It seems only a week ago I was reporting on the lens-smashing effect of a 104mph ball at a Miami Marlins baseball game. The Sony 400mm GM in question became a global story, but incredibly it's already happened again. Do these lenses have magical powers?
Well, no, probably not. But this baseball game, caught on Chinese TV station CPBL, shows another Sony 400mm GM lens – which, as we pointed out at the time, cost a not inconsiderable amount – being struck by a traveling ball.
Circulated by YouTube channel #WeAre, the video clip reveals that this impact didn't seem to have quite the drama of the MLB incident since the ball had already bounced and lost a lot of its momentum. Instead, it seems to turn around in the lens hood, which the photographer and friends are seen to remove to inspect the glass for harm.
Meanwhile, in America, Sony joined in with an inspiring effort from friends of Jim Rassol – the unlucky photographer whose 400mm GM was very definitely smashed by the high-speed foul ball.
It seemed Jim Rassol wasn't insured for an event as unlikely as a direct ball strike, but the generosity of GoFundMe donors had already propelled the page to $7,363 (AU$11,016) from 186 donors when Sony stepped in and said that it would cover any additional costs of a repair / replacement, and provided a loan lens in the meantime so Jim lost no more freelance income.
Since Sony's FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS is around $18,000 to buy, it's understandable that even pros can take their destruction seriously.
You can see more about the Jim Rassol incident, including video – and another baseball vs camera crash – on the original story: Major League Damage. We also have a list of the best cameras for sports photography.