Melted sensors, apertures and more: Lensrentals shows off gear damaged during the solar eclipse


posted Sunday, September 3, 2017 at 2:00 PM EDT


No matter how many warnings were issued, regardless of the articles and videos that were published warning against pointing unfiltered lenses at the recent solar eclipse, there was still bound to be damaged photographic gear. Lo and behold, there were damaged cameras and lenses returned to Lensrentals following the eclipse.

Lensrentals warned their customers and by and large there was less damaged gear than they expected, but nonetheless, recent gear returns included a large number of melted sensors and damaged lenses. They have a blog post about it so we get to see some of the havoc wreaked by the eclipse. Why not use the occasion to learn more about how eclipses damage photographic equipment, right?

Melted sensors were the most common problem encountered. While a solar filter would prevent such damage, there will always be some who don't take good advice. Lensrentals was surprised at how visibly apparent some of the damage was, as you can see in the image below.

A melted shutter. Image Credit: Lensrentals

And the sensor behind the shutter. Image credit: Lensrentals

It was not just sensors and shutters that got damaged, but also mirrors, like the Nikon D500 mirror below. While you should definitely have used Live View rather than looked through your viewfinder due to the very serious risk of eye damage, not everyone used Live View and Lensrentals received a Nikon D500 with mirror damage.

A damaged Nikon D500 mirror. Image credit: Lensrentals

While a ruined sensor is obviously very serious, there's something about this next damage that especially hurts me to see. Super telephoto lens fans might want to look away. A Canon 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens was returned to Lensrentals and looked fine from the outside…

This Canon 600mm f/4L looks fine, right? Image credit: Lensrentals

But inside was a different story. The lens, which costs US$11,500 by the way, had its entire aperture system destroyed; melted to be more specific.

Not so fine, after all. The iris was melted during the eclipse. Image credit: Lensrentals

The Lensrentals team saw more interesting damage and there are many more images over at their blog, so head on over to check it out. The team was actually impressed by how little gear came back damaged, so that's great. Further, the Lensrentals team was impressed by their customers, "we were equally impressed with our customer-base, and their guilt and owning up to the damage. Unfortunately, these types of damage are considered neglect, as warnings were given out to customers before the solar eclipse." While Lensrentals' optional LensCap insurance doesn't cover neglect, it is still a great idea for those who want to feel more protected while using rental gear. Hopefully there'll be even less damaged gear returned when the next big eclipse shadows the U.S. in 2024.

(Via Canon Rumors)