A. J. Windless 
Broken Glass Camera Lens
Optimist or Pessimist?
On each of my last three visits to the U.S. I have dropped my camera and damaged my lens. In the photo above the glass of the filter is shattered against the lens. If the lens has been scratched it will need to be replaced. If I could remove the filter and clean the lens I could inspect it for scratches, but the threads have been impacted and no matter how hard I try, the filter cannot be removed. So, I took it into the only authorized Nikon repair shop in Salt Lake City. The first time I damaged my camera they told me it would be a couple of days before they even had a chance to look at my camera to tell me what it was that needed to be done. This time, as I walked in the door, the repairman not only was in, but he was availabe. He had a tool that he was able to pry the filter off with, and I discovered there was no damage to the threads of the lens, so the tube would not need to be replaced. Furthermore, the lens itself was unscratched and in immaculate condition. Total price tag? About $29. As I walked out of the camera shop I felt like one of the luckiest people in the whole city. For the third time in a row the impact of the fall has been on my lens, and each time the damage has been minimal. Two years ago while I was on top of a mountain in Wyoming, with the camera attached to my heavy tripod, I fell. The lens impacted face first with the weight of the camera and tripod behind it. Unfortunately, the camera would no longer operate nor could the lens be reomoved. I returned to Salt Lake City and turned it over to the repair shop. Total damage? A loose screw (and it wasn't the one in my head.) Have I been terribly unlucky that I have dropped my camera on three consecutive trips? Is that a sign that I should steer completely clear of the U.S.? Or am I just lucky that Nikon builds surprisingly durable lenses? Perhaps am I just lucky that I shattered my filter and not my skull. One thing I do surely appreciate is that I am blessed to travel to the kind of places that I do and capture enduring images of nature's incredible majesty.
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