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Old Jan 1, 2007, 4:49 PM   #1
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Hey all, I am thinking of eventually upgrading to an SLR and was curious about how strong they are.

Like would a lens have a chance of surviving a 5 foot fall for example or would the lens elements just shatter?

I also assume there would be a different between cheap largely plastic lenses and more expensive metal ones, is this true?
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Old Jan 1, 2007, 5:01 PM   #2
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A 5-foot fall on to what? Grass, I bet that would be ok.
Pavement... now you're asking a lot.

I've dropped a very big lens off my head (ouch!) and then on to pavement. Optically it was fine, but the electronics were dead as were the camera.

Most lenses are now some form of plastic. The lens mount (what attaches to the camera) might be metal, but most lens bodies are plastic.

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Old Jan 1, 2007, 6:52 PM   #3
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they have just as much chance of surviving a 5 foot drop as about any other electronic device, which is pretty slim. they just don't design them to be dropped. But as eric says, depends a lot on what they are dropped on and also how they land. I just read a post about a guy who's girl friend dropped his panasonic lumix and now the zoom doesn't work and the lcd is shattered, and I bet it didn't fall 5'. Not sure if he dropped her afterwords or not though.
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Old Jan 1, 2007, 9:08 PM   #4
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I drove off after having left a Minolta srT-101 on the roof of my car. As I accelerated, I heard it sliding. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw it bounce off my trunk lid and then roll along the pavement.

The lens was fine except for the filter mounting threads, whichwere pretty banged up. (The body wasfine except all the corners wererounded off, and the back got all twisted when it opened up.)

This was not a AF lens, so I can't vouch for the electronics, but the optics should be fine.
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Old Jan 1, 2007, 9:44 PM   #5
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It depends on the lens. Engineering plastics can be quite strong but I am not going to test that with my lens collection.




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Old Jan 1, 2007, 10:17 PM   #6
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Okay, thank you all. I don't plan on dropping them 5 feet, but I do have another question.

How solid is the lenses attachment to the camera? I've read of telephoto lenses weighing 10 pounds. Wouldn't that weight snap the connection between the camera and the lens, especially if the lens was fairly long? (Assuming you are handholding the camera).

Is it possible to attach the lens wrong so that it will fall off the camera? (Well obviously it's possible, but is it easy to do?)
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Old Jan 1, 2007, 11:31 PM   #7
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Morag2 wrote:
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Okay, thank you all. I don't plan on dropping them 5 feet, but I do have another question.

How solid is the lenses attachment to the camera? I've read of telephoto lenses weighing 10 pounds. Wouldn't that weight snap the connection between the camera and the lens, especially if the lens was fairly long? (Assuming you are handholding the camera).

Is it possible to attach the lens wrong so that it will fall off the camera? (Well obviously it's possible, but is it easy to do?)
You'd have to buy a HUGE telephoto lens to have one that weighs 10 pounds. The Canon 100-400 L with image stabilization weighs less than 4 pounds. You have to own one of those huge, $3/4,000 fast tele lenses to get the weight up above 5 pounds. If you own a lens like the 100-400L, I would always carry the outfit by the lens, especially if you're talking about a Digital Rebel.

Regarding the mis-mounting of a lens, you've just got to learn the mounting of the lens if you are going to use an SLR of any type, film or digital, andit's not brain surgery. There's an index on the body and lens. You mount the lens and bodywith the two indexes next to each other and twist until they click. If you can't figure it out, get some help from the store clerk (the best reason for buying at a local store).
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Old Jan 2, 2007, 12:07 AM   #8
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Alright, thank you!
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Old Jan 2, 2007, 5:39 AM   #9
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I own one of those 10lb lenses (the Canon 600mm f4 @ 11.8lb.)

If you tried to hand hold it by just holding the camera body.... I don't know, maybe it would snap off the lens mount. I can say that it is so heavy that you wouldn't do it that way. You *always* put one hand (for me, my left) under the lens around where the tripod foot is (I swing the tripod foot up to the top of the lens) and the other on the side of the camera body like you do for all lenses.

But it is so heavy you can't really hand-hold it for very long (10-20 seconds, maybe) before you have to put it down. It is so front heavy (the front element is so big) that everyone I know that has one doesn't hand hold it (I rarely do.) Now the 500mm f4 is very hand holdable, I know people who do that (djb who posts here does.)

Needless to say, both of those lenses have a metal lens mount, as does the 100-400L.

Learning to mount lenses and holding a dSLR is quite easy to do. They weigh more than a P&S lens, but they are quite manageable (and if not, like in the above cases - you use a tripod.)

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Old Jan 2, 2007, 1:07 PM   #10
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Thanks Eric! I know I'm not strong enough to handhold a 10 pound lens for very long, except I might be a bit prepared for the extra weight seeing as I sometimes shoot with my Kodak P850 and a 1.7x Teleconverter so the weight is up to about 3 pounds, far heavier than a little pocket camera although I suspect I'll still have a bit of extra weight with a DSLR.

Well thank you all for the help everyone.
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