A Lot of People Destroyed Cameras Trying to Take Pictures of the Eclipse

Before the Great American Eclipse swept across the United States last month, there were plenty of tutorials showing how you should photograph an eclipse. There were even warnings about pointing your camera directly at the sun, and how it could result in damage to your equipment. 

Those warnings clearly didn't make a big enough impression. Some eclipse chasers were dead set on pointing their camera at the sun no matter what you said, Dad. Of course this happened. Some people didn't even heed advice about not staring at the sun with their own eyes

To prove some people simply didn't believe the warnings, camera equipment rental company LensRentals shared images of rental equipment damaged by flippant eclipse photographers. A quick look at the partially disassembled Canon lens above shows the damage caused was less than subtle.

The most frequently seen issue was damage to sensors and shutter systems. However, name an internal part and there's probably a picture of it damaged by the sun. There were damaged mirrors, lens irises, and filters, among other components. (When you're prepping to take pictures of the 2024 total solar eclipse, make sure you get a solar filter. That would have prevented this kind of damage.)

There's a little iris damage and melting seen on this Panasonic 20mm f/1.7.

And here's a burnt shutter system from pointing the camera straight at the sun. 

Here's some sensor damage that's immediately visible.

LensRentals shared even more damaged cameras in a post at the site's blog. The post says Lensrentals provided plenty of warnings to customers, but "we still expected gear to come back damaged and destroyed." On the other hand, they expected worse than what happened. "With this being the first solar eclipse for LensRentals, we didn’t know what to expect and were surprised with how little of our gear came back damaged," they wrote.

Always look on the bright side, unless the bright side is the sun during an eclipse. Then only look on the bright side with a solar filter.

h/t The Daily Dot

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Dustin Nelson is a News Writer with Thrillist. He holds a Guinness World Record but has never met the fingernail lady. Follow him @dlukenelson.