This is Why We Use UV Filters

I’m back from my trip to Palm Springs, and unfortunately, while I was there I had my first major camera gear accident. Until five days ago I have never dropped a camera, lens, flash…heck, I hadn’t even dropped a CF card, but my luck changed on Tuesday. I was shooting an awesome abandoned warehouse just outside Niland, CA with my brand new Promote Control. I had just set up for a wide shot of this van seat when I spotted a few shotgun shells lying around and thought they’d be a nice addition to the frame. So, I picked up the nearest shell and started walking over to the seat not thinking that my Promote was in my pocket and still attached to my camera. Before I could do anything, my camera was toppling over lens first and the Promote was pulled from my pocket…not a fun moment. Thankfully, my beloved 10-20mm lens was saved by the UV filter you see in the frame below, but the Promote didn’t do so well. I got two more sets of brackets out of it before it froze and then died. First day shooting with my new toy and I break it…brutal. So, what’s the lesson here? ALWAYS stick a UV filter on your lenses! You never know when they’ll save your ass.

I’ll probably take my Promote to the local camera shop to see if they can do anything to fix it…but I’m doubtful.

Canon EOS 50D, Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5, 20mm, F 11, ISO 100

Scott - January 23, 2011 - 2:34 pm

Glad your UV saved the day!

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Chris Wray - January 23, 2011 - 3:15 pm

Major bummer, Heath! It could have been a lot worse. Good advise on the use of filters. Well, statistically speaking, you’re done with camera accidents for 2011.

Pat O'Brien - January 23, 2011 - 3:37 pm

I’ve always called UV filters “cheap insurance” and this is why! Glad to see everything is OK, minus a few bucks for a new filter!

For the Promote, give them a call, or send them an email. They have pretty good customer support and may end up sending you a new one without much hassle!

Chris Kenison - January 23, 2011 - 3:40 pm

Bummer man.did you get any brackets off with the promote? Did you like it?

Brian Matiash - January 23, 2011 - 5:08 pm

Huge bummer, dude. I hope things work out well for your PC. At least the 10-22 lives to shoot another day.

I dig that you made the most of it with this shot, though. Trooper. ๐Ÿ™‚

murphyz - January 23, 2011 - 5:12 pm

Aw man, that sucks! I’ve dropped my camera once, lens down, but luckily nothing happened to it in the incident – I figured that I used my one chance right there though and, unlike cats, it won’t have 9 lives in it. Glad the UV saved the glass at least, though I have looked fleetingly at the promotes and know they don’t come cheap :o( Great shot above, by the way, loving the state of that seat!

Chris DeAngelis - January 23, 2011 - 10:42 pm

Tough break Heath… Glad the lens is OK though. Good luck getting the Promote fixed. You have a recommendation on a specific UV filter? I tried a couple and got some bad flare… If it’s any consolation, you still got a great shot there… Love the texture of the seat and shadow from the shell…

Brandon Jacoby - January 24, 2011 - 1:04 am

My favorite photography gear is the UV filter, lol! Happy to hear the 10-20 is ok ๐Ÿ™‚

The customer service at PC is great, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble…

I’m Calling It A Sick Day » BrandonJFX - January 24, 2011 - 1:13 am

[…] My good pal, Heath O’Fee posted a great blog post today about why us photographers use UV Filters…. Check it out, right here. […]

Rob Hanson - January 24, 2011 - 5:57 am

Heath — Sorry to hear about the accident! +1 on contacting Promote, as their customer service has always seemed to be top-notch to me.

Also, having done exactly what you did, I now hang the Promote from the tripod. I shortened up the strap and loop it around a knob… as long as you’re careful not to jostle things when you fire, it works out pretty well.

mark blundell - January 24, 2011 - 6:44 am

Thats sucks – but at least you saved tha camera and lens. you’ll be kicing yourself I’m sure – but often these things are sent as reminders and I’m sure you’ll be super careful next time!

Dave Wilson - January 24, 2011 - 11:01 am

I feel for you! The only time I ever broke a camera was in India, the night before my trip to the Taj Mahal when I fell and landed on my DSLR. The damage cost $300 to fix and left me shooting the Taj with a $150 point-and-shoot instead. Thank goodness I had that as a backup!

Justin - January 25, 2011 - 2:22 pm

About 1o years ago I dropped a Nikon 300 f/4 AFS. Shattered all the glass and bent the barrel. Still haven’t replaced it.

Michael Tuuk - January 27, 2011 - 11:58 am

All I can say is ‘ouch!’. I don’t keep UV filters on the lenses but I always keep the hoods on. Still *some* risk and it makes me nervous at times…