I was going to throw the Sigma 150-500 mm lens out after my fall and Shattered lens a couple of weeks ago as it was totally useless and I couldn’t afford a replacement at around Aust$1400 now I’m not working – (actually some suppliers seem to quote $1600+).  I don’t think Sigma make the 150-500 mm lens any more, the new version is 150-600 mm.

The Good News in regard to my broken long telephoto ‘birding‘ lens is that it CAN be repaired (and IS being repaired as I speak).  That repair comes with a 90 day warranty.

Initially, I thought it was just the UV filter I have on all my lens to protect them. I took the broken filter off and turned the camera upside down and the glass fell out of the lens barrel.

Had to go into the city for an appointment and decided to take the lens to my camera shop hire/repair department and have a chat to the technician on duty.  He inspected it and said the barrel and remaining glass was in excellent condition and it would be a shame not to, “at least get it assessed”.  Another technician joined in the conversation and agreed.

So I paid out the $70 inspection fee and the hire/repair department sent it off to Sigma, (or wherever they send Sigma lenses).

The Good News was that it could be repaired – new ‘glass & recalibration etc’ – but was going to cost $760 (actually I guessed it would be $600-$700 at least, so I wasn’t far wrong).

I couldn’t afford that so I said just return the broken lens to me.

Of course that afternoon I saw some potential great Bird shots (just like I’d been seeing for some days prior to that).  I’ve missed that lens dreadfully since it broke.

I uhmmmmm and ahhhhhed.  The next day I emailed them and said go ahead and fix it!

Mind you I’ll have to reduce the food budget for the next 2-3 months, but, what else do I do but Photography (I thought to myself).  I don’t drink, smoke, go on holidays, buy clothes, socialize, go out partying, play sport or anything that normal healthy working folk do.

Sometimes in life you have to grit your teeth, make some concessions for the things you value in your life and do what makes you Happy.

Basically losing this lens was like losing my whole lifestyle. I might almost call it mandatory to my Lifestyle enjoyment, (but that would be a gross exaggeration I suppose). I’m no longer living near any gardens to do my much in the way of flower photography any more.  I don’t have a car, or the health, to travel out to the countryside or mountains (let alone interstate or overseas like I did in my youth).  It wasn’t just about my one and only hobby.  It was about losing something that had brought me so much joy and a constant distraction from daily pain and other health symptoms.  It was an important part of my health ‘treatment’.  This long lens gave me challenges or goals (in photographing birds).

The BAD NEWS is – it’s still hot in Melbourne and despite a heavy downpour from a thunderstorm last night which saved me having to water my potted plants, today has dawned hot and humid again.

With any luck, by the time the long ‘birding’ lens is repaired, the weather might have cooled down enough for a walk outdoors?

I mean to say, just how many ‘House Sparrow sitting on the Bird Bath’ shots can you really share online without boring your long-time followers to death.

(That’s a rhetorical question by the way) 😀


30 thoughts on “GOOD NEWS & BAD NEWS

  1. I’m not bored yet — bring on the sparrows. And I’m glad that you’re going to get that lens repaired. Even though I only (only!?!) have a 70-300mm lens, it makes things possible that otherwise wouldn’t be. Likewise, the macro lens. If something goes wrong, there won’t be any replacing a broken lens — at least until I get the dentist paid off. I’ve never had any serious dental work done before (root canal, crowns) and when I saw the bill for that, I nearly had a heart attack. I’ll grant you that I’m fond of my teeth, and prefer to keep them, but it’s a disappointment to not be able to travel this spring. Ah, life.

    We’ve swung from coolish to very warm, and now we’re on the way back down again. It’s not really odd; it’s just early spring in Texas. Still, I’ll be happy when we’re finally in that lovely, stable spring pattern, with blue skies and mild temperatures.

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    1. Thanks for your kindness is saying you weren’t bored with House Sparrow shots yet. I suppose I AM getting a bit bored as the Fairy-wrens and other birds have been absent since this heat wave started.

      I broke a tooth and filling early last week and was shocked to find my private health insurance didn’t cover its replacement (since I downgraded to ‘basic’ dental cover, instead of ‘comprehensive’ dental cover). Dentists can charge whatever they like in Australia. There is no standard fee like there is for Doctors and most Alternative Health practitioners.

      We’ve had a very hot January and so far, February……mixed with a couple of cooler days here and there. Too hot for me having a heart condition though.


