Every once in awhile we all make dumb mistakes…even though we know better. Recently I was in Iceland and was using my 24-70mm f/2.8 Nikon lens ( the “old” non-VR version). I’ve owned this lens ever since it came out but I rarely carry it any more, as I prefer the 24-120mm f/4 for travel. I had the f/2.8 lens with me in Iceland on the off chance I might need that faster aperture for some night photos.
I’ve known for many years that the 24-70mm has a minor flaw that only shows up when the lens is used in a unique non-typical photographic situation. It has a light leak, through the little plastic window that shows the focusing distance. This leak affects the image only when there is a strong light source directly hitting the window coupled with a long exposure time, a combination that most photographers do not experience. How long have I known about this? Well, just Google “light leak Nikon 24-70mm” and you’ll find links going back to 2010.
The solution is really simple: cover the plastic window with a small bit of gaffer’s tape, which is exactly what I did way back when. But at some point in time, for some reason I don’t recall, I removed that tape and forgot all about the possibility of a problem. And then in Iceland I used the lens in the exact “not typical” situation: strong sunlight hitting the window coupled with a 10-stop ND filter to slow the shutter speed to 15 seconds at f/14 and ISO 64. Here’s the result:
I use Live View a lot for landscape work, so I immediately saw the light streak across the frame. Hello John, remember this? I keep a few strips of gaffer’s tape stuck on the inside of my camera pack, so I ripped off a small section and covered the little window. My first rule of life: don’t be dumb.