Baseball player smashes a $12,000 lens at 104mph

Jun 27, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

Baseball player smashes a $12,000 lens at 104mph

Jun 27, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

Join the Discussion

Share on:

Sports photographer has $12,000 lens smashed by foul ball

There are bad days at work, and then there are bad days where you lose $12,000 of equipment. This unlucky sports photographer was in exactly the wrong place at the wrong time when shooting a baseball match when the ball struck his lens, taking out all the glass.

Jim Rassol was covering the match in Florida between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Miami Marlins. His Sony 400mm f/2.8 lens took the brunt of the 104mph ball, leaving Rassol with little more than a bunch of smashed glass and a rueful expression. And for good reason: these lenses cost around $12,000.

The moment was captured on the TV cameras and then tweeted in full slow motion by Bally Sports, saying it was “an expensive foul ball.”

Rassol himself commented in a Facebook post that the lens is beyond repair, but he’s happy it wasn’t his head that took the hit, considering the velocity of the ball. “400 2.8 got taken out by a line drive, glass everywhere,” he wrote. “Fortunately, I’m ok. Found out later that the line drive that hit my lens had an exit velocity of 104 miles per hour.”

Sports photographer has $12,000 lens smashed by foul ball

JC Ruiz Photography was also working during the game and tweeted that he could hear the glass breaking from across the stadium.

It’s absolutely the worst luck imaginable. However, I do hope that Rassol had some decent insurance. It just goes to show how important it is that we insure our gear when out working because that one chance in a million does happen. Lightning (or baseballs) really can strike at any time.

Update: Joseph Cavaretta  started a GoFundMe campaign for Jim to fix his lens. Sony tells DIYP that they discounted the repair to the amount raised by the  GoFundMe.

[via Petapixel]

Filed Under:

Tagged With:

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

Alex Baker

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

336 responses to “Baseball player smashes a $12,000 lens at 104mph”

  1. Kaouthia Avatar
    Kaouthia

    In before all the “should’ve used a UV filter for protection” comments :)

  2. Stewart Norton Avatar
    Stewart Norton

    I’m guessing it’s insured.

    1. Michael Atkinson Avatar
      Michael Atkinson

      Stewart Norton hopefully… You would be surprised how many pro photographers don’t have the right level of or appropriate insurance…

    2. Kevin Roland Avatar
      Kevin Roland

      Stewart Norton it was confirmed not to be insured and as with everything else in life there is now a gofundme for him.

  3. Don Barnard Avatar
    Don Barnard

    That’s what insurance is for.

    1. Misael Nevarez Avatar
      Misael Nevarez

      Don Barnard you know for sure he has to have insurance with them risks

    2. Gabe Hintz Avatar
      Gabe Hintz

      Misael Nevarez article says he doesn’t

    3. Misael Nevarez Avatar
      Misael Nevarez

      Gabe Hintz so sad

    4. Gabe Hintz Avatar
      Gabe Hintz

      Misael Nevarez surprised he doesn’t if lens is that much and he does it for work..

    5. Kurt Bimler Avatar
      Kurt Bimler

      Gabe Hintz where did you read that? I read in the article “However, I do hope that Rassol had some decent insurance.” but I didn’t see anything in the article saying he didn’t have insurance.

    6. Gabe Hintz Avatar
      Gabe Hintz

      Kurt Bimler there was an update that was posted saying he doesn’t have insurance.

    7. Kurt Bimler Avatar
      Kurt Bimler

      Gabe Hintz thanks. I didn’t see the update. It was below a block of ads on my phone and I must not have scrolled down far enough.

    8. Gabe Hintz Avatar
      Gabe Hintz

      Kurt Bimler no problem!

    9. Don Barnard Avatar
      Don Barnard

      Gabe Hintz no empathy for the guy.
      Just like condoms are cheaper than child support..
      Insurance is valuable protection that you’re not gonna miss until you need it..
      If you can afford a $12,000 lens and you’re gonna take it into an environment where bad things can happen.. why the hell would you pay for a little insurance?

