There are times I hate gravity.

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras & Equipment' started by RocketTom, May 17, 2011.

  1. RocketTom

    RocketTom Member

    This is the second time this has happened. Nikon D700, external battery pack, with a 70-200 lens on the front. It's a heavy combination (has left slight brusing on the shoulders) so I take the lens foot for the lens and rotate it around by 180' so it acts like a handle. (Can you see it coming?) I'm doing an indoor corporate event, and during a lull I held on to the camera by the lens foot (handle) - and the foot came off. There was a very sickening CLUNK as it hit a thinly carpeted concrete floor. I *instantly* knew I broke it. The lens no longer reported any info to the camera, but the camera still snapped. I tried another lens on the camera and the mount bound up, so it was also buggered up. The lens mounts aren't designed for 12 lbs of camera & lens to try and bust them apart.

    I took both in to the Nikon repair facility (I work only 1 miles away from the El Segundo, CA offices), they are both being worked on. Repair bill: D700 = $300, 70-200 = $425.

    (The first time this happened, it dropped to a gravel-covered dirt and resulted in a mis-alignment of the mounts. Then, it was only $400 for both.) They said that they do have parts, so I *may* have it back by the end of this week. We'll see...

    Lesson learned: TIGHTEN THAT SCREW, STUPID HEAD!!! This puts a big damper on that 28-300 lens I was drooling over...
  2. jbwolffiv

    jbwolffiv Member

    That just sucks, sorry to here that Tom!
  3. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member


    -Posted from my htc Thunderbolt. ;
  4. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    That's really too bad, Tom. ; And it's a warning, since I screw my BlackRapid R-strap into the foot. ; Maybe I'll just remove the foot and screw it directly into the lens.
  5. Jeff Fillmore

    Jeff Fillmore Member

    I dropped a 10.5 fisheye once on concrete and smashed the front element- it really sucks.
  6. PolynesianMedic

    PolynesianMedic Global Moderator Staff Member

    Ouch is right! Sorry to hear about that
  7. WillCAD

    WillCAD Member

    Tom, your post reminds me of a line from Commando:

    But that is not the most important thing in your life right now. But was IS important, is GRAVITY!"
  8. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    Fillmore- shall we recall the fantasyland tripod incident of 2009? That one hurt.

    -Posted from my htc Thunderbolt. ;
  9. Jeff Fillmore

    Jeff Fillmore Member

    Yeah I was glad I was far far away from your tripod at that moment. ; :eek: ;
  10. mSummers

    mSummers Member

    Ouch! ; That really sucks. ; While we're on the topic of tightening things, I have read that the small screws that hold the tripod foot attachment plate to the lens body are also known to come loose, so it is a good idea to check those regularly. ; Most of the reports I read on that dealt with the new 70-200 VRII, and I haven't found the screws on my VRI to be loose, but I still check them every couple of months.
  11. ELinder

    ELinder Member

    Hmm, I think some Loctite may be in order. Now I just have to remember which one NOT to use, the blue or red.

  12. Roger

    Roger Member Staff Member

    Isn't the blue one more permanent, red can be released by heat or certain chemical? ; I have a tube of blue that I used for building my own Arca-Swiss monopod head.
  13. mSummers

    mSummers Member

    The Blue 242 is listed as being removable with hand tools. ; The Red 271 says that it is removable with hand tools and heat.
  14. RocketTom

    RocketTom Member

    So here's the tail of the tape: Costs were as estimated, total time in shop was 5 business days.

    Nikon ranks repairs by:
    B1 (minor parts replaced)
    B2 (major parts replaced)
    C ; (major parts, major work)

    The lens was a B2 - replaced lens mount and components, and alignment. The camera? It was a C - my first one. They replaced the lens mount, aligned the mirror, replaced the rubber hand/thumb grips, the rubber bad on the bottom, replaced the upper camera body assembly, replaced the pop-up flash, replaced hot shoe, and replaced the upper LCD panel (had a small nick). It even *smelled* new. It was about as close to new as I've ever had!

    I did a root-cause incident investigation on this accident to try and find out why it happened, yet again.

    Here's how I was holding the lens. (Remember that there's a camera on the right side - I can't move my ring finger over because the body is in the way)

    Closer look, and you can see how my hand surrounds the mount. That screw is the primary method for securing the foot/post to the lens. The assembly slides off towards the front of the lens:

    Here's the lens sans paw:

    Can you see that small tab there on the left?

    That's the safety mechanism that would keep the lens from falling off the mount in case the mount was not secured properly. But to explain what happened, let's do a closeup:

    If my hand was there, and if the screw was not *completely* tightened, the safety tab would be depressed. And with the camera weighting down the back side of the lens, the front of the lens would point upwards - allowing the foot to simply slide off. You'd never know it until it hit the ground.

    I did remove the mount a few days before that, but I thought I had secured it - and hey, if it was loose, that tab would keep it from coming off. Right?

    So - this tab would work if you were using an R-Strap, but I would still not trust it.

    The only way to tell if I learned my lesson is if I *never* do this again. So we'll find out at the end of my shooting career if this old dawg unlearned this bad habit.
  15. WillCAD

    WillCAD Member

    I wonder what the idea was behind making that foot removable with a simple push-button? I guess I understand that some photogs would not want the foot on it if they were carrying the camera/lens around on a strap all day, or when packing it into a camera bag or lens case, but I would think that a more secure system would be better for attaching the foot, since the foot is there specifically as a tripod mount.

    I guess Locktite is in your future for that thumbscrew, eh, Tom?
  16. RocketTom

    RocketTom Member

    Boy, I wish it was. But there are legitimate times that I have to remove that foot. It's not often, but I do. But maybe not - not if it means exposing myself to another couple-a-hundred bucks that used to go to my 28-300 fund.... ; ;)

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