – luckily I have never lost a camera.  But I have dropped a few resulting luckily in only surface scratches but a larger bar bill for that evening.   I had a scare getting out of a taxi in Dubai recently. My Canon EOS 5D MkIII crashed onto the concrete floor - with no apparent damage, despite the noise it made.  It was only then I realised that it had become detached from my Carryspeed camera strap. On closer inspection it appears that the ball part of the universal joint was excessively worn – essentially the weight of the camera pulled the socket apart sending it onto the pavement. 
Carryspeed (apparently) is locked in a copyright dispute with Black Rapid over patent infringements so I couldn't complain to the company as there is no contact page.  Luckily I managed to get a replacement strap in a local camera store.

Copyright infringement or not, I think Carryspeed has a far better product because it has a better anchoring point on the camera – Black Rapid straps attach via a screw thread into the tripod screw socket. Carryspeed straps attach to a plate which attaches to the bottom of the camera. This plate has no less than 6 tripod screw holes - the plate itself fits Arca Swiss style QR heads so you don't have to unscrew the strap to attach the camera to a tripod.  My new version strap has a far better ball and socket locking mechanism that I hope will never let go of the camera.  If you have one that looks like this model and you regularly use heavy lenses, might be an idea to have the ball socket checked out so you don't experience the same disaster...

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