    10. Gabe Hintz Avatar
      Gabe Hintz

      Don Barnard oh I have no sympathy for this guy either lol.

    11. Allison Breckey Avatar
      Allison Breckey

      I assume the lens can be replaced without paying the entire cost of the camera 🤔
      It says the lens is $12k but that sounds rather insane, right? Lol

    12. Don Barnard Avatar
      Don Barnard

      Allison Breckey you haven’t been looking at the prices on pro lenses at all have you?

    13. Louisia LeCompte Avatar
      Louisia LeCompte

      Allison Breckey sounds insane for the lens to be $12,000 but that is the actual cost of just the lens. Here’s a snapshot off B&H with his lens at the top.
      Media: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10224155943792142&set=p.10224155943792142&type=3

    14. Allison Breckey Avatar
      Allison Breckey

      Kevin Creaghan Louisia LeCompte Holy 🐮‼️😳

    15. Allison Breckey Avatar
      Allison Breckey

      Don Barnard not until now, WOW. He should definitely get insurance haha

    16. Erick Redcloud Avatar
      Erick Redcloud

      Allison Breckey lenses are usually more expensive than the cameras.

    17. Mauricio Paiz Avatar
      Mauricio Paiz

      Allison Breckey the lens: 400 2.8 in new condition is $11,998 if buying from a store. He likely receives a slight % discount via Sony Professional services like every pro photographer like him, and it is very easy and cheap to have minimal insurance of at least 10k coverage. I’d need his explanation for not having any sort of coverage.

  4. Eric G Gagnon Avatar
    Eric G Gagnon

    Repair Will be probably around 1k… no worries

  5. Chung Dha Lam Avatar
    Chung Dha Lam

    That is why you need a UV filter 😜

    1. Victor Chan Avatar
      Victor Chan

      Chung Dha Lam No..that’s why you have a $500 hood..the hood wasn’t even on..in reverse.

    2. Vladimir Krzalic Avatar
      Vladimir Krzalic

      Chung Dha Lam that’s why you need an insurance ;)

    3. May Lawrence Avatar
      May Lawrence

      Chung Dha Lam at 104mph I doubt a UV filter or a hood would help.

    4. Sada Domonkos Avatar
      Sada Domonkos

      Chung Dha Lam that size? 😂😂😂n

    5. Marin Ćuk Vurnek Avatar
      Marin Ćuk Vurnek

      May Lawrence hood might help to reflect the ball, given at what angle the ball hit.

    6. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      Literally pre-empted the obvious joke before anybody had the chance to comment ;)

    7. John Gastaldo Avatar
      John Gastaldo

      Marin Ćuk Vurnek that’s a direct hit guys

    8. Wolfgang Gruber Avatar
      Wolfgang Gruber

      Chung Dha Lam the best 50 Dollar invest a photographer can make 😎

    9. Vic C Sciberras Avatar
      Vic C Sciberras

      Chung Dha Lam no, insurance!

    10. Giorgos Liossis Avatar
      Giorgos Liossis

      Chung Dha Lam That’s why you are so idiot

    11. Michael Stahlschmidt Avatar
      Michael Stahlschmidt

      Chung, there I sent even the threads, nor do they sell filters in the diameter for that lens.

    12. Michael Stahlschmidt Avatar
      Michael Stahlschmidt

      Victor Chan $500? Far more.

    13. May Lawrence Avatar
      May Lawrence

      Marin Ćuk Vurnek it could but it could also hit the hood which flips the whole damn camera from his hand. Think he is lucky it’s just the lens.

    14. Marin Ćuk Vurnek Avatar
      Marin Ćuk Vurnek

      May Lawrence 12 000 dollar lens though, does not sound very lucky – in my country, that is a whole year’s wage lol

    15. Humza Ahmad Avatar
      Humza Ahmad

      Chung Dha Lam that photographer would prolly punch someone in the face for saying that lol

    16. May Lawrence Avatar
      May Lawrence

      Marin Ćuk Vurnek if it was his head, he would be dead. Everything is relative :)

    17. Marin Ćuk Vurnek Avatar
      Marin Ćuk Vurnek

      May Lawrence people survive gunshots to head, so not necessarily lol. still blows my mind why not have lens hood on on such lens.

