Bad Luck and Trouble: A Tiny Meteorite Appeared to Have Struck the Mirror of My Main D850 Body … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Bad Luck and Trouble: A Tiny Meteorite Appeared to Have Struck the Mirror of My Main D850 Body ...

What’s Up?

Me. Early. Very early on Thursday June 6. I fly to Toronto at 7:00am today. After a nearly five-hour layover, I continue on to Thunder Bay, Ontario (YQT) and then finally and hopefully board the one hour flight to Dryden (YHD). I am scheduled to arrive at 5:10am Central time. Total time in the air will be less than six hours but this will be a very long travel day. I should have good internet every day and will be back in the office on June 18. Jim and Jen will be around for those who need help with their orders or with IPT deposits.

My Active Release Therapy chiropractor TJ McKeon, told me about a nice Northern Mockingbird nest in his neighbor’s azalea bush. While I rarely if ever photograph songbird nests, I did visit twice. For close work, the SONY rig is unmatched. Photos soon.

Bad Luck and Trouble

Bad Luck and Trouble is the eleventh book in the Jack Reacher series written by Lee Child. It was published in 2007 and is written in the third person. The title is derived from the song lyrics by singer Albert King “Born Under a Bad Sign”. As I have long been a huge Jack Reacher fan, I thought that the book title would make a good title for today’s blog post.

Do understand that when the tiny meteorite struck, it had been a very long time since I pointed a long lens at the sun … As you will learn below, the accident was a total fluke. The lens was repaired quickly by NPS and has been back in action for a while.

My Final Offer: Huge Late-registration UK Puffins, Gannets, and Red Kites Instructional Photo-Tour Discount Increased Again!

The late-registration discount has been increased to $4,000.00.

The New, Expanded 2019 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT. Seahouses, Bempton Cliffs, and the Dunbar, Scotland Gannet boat to Bass Rock! Thursday June 27 (from EDI) through Tuesday, July 9, 2019 (on the ground; fly home on Wednesday July 10.): $9,999. Limit 5 photographers/Openings: 1

In an effort to fill a single remaining slot, I have increased the late-registration discount for this great IPT from $3,000.00 to $4000.00. Click here and scroll down a bit for complete details. Please e-mail for additional information.


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Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charged a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. They went out of business. And e-Bay fees are now up to 13%. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please scroll down here or shoot us an e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly — I offer pricing advice to those who agree to the terms — usually sells in no time flat. Over the past year, we have sold many dozens of items. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 100-400, the old 500mm, the EOS-7D and 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. Most recently the price of used Canon 600mm f/L IS II lenses have been dropping like a rock with the introduction of the 600 III. You can always see the current listings by clicking here or on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

As used gear sales have slowed a bit in recent months — especially with dSLR bodies, there are lots of great buys right now both below and on the Used Gear Page.

Very Recent Sales

After being patient for many months, Allen Dale sold his Canon 300mm f/4 L IS USM lens in near-mint for a BAA record-low $624.00 in early June, 2019.

Peter Noyes sold his Sony Alpha a9 (ILCE 9) Mirrorless Digital Camera Body in like-new condition for the crazy low price of $2698.00 the first day of listing.

Eric Chen sold his Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM with internal Extender 1.4X lens in like-new condition for the BAA record-low price by far of $6999.00 within days of listing.

Top BAA Used Gear page seller Jim Keener sold his Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 IS L II lens in excellent plus condition for $899.00 and the Canon 1.4X III/2X III/Extension Tube Bundle for $598.00 both shortly after these items were listed in May 2019.

New Listings

Sigma Contemporary 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG Lens for Canon

Sheldon Goldstein, multiple IPT participant, is offering a Sigma Contemporary 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG Lens for Canon in like-new condition for $725.00. The sale includes a Wimberley P-30 plate, the lens cap, the rear cap, the protective case, carrying straps for the lens and case, the Sigma USB Dock UD-2 for firmware updates, and insured Fed-Ex Ground shipping to lower 48 US addresses. Your lens will ship after your check clears unless another payment method is used.

Please contact Shelly via e-mail or by phone at 1-646-423-0392 (Eastern time).

I have seen many sharp and wonderful images created with this versatile lens on several IPTs. artie

Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens

Sheldon Goldstein, multiple IPT participant, is offering a Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens in like-new condition, for $750.00. The sale includes a Wimberley P-30 mount, the lens cap, the rear cap, the protective case, and insured Fed-Ex Ground shipping to lower 48 US addresses. Your lens will ship after your check clears unless another payment method is used.

Please contact Shelly via e-mail or by phone at 1-646-423-0392 (Eastern time).

I put the 400 f/5.6 lens on the map back in the mid-1990s. I affectionately called it my “toy lens.” It is lightweight and super sharp. I created many 100s of saleable images with it including my best early flight shots. I used it on a tripod to create Blizzard in Blue. With Fuji Veliva 50 pushed one stop to ISO 100. πŸ™‚ . artie

Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG HSM Lens for Canon

Sheldon Goldstein, multiple IPT participant, is offering a Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG HSM lens for Canon in like-new condition for $850.00. The sale includes the lens cover, the rear cap, the protective carrying case, and insured Fed-Ex Ground shipping to lower 48 US addresses. Your lens will ship after your check clears unless another payment method is used.

