July 10, 2013

How Durable is Glass on Modern Lenses? A Cheap Canon 50MM Gets a Torture Test

Video thumbnail for youtube video How Durable is Glass on Modern Lenses? A Cheap Canon 50MM Gets a Torture Test - No Film SchoolOnce you start spending some good money on lenses, you tend to be a bit more careful with how you treat them, but accidents happen. It's much more likely, however, that you'll be a little less careful with cheap lenses. But how strong are some of these lenses? In the video below, Richard Choi takes his broken Canon 50mm f/1.8, and attempts to break the front element, but the results just might surprise you:

Here's what Richard said on YouTube about the lens:

NOTE: EVERYONE, THE LENS WAS ALREADY BROKEN! THE ONLY REASON I BOTHERED WAS CURIOSITY. IT WAS WAY BROKEN BEFORE I SHOT THIS VIDEO.

Bored, so I decided to see how fragile Canon glass was. The lens is a canon 50mm 1.8 II, and the front element is actually quite alright, I only managed to scratch some of the coating off in the last part. Also note that larger, heavier lenses with larger front elements are probably easier to crack/break than the 50mm 1.8, which was already broken anyway.

Certainly there will be lenses that won't be able to take quite a beating, but it's impressive that such a cheap lens is very durable. The casing of the lens is probably the weakest point, and that's something you're paying for with higher quality lenses. Either way, it's nice to know that your glass might survive a direct hit when you're not using any filters on the lenses.

How have you guys beat up lenses before? Any impressive durability stories?

Link: Richard Choi -- YouTube

[via Canon Watch & PetaPixel]

Your Comment

33 Comments

When did NoFilmSchool start getting all these spam articles?? Most of this stuff is short rubbish taken from other sites. This is worse than that anti James Cameron rant put up the other day.

Where have the well thought out, open minded, informative articles gone?!?!

July 10, 2013 at 10:59PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Nat

I dont think its "spam" but it isn't the most thoughtful stuff and I do agree that this is not the most worthwhile post. I think others are going to say "if you don't like it ignore it" but that is not an intelligent response so please....

we live in 2013 in a world full of mucky chatter. I hope that this site can try to distinguish itself from that.

July 10, 2013 at 11:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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chinski

I'd have to agree. Love alot of the stuff the last year but I think we can do without this and things like watch the premiere of ______ and check out this new VOD.

July 10, 2013 at 11:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ryan

@ryan and @chinski, what kind of articles have been the best/most useful for you on this site? I'm not associated with NFS, Ryan or Joe, just an avid reader.

July 11, 2013 at 10:21AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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there are like two guys who post on here with good stuff occasionally. for example a really good found interview or something and have a good write up about it. for the most part to be honest the only reason i follow NFS is to see if there is a new camera tech that will actually have an impact on what i do and the new stuff always gets posted here.....its more of a guilty pleasure to be honest because none of it matters really. These blogs like this and EOSHD and all this stuff....ughh but i am here. internet culture....ughh

would be nice to have some more depth from time to time though wouldnt it?

July 11, 2013 at 10:47AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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chinski

It's a consumer oriented filmmaking website. So naturally it focuses on gear, and the writers pretend to be "filmmakers" when really they are just, at the most, rental house assistants or AC's, or maybe a DP on some web-bound commercial. But they write their screenplays at starbucks on the weekends, hoping to one day get their big break. Except for Koo, he's actually somewhat established.

I just browse this place because every now and then, as someone above said, there would be a great interview and something really insightful, but for every one of those great articles there are 40 "BREAKING NEWS: Jim Jannard Picks His Nose" or "Is the Arri Alexa not as good as the 400 dollar *insert DSLR of the week here*"

July 11, 2013 at 2:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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john jeffries

Yeah I'm not meaning to be critical for no reason but I think it is good to have standard and better to publish good stuff rather than filler articles. It has been great to check daily and keep up with how much the gear world has changed so crazily especially this last year, but I just dont need another site telling me which series to check out, media has too much of that already. Also some of the articles get a bit too author promotional which isn't really necessary. Keep it pro and I think everyone will enjoy.

