Awww, for Pete's sake... I dropped the friggin' light meter!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Removed Account, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    So I've got this still life going on with a sheep skull and an extremely drippy candle that took about 10 days worth of dripping and a half dozen candles to get the right level of drippiness. I spend a solid 45 minutes setting these two up, adjusting their relative positions, adjusting the light, focusing, messing with depth of field and finally I think I have it right. Take a highlight reading, take a shadow reading, re-check the ground glass to make sure I had read the correct shadow and decide all is well. As I stand up my brain takes a coffee break and I confuse the light meter with the loupe hanging from a lanyard around my neck. Problem is, the light meter is NOT on a lanyard! :mad: It hits the ground and the front faceplate/trigger unit pops off.

    After a momentary panic I inspect it and see that the LCD is still displaying but a wire is free floating. I replace the faceplate and pull the trigger. The LCD still shows the shadow reading but doesn't change. I turn the meter off and on, still seems to be working. At least I had taken a good reading so I went ahead and took the shot, twice (for redundancy) at f/32 and twice at f/16 because the short depth of field looked pretty nifty. I am now hoping and praying that rather than an expensive repair or replacement :sad: all I have to do is enlist someone to re-solder the connection to the trigger. I just bought a 5x7 camera so I'll be short on funds for repair until I make a new budget and sell my 4x5 cams. Anyone have the schematics for a Sekonic L-488 so we can make sure everything else is OK inside? :rolleyes:

    I'd appreciate your stories of equipment mishaps so that I don't feel so bad if I need to replace the meter. :D

    - Justin
     
  2. mark

    mark Member

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    Nope, never did anything of the sort, everything always works out and never F***ed up my favorite lens by stupidly tripping over my shadow and jarring it out of it's holder. Then not noticing as it slid around the pack getting scratched all to hell. So, no never screwed up any equipment.
     
  3. dc1215

    dc1215 Member

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    Two stories.

    I was once photographing a tree in the middle of this big field with grass that was up to my midsection. I pulled out my camera bag and hiked through all of this grass, get there, set up my 8x10, figure out the shot, spend all kinds of time getting right, go to get my light meter and its gone. I didn't zipper my bag up all the way and it fell out somewhere between me and the car...in about 500 feet of 4.5 foot tall grass. I walked back and forth for probably two hours just staring at the ground and hoping I would stumble upon it. I eventually did and contributed it to being nothing short of a miracle.

    Second story. I was in Mexico in January with a friend who also shoots LF. We were sitting in this little city outside of Oaxaca and talking about something, and I asked him if he had ever dropped his camera. He said no, thank god, and we kept talking. Not 1 minute later, the leg to his tripod collapsed and down it went with his camera on top of it. Not so much damage that he couldn't keep shooting, but I continue to feel bad about it to this day.
     
  4. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

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    Not me. I never dropped a brand new LCD "stick"-type thermometer into a 50 gallon steamjacketed kettle full of demi-glace. Nor have I tripped going down a stair and used my camera bag to break my fall. To say nothing of mis-hearing the snap count as nose tackle (and of course it was 4th and inches at the goal line), diving over the center and hitting the QB hard enough to get ejected from the game. :D
     
  5. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I set up my 8x10 in Cascade Creek, Yosemite Valley a couple years ago. I just about knocked it over but managed to grab it...but in doing so, dropped my Pentax Digital Spot into the creek. I fished it out within a couple of seconds before it got swept down the creek.

    I pulled out the battery right away (no water poured out -- a good sign). I was taking a last photo as I was leaving the park, so I did not need to use it anymore that trip (I did not take the photo...I took it as a sign that I was truely done photographing that trip!) A couple days later I finally got brave enough to put the battery back in to see if it still worked. Worked (and still works) fine.

    I have dropped a lens cap or two down cliffs (one of those times was just this past March in Yosemite.)

    Vaughn
     
  6. RoBBo

    RoBBo Member

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    That's how far a friend of mine dropped his meter (same model) about two weeks ago.
    In a panic he ran down to check on it, then yelled back up at me my probable shadow reading from below.
    Works great.
    Surprised to hear yours popped open so fast?

    The rear plate comes off of my Minolta Spot F quite often after minor bangs but it just pops back in without any impact on the insides of the thing.
     
  7. tac

    tac Member

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    Y'all make me feel downright graceful! Of course there was that time I set down my Wide Angle 35mm f/1.4 Summilux M (currently $3,895.00 at B&H) on a wall and walked away. Bummer.
     
