Watch a Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens make a late entry into freestyle swimming competition

May 21, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Watch a Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens make a late entry into freestyle swimming competition

May 21, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Most of us have done something risky on a shoot before. And if we haven’t, we probably will at some point. Perhaps we perched our camera or an expensive flash somewhere precariously for a shot. Maybe it even paid off, and perhaps it didn’t.

For one photographer, the risk certainly didn’t pay off, as he drops what looks like a Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens and 5D style DSLR body straight into a swimming pool. That’s an expensive risk to take, and an expensive mistake to make.

Posted to Facebook and shared in a number of groups, the video has seen varied comments ranging from empathy for his situation to asking why he couldn’t just step back from the water with a lens so long. This latter suggestion naturally led to the suggestion that the video is fake. After all, they’re right. At 500mm, moving back a metre or so probably wouldn’t make that much difference to the shot.

One commenter said, “Just put it in some rice and it’ll be fine”. I admit I might’ve laughed a little at this, having drowned several Nikon & Yongnuo speedlights as well as a Godox strobe (all of which survived fine after a good drying out).

It is possible, of course, that it could be fake. These lenses are quite heavy, and one would expect it to immediately sink (all the flashes did for me). Of course, there’s air trapped inside these large weather sealed lenses that would need time to escape. Air that would keep the lens buoyant briefly before any real sinking occurred.

Still, whether it’s fake or not, hopefully, most of us will never make a mistake quite this expensive. But it does serve as a good reminder to not only be careful but to always carry backup gear and have good insurance.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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24 responses to “Watch a Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens make a late entry into freestyle swimming competition”

  1. HyperJ Avatar
    HyperJ

    FAKE.
    1. The photographer conveniently wears swim trunks
    2. Using a 500mm for a shot like that, that he can only get from the absolute edge. Complete B.S.

    1. Heinrich Helmbold Avatar
      Heinrich Helmbold

      Never tried it, but do you think a 500mm + body would float like this one did? Just look at the end of the video – it is clear that it’s floating

  2. Jerome Jacobson Avatar
    Jerome Jacobson

    trpod and step back

  3. Stee Green Avatar
    Stee Green

    Fake, that lens it havey as f**** it almost floated

    1. W Douglas LeBlanc Avatar
      W Douglas LeBlanc

      Ships are heavy as f*** and they float, what’s your point?

      1. Evan Richardson Avatar
        Evan Richardson

        Alternative facts

    2. Chris Brock Avatar
      Chris Brock

      I don’t think the weather sealing was good enough to keep the camera from drowning but it would hold some air for at least a few seconds causing it to float like a $7,000 tin can.

  4. Seann Alexander Avatar
    Seann Alexander

    I did this with my battery on a dock. Was running the magic lantern software on my 5D mkii, and it had the habbit of freezing if you turned it off, and then your battery would drain.

    I became an expert at removing my battery after powering off my camera.

    In comes the Canadian geese.

    I’m just about to put the battery in my pocket, and then a goose landed on the dock, causing me to momentarily loose my balance, not enough to fall in, but enough to miss my pocket, so when I opened my hand, the batter fell to the bottom of the canal.

    1. Seann Alexander Avatar
      Seann Alexander

      Brad Woytovich I wish.

  5. Carel Cramer Avatar
    Carel Cramer

    looks like the lens keep floating… with a 500mm nearly impossible

  6. Jay Knickerbocker Avatar
    Jay Knickerbocker

    He intentionally turns is sideways and dumps it in. Fake.

  7. Diego Castillo Avatar
    Diego Castillo

    Gustavo Febres

    1. Gustavo Febres Avatar
      Gustavo Febres

      Esto es gore de los bravos

  8. Sven Eisenhauer Avatar
    Sven Eisenhauer

    Cooldown after shooting at 200 fps… ;)

  9. Doc Huard Avatar
    Doc Huard

    When the unit hit the water, it turns camera up. With the greatest volume of air at the big end of the lens, it would immediately go camera down. FAKE

  10. ???Lord Bokeh Avatar
    ???Lord Bokeh

    Anchors aweigh! Unless he was practicing…looks fake to me.

  11. Ben Darwall Avatar
    Ben Darwall

    Benjamin Adrian Pat

    This hurts to watch.

  12. Wouter Anquer Avatar
    Wouter Anquer

    1) This clip is at least a year or two old.
    2) it was made as a gag, the lens/camera combo is a store display unit with no internals.

  13. Julio Hnntl Avatar
    Julio Hnntl

    Florian, oups ?

  14. Devin Lee Avatar
    Devin Lee

    This does look fake. However, a 3.19 kg lens that is 383mm long and 146mm at its widest should float before it takes on water. For something to be neutrally buoyant, it has to have the same density of water. Water is 1kg/L. The volume of a cylinder is pi r^2 L. So the diameter of a neutrally buoyant cylinder of length 383 mm and mass of 3.19 kg would be about 103mm. Now, the lens is not a cylinder of uniform diameter, but if the max diameter is 146mm, it seems likely that it has more volume than a uniform cylinder of 103mm diameter. Hence it would float.

  15. Wim Brauns Avatar
    Wim Brauns

    Goof

    1. Goof van der Malen Avatar
      Goof van der Malen

      ?

    2. Wim Brauns Avatar
      Wim Brauns

      Goof van der Malen met uw IJsland broek

  16. Carter Tune Avatar
    Carter Tune

    Thats why you should carry insurance on your gear.