Please contact Shelly via e-mail or by phone at 1-646-423-0392 (Eastern time).

This lens is designed for use with full-frame Canon digital cameras; it offers a dramatically ultra-wide coverage with field-of-views ranging from 122Β° to 84.1Β° making it ideal for dramatic landscape photography. It is a superb architectural lens that is great for creating images of the tightest of interiors. Using Canon bodies with APS-C sensors (like the 7D Mark II) will give you an effective zoom range of 17-35mm. B&H

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Money Saving Reminder

If you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H, would enjoy free overnight shipping, and would like a $50 discount on your first purchase, click here to order and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If you are looking to strike a deal on Canon or Nikon gear (including the big telephotos) or on a multiple item order, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell at (479) 381-2592 (Eastern time) and be sure to mention your BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order. Steve currently has several D850s in stock along with a Nikon 600mm f/4 VR. He is taking pre-orders for the new Nikon 500 P and the Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera body.


Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of photographers whom I see in the field and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

d850-wide-view-of-the-mirror

This image was also created on my pool deck on May 2, 2019. I used the Induro GIT 304L/FlexShooter Pro-mounted Sigma APO Macro 150mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens for Nikon F and my back-up Nikon D850 . ISO 800. Matrix metering at about 1 2/3 stop: 1/8 sec. at f/16 in Manual mode.

Full frame image of the damaged D850 mirror assembly

Bad Luck and Trouble …

I love using long lenses and teleconverters to photograph the sun as long as it is muted by light clouds or mist or fog. I have heeded the warnings and not pointed my rig directly at the shining brightly sun. When the accident described below happened, I could not remember the last time that I created a large-in-the-frame sun.

At some point about six weeks ago, down by the lake near my home, I noticed a small black blob along the lower part of the frame as I looked through the viewfinder. My first thought was to check an image. As the blob was not present in any images, I knew that the problem had something to do with the mirror assembly. I removed the lens and saw a decent-sized smudge on the mirror and a tiny black circular blob that seemed to be stuck to the edge of the mirror.

When I got back home I took a look at the mirror box (after removing the lens and the front body cap of course). It looked as if perhaps there was a dead bug stuck to the edge of the mirror. I got a pair of tweezers and attempted to remove the “dead bug” only to find that it was something solid that was very solidly attached to the edge of the mirror. I was unable to remove it. Perhaps it was a screw?

I grabbed my Sigma APO Macro 150mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Lens for Nikon F, added my remaining D850, and mounted the rig on the FlexShooter Pro. I framed up a tight image of the mirror box (above) and created a few images at f/16.

close-up-of-D850-mirror

This image was also created on my pool deck on May 2, 2019. I used the Induro GIT 304L/FlexShooter Pro-mounted Sigma APO Macro 150mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens for Nikon F and my back-up Nikon D850 . ISO 800. Matrix metering at about 1 2/3 stop: 1/8 sec. at f/16 in Manual mode.

Enlarged image of the damaged D850 mirror showing the fused blob

When I viewed an enlarged image (immediately above) I was stunned. It looked as if a tiny meteorite had struck the mirror at high speed, left burn marks in its track (the aforementioned smudge), and then melded itself to the edge of the mirror. As it looked as if there was something metal fused to the edge of the mirror I immediately thought of something molten … I thought it possible that the sun had caused the damage, but again, I knew that I had never pointed my Nikon 600 at the sun in ages. At least intentionally …

I sent the photos here to Patrick who replied, That is definitely sun damage. Only the sun concentrated rays of the sun could melt the inside of a camera body.

I then came to the realization that at some point I had left my lens unattended on the tripod with the lens inadvertently pointed at the sun for at least a few minutes. Note the slight arc to the smudge; that was somehow caused as the sun followed its curved path through the sky …

The Lesson

Be Careful Out There

Remember. Be careful out there. That was the trademark phrase of Sergeant Phil Esterhaus (played by Michael Conrad β€” 1925–1983) that was in the opening of each episode of Hill Street Blues. The repairs for my sun-damaged D850 cost me about $325.

You can bet your bottom dollar that for at least the next thirty years I will remember to point my lens down and away from the sun when I take a break in the field …

DBII-cover

The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II).

You can order your copy from the BAA Online Store here, by sending a Paypal for $40 here, or by calling Jim or Jennifer weekdays at 863-692-0906 with your credit card in hand.

The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II)

You will find roughly one zillion great Photoshop tips — including all of my personalized Keyboard Shortcuts — covered in detail in the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II), an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. Learn more and check out the free excerpt in the blog post here. While the new e-Guide reflects my Macbook Pro/Photo Mechanic/DPP 4/Photoshop workflow, folks using a PC and/or BreezeBrowser will also benefit greatly by studying the material on DB II. Do note that you will find the RGB Curves Adjustment Color Balancing tutorial only in the new e-guide. Note: folks working on a PC and/or those who do not want to miss anything Photoshop may wish to purchase the original Digital Basics along with DB II while saving $15 by clicking here to buy the DB Bundle.

