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Gear & Apps

Destroying equipment live on camera: Right or wrong?

By Matthew Saville on November 14th 2012

If you haven’t already seen this insane review of full-frame 24-70 f/2.8 zooms, be warned-  This video is not for the weak-stomached equipment nerd. It involves a baseball bat and the freshly reviewed lenses.



My question is, WHY?  Why destroy a perfectly good piece of equipment that could serve any number of purposes, maybe even donated to a charity or something.

Of course the answer is obvious-  shock value, ratings, and reputation.  There will always be “shock jockeys” out there, everywhere.  (Not just on radio!)  The bottom line is that destruction sells.  (Just like the adage “sex sells”, which they also attempt to utilize in the video.)  I can understand why society feeds off it, even though I don’t agree with it.   I’m sure there are plenty of aspiring-yet-broke photographers out there, who would die to have~$4,000 to spend on lenses, who can’t stand to watch gear go to waste either.

While the review is actually technically sound and I did appreciate the comparisons for things like sharpness and vignetting, I still feel like the ending is a cop-out.  It doesn’t add credibility to the reviewer, or the results.  It simply makes the review stick in your mind.  Basically, they just spent ~$4,000 on generating traffic.  I would love to say they “wasted” the money, but that’s not true-  They certainly generate traffic!

Personally, I just think there are many other ways to achieve ratings, build a reputation, and prove your point.  Sites like DigitalRev has proven that reviews can be fun and engaging, without taking a baseball bat to your product after the review.  Heck, even their over-the-top torture test of the Canon 7D is is still infinitely more realistic and even useful proof of a camera’s everyday durability.

Or, if you have that much money to spend on generating traffic, why not do something like we do here at SLR Lounge from time to time, and just raffle off the gear?  I can guarantee that would generate just as much traffic, if not more.

Who knows, maybe they’re actually just smashing lens mugs, and the joke is on me!  :-P Even if the lenses are fake or defective, the visual results have the same initial impact on viewers, whether it be positive or negative. Personally, (real or not) I just don’t care for the overall mentality of destruction. Maybe because when I was a kid some neighbor took a hammer to my favorite Tonka Truck? (True story!)

So, now I’m ready (and very curious) to hear YOUR thoughts…

Until next time,
=Matthew Saville=

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Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge.

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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ed Rhodes

    so sad :(

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  2. Beth Shaw

    OMG. I LOVE WOMP. Especially when that nerdy guy with the glasses broke the 5D MIII. That and the strippers in episode one is what got me hooked!!

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  3. Dave Phillipich

    I personally prefer the shotgun taking out the Nikon in episode 2 – or the classic sledgehammer to the Canon in the original. John Pellett, photographer extraordinaire, is a maestro of camera destruction.

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  4. Mike Rotman

    Thanks Matthew- excited to hear what people think.

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  5. Martin

    The WOMP guys are great, they are very didactic and entertaining. 
    They use the “break thigs” trick pretty often (see and i am a neanderthal who finds that hilarious :D

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  6. awad saad


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  7. Jason McDonald

    While I can’t say with 100 percent certainty, I’m guessing they are mugs and/or already busted lenses. I doubt they will come out and say “They were fake.” because then it would take away the shock factor which generated the traffic. Enjoyed the review, fake breaks or not…

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  8. John m

    Pretty sure the nikon and canon are just cheap coffee mugs.  Look at the Nikon on the ground.  

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  9. Wil G

    nooooooooo… whyyyyyyyy!?!?!?   (**whimpers in the corner)

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  10. Ben Meir Ohayon

    they busted lenses so sites like yours can review their absurd video and complain about lens bashing. but at the same time generate traffic for them. lensbashers 1  slr lounge 0.

    (im pretty sure canon and nikon were just cups, and sigma was probably a broken version bought off ebay for the video)

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  11. Guest

    First and for sure last video of yours that I’ve ever seen! Destroying the lenses was just some non-sense #*^! … totally agree with “dzakary” ‘s comment. Think about it…

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  12. Bjoern Schulz

    absolutly wrong !!!

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  13. marxxxo

    Hay que ser muy hueon para romper lentes sin sentido; no eres cool.

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  14. dzakary

    I would have preferred they rent the lenses, test them and use the money they saved from the purchase to either give to a charity or give away 1 of the lenses to their audience.

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  15. Marlon

    Maybe the Canon and Nikon they hit were just them hot water flask you get from eBay?

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    • Kevinduquemin

      that would be why they did not brake up at all ,did nt think of that ,but that sigma was  in millions of bits

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  16. Kevinduquemin

    all I said was NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO when he hit the 24-702.8 L for six

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  17. Eric Anderson

    If they can afford it then more power to them. Personally I think it was one of the best reviews I’ve seen. They compared features that I care about as a photographer, and alerted me to a feature I didn’t even know Tameron had on that lens. All of this, plus the production of the review was great.

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  18. Shades Zone

    Why destroy your gear?

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  19. Andreas Werner

    I actually like the fact that they destroyed the other lenses.  To me, it was an outward expression of their commitment to the review. 

    I did cringe a little though  =)

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  20. Ivan Ivanov

    Couldn’t agree more!

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  21. ✈illNana☁

    they were probably broken already no ones that stupid 

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  22. Joan Feldvary

    Why destroy a perfectly good piece of equipment, there is someone some where that has very little that would really like to have it.

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