How to drop a DSLR – Brand New Canon 5 D Mark III

Posted by on Nov 30, 2012 in Blog | 1 Comment

I will show you how to drop a DSLR Camera. I did it…. Its easy!. And then you get that sinking feel that happens immediately after the fall. Did I just turn a $3000 camera, a Canon 5D Mark III into a piece of junk. OR Even if the camera still works you KNOW that now you have a big ding on the camera and your resale value just dropped about $700 or so. Oh and lets not forget that new lens that you just got for $1500.

Closeup of the ding

Turns out the damage was a big ding on the camera and the lens auto focus would no longer work. It cost me $250 to fix the lens and I know when I sell my camera in a few years I will get about $700 less or maybe I wont be able to sell it? But it works great now and my lens is fine after the fix.  BTW the lens fix would have cost a lot more if I broke any of the glass components but the Hood saved that at least. I talk about hoods vs filter here.

So how did I drop it.

Well…. it’s what we used to call, in the aerospace industry, as a double fault error. All caused by operator error… that would be me.

The short of it was that I use strap with an arca clamp and a camera with an arca plate, without safety stops.


Plain arca plate with no stops

Somewhere along the line I did not tighten down the clamp and it was loose and became looser, then looser still. So I am putting on the strap with the camera after having lunch at a restaurant. And… Whoosh, bang, bang, bang. It’s an awful sound.

So here are some details of my set-up. I use a blackrapid strap RS-4. I talk about that product here. I connect that to a blackrapid FastenR Tripod (FR-T1).  Actually I have the earlier version that looks like this.


whole set up connected with older fastener

That is then screwed into a  Kirk 1″ arca clamp .   By the way I think that Kirk makes some great stuff…. if you buy the right stuff (i.e. with safety stops).  That clamp screws on to a simple little arca plate.  Notice no safety pins….. Who needs safety pins or stops.  Evidently I do.   Check out the bottom of this page to see what the safety stops do at the Kirk site.

So this is the arca camera plate that I have now.  Here is a picture of the whole set-up on my camera.


whole set up disconnected with kirk plate with stops





Those little pins would definitely have kept the camera from sliding out.   The clamp has to be very loose to allow it to become detached from the camera plate and it would have been very noticeable, in time to re-tighten the clamp.

I know that I will get some critics that will say how can you put many thousands of dollars of camera equipment on a strap with several connection points and then a 1/4 screw into the camera.   My opinion is that my set-up is very comfortable, very functional, and very light weight.   Tensile strength of the materials used here are all way way higher than the weight of a camera and lens.  Its only operator error, Me, that screwed it up.   But now with the pins this will not happen again.









1 Comment

  1. How I dropped my new Canon 5D MarkIII and wont do it again
    November 30, 2012

    […] saved the glass. How did I drop it and how I wont do it again can be found in detail on my blog here. But essentially is was operator error. I used an arca plate on the camera with no safety […]


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