My friend Joel Dunbar (http://joeldunbar.smugmug.com/) sent me an email that sent shivers up my spine.
Joel had been in his local wetland photographing and was walking out. Like many of us with large glass, he had the camera and lens (600mm F4) on his Gitzo thrown over his shoulder. As he reached the top of a levee, the mounting platform of his Gitzo came out of the ‘spider’. Camera and lens hit the ground breaking the lens near the section where the focus limiting controls are located (see image at end of post).
Joel was understandably upset.
I started researching options for repairs. I have had mixed results with Canon Repair but it looked like the best bet. We looked at Canon Professional Services (CPS) and found that Joel qualified for Gold membership,which had a discount for repairs. He contacted Canon and arranged to join and sent the lens in for repair. I’m glad to report that he got the lens back in a very short period of time and looks like all is well…for less than I would have ever imagined.
Molly and I are thinking very hard about joining CPS after seeing the results from Joel’s experience.
Once I heard that Joel had the lens come off the platform on the tripod, I talked with Jeff Kezele about the Gitzo Safety Assurance Plate (http://www.outdoorphotogear.com/store/gitzo-safety-assurance-plate-for-gitzo-3-series-tripods.html). He said he had one and it worked. I bought them for Molly and my tripods. Sent the link to Joel and he is buying one as well.
Something to think about if you are hanging heavy glass on these tripods. The newest model has been designed to not have this problem. However, if you do not have the latest version, I’d suggest you consider getting one of these plates.
If you decide not to buy the safety plate– at least tighten the star bolt monthly and keep your fingers crossed.
click to enlarge image