An Expensive Lesson

January 30, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

I have been without my Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens for the last 8 days. The lens was being repaired by Canon Professional Services because I damaged the front element lens coating by banging the lens against something. I say was because the replacement of the first lens group was just completed and the lens is finally on it's way back. Yeah, I know, I know. "Where was your UV Filter?" The short story is that I had removed it because when I shoot with my Lee Graduated Neutral Density filters or my Singh-Ray Darrell Benson Reverse Graduated Neutral Density filter, I don't want any lens vignetting that may occur if I simply mount the GND or RGND onto the UV filter.


For the longest time, I always left the UV filter on. Period. I would leave it on and then remove any vignetting in Camera Raw. But to save a step or two in my workflow, I started taking it off when using the GND/RGND filters and reminded myself to be careful. Then recently, I read on the internet, a recommendation to not bother with the UV filter for protection. I interpreted the blog (from a well known and reputable author) to support my decision to forgo the UV filter.

And then I banged the lens around on something. At first I ignored the damage to the coating. It was only evident as some splotching in the sky in some photographs and I could generally clean it up using the spot removal tool in Camera Raw. But I finally got tire of that and sent if off to Canon for an estimate. It was expensive to replace the first lens group but compared to the price of a new or refurbished lens, a bargain.

And I only have myself to blame.




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