D3 stolen

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by alastair_anderson, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. I was interested to read Andrew Fedon's 'D700 stolen' post. I have a similar story. I felt that it warranted a thread of its own because I thought I'd take the opportunity to post a few final photos. I lost my D3, a 35/f2.8 shift lens and a newly acquired 70-300 AF-S VR lens. It pains me to write about this but I thought there might be some catharsis in exposing this sorry situation. Surprisingly, after the initial shock – when I had recovered from feeling physically ill – my primary emotion has been embarrassment. I'm embarrassed that I could have been foolish enough not to have insured something so valuable and vulnerable and embarrassed to have been careless enough to lose it the way I did.
    I guess I gotta blame complacency. Andrew was in London when it happened to him. I was on holiday in South Africa. Crime is ubiquitous but everyone knows that it’s particularly bad in SA The thing is, I am a South African, so when I went to the Musgrave Centre Mall in Durban I felt very much at home. I’ve been going there for at least a quarter of a century. It’s a modern, first world shopping complex; I bought two pro Nikkors there a couple of years ago. Well it turns out the security is not very first world!
    I left the camera in a bag on the floor of the front passenger seat of a hired Toyota for a few minutes while I went into the camera store to have some prints made. This is something that I never do. I always take the bag with me. Well, not this time. As I say, I felt physically sick when I noticed the glass on the floor and saw the little broken triangular window at the back of the car. Musgrave Centre management weren’t particularly helpful. Although I was less than 10 metres from the camera store it seems that I had parked in a CCTV blind spot. I was also unable to persuade the South African Police to check for finger-prints but they were probably right in saying that this would have been fruitless anyway.
    Ah well. So it goes. I didn’t own the VR lens for very long but I had it long enough to learn a few things about it. Fortunately I had downloaded most of my pictures – there couldn’t have been more than a couple of dozen on the cards that were lost.
    Here are some shots taken at the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi gave reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
  2. I wanted to include this shot because it shows the stolen camera bag. I bought this at Schiphol Airport 18 years ago!
  3. Here are a couple of shots to show the bokeh of the VR lens.
  4. Better bokeh in this one, but perhaps it's just better background!
  5. This isn't much of a photograph, but it does confirm that there are lions in the park. On three previous visits we had not seen cats.
  6. Some in the vehicle were scared of this 'white' rhino
  7. We normally see lots of elephants but there were pretty scarce this time.
  8. You don't normally see lilac breated rollers this far south
  9. Back to the big 5.
  10. This has to be one of my favourite shots.
  11. Another shot of the endangered oxpecker.
  12. I like this painterly (pointillist?) portrait.
  13. And finally, the VR lens is very sharp. This is a picture of my mother - the real reason for visiting South Africa.
  14. Alastair, I know how you feel. I had my favorite camera and three lenses stolen in Barcelona a few weeks ago, within an hour of my arrival. It was stolen while a screaming woman (I'm sure she was an accomplice) distracted me. I felt as if I had planned a trip with a friend, but then the friend didn't show up. I ended up leaving on the second day because the whole point of the trip was to take pictures.
    Your pictures have really beautiful color subleties in them, don't you agree? I hope you get a replacement soon. Maybe the new camera will be even nicer.
  15. I feel your pain, Alastair. Thank you for sharing. Your story may give me the impetus to finally get some insurance for my modest equipment.
    Some very nice shots. You said that you downloaded the shots from the camera/card, but, by any chance were they still in the camera, also? If so, it may be worthwhile to watch on the photo search engines for them to show up on the net.
  16. I lost my uncles Rolleicord III when I stupidly left my backpack in the backseat of my car in a park in Vancouver, Canada, when I went for a quick 5 minute walk with my Nikon FE2 to take a few photos of a girl I was dating. I wasn't thinking (because the girl was with me and I was excited) and when I came back to the car, no broken glass, but the drivers side door wouldn't open with the key, which was strange, so I unlocked the car with the passenger side door. I didn't even think about it until about 10 minutes after we began driving, and I looked in to the backseat and saw my backpack was missing!! I lost the Rolleicord, a Nikon 28mm lens that belonged to my father, some shot film, filters, and misc clothes. I was heartbroken and actually cried when we reached our next destination. I reported it to the police in Vancouver by telephone later that evening from the hotel, and got a case number, which was all I needed to claim the insurance when I got back home to Seattle. The Vancouver police were polite and suggested I visit some pawn shops, but I knew that was pretty pointless. I've since replaced the equipment but the shot film, backpack and misc clothes are gone forever. Since then I always carry my camera with me when I leave the car, no matter what.
  17. You (just a chance) might try putting out a advertisement (in the newspaper?) for a used Nikon camera body and a lens. The crook might be just dumb enough to try and sell the camera. It's doubtful he will understand how to make use of a Nikon D3 for his photography....
    Are there many pawn shops in South Africa?
  18. Sorry to hear about this... You have some beautiful shots with it.
    Thieves know no boundaries in what they will do to gain access to other's material / property. They could have been following you for a while - watching you put the bag in the car - then not take it out - or they could have been randomly checking vehicles for bags left in the open.
    In the US the malls all have large signs posted telling you not to leave any valuable items in your car. Thefts are especially bad around Christmas - when the thieves know you take a load of presents / gifts/ items out to the car and then return to the mall to do more shopping.
