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Rugby Player Signs (and Ruins?) $94,000 Lens In Celebration of 200th Try

By Hanssie on May 19th 2015

When I was a teacher, I had a 4th grader mistake a permanent marker for a dry erase marker. She wrote all over one side of my white board, and I nearly had a heart attack. The janitor easily and magically wiped it off by coloring over it with a dry erase marker, and all was well.

Kenyan rugby player Collins Injera scored his 200th try on the World Sevens Series this Sunday and celebrated by immediately pulling a permanent marker out of his shoe and signing the game ball. He then ran over to the cameraman who was filming and signed the camera lens. This is a practice that is common in tennis, except in tennis, the players actually sign a protective covering that is placed over the lens, so an expensive piece of equipment doesn’t get ruined.

[REWIND: HOW NOT TO CLEAN YOUR CAMERA AND LENS]

Injera-signs-camera

The price tag on the sports broadcast lens? An estimated $94,000. According to a report on ESPN, the lens is ruined and will be quite costly to repair/replace. Perhaps, they should try using the white board marker trick. A quick search on Google also suggested that nail polish remover with acetone will remove permanent marker from glass, but using a harsh chemical like that on a camera lens is enough to make any photographer cringe. Though, if that does the trick, then it would save a broadcast company a large chunk of change.

Fast forward to the 0:33 second mark to see the moment Injera sets his sights on the unsuspecting cameraman.

[Via Pop Photo]

About

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 www.hanssie.com and www.fittedmagazine.com. Follow her on Instagram. Email her at:
[email protected]

47 Comments

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  1. Kristian Hollund

    Gerard Pique (proper football, you know, the one where they actually use their feet) celebrated Barcelona’s champions league win by spraying champagne all over the camera lens, I was just thinking the same then, hope they have some cover or rain protection on that.

    The camera man immediately tilted the camera down and it was soaked, a lot of champagne flowing off.

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  2. Tom Johnson

    Whos this guy?? The Terrell Owens of Rugby?

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  3. Raoni Franco

    …………YAWN………..

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  5. Michael Giordano

    He really knows how to fill up a stadium!

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  6. Sean Mason

    It shouldn’t cost that much to replace the front element, but still very inconsiderate.

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  7. Dave Haynie

    This sounds like a weird custom in the Tennis world that should have been discouraged long ago, but wasn’t. I wouldn’t expect the players to know enough about camera gear to understand that maybe they shouldn’t have signed that lens.

    That said, unless the marker damaged the lens coating, it’s likely it’ll be fine after a clean in alcohol. I use Sharpies to put serial numbers on my circuit boards, and isopropyl alcohol to clean flux and other junk off after soldering. That alcohol takes the marker right off.

    And if that’s not the cure, it doesn’t stand to reason that a company making a professional $95,000 lens wouldn’t have a service to replace the front element. This can’t be the first time such an element were damaged. Obviously, if that’s necessary, it’s big money for you and me, though far shy of the $95K. Not an issue for ESPN.

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  8. fotosiamo

    You guys are hilarious! It’s not a photographer’s still camera all. It’s a broadcast camera You can see it on the far right at the 0:21 mark: https://youtu.be/VaXwWgbCW_E?t=21s

    It’s probably a Canon DigiSuper: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/887586-REG/Canon_xj60x9b_ie_d_lo_XJ60x9BIE_D_LO_DIGISUPER.html

    Or a Fujinnon DigiPower: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?sts=ma&Ns=p_PRICE_2%7c1&setNs=p_PRICE_2%7c1&N=0&srtclk=sort&Ntt=fujinon+digipower

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  9. Tim Broadbent

    It’s or it was wrong to do but, ? Metholated spirits takes perminant marker off which is alcohol base as mention above . Seems to be quite a few remedies really ? So is this story an over reaction ??? If you can’t afford the lens,!!!!!!!!!!

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  10. Vladimir Ladev

    Looks like he signed a flat piece of glass, imagine how difficult it would be to sign the actual front lense element. So maybe it was all setup with a flat piece of glass in front of the lense can’t really tell.

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  11. Kim Farrelly

    I gave out to a client for touching the retina screen on my Macbook this morning, that’s my kids job after all.
    94K for a lens, least he got the shot in.

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  12. Paul Empson

    easy way to remove permanent marker is to overwrite it with a non-permanent marker… just wipes off..