  8. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I was using my nice Zone VI modified Pentax spot meter at the edge of some water. I bent over for some reason, and heard what I thought was a frog jumping into the water in front of me. Then noticed bubbles coming up from the water. Frogs, I think to myself, do not make bubbles. And that frog sure looks like the bottom plate of my spot meter. Sure enough, it had fallen out of my vest pocket. I dried it out as best I could on the trip home, dropped it off with my favorite camera repair guy, and after he disassembled and finished drying it out, it works fine to this day.
     
  9. jgcull

    jgcull Subscriber

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    I had a great time at a park taking pictures of this fine old man. When I was packing everything up, in my car, I laid my light meter on top of the Jeep.

    I left the sort of bumpy parking lot, turned right, turned left, turned right, left again, right into a parking spot, went into a store for a quick buy, backed out, pulled off, left again, then left into a gas station. I got out to pump gas and when I leaned over to open the cap, there on top of my car lay my light meter. God had mercy! I'm the sort that needs it.

    I've had a favorite lens just come apart and just fall out of my camera. Believe-it-or-not, my s-i-l took a look, put it back together, and it worked fine (for a while).
     
  10. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    A few months ago I slid down a muddy slope with my M645 slung over my shoulder. Got a lens cap caked with mud, but otherwise fine.

    .... or so I thought. The Sekonic L-188 that came down the slope with me reads a stop too slow now. Took a roll of Fortia to find out :^P
     
  11. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I have NEVER left my K1000 on top of the VW beetle, driven off & had the camera slide down the back of the car with the strap catching the vertical section of the bumper when leaving a traffic light.:D Still worked.
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Two stories:

    A friend bought a new very expensive camera and took it on a rafting/camping trip. He took extraordinary measures to protect it from water and loss into the rapidly moving waters. When the trip was finished, he was taking some final shots on the shore as they took things out of the water.

    A friend of his was standing next to him chewing gum and he took the gum out of his mouth to throw it into the water. As he did, his arm caught the camera strap and lobbed camera and gum out into the middle of the stream. There was no possible way to recover the camera.

    I was roping down a steep rocky slope with my Nikon 2020 slung behind me. As I hit the rock with my feet, the slippery rocks caused me to lose my footing and the camera bounced around between me and the cliff. I crushed the camera against the cliff nearly breaking a rib and ruining my UV filter, hood and the threads on part of the lens. A good lens wrench gave me enough leverage to remove the fiter and hood as one solid unit and the removal straightened the threads enough on the lens to allow a new filter to be screwed in along with a new hood. The lens, a zoom, has never been quite the same. It binds slightly every time I use it, but it works otherwise.

    PE
     
  13. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Not surprised -- both are solid pieces of equipment (VW & K1000)!

    I was photographing a mission in Arizona...made a photo (5x7) from a small hill looking down at the mission. Put the camera/pod on my shoulder and walked to the mission. I stopped to look at one part that AA had made an image of and then walked around to the other side of the mission, set up the camera and spent some time under the darkcloth. Decided to take the photo, reached down for my camera pack and it was gone! How could someone steal my pack so easily! My opinion of the human race was dropping fast.

    Finally it dawned on me that I had left the pack on that hill...it was there safe and sound, my faith in the human race restored (or at least until a couple years later when all that equipment was stolen out of my truck.)

    Vaughn
     
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  15. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I went into a mens room in a park with my new, at the time, Nikon F3 and instead of taking the camera off the tripod I just leaned it up in the corner of the concrete building. As I was turned I heard a whish and it hit the ground running. I had to take it to the shop and have the rewind knob and some electronics replaced. I had that sick to my stomach feeling after it happened. If you live long enough and work enough it's bound to happen eventually. I always think of the guy who lost a complete Hassy system into the Grand Canyon. There wouldn't be anything to look at, you would just have to walk away, wouldn't that be an experience?

    Curt
     
  16. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    An aquaintance of mine got up early to catch the sun rising over a huge field of sunflowers. He waded into the field and got some great shots. As the light increased he took his camera off the tripod and finished the roll. Turned around.....where's the tripod? Thrashed around for awhile, but couldn't find it in the acres and acres of plants taller than him. Always wondered what happened at harvest time.
     
  17. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    Just in case anyone needs to know, I've already done the testing on the bounce-ability of a Soligor one degree digital spot meter. I tried it on concrete rather than starting on grass or a carpet just for the sake of cutting to the chase. The result? NO....Soligor one degree digital spot meters do not bounce, and cannot be dribbled! I sent the test subject to Richard Ritter who repaired it perfectly. It's now ready for another test, but I've suspended the research indefinitely.
     
