Requiem for a constant companion

There was a grave accident involving river rapids and a canoe. The body will be returned to me soon. This is the beginning of my grieving process.

There’s always one main character missing from every home movie, the one capturing the footage. I find myself today without a lot of photos of my dearly departed for this reason. The shot above is the first exposure I made to test it out. The Alpha frame as it were.

My Canon 5D Mark II had a good run. I purchased it second-hand in anticipation of a 9-day hiking trip over 3 years ago. It has been up and down more mountains than I care to count. It has traveled the world with me. It’s captured all our holidays, weddings, road trips, and a stupid number of sunsets. Who knows what adventures it had with its first owner? <foreshadowing>And to think in our first months together I was afraid to even take it along with me in a kayak on calm water!</foreshadowing>

On the Allagash River while undertaking the Chase Rapids, we took on water. (Obviously!) The 5D is quite resistant to water. I learned that the hard way, after leaving it out in a thunderstorm overnight earlier this year. It bounced back nicely after bag o’ rice therapy. However, it’s decidedly not as good at resisting partial submersion in several inches of water for several minutes. It probably would have been fine if I could have applied rice therapy later that same day. Alas, no bags of rice in the Maine wilderness, and despite my attempts to irradiate it in the sun each day, it ultimately succumbed to corrosion and ennui. No bag o’ rice could have saved it. Not even the experts at Canon Professional Services:

Dear Benj Lipchak:

Thank you for contacting Canon product support concerning the repair of your EOS 5D Mark II. I am happy to assist you.

I did check and the Factory Service Center found your camera has extensive water damage and corrosion. Unit would require most structural and electrical components. Camera has been deemed beyond economical repair.

I am very sorry for the inconvenience that this has caused you.

Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance with your EOS 5D Mark II.

Thank you for choosing Canon.


Technical Support Representative

This is the last exposure made before the rapids… Haunting. The Omega frame. RIP.


5 thoughts on “Requiem for a constant companion”

  1. That’s a bummer. At least it’s unlikely you’ll ever loose/destroy as much as you did on this trip. A wedding ring and camera will be hard to top…

    I do wonder how much of that “extensive water damage and corrosion” was actually caused by this trip though. I bet its cumulative from an inspection standpoint. For example my camera has a fair amount of exterior rust on the hotshoe, but since it still works (except for the built in flash which I don’t use) I don’t mind. Still I bet if they opened it they would say it has a lot of internal corrosion from water. That’s just the inspection standpoint though. From a practical standpoint that doesn’t matter until it stops working.

    What is my point? I don’t really have one…

  2. 🙁 Similar with an S4 I had. Three words. Zip Lock Bag. Waterproof, and floats to boot!

    Swim in peace little fella!

    Darn your form validation!

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