    Good reason to use a filter..

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  13. Mike Roux

    I say BS, there is no way that permanent marker destroyed the lens, this is clearly a PR stunt. At worst the front element would need to be replaced. How impressive is the macro focus range on that lens?

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    • Hanssie

      It’s an HD broadcast camera so, probably not as easy as just with a typical camera lens. But what do I know. I still think the white board marker solution would work – though there are no volunteers to test it out :)

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    • Dustin Baugh

      If a new one costs $94k I’m thinking it’s at least checking if the front element can be replaced. I’m guessing any repair is going to be expensive, but not that expensive.

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    • Graham Curran

      If you accept that the thing is ruined then you’ve got nothing to lose by trying to clean it.

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    • Graham Curran

      And some people think that you should never put a clear filter on quality glass.

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  14. Rui Pinto

    He probably doesn’t even know that the lens is damaged. Like the article said, in Tennis this is a common thing so…don’t blame the man like this was the worst thing in the world. He was celebrating! :)

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    • Thomas Horton

      Is this rugby player also a tennis player? If not, I don’t see what happens in tennis would apply to what happened at a rugby game.

      I don’t think anyone is claiming that what this person did was the “worst thing in the world”. But it was inconsiderate.

      I still maintain that if a person’s idea of celebrating involves the intentional damaging of someone else’s property, they are celebrating wrong.

      Think of all the people who manage to celebrate stuff even more important than a game where they don’t intentionally damage other people’s stuff. It is not like there is an established linkage between celebrating and damaging stuff. :)

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    • Rui Pinto

      Like I said: “He probably doesn’t even know that the lens is damaged” and he saw others doing the same thing on TV and wanted to do the same. I don’t really think the damage was done with intention so…I don’t agree with you :)

      “If not, I don’t see what happens in tennis would apply to what happened at a rugby game” A celebration is always a celebration no matter the sport.

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  15. J. Dennis Thomas

    I don’t think he was being a “jerk” or an “idiot” really. He was just caught up in the moment. He was excited. Nobody was hurt. ESPN ain’t gonna go bankrupt over it.

    And don’t act like none of you has done something stupid in the heat of the moment….

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    • Thomas Horton

      Well I am only in my 50’s but I am pretty sure I never wrote on a camera lens before. I tend to live my life in such manner that I don’t damage other people’s property.

      When being “caught up in the moment’ means damaging someone elses’ property, it is not acceptable.

      It does not matter if the lens were owned by Bill Gates or a poor unemployed mother of eight.

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    • Richard Olender

      You mean like leaning over a barrier with your lens?

      Sorry! I could not resist ;)

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      You’re also not a celebrity sports player that just made a big landmark in your career. As was reported in some other sports signing a lens is a customary thing to do. More than likely he didn’t know any better. And there’s the fact that he’s Kenyan, he was raised in a different culture and probably perceives the things he sees on TV with a different mindset from me or you.

      And if you tell me you’ve never damaged anything unintentionally in your life, I’d have to say you’re full of it.

      Honestly, the dude made a mistake. Yeah, it was expensive. But like I said nobody was hurt. And I guarantee you that lens is covered by insurance. My equipment is covered and I don’t own anything even approaching that kind of value.

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    • Thomas Horton

      “And if you tell me you’ve never damaged anything unintentionally in your life, I’d have to say you’re full of it. ”

      I never said that I have never unintentionally damaged stuff. The point we were discussing is intentionally damaging stuff. A world of difference.

      It is not like this person slipped and accidently wrote his name on a lens as he was falling. I am not up on Kenyan culture but I doubt that intentionally damaging other people’s property is a key cultural trait in Kenya.

      I could be wrong about Kenya. :)

      It was a deliberate selfish inconsiderate act. I really can’t understand how anyone can consider what this jerk did to be even remotely acceptable. I guess you and I are very different. :)

      You seem to be putting too much emphasis on how rich the owners are or how much insurance will pay for the lens. To me, that is immaterial. Someone has to pay for what this jerk did. Personally, I think the idiot should pay for it, but somehow I doubt he will.

      Would you like it if I damaged your car.. after all, you have insurance? Probably you would be upset, and rightfully so. :) Is it socially acceptable if I intentionally damage stuff owned by rich people. They have plenty of money, they probably won’t miss it. I don’t think so. :)

      That’s not how society works.