  18. tommy5c

    tommy5c Member

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    ok so my mishap..... I Own a sekonic meter i cannot read the mode number any more but it's the cine model so i can use it for both photo work and with my video work. so as the story goes i made the mistake of using it at work one day, we were making a PSA about seat belt use. anyway we were out side in a parking lot with three carts full of gear on a windy day, and an impatient producer. so like an idiot i sit my meter down on a cart and double time the setup to help speed things up. about four or five hours later i remember where the hell is my meter?? in a panic i tear apart our gear looking for it. only to have someone else much later and drop off my meter that they had found in the parking lot. it had been bounced off when we were packing up. it looked pristine before i opened the case to discover it had been run over by a car. to sekonic's credit the meter's only major damage was the lcd screen was shattered. making it unusable.. that reminds me i still have that meter and i need to see if i can get it fixed...
     
  19. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Minor by comparison but how about investing in a Jobo, colour paper, analyser and chems for film and print processing then deciding I had wasted a lot of money because no matter what I did all the prints came out red! I checked temps, order of chems, analyser determined filter settings, then altered them and all to no avail. A darkroom is the loneliest place in the world when there is no-one else there to ask and get support from.

    Was it all going to go on e-bay at firesale prices after admitting to the wife that I had wasted our precious money? I looked towards heaven without much hope( I'd heard He was a B&W man himself) and as luck would have it, in so doing noticed that the lever keeping the dichroic filters out of the way was still keeping the filters out of the way!

    Eureka! As Pythagoras said when he had worked out that right angled triangles don't belong in bathwater. Relieved? I nearly paid my TV licence!

    pentaxuser
     
  20. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

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    My mother reminded me recently that my one of my cousins damn near got herself disowned when she left her mom's (my aunt's) Rolleiflex 2.8E sitting on a bench at Disneyland. I think walking away from the Leica 35 f1.4 lens wins, though. :D
     
  21. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    Years ago I lost my 50mm Zeiss lens, bummer. Two days later I was driving along a rough road and kept hearing banging on the roof of my Jeep. You guessed it. I left it on the roof! Amazingly it was perfectly ok even though it bounced around for two days on my roof without any caps on it. DOH!
     
  22. phaedrus

    phaedrus Member

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    I seem to have lost my Minox LX. Now why do they make these things so darn small?
    On the other side of the format spectrum, I've stupidly thrown a LF lens into my open backpack a few feet away on the ground when I wanted to throw the pouch for film holders that was in my other hand. Didn't miss, worked fine afterwards.
     
  23. Bandicoot

    Bandicoot Member

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    I once dropped a lens cap into the sea - a Hasselblad lens cap, naturally. The very next day was really windy and a second Hasselblad lens cap blew out of my hand and also landed in the sea. Nowhere on the island could sell me a generic replacement so the rest of the trip those two lenses had caps made from cardboard held on with rubber bands to keep the grit off them.

    Several years before that I fell on an Andean glacier (having lent my ice axe to someone else, duh) with a Pentax Spotmatic round my neck. I rolled onto my stomach as I rocketed down the ice and got my knife out, unfolded it, and managed to use it to stop myself just short of some rather nasty looking rocks. The camera had a big dent in the top of the pentaprism, but still worked.

    Oh, and a couple of years before that I had a bag full of gear fall out of a Land-Rover I was driving at about 50mph over a very bumpy Iraqi desert. Looking in the mirror as I skidded to a halt I could see the bag rolling and bouncing behind me. One of the bodies metered about a stop and a half too low afterwards but everything else was fine.

    I suppose I've been lucky :D


    Peter
     
  24. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    lens cap?? Oops!

    I've lost many Nikon lens caps over the years - watched them float off down rivers, bounce down cliffs, or just noticed they were gone after a scramble over rough or brushy ground.
    The one Hasselblad lens cap that I've lost was not my fault. I put it down inside my open camera bag (right beside me) as I prepared for my shot and a crow swooped down, grabbed it and flew off into the trees.
    If anyone finds a Hassy lens cap in/near Heather Campsite at the end of Lake Cowichan, it's mine.
     
  25. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Sly:

    A crow with really good taste :smile:.

    Hope the snow this weekend didn't cause too much trouble for you.

    Matt
     
  26. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    Power outage, cold house, plans to work in garden scrapped. Otherwise, just another weekend in paradise. The snow's about half melted now.