The story of the smashed Nikon


by Bellamy /

2 min read

The story of the smashed Nikon
If you don’t like distressing imagery then I suggest you look away now, but if you have a strong stomach, or you are a Canon fan then check out this unfortunate story of mishap and broken camera equipment. Doug Steley has a story to tell, with sadness, loss and eventual joy. What a saga!

I am a volunteer firefighter here in Australia, as well as a semi retired professional photographer, we were training up some new recruit firefighters using a large controlled bonfire on a farm and a fire tanker.

During the practice, Someone who will remain nameless apparently moved my camera bag to get some chains and ropes from the back of my ute ( pickup truck ).

I later found that they had put the bag in some long grass beside my ute where the fully loaded 4 wheel drive fire tanker backed up and turned round.

I was actually happy that this happened to my backup kit ( yes I know it is a bad pun ) but I had my D700 with me and I would have been less impressed if the tanker had backed over that while I was holding it!!!

This was a Nikon D200 an older Nikkor 80-200 2.8 zoom and a Tokina 17mm ultra wide. I was quite amazed at just how solid and strong the lenses were.

Insurance covered the loss so I am currently looking for an ultra wide full frame Nikon mount option. ( if anyone has anything out there :-)

This is my very out of date

I now sell images on , the link to my alamy area is in grey under the photos if you care to have a look.

Cheers Doug Steley

Wow! What an epic mishap, but at least there is a silver lining that came from it. What a way to go though, getting squashed by a fire truck, better than slowly dying on a shelf in my opinion. Still, it makes me wince a little bit to see the lenses battered and squashed.

Have you got a smashed camera story? Why don’t you share it with us in the comments.

8 comments on “The story of the smashed Nikon”

    Greg Williamson July 8, 2012 at 9:27 am / Reply

    Back in 70s I dropped an Olympus OM-1 down a cave. It slipped out of my improperly fastened backpack and fell down a shaft about 15 metres, landing on rocks and then rolling a further 5 metres or so down the rock pile.

    It was a sickening feeling. It took me another 20 minutes or so to get to where the camera had come to rest. It had landed on it’s top, and had been cushioned a little by the ever-ready case. The plastic lens cap had been driven through the filter, but no damage to the lens. The top was dented badly and the light-meter had stopped working.

    It cost about AU$120 back then to get it fixed – a lot of money in those days. It gave many years of service though after that, in fact it is still working just fine today.

      Bellamy July 8, 2012 at 10:07 am /

      Fantastic story Greg. They certainly don’t make them like they used to. If I dropped my Nikon F it would take the pavement out with it.

    Alfie November 1, 2012 at 3:26 pm / Reply

    Ultra-wide for FX Nikon? Tamron 14mm f/2.8

    Great quality, much cheaper than any Nikon 14mm and in 99% of situations, as good optically.

    Got a pack of stories like this one of yours.. all old-days gear stories mind you. Medium format backs in rivers, large format camera in a river once… all fine, film was all fine too.

    Had the D700 and 50mm f.12 Ai in the sea the other week… got two waves right into the camera. All still fine. :-)

    Peter May 16, 2013 at 12:58 pm / Reply

    I was in a shop just an hour ago picking up my new D600. The customer next to me was buying a new tripod and I heard him tell the sales assistant that his last one had dropped off a cliff into the sea……. and it had a borrowed XPan on it. Oops.

    Xavier May 16, 2013 at 4:40 pm / Reply

    I was riding my bike to work with my Leica M6 in my bag and passed to close to a pole sign. I heard a huge bang and knew something went wrong. I stopped and checked my camera and saw no dents! Only a little brassing on the bottom cover (2mm). The pole had a large dent were it came in contact and even the rangefinder was perfectly fine! I tell you, leica m6 = Russian tank!

    CL October 5, 2015 at 10:42 am / Reply

    I have “lost” one compact camera, one dslr, and one lens so far in a decade of photography.

    The DSLR, which died in 2008 was a D80 that I took out to shoot falling snow. After taking the pictures, I just put it over my shoulder, and pulled on the sash while keeping the camera body under my forearm, assuming it would be sufficient protection. It was not. I managed to find a second hand D200 a few weeks after that.

    The compact camera was a little Sony point and shoot that I used to take souvenir shots or use it for not too obvious street photography while I was in Japan in 2010. I was climbing up the stairs of my apartment holding that compact in one hand and my D200 in the other when suddenly I tripped and fell. I landed on the compact-hand, thankfully.

    I lost the lens (a 35-70 2.8) very recently while doing some astro-photography. My tripod had a failing arm and the weight of the camera brought it down sideways and the lens shattered in a few pieces at its base. The only thing that was still attached to the camera was the aperture ring. Thankfully, no damage whatsoever to the camera’s body (a D700).

    I had a few other experiences like losing a 50mm 1.4 in a rain-formed lake on a huge clay deposit near a construction site. ( I got the lens back from the water and after letting it dry, I found out it was still operational except for the dust and dirt that got into it, making it difficult to use above 5.6

    Jukka vatanen January 12, 2017 at 10:49 pm / Reply

    I was in Portugal shooting the Atlantic coast with my friend . The scenery at the outmost spot to the ocean where there is a lighthouse and very steep cliffs totally caught my eye. Suddenly I felt that the stones under my feet were running down. I started to slide and I had my Leica M6 in my hand. I quickly yelled for help, My friend came closer and I swang the leica towards him. He got a hold of it, started to drag me up. The one eyelet for strap broke loose but the other stayed and I was saved. The metal case of M6 had to be replaced as it was torn from the strap mount…

    Mark S January 13, 2017 at 11:51 pm / Reply

    About ten years back I dropped a my beloved Pentax Z1, and a Sigma 28-70 f2.8-f3.5 – at a mine visit. The kit landed on the top plate. The lens was a bin job after it shattered into three. The Z1 went to Pentax UK and was fixed up like new for £65!

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