    18. May Lawrence Avatar
      May Lawrence

      Marin Ćuk Vurnek the size difference between a bullet and a baseball…

    19. Marin Ćuk Vurnek Avatar
      Marin Ćuk Vurnek

      May Lawrence bigger objects usually bounce. smaller like bullet pierce ;)

  6. Daniel Shanley Avatar
    Daniel Shanley

    The face says it all, hope he has good insurance.

    1. Kevin Creaghan Avatar
      Kevin Creaghan

      Daniel Shanley nope

  7. David Cooper Avatar
    David Cooper

    Least it was his lens and not his face 🙃

    1. Michael D Zielinski Avatar
      Michael D Zielinski

      David Cooper at 12k, of I didn’t have gear insurance, I’ll heal!

  8. Anthony Cruz Avatar
    Anthony Cruz

    Same here especially if I couldn’t afford a new lens

  9. Kevin Yount Avatar
    Kevin Yount

    I would imagine he has insurance…

    1. John Nicholson Avatar
      John Nicholson

      Kevin Yount nope

    2. Håkan Bylund Avatar
      Håkan Bylund

      John Nicholson How do you know he didnt? I cant find any statements from him saying it wasnt

  10. Nick Edges Avatar
    Nick Edges

    It was a rental from canon, thus why he is like.. this is why I rent and pay insurance.. lol

    1. Kevin Creaghan Avatar
      Kevin Creaghan

      Nick Edges Sony, and his own lens

  11. Matt Nicki Lautemann Avatar
    Matt Nicki Lautemann

    Glad it was this head. Did he get a good shot??

    1. Allison Breckey Avatar
      Allison Breckey

      Matt Nicki Lautemann yeah no kidding, that was too close too his head for comfort! & I’m curious if there was a picture right before the hit too😂

  12. Barb Thomas Avatar
    Barb Thomas

    Oh wow bet he is sick but should have insurance on it

  13. Aleta Landureth-Foil Avatar
    Aleta Landureth-Foil

    Danielle Cundiff 😳😢

    1. Aleta Landureth-Foil Avatar
      Aleta Landureth-Foil

      Danielle Cundiff I know!

  14. Allan Bradbury Avatar
    Allan Bradbury

    If it gets enough publicity maybe Sony gives him a decent discount…

  15. Fred Stafford Avatar
    Fred Stafford

    Thats way we have to buy insurance!

  16. Candy Whitmarsh Avatar
    Candy Whitmarsh

    That is why he has insurance

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      He doesn’t, though, apparently :)

    2. John Nicholson Avatar
      John Nicholson

      Candy Whitmarsh except he didn’t.

    3. Candy Whitmarsh Avatar
      Candy Whitmarsh

      John Nicholson his loss then. My daughter is a photographer and has lens and camera insured.

    4. John Nicholson Avatar
      John Nicholson

      Candy Whitmarsh I too own thousands of dollars of photography equipment well in excessof that lens. I am safeguarded on theft from vehicles but incidents like this, not so much. The reality is I’ve already outlasted the premiums if I had them for all those years.

    5. Cindi K McDaniel Avatar
      Cindi K McDaniel

      John Nicholson a photographer over 37 years here and couldn’t imagine shooting in the sports field without proper insurance…. Those lenses are insanely expensive!

  17. Davin Milun Avatar
    Davin Milun

    I saw this posted on another photography page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/jim-rassol

    1. Bob Taylor Avatar
      Bob Taylor

      Davin Milun i clicked, it says it’s been closed now (no more donations) as Sony has agreed to repair the lens for $7500 (which is how much the GoFundMe has already collected).

