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News & Insight

How Did This Fly Get Into This Weather Sealed Lens? (And How They Got It Out)

By Hanssie on June 10th 2015

Our precious lenses. We collect them like rare jewels, and with each new lens announcement, we pore over the specs, reviews, and real world tests, always considering if that’s the next piece of gear to add to our collection. Many photographers, myself included, will rent a lens to try it out for a few days before making the final purchase decision and pulling out our wallets.

At, they rent out hundreds of lenses (if not thousands) a week and with frequent use, requires frequent cleaning. No one likes a dusty lens, and though it does not affect picture quality at all, the team at LensRentals works diligently cleaning about a hundred lenses each week. Sometimes they find interesting items inside a lens during cleaning – such as a spider who had made its web inside – and the other day, as reported on their blog, they found a fly deep inside the caverns of a Canon 24-105mm f/4.

lensrentals-fly-2 lensrental-fly-1


Though this camera is weather sealed, that did not prevent the fly to make its way into the middle of the lens and get trapped. Now…how to get it out? The process actually took 4 hours of careful lens surgery to extract the doomed fellow. Taking apart the entire lens was the only option, disassembling the “autofocus and mechanical system, leaving the inner optical elements in the helicoid barrels.” If you’ve ever wondered what the inside of a lens looks like, well, here you go:


Well, hello little fly...

Well, hello little fly…

Using needle nose forceps, the technician was able to pull the fly out. They then had to reassemble the lens, recenter and optically adjust it for the next renter. Lens Rentals did point out that before the removal, the fly did not affect the use of the lens, as when they tested it, taking dozens of images, no sign of the fly was present. So you needn’t worry about dust particles getting into your weather sealed lenses. They are just fine with a dust speckle or two.

But if you do happen to get a fly in your lens, or a dust particle, DO NOT try the above lens surgery at home. That should go without saying, but you never know. You can read the full blog post on the site here.

CREDITS: Photographs by are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Daniel Lee

    The fly is probably a trapped Nikon sleeper agent getting info on Canon’s lens element construction! *goes back to reading conspiracy sites*

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  2. Rafael Steffen

    Unsolved mystery!

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  3. Rui Pinto

    The real question here is: how did the fly get in!?

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  4. Graham Curran

    I have weather-sealed lights outdoors yet flies still manage to get in .

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  5. Justin Eid

    That would have bugged me…………………..

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  6. Ben Perrin

    How the hell does a fly get into a weather sealed lens? To be fair I see no marketing saying that lenses are insect sealed…

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    • Thomas Horton

      Unless the system has been subjected to an IP certification, weather sealed means only what the marketing department wants it to mean.

      What is especially tricky are camera manufacturers who use the term” weather sealing” which really tells you nothing. You can put one piece of foam in a camera and rightfully say that it has “weather sealing”.

      Weather sealed means that the system will resist the effects of weather up to the point it doesn’t.

      I tend to ignore marketing terms concerning weather sealing and treat all my camera gear as if it were “weather vulnerable” and take precautions.

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    • Thomas Horton

      I am glad that someone is working the bugs out of Canon Lenses.


      (crickets chirping)

      I will just sit down over there. :)

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    • Tom Marvel

      Waiter! There’s a fly in my lens….

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  7. Jesper Ek

    An eternal fly sarcophagus…

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