Monday, July 17, 2017

Oh no - I dropped and broke my Canon 24-70mm 2.8 lens!

Want to hear my embarrassing (and slightly frightening) story from a week ago?

As I do on many weekends, I was spending the day with a family photographing their child's bat mitzvah (and for those who are wondering - a bat mitzvah is for girls and a bar mitzvah is for boys). I started taking portraits at 9am, then photographed the bat mitzvah service, and even captured some of the luncheon. Once I was done taking all those photos, I grabbed some food for myself and then made the trip home to cull through the morning's images and build a same day slideshow to project at the evening party. I got home around 1:30pm and started culling through the 1100 images to find the best 250 from the first half of the day.

Once I completed the slideshow, I then found my favorite family photo and retouched it. I then printed that image on some beautiful Hahnemuhle fine art paper using my Canon Pro-1000 printer. My wife then took that printed photo and helped me matte and frame it. This is my gift that I like to give to my clients on the same day as their event. By the time all this was done, it was 4:45pm, and I was running off to take a quick shower and jam back to their party location.

I am not sure if it was the exhaustion (combined with the really hot weather and no air conditioning at the Temple all morning) or the fish I ate at the luncheon (potential allergies) but as I arrived at the party location I was starting to feel sick. Long story short, a couple of minutes later and I did get sick. Luckily there were couches at the conference center so I could lay down and rest for a couple of minutes before the family arrived. One ginger ale later I was back on my feet and ready to tackle the next 5 hours! Feeling much better, I figured that the worst part of the night was behind me. But that was not the case!

There I was, shooting away with both my Canon 5D Mark IV and Canon 1D X Mark II, and all was good. I always have two cameras with me, one mounted with a wide zoom (like the Canon 16-35mm lens) and one with a medium zoom (like the Canon 24-70mm lens or Canon 70-200mm lens). Midway through the party, the music stopped and the speeches commenced. I took photos as the father, the mitzvah girl and even her little brother spoke. After grabbing more shots with the 70-200mm lens, I moved to a different location to get a shot of mom speaking, and decided that the photos would be better using the camera with the Canon 24-70mm lens on it. I quickly unlocked the Canon 1D X MK II from the Acratech Swift Clamp on my Blackrapid strap, and connected the other camera. I then swung the 5D Mark IV up to shoot some photos when I heard something go CLUNK on the floor in front of me. Yep, there went my 24-70mm lens which hit the dance floor hard and proceeded to roll away from me. I must have not mounted that lens onto the camera all the way and there it was rolling away from me and heading right for the mom!  I started moving quickly across the dance floor to try and catch it, but it literally rolled right up to her feet and stopped there, as she continued to speak. Trying not to interrupt her, I bent down, grabbed the lens and nonchalantly moved away.  As I walked away, feeling a bit embarrassed for having this happen in front of 100 people, I went to mount the lens back on the camera. I tried a couple of different times and realized that the lens mount was bent and cracked. This lens was down and out!


I talked to some of the guests later in the evening and they said that I looked very calm during the whole situation. And you know what, I was! Sure, I had just dropped a $2000 lens on the floor and it was broken. But I also knew that as a platinum member of Canon Professional Services, this could be fixed quickly for me. My biggest concern wasn't the cost, since I figured it could be fixed for a reasonable amount, it was that my most used lens for these types of parties was the 24-70mm and I would not have it for the last 2 hours of the evening. For the rest of the night I relied on the Canon 16-35mm III lens and the Canon 70-200mm 2.8 lens for everything. And all was fine.

Here is what happened this week.

Monday - I called the CPS Hotline to arrange shipping for my lens. I also asked for a loaner lens since I would likely need one this week. A little later, I received an email from Canon that included a prepaid overnight FedEx shipping label. I packed up the lens, attached the shipping label, and drove it over to my nearest FedEx store. That was around 4pm. I also received an email from CPS showing that a loaner lens was on the way.

Tuesday - I checked the FedEx tracking number and saw that my broken lens had made it down to the repair facility in Costa Mesa, CA.  About 30 minutes later, a FedEx truck pulled up in front of my house with a loaner 24-70mm lens. This was HUGE for me as I had a big wedding to shoot this weekend.

Wednesday - I received an email from Canon telling me what parts were damaged and needed to be replaced.

Thursday - I approved the $291 cost of repair (which includes 30% off for being a CPS member).

Today - I received word that my lens has been repaired and on it's way back to me. Canon states that most repairs will be done within two days, but in talking to one of the reps, it sounds like (as long as the parts are in stock at the repair facility) they run closer to one day turn around. Amazing!

I do have a local Canon Pro Market Rep in my area, and if things had not worked out so well, I could have called him for help as well. And no, that is not because I get special treatment. If you are a professional photographer and CPS member, you should get to know the Pro Market Rep in your area. They can be a very helpful resource for you!

FYI - If you are a Canon shooter and want to know more about the CPS program, here is their web site.

As I mentioned, this weekend I shot an epic wedding at the Ritz Carlton on the beautiful California Coastline, and the loaner Canon 24-70mm II lens was probably the most used lens in my bag.

Here is one of those shots:


Thank you CPS for being there for me!!!

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4 comments:

Ralph Hightower said...

CPS sounds great. But I am not a professional. Yea, I'm a hobbyist with a 5D III.

Craig Hadfield said...

I think I'd give up a foot rather than my 24-70, I'd be lost without it.

Jordan said...

Great story Jeff - hope you (and your lens) are feeling much better. The wedding shot you posted at the end of your blog is spectacular!

Cynthia said...

So sorry, Jeff, you had this interruption in your event! As a pro, you handled all with class & professionalism. So glad that Canon 'had your back' & were able to 'keep waltzing' with nary a mis-step. Best regards, Cynthia Brown