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09-11-2019, 11:50 AM   #1
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Spotmatic and 50 1.4 hard hit onto concrete

My "wonderful" Tamrac bag decided to flip over as I was leaving my car and dumped my camera and lens straight onto concrete. After some testing it's quite obvious my lens is far softer than it was before, just comparing it to my A50 1.4 (which it used to outperform but now is softer by a decent amount).

Is there any hope to this? Or am I just sh out of luck like I always am. This was one of my favorite lenses.

I don't even want to think about the damage my spotmatic might have incurred so I haven't even checked...

09-11-2019, 12:14 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZombieArmy Quote
My "wonderful" Tamrac bag decided to flip over as I was leaving my car and dumped my camera and lens straight onto concrete. After some testing it's quite obvious my lens is far softer than it was before, just comparing it to my A50 1.4 (which it used to outperform but now is softer by a decent amount).

Is there any hope to this? Or am I just sh out of luck like I always am.

I don't even want to think about the damage my spotmatic might have incurred so I haven't even checked...
I am sorry about your accident. It happens to all of us, and if it hasn't, you're probably not using your camera enough. Was it Murphy that said "Shiitake mushrooms happen"?

Hope your Spotmatic survived....they are tough, but it is what it is, and you'll want to test it to make sure it doesn't leak light or have other issues.
09-11-2019, 12:18 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
I am sorry about your accident. It happens to all of us, and if it hasn't, you're probably not using your camera enough. Was it Murphy that said "Shiitake mushrooms happen"?

Hope your Spotmatic survived....they are tough, but it is what it is, and you'll want to test it to make sure it doesn't leak light or have other issues.
Do you think it'd be worth at some point just sending to eric to have him look at it? I really don't have many lenses to work with.
09-11-2019, 12:36 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear that gravity did this to you. (Have you taken any airline trips recently? My wife and I are convinced that air travel enrages gravity and causes stuff like this! )

Anyway.... Whether it is worth fixing depends on the nature of the damage.

If the impact merely knocked an element loose inside the lens (peer into the lens to see if any of the glass is loose, off-center, or rattling around), it should be an easy fix.

If the impact bent or broke key tidbits internally (check if the barrel is off-center or crooked), then the fix gets more expensive and might be more cost effective to buy a replacement.

09-11-2019, 12:51 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZombieArmy Quote
Do you think it'd be worth at some point just sending to eric to have him look at it? I really don't have many lenses to work with.
QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote

Anyway.... Whether it is worth fixing depends on the nature of the damage.
If the impact merely knocked an element loose inside the lens (peer into the lens to see if any of the glass is loose, off-center, or rattling around), it should be an easy fix.
If the impact bent or broke key tidbits internally (check if the barrel is off-center or crooked), then the fix gets more expensive and might be more cost effective to buy a replacement.
I agree with @photoptimist. Chances are, it will be less expensive to buy a replacement, but if it were me, I would get a repair estimate because:
a) It could be cheaper (with the assumption that it won't be).
b) Your repaired lens will be in great shape vs. the unknown of a replacement.
c) Sentimental value.
09-11-2019, 01:00 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
If the impact bent or broke key tidbits internally (check if the barrel is off-center or crooked), then the fix gets more expensive and might be more cost effective to buy a replacement.
The barrel seems to have some play in it now when focused out, especially in the direction of the impact. Comparing to my other 50s they don't exhibit this at all so I have to assume this has something to do with it. Elements look fine and don't look out of place at all.

Considering this is an 8 element copy and the fact that I'd probably have to work on a used copy anyways I'll send this in at some point and get a quote from Eric.

---------- Post added 09-11-19 at 04:02 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
I agree with @photoptimist. Chances are, it will be less expensive to buy a replacement, but if it were me, I would get a repair estimate because:
a) It could be cheaper (with the assumption that it won't be).
b) Your repaired lens will be in great shape vs. the unknown of a replacement.
c) Sentimental value.
This is always my big issue with just buying a replacement. I'd rather spend the little bit more to have an excellent repaired copy. Considering the buttload of lenses I've sent back on ebay I'm not willing to take the risk.


Thank you for the input.

Last edited by ZombieArmy; 09-11-2019 at 01:06 PM.
09-11-2019, 08:06 PM   #7
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Gravity, a photographers #1 enemy
09-12-2019, 11:16 AM   #8
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Depending on how quickly you need a replacement, I concur with the buy a replacement crowd -- assuming the spotmatic is too damaged to use, and it may not be.

Spotmatics are very common, and very durable. Chances are you will be able to get one in reasonable shape (without obvious physical damage), with the caveat you may need to replace light traps and mirror foam. Worst case: shutter curtain timings. Prices are all over the map, but there's no need to pay the hipster premium, keep looking.


A 50/1.4 may be slightly harder to come by, but I'm pretty sure eventually one will turn up.

09-12-2019, 11:45 AM   #9
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Sometimes lenses fall in a way that bends or breaks the barrel. There isn't a way to fix that. Parts need to be replaced to get proper function and alignment. I have a similar 8 element that someone dropped onto concrete. I am waiting for a nice lens barrel with damaged glass. Fortunately I still have one to use.
09-12-2019, 12:03 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by dsmithhfx Quote
Depending on how quickly you need a replacement, I concur with the buy a replacement crowd -- assuming the spotmatic is too damaged to use, and it may not be.
The spotmatic seems fine. Aside from some additional battle scares to the top plate it fires through the speeds, displays accurate readings and doesn't seem to have any light leaks from what I can tell.

QuoteQuote:
A 50/1.4 may be slightly harder to come by, but I'm pretty sure eventually one will turn up.
My lens luck is the worst, I'm not going to bother with the heartache unless Eric tells me this lens needs replacement parts.


I also think I'm a bit too sentimental to replace things.
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