Ever see a grown man cry?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Travis Nunn, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    I finally got a day to my self to go hiking and shoot some film. Everything was great, I was going to hike to one of my favorite waterfalls. I stopped on the way to shoot some great ice formations along a small cascade and that's when it happened. I forgot to secure a strap on my backpack and the zipper opened and BAM! my RB67 took a tumble onto a large boulder and into the stream. It was only in the water for 5-10 seconds, but the damage was done.

    My film back is toast, thats where it landed on the boulder. The lens has probably about a teaspoon of water in it, the body is a little wet inside, but not too bad, and the prism looks to have a little moisture in it. I can get a bargain grade ProS body from KEH for less than $100.

    My problem now is do I spend the money to fix the lens (if it can be fixed) and get the body looked at to make sure everything is ok? The prism looks to have a little moisture in it, but if the meter still works, I can live with that for a while. Any suggestions in my time of grief?
     
  2. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    That Sucks
     
  3. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    My condolences, sorry to hear this, I don't know if it worse to be able to recover it from the water, or to loose it forever, I lost a very expensive 35mm lens a few years ago, over the side in Yellowstone lake, so know what your feeling.

    Dave
     
  4. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    Dave, I know what you mean. After recovering the camera, I sat down and disassembled the camera drying everything off as much as I could. It would almost be easier to have seen it go down the stream and over the falls. I was so upset that i never made it down to the waterfall. All I could think of was how I could have been so careless to not secure my backpack properly.

    To make things worse, a roll of film was in it and there was only one shot left. I don't know how it will turn out yet. I'll develop it tonight to see how it looks.
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Travis, I have been told by expert camera repair people that the best thing to do is to rinse the affected equipment with distilled water to remove all salts from the camera that were touched by the stream water. Otherwise, the salts can have a worsening effect as they stay in contact with the camera and lens.

    I don't know how much you should use, whether you should dunk it or what. I was told by one repair person that a soaking was needed with several changes of water if the camera landed in salt water, but I don't know the details of fresh water.

    Another thing that they told me is to not let the equipment dry out. Put it into a baggie without the batteries and keep it damp.

    I have never had the misfortune to need to test this advice, so I cannot speak to its accuracy. I suggest that you check this route out with a reputable camera repair person ASAP.

    PE
     
  6. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Travis,
    We all take our beloved, expensive, sometimes irreplacable equipment into hostile environments where they can be damaged or stolen. If we didn't, so many beautiful, precious images would never be made. There are many stories similar to yours. Mine involves a Zeiss 28mm T* that was abruptlty introduced to a sidewalk while juggling primes. Don't beat yourself up about it. It is sad to lose a camera or lens but think of the wonderful images that would be lost if you kept that RB nice and safe in a closet.
     
  7. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    PE is right, dump the gear in a bag of distilled water and run to your repairman. If you get it done before any corrosion sets in it'll be fine. 'Cept for the back, RIP.
     
  8. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    Neal, you're right, I'll get over it when my gear is either fixed or replaced. I just got the RB recently and I've fallen in love with it. At least I didn't lose my whole backpack. I'd have lost my 127mm lens for the RB and my Canon EOS3 and 400mm lens.

    Gary, PE, thanks for the info. I have to wait until Monday to take the gear to a repair person. I think that for the money they cost I'll just get a new body. The lens, on the other hand, is a bit more so I'm going to take that to the repair guy.
     
  9. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    PE is right. Corrosion is the big enemy in the body. If corrosion doesn't set in, there is a good chance a good repairman can save the body. Last year I got caught in the rain with my Pentax 645. The prism got wet and became partially desilvered - it had to be replaced. If the lens drains decently, it may be possible to save it. I would worry about water marks on the coating and possible corrosion of the metal parts. Lens repairs are expensive when a complete realignment is needed, as is likely here.
     
  10. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    That really sucks - my sympathies. I recently had my gear stolen, so I feel for you. Its an empty feeling and a whole lot of "I should have...!" type thoughts. In my case, among the stolen equipment was a very nice "L" lens for my Canon FD's - the sad thing is, I got it by sheer dumb luck by trading a cheap lens for it at a pawn shop that basically sold lenses by the foot (long ones are worth more than short ones, long fat ones more than long skinny ones, etc:smile:) - Its waaaay out of my range to replace. Take some solace in the fact that you can at least salvage something out of this mishap.

    And you know... many people pre-soak films:smile: (this was meant to cheer you up, if it didn't please disregard!)

    Best of luck with this conundrum,

    Peter.
     
  11. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    Peter, you never know, go back and visit the same pawn shop and they may have another "cheap/short" lens you can get. One thing I've learned about pawn shops and thrift stores is that you have to go daily.