    1. ….yes, so when I get the repaired lens back, I’ll be keen to visit the nearest nature reserve, KD. Or maybe, just walk around my apartment building and take the 5-7 minutes walk down to the nearest pond or the river. My Sony a6000’s 55-210mm lens doesn’t get me anywhere near as close to the birds.

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    1. When I bought a camera and took up Photography in 2010, I finally found something I could do with chronic pain and restricted movement Ted. I couldn’t see well enough to paint or read much, but I could go for a slow walk and press that shutter button. And of course, I eventually improved from being able to walk only about 40 feet with chest pain and breathlessness in 2010, to 3-5 hours of slow walking stopping every 30-40 feet taking photos in 2015/16/17. More lower spine surgery and new hip pain has put a dampener on my nature walks, but I still have fun photographing a lot of birds visiting my balcony.

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  2. I’m pleased to hear that you and your lens will soon be reunited — and I like sparrow shots lol.
    I have a car in a similar situation to your lens and only a minor miracle (lots of unexpected money) will get her going again, so I’m glad that one of us is on the road to happiness. I have always loved ‘long lens’ shots, particularly in movies. My ANCIENT digital camera will crank out to about 330, which isn’t terrible, but 500 is so much better. The camera is very old (about 16 years old) and it takes 20 seconds to process between shots. The lag from depressing the button to the actual shot is in the order of three seconds! This makes capturing action shots an interesting challenge haha.

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    1. Sorry to hear about your car, Terry. I know as a published writer, your ‘purse’ fluctuates like mine. I’m lucky enough to have bought my photography gear in 2010 with a small inheritance, but I still prefer to channel my limited finances to photography gear rather than clothes, shoes or a social life (like most females).


    1. The Camera store just rang me, Terry. The lens is ready to pick up. That was quick. I only got the quote last Thursday and dropped in on Friday to sign off the repair instruction. For me that long lens has been great fun and a real challenge to use (doing bird photography). I really do thrive on a good challenge, despite living a quiet life in enforced retirement. I’ll wait for a cooler day to go into the city to pick it up though. It’s a hot trip just for one errand at the moment.

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  3. Yes Vicki, sometimes we have to have this internal battle with ourselves, and thankfully you’ve come to the best decision 🙂 When I had times of very reduced mobility, sitting outside with my camera saved my sanity – although some would question that 🙂 I’m hoping a generous benefactor will come to your aid, and pay for the repairs xx

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    1. I always battle with any expenditure now I’m living on a frugal pension, but as you say, our cameras & photography really do keep us sane.
      My credit card will bear the brunt of it, but my brother filled my fridge with fresh produce from his farm last Sunday, so that will be a bit of savings in the food budget.


  4. I’m with you… I’d rather get some camera accessory rather than clothes or shoes. I’m so glad you ‘bit the bullet’ (so to speak) and decided to get the lens repaired. I’m not sure I could stand not having a zoom for birds.
    Now… we just need that heat to give up for both you and the birds!!!!

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    1. Good to hear that I’m not the only one to place Photography gear at the top of the shopping list, Gunta. Lets face it, the more clothes you’ve got the harder it is to chose what to wear in the morning 🙂

      I think the heat is here to stay for at least another 3-4 weeks, but I’ll be glad to be proved wrong.

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    1. Yes, the lens repair is very expensive, but a new lens would be double that. The repaired lens is ready to be picked up already, so next city visit, I’ll get my long telephoto lens back and hopefully, another trip to the coast nature reserve in the near future. When it cools down that is. Lovely and cool today.

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    2. Not sure where it got sent, David.
      I assume Sigma, but maybe it’s a general camera repairer that does all brands. I know my Sony went back to Sony when that camera broke.


  5. I really understand this…..and you are so right. I have one or two things in my life that may seem like ” wasting money” to some people but to me they are a vital part of my mental health.

    Just wanted to say that I really understand and I’m glad you are getting your camera fixed.

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    1. I guess we all have different priorities in life (when living on a frugal income), Connie. Each of us is a unique individual with different needs and perspectives on life. I guess I’m saying that Photography and walking outdoors, limited as it may be, is very important to me 🙂

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  6. Keep bringing on the sparrows,Vicki. I truly hope that you will not regret your decision vis-a-vis your camera, but I doubt it. Being able to take and later to look at photographs is so joyful, it would be a shame for your to miss out.

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    1. The House Sparrows, common as they are, are still so much fun to observe. Especially lately and for the first time, I am getting more than one sparrow on the bird bath at the same time. For years only one would visit at a time and the others would patiently wait on the fence railing ‘until the bath was free’ :0
      Will probably pick up the repaired camera today as I have to go to the north of the city centre.

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