The two most recent and many of the older MP4 Photoshop Tutorial videos releases go hand and hand with the information in DB II): Note: all of the videos are now priced at an amazingly low $5.00 each.

  • The Wingtip Repairs MP4 Video here.
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Folks who learn well by following along rather than by reading can check out the complete collection of MP 4 Photoshop Tutorial Videos by clicking here.

Though I have become more proficient converting my Nikon RAW (NEF) files in Adobe Camera Raw, I continue to optimize my old Canon images in DPP 4. You can learn how and why I converted (and still convert) nearly all of my Canon digital RAW files in DPP 4 in the DPP 4 RAW Conversion Guide here. And, yes, I still have many Canon images to work on. πŸ™‚ RAW conversions with DPP 4 are straightforward once you enter the camera/ISO specific recipes (as detailed in the DPP 4 RAW Conversion Guide). After using ACR to convert my Nikon (and more recently, my SONY) image for more than a year, I have begun converting all of my SONY and Nikon RAW files in Capture One Pro 12.

You can learn advanced Quick Masking and advanced Layer Masking techniques in APTATS I & II and save $15 by purchasing the pair.

Folks can learn sophisticated sharpening and NeatImage Noise Reduction techniques in The Professional Post Processing Guide by Arash Hazeghi and yours truly. Please use this link to purchase NeatImage.

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Typos

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15 comments to Bad Luck and Trouble: A Tiny Meteorite Appeared to Have Struck the Mirror of My Main D850 Body …

  • Thats really bad luck, hope you’re alright though.

  • avatar Matt

    Relieved to know i am not the only Better Beamer scarred. And thanks for sharing this story… a huge reminder for the rest of us!

  • avatar Glen

    “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two.” I borrowed the slogan for Farmers Insurance because if you’ve been around photography for more decades that some like to admit you see some crazy things. I had not seen this kind of damage before, but mental note made on this one.

    What I have seen before is sun damage done with direct sunlight entering the viewfinder of an Olympus mirrorless camera. The net effect was that the view through the camera looks like it has been slimed with green gelatin ala Ghostbusters! Pretty messed up, but for me not worth the repair.

    The Better Beamer issue is one that has been the scourge of many wildlife/flash photographers. My solution is a used Nikon SB 26/28 strobe dedicated to a beamer rig. After a while the laser-like burns become old war wounds on an inexpensive flash. The sun is usually our friend but put a fresnel lens between it and expensive photo gear and you get some serious solar scars! Thanks for this one Art, it is one hot topic!

  • Maybe the lens wasn’t pointed directly at the sun but towards a reflection off of water?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Doubtful unless it was the calmest day every recorded. And even then that would be a stretch … As I recall, the problem began while I was down by the lake photographing vultures high in a tree. With the sun behind me as almost always.

      a

  • avatar Roger Botting

    My Better Burner has left more than a few marks on one of my flashes.
    Enjoy the fishing and the black fly.

  • Thanks for the lesson. Sorry about the damage. So kind of you to share with us this faux paux. Have a wonderful get away fishing trip. Be safe and have a whale of a tale for us when you get back. Leave a few for the rest of us!

  • avatar Bill Eaton

    If you are a Lee Child fan you might also enjoy John Sanford’s books.

  • avatar Jordan Cait

    Hi Artie,

    Thanks for the interesting story about your “meteor” – good lesson for us all.

    Have you tried using grammarly.com? It is pretty darn good.

    Since you specifically asked for them, here are some typos I found.

    While I rarely if ever photograph songbird nests, I did vist twice.
    Jim and Jen will be around for those who needs
    I have increased the the late-registration
    I have seen many shapr and wonderful images
    I affecitonately called it my β€œtoy lens.”
    At some point abuot six weeks ago
    As he blob
    Perhaps at was a screw?
    Yuo will find roughly one zillion
    once you enter enter the camera/ISO specific recipes
    the The Professional Post Processing Guide

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Jordan. For some reason my Word Press spell checker disappeared a few weeks ago … I spoke to Peter Kes about installing Grammerly asap. I hope that he does it soon. In addition, I was oout of bed this morning at 1:30am πŸ™‚

      Thanks again for all the great catches.

      a

  • avatar Mike Cristina

    I once had an unattended Better Beamer burn a hole in the back seat of my car.

    Mike

  • Thank you for sharing this, Artie. It is a great lesson. Luckily it did not happen with a mirrorless camera. The damage would have been much more expensive to repair.

    Good luck with your photography in Canada.

    Dietmar

  • avatar David Policansky

    Interesting, Artie. I always am careful not to have the camera point at the sun when i’m not using it and often remind photographers who are with me to do the same. Now I know the precautions actually are worth taking. Thanks for the lesson!

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