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Some photos come at a price

Published April 29th, 2013

The reason why I keep on paying the premium to my insurance company.

Waterfall Brúarfoss - southern Iceland

Some photos are easy to get and come to you without any specific effort. Others are hard to get and call for creativity and patience.

Then, there are those shots that come at a certain price.

My shot of Waterfall Brúarfoss is one of those expensive shots.

I took this photo on a cold winters day in January 2010. Getting to this spot was far from easy. I had to walk a considerable distance from my car, and the path was slippery and covered with ice. I took along a friend of mine to help me carry my gear, and his task was to carry my precious EF 70 - 200 f/2,8 I IS USM lens which I wanted to use on this occasion.

We arrived at the scene later than I had planned, when we got there, the little daylight of Icelandic winter had all but disappeared. The last bit of the path to the waterfall is a steep bank. I went first and tried to find the easy way down, avoiding the obvious slippery ice, and told him to follow closely in my footsteps. He did not, and midway down the slope he slipped. My precious lens was flung high into the air and crash landed on a solid piece of ice. Even the carrying case could not protect it from the heavy impact when it plunged to the ground.

Having checked my friend and found out that he was not seriously hurt, I went on, eager to use the little time and light that I had. I hastily prepared my camera on tripod, and took out the 70 -200 lens, mounted on my camera, crossed my fingers and hoped that everything was well.

This is one of several shots I made with the lens, and at that time, I thought everything was as it should be.

Later on, when I got back home I took a closer look at the lens, just to realize the damage. The protective filter had cracked and although the autofocus and zoom did behave as expected, the lens had turned unacceptable soft wide open.

Canon Service in Iceland was unable to repair the lens, it had to be sent to Canon Denmark for alignment and other repairs.

The costs: 60% of the price of a new lens. Luckily I did not have to pay the bill.

So - for those of you wondering if your insurance premiums are money down the drain - think again. This single accident amounted to 3 years premium on the insurance I've taken on all my photographic equipment.

  • January 30th, 2010
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 200mm / f/13 / 6 sec

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