Camera taking photos of a solar eclipse

Photo via Farhan Perdana (Blek)/Flickr (CC-BY)

Camera rental company shows how customers destroyed its gear trying to shoot the eclipse

You've got until 2024 to buy a solar filter.


Phillip Tracy


Posted on Sep 5, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 6:27 pm CDT

A solar eclipse is like Christmas for a professional photographer, a rare moment to capture something few have ever seen before. But with all the excitement surrounding the Great American Eclipse, some forgot to take the necessary precautions to protect their precious gear.

Camera rental company Lensrental posted a blog showing the damage some of its returned cameras suffered by those who shot the spectacle without a solar filter, or the equivalent of eclipse glasses for camera lenses.

The most common problem was damage to the sensors and shutter systems, but there was also damage done to mirrors, lens irises, and filters. Included are photos of a Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens (Hint: don’t use a 20mm lens to shoot an eclipse) that had its lens iris, or aperture blades, melted by the sun.

camera lens damage eclipse panasonic 20mm f/1.7

Another shot shows a $11,500 600mm Canon lens with a damaged aperture system.

lens damage caused by solar eclipse

There’s also a Canon EOS 7D that has a hole burnt through the shutter system and onto the sensor.

canon eos 7d lens damage caused by eclipse

Finally, the massacre ends with a Canon C300 Mark II and its damaged neutral-density filter.

camera eclipse damage nd filter

Let’s hope this horror show serves as a warning to people planning to photograph the upcoming 2024 eclipse.

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*First Published: Sep 5, 2017, 11:10 am CDT