    Sometimes no matter what you do - the bad guys win. A co-worker of mine flew into another city in the US - he had 2 bags with him - an overnight bag and a shoulder laptop bag. He was met at the airport by a friend - they put both bags into the trunk of the car. A few miles from the airport they stopped for a bite to eat and a beverage. When they came out the trunk of the car was open and both bags were gone. The thief didn't touch anything inside the car... Police speculated that they were watched from the time they left the terminal at the airport - then either followed or cell phoned to a waiting accomplice who actually performed the robbery. According to my co-worker - they never once in the restaurant or parking lot - mentioned anything about anything in the trunk.
  19. I cannot imagine having something that expensive stolen. Sorry to hear that. I just shoot an N80 and I imagine the thief would just give it back after being so disapointed with it.
  20. I feel your pain completely. If someone took my D3s (s as in plural - unfortunately!) I would unseath my seriously sharp katana and go hunting! Merciless hunting... Really...!
    But still, lessons learned:
    1. NEVER, EVER leave your bag unattended, even for a moment, ANYWHERE!
    2. When travelling, keep your wits about you! A stranger being kind may not be a crook, but it hurts nobody to be wary (but NOT rude or anything)
    3. If you cannot afford to replace, insure. I pay around 300 euros per year for insurance, but at the end of the day, it's worth it (I hope - 5 years now and no incidents....)
  21. Indeed sorry to hear and I can imagine the sense of loss if that happened to me. I have a backpack camera bag and because it is a backpack, it does not look like a camera bag. I feel that gives me an extra measure of security but that bag is ALWAYS with me especially when I am traveling.
  22. You have my deepest sympathies Alastair. I fully understand the gut wrenching feeling you have felt, as you have seen the 'other' thread with my loss. Despite having lost my D700, I felt badly also for the photos that I had taken and lost before having downloaded them. Took some great shots of the crew 'up front' , on the outbound flight, being that it is a VERY privaliged place to be nowadays, and having promised them the photos, I felt terrible that I'd lost them. Thats why I was determined to repeat the photos with the replacement D700 on the return trip, as per the example on the current Wednesday forum. Those photos made it all worthwhile for me to replace camera.
    Someone suggested on the other thread that it is maybe better to just take a point n' shoot when travelling. As far as I'm concerned, part of the reason for travelling is to enjoy the pleasure of using my DSLR and lenses to take photos, and it will be sad day when we have to leave our gear at home because of the scumbags of this world. Whats the point of having it if we cannot use it in the places of beauty that we go to visit ?
  23. Thanks for the sympathetic words, guys. They are much appreciated.
    Diane, a fellow victim; my condolences. Thanks for your comments about the colours. I did boost most of them but they are supposed to be natural. (My monitor hasn’t been calibrated, but I viewed most of the pictures on the camera too.) Only the giraffe shot has been tampered with significantly and in fact the colour tinge is uncontrived. It’s largely the result of shooting directly through the car windscreen without a lens hood!
    Jim, thanks for your suggestion. No, there were some ‘urban landscape’ pictures in the camera. I had taken most of them a few minutes before the theft occurred. I regret the loss of these pictures. I had taken some care in their composition with the shift lens – which I find incredibly useful, incidentally. The purpose was to show them to a friend who used to live in Durban 30 years ago but who is now in London.
    Dave, thanks for sharing that. I too have a police case number. Unfortunately my travel insurance explicitly excludes claims in respect of anything left in an unattended vehicle! I’ve got mates in Durban scouring the pawn shops. A Rolleicord is a beautiful camera by the way. I like the simplicity of it compared to the Rolleiflex.
    Jerry, interesting suggestion. I’ll have to think about that.
    David, thanks for the compliment re the shots. The South African police told me that the thieves pay special attention to hired cars. I’m not sure how they would recognise them, but apparently hired cars are watched and followed. This is a little scary because South African criminals are very often armed and unscrupulous.
    ross, great comment! But actually I wouldn’t be surprised if the thief in SA wouldn’t know the difference between an N80 and a D3. Anyhow you can take pictures with the N80 that are as good as what can be taken with a D3. I just happen to be an ‘equipment nut’. I really enjoy having first rate equipment but I’d be the first to admit that my pictures don’t do it justice.
    Marios, you’re right of course. I know you’re right but the horse has bolted! Thanks for your comments. I need to hear this.
    Tony, thanks. I can certainly see the value of disguise now!
    Andrew, thanks for the kind words. I’m sorry about your pictures. The ones that I lost were not important. I couldn’t agree with you more about travelling and taking pictures.
    I now have a significant dilemma. Do I buy another Nikon, or go for the Leica M9? This may sound as if money is not an issue for me, which is far from the case. Over the years I have collected some very nice equipment. I have several Leicas and lots of lenses as well as a couple of Hasselblads, Rolleiflexes etc. The time has now come to liquidate most of it. Fortunately my pro Nikkors weren't in the bag when it was stolen, so I still have 3 lenses. I can either keep the Nikkors and sell everything else in order to replace the D3. Or I can sell everything other than a selection of Leica lenses and get an M9. Either way I'd have to contribute a fair amount of cash unfortunately!
    I only bought the D3 in the first place because I wasn't happy with what the Leica dealers offered (Also at that time there was no full frame Leica.) It makes sense for me to get a Leica because I have a fairly extensive range of lenses from 21mm to 400mm.
    But, I'm not sure that I can go back after experiencing the advantages of the digital SLR. It's no good for action, but I love the VR feature of the 70-300 for example.
    I'll have to give this a lot of thought, and I'll have to start some serious saving.
  24. bmm


    Andrew Fedon - can I just congratulate you on the last line of your post "Whats the point of having it if we cannot use it in the places of beauty that we go to visit ?" I love that attitude, even in the face of your recent loss, and it is a good contrast to those who would compromise out of fear.
    Alastair - my sympathies sincerely. But in the same breath can I say your images are fantastic and you have a real talent.

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