July 11, 2013 at 2:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ryan

I do see value in this post. It is good to know how strong they are. I think it being domed makes it stronger.

BTW, has anyone ever used the $4000.00 lens from Zeiss? If yes, how do the photos look from it?

July 11, 2013 at 12:44AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

both video and stills, the 1,4 55, talked about in this starting at about 6:00 of this video

http://vimeo.com/63797426

July 11, 2013 at 12:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

might not be out yet,

July 11, 2013 at 1:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

It may be slow news but it is still worthy article.
The problem is recently plenty or articles in NFS comes out 3-4 days later than the other sites, this is bad.

July 11, 2013 at 5:39AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tulio

just a slow news day fellas

July 10, 2013 at 11:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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drew

They can't have breaking camera body news every week, guys. This is fine. I work with a looot of lenses (rental house), and found this stress test to be pretty interesting. I've found the Canon 85mm L is the most prone to breaking lens ever - so much glass and it's SO heavy! That thing takes a drop and that's it. The 70-200's are pretty sturdy, but they don't like to be dropped either. Interesting to see the 50 1.8 hold up to so much abuse.

Of course, at the end of the day - uh, don't drop your shit.

July 10, 2013 at 11:59PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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alex

Yeah; or smash your shit with a hammer.

July 11, 2013 at 8:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Peter Kelly

I'm still looking for a post and discussion on graphene sensors that are supposedly, ".... proved to be 1,000 times more sensitive to light than existing complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) or charge-coupled device (CCD) camera sensors..."

http://www.gizmag.com/graphene-imaging-sensor/27718/

July 11, 2013 at 12:38AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

I was about to write that up awhile back, then had my computer crash on me. Then I totally spaced on it. And then you reminded me with that comment. So look for that post pretty soon.

July 11, 2013 at 12:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Rob Hardy
Founder of Filmmaker Freedom
4486

Dude! Google docs! Ha ha ha

July 11, 2013 at 4:39AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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David J. Fulde

Nofilmschool = no articles school

Gotta visit other sites since nothing original is getting posted. Just talk about what other sites talk about.

July 11, 2013 at 1:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Greg egan

You could always ask for a refund if you don't like it.

July 11, 2013 at 3:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Neill

lol :-)

July 11, 2013 at 8:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

If you don't like the article don't click on it!! Better to have this content out there than not.

Might be worth a mention on the dangers of cheap UV filters my Samyang 85mm recently rolled out of my lowepro bag as i took it off of a peli case so a max fall of maybe 15inches and probably much less and my uv filter basically exploded despite having a cap on raining lovely safe glass down onto the surface of the lens (luckily without a scratch) worth spending extra on from here on in!

July 11, 2013 at 8:49AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Chris Lambert

people come on now. you sound like brats. NFS gives us multipul new posts everyday. Not every article is going to be a breaking news story. We should be happy that NFS even exists. They put together a wide range of articles and stories just to satisfy our need for indi-film related content.

NFS keep doin your thing.

July 11, 2013 at 10:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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YeahYeah

NSF can publish at will - Fear of free speech, like blocking comments on controversial topics, even in an independent art forum, shows a lack of back bone and speaks loudly of the state of free speech in the USA and what should be the main topic in every forum out there. If we do not do it while we can, one day it will be too late. Oh, wait, I guess is too late already.

July 11, 2013 at 2:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Agni Ortiz

I agree with your sentiment, but there is a difference between free speech / freedom of expression and straight up hate speech or trolling that does not contribute anything to the conversation

July 11, 2013 at 2:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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john jeffries

John, if I comment in this conversation is because I couldn't do it where it matters. As a filmmaker yourself, you should be very concerned at the prospect that all future work we may see has been tinged with fear of those monitoring all communications. This is worst than political correctness. It is outright shameful to the state of being.

