Last week I was down in Houston shooting a wedding when I decided to do a quick circle around the church to scout out possible formal portait locations for after the ceremony. I was walking with my Shootsac camera bag looped around me, my 50D hanging on my right side, and my 5DMarkII in my left hand. I was wearing my black Danskos, which are great for preventing sore feet from all of the standing/walking, but awful in other ways because the heel is so high that I frequently turn my ankle over and look quite clumsy and feel all sorts of dumb. I was looking around for shady spots and not paying attention to where I was going when I stepped on some uneven pavement and turned my heel. I went down on my left knee (no worries, baby and I are both fine!) and in the process ended up using the front of my 5DMarkII to help break my fall.
When I got back up again, my camera looked a little something like this:
I was sick to my stomach that I had busted my lens and cost myself over $1000 in the process, but there was a wedding to attend to and the show must go on! The camera was working fine so I took the lens off and put it away for the day. The next day I found out that my clumsiness only cost me $26.99+tax. How?
A little thing called a UV filter.
When I first started buying lenses Kelli Nicole told me “Get UV filters right away!” I read up on them and definitely found a multitude of opinions concerning them. Some photographers swear by them because they protect your lens investment, others hate them because they don’t like the idea of putting a $50 circle of glass on a lens that cost them $150o. I decided I wanted to take Kelli Nicole’s advice and bought UV filters for all of my lenses. I now owe Kelli Nicole big time for teaching me this important step. She’s in Houston. Hire her.
To put a UV filter on your lenses (which, obviously, after this experience I think you should) you need to figure out two things:
1. The diameter of your lens. You can find this number by looking at the lens itself.
2. Do a little bit of googling to figure out what brand will work best for you. I’m using Hoya brand Ultraviolet UV(0) Haze Multi-Coated Glass Filters on my lenses.
When you receive them all you need to do is screw them on to the front of your lenses, and then leave them there for good. Protected lens = peace of mind.
Also, don’t trip and fall and use your camera to brace yourself on the way down.