So, a long time ago (in blogging time, in real time about a year and a half) I announced that I had broken the auto focus on my 50mm f/1.8 lens. The cheapest lens I own, but also one with the most beautiful image quality. I mean, who doesn't love a 1.8? That soft, luscious bokeh (out of focus area for those not initiated into the photography geek club) is a small miracle. So, a minor tragedy. Minor because it wasn't much out of pocket to replace the lens, tragedy because, you know, one of my favorite lenses was broken.
Since not much of anyone read my blog at the time, no one really commiserated with me. And so when Evan discovered that my lens was fine, it was just a firmware (software) bug with the camera body that was causing the problem, I did a private little dance of joy and forgot all about it. And so did everyone else.
Now, in general I just might be a little hard on my camera gear. I have taken most of it to at least 10 countries, you know. I change lenses when it's dusty if I have no other option. Some salty spray has reached my camera body, and yes, from time to time I just throw a couple lenses in my everyday bag. Because, just in case I need them, you know? I might. It might be a life and death scenario where if I didn't have my telephoto things could get hairy. And I always always always carry my camera body with me.
Until recently, no harm no foul. Not even any scratches. (And let the record state that the lens caps and end caps are always attached to the lenses.) Until the morning when I stuck my hand into my bag and pulled out... half of my 50mm lens. Heart palpitations ensued, I fished around and pulled out the other half. Best I can guess sticking it into the bag with the lens hood attached was not such a good idea, as this created the opportunity for enough leverage to pull the lens into two pieces. So there I was with my lens in two pieces and still needing to get to work on time.
I put it down, tried not to cry, and went to work. What else could I do? I figured it was a good excuse to pony up the money for a 50mm f/1.4, but not for a few more months at least, when I could maybe convince myself that I deserved a new lens after treating my old one so badly.
After work, I showed Evan my sad two pieces. And he..... popped them back together. Somehow. And now there's this disquieting grinding sound when the lens focuses, but it kind of works. Amazingly.
So anyway the moral of this ridiculously long post is this: treat your lenses well. Thank them. Coddle them. Embrace them. And if you must throw them into your bag, take the lens hood off first!