July 11, 2013 at 2:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Agni Ortiz

filmmaking is pretty resilient. We'll find a way. Besides, we've been living with Big Brother for a while now.

July 11, 2013 at 3:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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john jeffries

You are right about that. It is just like living with the In-laws; better to keep the peace and avoid any domestic friction. I just hope at least you are getting Him to pay a fair share for room and board ... :)

July 11, 2013 at 11:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Agni Ortiz

You know, I just wanted to tell the guy, "put it on the floor or on a surface that doesn't have any give, and wail on it. It'll break easy enough then."

As for the feedback -- we're always trying to improve our coverage, and hearing from the community is a big part of that. At the same time, it is also telling that there are twice as many comments on this "spam" post (think you need to check your definition of spam though?... ) as there are on the kinds of in-depth posts you say we don't have enough of:

http://nofilmschool.com/2013/06/slated-film-financing/

If you are only interested in longer, original content, you can always find those here:

http://nofilmschool.com/category/featured-content/

July 11, 2013 at 3:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Would that not be because happy people don't say much where as unhappy people speak out.
I have enjoyed the site for a few years now and not posted until now really.

As far as feedback, post better stuff less often. at the moment it feels like you guys have a bunch of people riposting what they found on other sites. Sites that most of this audience probably visit as well. Weather that's whats happening or not, its really bringing the quality down.

I used to wait with anticipation for your next post but now there are a few a day and all not worth my time. I posted the above as I realized I was about to remove Nofilmschool from my bookmark list. This is a site that used to be in my top 5 film sites.

That anti James Cameron post was what made me open my eyes. Negative and missing the point. Who ever wrote that shouldn't write. That's the sort of post you find on a forum by joe public. And these ones(the above) are just filler. They are nothing new, not your original content and really add nothing.

What this stuff does do is hide the good stuff you guys used to to and probably still do, its just I don't see it for all this rubbish posting.

Currently it feels like most articles are a link or video with a small comment. If you are going to post a video at least contact the creator and ask them what they were trying to do and why. Other wise there is no journalistic intent you just become another aggregate site.

Posts don't have to be long just worth while. Keep your standard up, it seems to be slipping.

That's my honest feedback.

July 11, 2013 at 8:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Nat

Thanks for sharing the link to featured content, Koo. That's a huge help. NFS is a great site, but I have to admit that it feels more full of noise than ever before, recently. Because of that, I only check in about once or twice a week now, whereas before I'd check in daily, along with my coworkers, and we'd talk about that last article on NFS over lunch or something. That element of it is just completely gone for me and my filmmaking community. It's due more to quantity than quality, but there is a slight lessening in quality, in my opinion.

All that is said with the knowledge that you have always ran this site with a controlled level of ads, for free to readers, and for that I really am grateful. I'm just moving on to other blog sites that fit my interests.

When I check in once a week or so, I'll do so via the link you shared. Thanks for that!

July 12, 2013 at 4:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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i've been reading this site daily for about 4+ years now.
we really miss you here Ryan Koo.
kind of missing all the no budgetl DSLR news too.
I know we all kind of graduated from it but even shooting on higher end cameras these DIY cheapo ideas always help the community innovate more efficient shooting methods.
i picked up a 5d when you first came out with the guide, quit the job and have come a long way since.
but i like the community of this site better than most of the others.
also this site still doesn't feel too biased or paid by sponcers

July 11, 2013 at 6:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Kazu

What call my attention is the Final Fantasy music in the background. Anybody of you have seen the 7D punishment?

July 12, 2013 at 3:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Edgar

I'll preface this by saying I haven't watched the video... I had a 50mm f/1.8: it was cheap as chips but lovely and sharp, but I put it in a camera bagand left it in the hold of a boat on a rough day off the South coast of England last summer. When I took it out at the other end, the front element had sheared away from the rear. It's only held together with cheap plastic. Look after your lenses and they'll last you years, but don't expect these cheapies to take any sort of a beating.

July 12, 2013 at 8:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Adrian