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    • Richard Olender

      No I am making a joke. But you seem to be saying that its OK that this guy made a mistake but its not OK for the guy with the camera.

      To me we have 2 people making bonehead moves…, The fact that one is a celebrity does not excuse him. But I guess we will have to agree to disagree

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      “That’s not how society works.”

      But in your society it’s OK to call people “idiots and jerks”. Some society, I bet you wouldn’t like it if I did the same to you. And it’s not a rich “person’s” equipment. It’s a corporation that makes billions of dollars a year. Sorry. I just don’t have compassion for ESPN.

      “But you seem to be saying that its OK that this guy made a mistake but its not OK for the guy with the camera.”

      The guy with the camera BROKE SOMEONE’S FLIPPING ARM. He wasn’t doing a job. He was there as a spectator. He could have possibly ended someone’s career. He could have easily cause someone to die in that mess he created.

      These two incidents are completely unalike.

      Honestly this whole dialogue is becoming tedious. It’s pointless to argue over it. I’ll concede. The athlete should be prosecuted. Throw him in jail for writing on a lens. That’s definitely much worse than causing grievous bodily harm to a professional athlete possibly ruining their future and slinking away to avoid being caught. And poor ESPN! They might go bankrupt. How sad for them. Think of all the people’s lives that were effected by that horrible rugby hooligan…

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    • Thomas Horton

      I think we have amply demonstrated that we have differing opinions on this issue. We will have to agree to disagree. :)

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  16. Stan Rogers

    No need to go for acetone/ketone (which can damage seals and other non-metallic/non-glass lens parts); isopropyl alcohol (which is available as Edwal film cleaner if your local pharmarcy doesn’t stock it) will remove permanent marker. And yes, the player *was* an idiot regardless.

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    • Michael LaNasa

      Keeping this little nugget of advice in my back pocket!

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    • Michael LaNasa

      “Just sign here and the lens is yours!”

      Thank you Mr. Injera, have a great evening!

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    • John Cavan

      Dry erase over it should also take care of it as well, it’s mostly alcohol based.

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    • Arnold Ziffel

      Stan is correct. Plain old rubbing alcohol or better yet, denatured alcohol will remove any ink from glass without harming it.

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    • Paul Monaghan

      I just used a sharpie on the front element of an old 18-55 Pentax kit lens (manufactured over 8 years ago.) and the pen came off without any issue at all without the need of isoproply alcohol.

      Leans coatings are much better than people give them credit for and any modern lens should fair better than my old cheap kit lens imho.

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  17. Nashaine Johnson

    Since no one has any use for that lens anymore I will take it off their hand.

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  18. J. Dennis Thomas

    Well, $94,000 to ESPN is a drop in the bucket. They’ll write it off and go about their business. To me and you that’s an extraordinary amount of money. To a multi-million (billion?) dollar corporation it’s merely a gnat in the ointment.

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    • Thomas Horton

      Hopefully the lens was insured.

      I wonder how much “jerk subject” insurance runs these days. :)

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    • Hanssie

      Actually, I’m not sure that the lens wasn’t from an ESPN cameraman (The way I wrote the sentence made it seem a bit like that- so I changed it). There were no reports on the news agency the cameraman or lens belonged to, but in any case, I’d go the white board marker route first…

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    • Barry Cunningham

      Maybe they can auction it off on eBay for more than $94,000.

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  19. Rob Harris

    ESPN needs to call that janitor…

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  20. Mike Frederick

    Yeah I don’t get that why would he sign a lens, and why would a photographer let him?

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  21. Daniel Thullen

    Perhaps Mr. Injera should continue to celebrate by replacing the lens he damaged.

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    • Thomas Horton

      Mr. Injera probably feels that it is a honour to have his signature and will probably want to charge ESPN for it. :)

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  22. Doug Davis

    I mean, At that point what do you do?! lol

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  23. Thomas Horton

    That player was a jerk. What kind of inconsiderate person would “sign” on a camera lens? What is wrong with people these days?

    I guess it was all about him and to hell with anyone else.

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    • Graham Curran

      You see it all the time with tennis, I guess you need to “know” that they have a piece of glass in front of the TV camera lens and nobody ever puts out a warning “don’t try this at home”.

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