Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/03/30

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] Mishap - HUG "impact club"
From: "Gary Todoroff" <>
Date: Sat, 30 Mar 2002 09:31:00 -0800
References: <>

Over on the Hasselblad Users Group (HUG), a thread called "impact club" has
been documenting various photo related mishaps. Since mine involved Leicas,
why not post it here on the LUG, too?

My latest "impact" was onboard a Dolphin HH65A helicopter this week,
photographing hoist training 30 feet above a Coast Guard 47' rescue boat. I
was holding the camera outside the open door and above the flight mechanic's
head to get the whole scene. I had just moved the camera inside, when the M6
suddenly felt lighter as the 21mm Elmarit fell off, hit the floor and
started bouncing toward the open door. The lens was rolling starboard in
sort of slow motion while my mind raced through images of a tiny Leica
splash in the big blue Pacific or, worse, my unguided missle clobbering an
unsuspecting Coastie on the 47. Somehow I was able to catch the lens a few
inches from the edge. With no signs of damage, I put it back on the M6 with
an assertive twist and continued shooting.

Maybe it was because I've had practice. The 21mm fell off one other time,
unfortunately from about five feet high right on top of a steel grate in the
street. I still flinch remembering the horrible sound. A very expensive
"clunk" as I recall. Amazingly, it hit on the hood and the barrel and no
glass was damaged. I was in Yorkshire to photograph a friend's wedding, and
was actually able to find a repair shop just down the street. They couldn't
fix it - the helical focus threads were damaged - but said I could probably
use it if I didn't adjust focus very much. No problem, since the barrel
barely turned anyway. The lens produced some great interior shots of
Ampleforth Abbey at a beautiful wedding, then went to Leica for about a $500
repair (insured).

Perhaps I should study what feels like that snug mounting click, when, in
fact, the 21 hasn't fully engaged. Sure has been one tough lens, though. To
end on a positive note - in a helicopter with twin turbines howling, and in
a flight helmet with earplugs, you don't hear that horrible, expensive

Then there was the time another USCG 47 made too close of a pass at our
photo boat, a small ridged hull inflatable. The huge wake drenched me and
the cameras, and I'll never forget looking down at my open camera bag where
the mounted lens hoods on a 90mm Elmarit and 50mm Summilux were like little
teacups full of salt water. Hey - maybe if the 21mm had whacked a Coastie,
it would have evened the score!

Gary Todoroff

- --
To unsubscribe, see

In reply to: Message from "J. Gilbert Plantinga" <> (Re: [Leica] M7 Metering)