  18. Gregory Vanwaldron Avatar
    Gregory Vanwaldron

    It’s either insured or a company owns it, and it will also be insured.
    No one just owns those lenses without protection.

    1. Kevin Roland Avatar
      Kevin Roland

      Gregory Vanwaldron apparently he does as it’s been confirmed it is his personal lens and he could not afford insurance

    2. Gregory Vanwaldron Avatar
      Gregory Vanwaldron

      Kevin Roland he can afford a $12,000 lens and can’t afford insurance…? I mean I’ve heard dumber things, but not many.

    3. Eos Man Avatar
      Eos Man

      Gregory Vanwaldron I have one similar but no insurance, because of the insane cost of the insurance & clauses, it possibly won’t be paid out anyway. 16yrs I’ve owned it, Same reason I’d never leave it in a car by itself,. & No he didn’t have insurance but crazy to be shooting were you could get hit!

    4. Kevin Roland Avatar
      Kevin Roland

      Gregory Vanwaldron I personally wouldn’t have done it as I have insurance on everything but it’s not as simple as he can afford a lens and not the insurance. Everyone has a different situation.

    5. Brian Hayes Avatar
      Brian Hayes

      Gregory Vanwaldron u think i seen 2 sony 400 mm f2.8 lens at knockhill superbike with spectators taking pics at the hairpin 2 weeks ago 😳

    6. Gary Eyerly Avatar
      Gary Eyerly

      Eos Man wasn’t he in a designated space for photographers, shoulder to shoulder with other photographers? That’s what at least one account I read specified as the reason why he didn’t have a lens hood installed, that the hood would interfere with other photographers…

    7. Michael Stahlschmidt Avatar
      Michael Stahlschmidt

      Gary Eyerly that’s correct. We often remove them to be polite for others shooting different angles. Hood may or may not have helped him.

  19. Terence Ng Avatar
    Terence Ng

    Hope he has insurance

    1. Kevin Creaghan Avatar
      Kevin Creaghan

      Terence Ng nope

    2. Michael Terndrup Avatar
      Michael Terndrup

      Terence Ng insurance doesn’t cover this

    3. JKling Photos Avatar
      JKling Photos

      Michael Terndrup some insurance doesn’t cover it. It’s all about how the policy is written and how much it is.

  20. Randy Williams Avatar
    Randy Williams

    He couldn’t understand why the ball seemed to be getting bigger. Then it hit him.

    1. John Peterson Avatar
      John Peterson

      Randy Williams awesome response made me laugh 😂

    2. Randy Williams Avatar
      Randy Williams

      John Peterson I’ll take all the laughs I can get out of life. 😁👌

  21. Laurissa Perkins Avatar
    Laurissa Perkins

    I’d say it was foul all right

  22. Simon M. Arnet Avatar
    Simon M. Arnet

    I’d be shocked if he didn’t have it ensured.

    1. Sean Murphy Avatar
      Sean Murphy

      Simon M. Arnet no insurance

  23. Perplexed Simplicity Avatar
    Perplexed Simplicity

    Bbbummer

  24. Jacob Scurry Avatar
    Jacob Scurry

    He has insurance relax…😂

    1. Josh Godin Avatar
      Josh Godin

      Jacob Scurry He doesn’t. He started a GoFundMe lmao.

    2. Jacob Scurry Avatar
      Jacob Scurry

      Josh Godin that’s called game. You think a pro shooter ain’t got insurance? Anything over $500 should be insured 😂😂😂

    3. Kevin Creaghan Avatar
      Kevin Creaghan

      Jacob Scurry he didn’t have insurance he’s a freelancer just managing

    4. Josh Godin Avatar
      Josh Godin

      Jacob Scurry He didn’t have insurance. That’s not game. That’s stupid. Now he wants everyone else to pay for his stupidity.

      You can think he has game or whatever… But that’s just you getting gamed on lol

    5. James Street Avatar
      James Street

      Kevin Creaghan insurance is a few hundred a year. It’s a no brainier when kit costs as much as it does.