    The way I figure it, I can replace the body cheaply. The one that took a swim today was a used "Bargain" grade ProS body from KEH. I can get the same body, same grade for less than $100. The back I can get for around $100. The lens will cost between $200 and $300. If this wasn't Christmas time and if I weren't going to Venezuela for 2 weeks in a month I'd have the money to replace it all, but right now my money is spoken for.

    I took the prism apart and there was really almost no moisture in the body of the prism so that's encouraging. I can't test the meter because the batteries drained pretty quickly, I'll get some batteries for that tomorrow. The film stuck to the paper a little so I'm assuming I lost a few shots, but I think a few will be ok.
     
  12. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Travis,

    I do hit the pawn shops on a regular basis - I find that the average-to-worthless stuff is actually overpriced, while the gems are sold for a fraction of their worth because of this by-the-foot mentality:smile: Sadly, they are also much more rare.
    I wish I could offer some help as to your particular predicament, as I know of a guy in my area who is very capable and beyond reasonable price wise ( a friend of mine had his RB67 looked after there a few times and always with stellar results) unfortunately, its a local shop. As good as he is, I am sure you have people near (or at least more so) that are at least equally qualified.
    Too bad about the film - the only upside to my recent robbery was that all the film of the wedding I shot when the theft occured was elsewhere.
    I also totally mised the backing paper issue... that may be a monkey wrench.
    I sincerely hope that you manage to slavage the lens as it is the most pricey item...
    Those RB67's... man, they can gather momentum in a hurry - I saw what my friend's RB did to another buddy's sunglasses when left unattended in the backseat of a moving car, I can only imagine what it can do to itself given a little help from gravity...and some rocks. Truly sucks, especially since you are going away, its not something you want in the back of your head while you are trying to enjoy a trip!

    Peter.
     
  13. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    I've nearly lost my hasselblad on two "occasions". Last year I got my camera/darkroom/studio equipment insured in a separte policy to my home insurance and includes international travel, theft etc.

    Its really great peace of mind, your scenario is my worst nightmare. Hope you recover quickly.
     
  14. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    loss

    Sorry about the loss. Richard Ritter who repairs camras; usually LF ones told me an easy solution for this problem where you don't have to lose your camera or lense. Simply place the equipment in a plastic bag along with some deicer crystals (this part in not sure so I hope Richard will see this and chime in-whatever it was it was readily available from the hardware store) but place the entire thing in the microwave for a few short seconds and the whole thing will dry out. Told me it worked like charm and has saved several lenses and bodies this way....
    Best Peter
     
  15. Ralf

    Ralf Member

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    Same over here. After the theft of my Rollei MF, I got insurance for every piece of equipment. It's cheaper than one might think. It even includes payment for damages done by sheer stupidity of the owner.
     
  16. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    A microwave and deicer crystals eh? There's a lot of water in the lens, but its worth trying. As far as the body goes, it took a bigger hit then what I previously thought so I'm just going to replace it, bodies are cheap. The lens on the other hand is worth trying to save. Thanks for the info Peter. I guess next week I'll start looking for insurance.

    The film developed alright, not the best negatives, but they're usable.
     
  17. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Just be sure to flush the resident water out of the lens with distilled before trying to dry it, the salts in the water will leave deposits on the glass.
     
  18. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

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    Be careful or you will need to buy a new microwave, too. Metal can cause sparks and such.

    Robert
     
  19. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    I got water in a lens some time ago, not as much as you and it was rain water. I got a freezer bag and drying crystals from a hearing aid shop. I put the lens in the bag airtight with and changed these crystals each day [they changed colour when "full".
    Lens was perfect after several days
     
  20. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    I'm going to drop the lens off at my camera repair guy today. I'm going to replace the body and the back. I took the prism apart and it was pretty dry inside, very little moisture but now the meter doesn't work. With the bare wires and solder joints in there I figure that something got fried which shouldn't be a big deal to fix for someone knowledgeable about that sort of stuff.
     
  21. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    RBs are built like tanks.... don't worry too much.

    I have seen these RBs go through some real bad falls as well as get dropped off boats and recovered days later and still make it through fine. These cameras are built like tanks and take a real beating before dropping dead.

    There are a couple internal foam seals that will hold moisture for a long time and that is where the trouble will most likely effect the camera. Changing them is no big deal but the camera has to completely opened and washed out as well as the shutter n lens, all seals have to be relaced.

    If you'd like, I can do my best to recover it for you at a very reasonable price, e-mail me at automax1@juno.com and we can discuss it further?

    If you are trashing anything that can't be repaired, I will buy it for the parts?

    Paul, NYC