The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train is back after a 3 year hiatus thanks to the world. I am very excited for this, so much so, that I have today booked off work to go out in the scenic pouring rain to go chase it. Last night however, was the home stop for me here in Toronto…and well, dear readers…it did not go as planned…
My now former Pentax DA 55-300 ED PLM lens after my camera bounced off the pavement at the CPR Lambton Yard office.
So, what happened? Well, it was 1000% my own damn fault. I didn’t have the car, so I shifted my gear from my normal bags into a different one to be easier to manage on the bus and subway. When I got there, I did a walk about looking at options for shooting the arrival of the train. I knew I didn’t want to be at the office and the show site when the crowd rolled in. After my initial walkabout the neighbourhood, I decided to take a short trip back to the yard office to take pictures of the road power pulled up by the office. A nice chance to get close while there were barriers in place and no one would get mad. After taking a couple of shots, I decided it was time to get organized and head back off to set up for the arrival. I was packing my tripod into its bag, and things were getting caught, so I took my camera off, and slung it on one shoulder instead of around my neck or just setting it on the ground for a minute while I adjusted and fumbled with the other bags. As soon as I wasn’t holding the camera…it slipped off my shoulder, and even with my long strap, the short 2′ drop from hanging just below my waist height, I heard the smash and saw most of the lens rolling away on the ground as I kinda grabbed the strap to save the body. As you can see above, it sheared all the ring between the mount and the lens elements, and tore the wiring connectors out.
If I am looking for some good news, how it hit, the bayonet mount stayed in place and locked/flush to the body, so it seemed there was a chance not all was lost, if it had bent the body too, that would have been truly a ruined evening, as at least I have other lenses, even if in the short 2 years since I bought this one as a First Pandemic Fall gift to myself in the pre-vaccine days when everything seemed pretty horrible this has become my go-to lens. After a suitable amount of time in near tears in the yard office parking lot, trying to not curse loudly as the growing crowd of families came in, I made my way back over to where I thought I wanted to shoot the arrival from. I ran into a friend who I knew would be out, which was good, to both catch up and lament.
While talking with various rail and photography friends in an effort to get myself off the spiral down into despair over this, one of my friends offered up a loan of their older model 55-300 lens. This is exceedingly rare, as not a lot of people shoot Pentax, and I forgot they did (though they use Medium Format cameras, but Pentax MF use the same lenses/mount as their 35mm DSLR’s). Given that it seems the camera body is still focusing, and functioning properly, I took them up on their kind offer and went downtown after getting home and having some dinner to pick up the loaner so I can still proceed with todays plan to go chase the train again.
After getting myself pulled back together, I think I managed some decent shots of the arrival. The funny thing is, the lens I broke probably isn’t the one I would have used anyways for the arrival, but my mental focus on photography was still pretty shattered. I’ll save the Holiday Train Photos for a future Tuesday Train, but for now, I’ll leave you with the last shot taken by my first 55-300 (yes, I’ve already ordered a replacement), at least it was a keeper as a final shot!