    6. Damian Summers Avatar
      Damian Summers

      Josh Godin he might be double dipping. I know some “influencers” who had medical emergencies and asked their fans to donate to their Gofundme to cover their hospital bill. But these same influencer friends also have medical insurance so that is paying their medical expense and the Gofundme money is going straight to their pockets.

    7. Jacob Scurry Avatar
      Jacob Scurry

      We live in Scamming era 😂😂 it’s game

    8. Jacob Scurry Avatar
      Jacob Scurry

      Josh Godin so do meth heads bro… catch up! It’s 2023😂😂

    9. Jason MacDonald Avatar
      Jason MacDonald

      Kevin Creaghan I’m a freelancer.

      1 million public liability cover and up to £50’000 equipment cover is £300 a year.

      What is he doing going ANYWHERE professionally without insurance?

    10. Josh Godin Avatar
      Josh Godin

      Jacob Scurry Don’t drag me to your level lol. Scamming is happening across entire tax brackets. You’re down here inventing scams for a lens.

    11. Jacob Scurry Avatar
      Jacob Scurry

      Josh Godin live in Oakland I see scamming all the time. It just the world we live in now. I’m not buying it, he didn’t have insurance for that lens. That’s hilarious to me.

    12. Megan Raymond Avatar
      Megan Raymond

      James Street exactly!

    13. Michael Stahlschmidt Avatar
      Michael Stahlschmidt

      James Street no, it’s lot a few hundred dollars per year for professional sports shooters. Insurance costs are very different for pros vs amateurs. Companies like State Farm won’t even touch sports shooters. I’ve been with Allianz or Chub for 32 years.

      And if he makes a claim, expect a 10-20% jump for 3-7 years.

    14. Josh Godin Avatar
      Josh Godin

      I love how the contention here is “yes. he played the odds to avoid excessive insurance payment for nothing… and played them badly so now he needs help if he aims to both keep his business going and feed himself.” Yes, we’re dealing with a mastermind scammer alright.

    15. Cole Alvey Avatar
      Cole Alvey

      Jacob Scurry at that ridiculous price I would have several policies. Or just not buy a 12000 lens that I doubt is doing any better than the cheap version

    16. Sean Murphy Avatar
      Sean Murphy

      Jacob Scurry actually, he doesn’t

    17. James Street Avatar
      James Street

      Michael Stahlschmidt must be specific to sports then. I am a professional videographer and pay about $500/year for all my kit.

      Had to make a claim two weeks in too, only saw an incremental increase the following year.

      Or maybe it it’s just an American insurance policy.

    18. Michael Stahlschmidt Avatar
      Michael Stahlschmidt

      James Street policies are different by country.

  25. Chris Woodrow Avatar
    Chris Woodrow

    It looks ok. I mean nothing a little glue couldn’t put right.

  26. Deon Mtz Avatar
    Deon Mtz

    I thought that’s how many lenses he went through at first 😆

  27. Curious bastard Avatar
    Curious bastard

    Was the AF able to keep up?

  28. Jonathan Terry Avatar
    Jonathan Terry

    But did he get the shot?

  29. Summer Werner Avatar
    Summer Werner

    Sell it on ebay lol, someone will buy it

  30. Janne Pappila Avatar
    Janne Pappila

    Most likely it is owned by the entity he works for. Just grab another one off the shelf and keep on shooting.

    1. Chris Stone Avatar
      Chris Stone

      Janne Pappila Nope he’s freelance with no insurance. But hey we’ll just start a gofundme and let everyone else pay for it 😞

    2. Janne Pappila Avatar
      Janne Pappila

      Chris Stone Well that sucks if so. But how can ANYONE not have insurance for something with that price tag…

  31. Dre Mosley Avatar
    Dre Mosley

    😬

  32. Shane Randle Avatar
    Shane Randle

    F

  33. Andrew Graham Avatar
    Andrew Graham

    Should have had that hood on

    1. Cory Silken Avatar
      Cory Silken

      That’s what I was thinking