Breaking glass

A year or two ago, my camera was dropped off the bonnet of a car onto a concrete slab. I won’t say who was responsible for that (it wasn’t me). Astonishingly, nothing appeared to be terribly wrong with the camera. It had its 18-70mm kit lens on, along with a uv filter, and while the lens was a little dented (which prevented me from ever removing the uv filter), it still seemed to function without any problems.

Fast forward to our New Zealand trip, where on our first morning my padded camera bag slipped off my shoulder and dropped to the ground as I was bending down. I picked it up again and didn’t think much of it, because the bag’s padded, and it’s slipped off my shoulder a couple of times before. However (of course, there’s going to be an ominous ‘however’ following up that anecdote), as we walked down to the sea I pulled the camera out of the bag, and clicked together the little opening mechanism on the lens cap to be greeted by a terrible crunching noise. I looked up at the husband with what he described as a blank, frozen expression as I continued to pull the lens cap off to reveal shattered glass underneath.

I stuttered something articulate like, “Oh. my. god. That’s my only landscape lens. We are in New Zealand. Landscapes. New Zealand. Lens. Argh.” The husband took a look, and pointed out that it was only the uv lens that had actually shattered – presumably due to a flaw in the glass from the first time it was dropped. We couldn’t remove the filter, due to the dented end of the lens, so we went over to a bin and smashed out the remaining glass from the filter with our car keys.

The camera still seemed to function perfectly, and the lens continued to take photos that I couldn’t see any flaws in. I took approximately 18 million landscape photos. We realised later when we were in Queenstown that there are actually two tiny star-like cracks in the lens itself, but for some reason they’re not visible to my eye in the photos we take, not even against a clear blue sky. The husband took a photo of me down by the lake. “This can be a record of when you realised your lens was cracked.”

As a result of this little incident, I have stepped up my project to upgrade some of my camera equipment. Well, calling it a project is a bit of a misnomer – it simply involves navigating to an appropriate website and spending rather a lot of money. “Project” indeed. And the “stepping up” has amounted to sending the husband an email helpfully pointing out that I am turning 30 this year (in case he had forgotten), which he must agree is a lovely round number, certainly worth of celebration and the lavishing of gifts upon said 30 year old. I included a list of items and approximate prices. This has not resulted in any positive indications thus far, but the seed is planted. I’m sure it will flourish into a lovely tree, bearing bushels of Nikon fruit.

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