Whoops…A Baseball Smashes A Really, Really Expensive Lens


Destroying some piece of gear – it’s a tale as old as time and remains as heartbreaking now as the moment it occurred. Whether one lens or multiple lenses, cameras, what have you – we’ve all broken something and, if it is camera gear, we probably all remember it. The reason is quite simple: Cameras and optical equipment are super expensive.

None more so than the cameras and equipment used to film sporting events.

Image via BHPhoto.

So you can imagine how expensive it must be to smash one of those lenses but you need not think too hard about it because the Cleveland Indians baseball team’s own Edwin Encarnacion belted a ball straight into the camera bay, smashing a broadcast lens into tomorrow.

As FStoppers points out, Encarnacion’s hits are clocked at speeds up to 114 miles per hour. It’s safe to say that the precious piece of glass stood absolutely no chance of surviving this encounter.

The destroyed unit was a Fujinon Digipower 76 lens that retails for prices upwards of $USD 100k. That’s a ton of money for one piece of equipment. The Fujinon Digipower 76 is a broadcast lens spec’d out for the 9.6 x 5.4mm image format that is standard for 16:9 television. With zoom capabilities up to 76x according to FStoppers and “focal lengths from 9.3mm to 710mm (18.6mm to 1,420mm with a 2x extender), a maximum aperture range of f/1.7-f/3.6 (impressively, it holds f/1.7 all the way to 334mm), an impressive matching T-stop range of T1.8-T3.8, and a bevy of neat features, all weighing in at 48 lbs (21.8 kg),” the Fujinon 76 is an absolute beast.

Of course this is not the first time nor the last time that a broadcast camera will be destroyed at a sporting event. It’s a good thing that broadcast companies have deep insurance, and super robust insurance policies.

You can watch the video clip here.

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

Looks like it might not be a total loss. Towards the end of the clip we see the view through the lens and there is clear imaging going on through the shattered glass. So looks like the “UV” filter saved the lens.

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