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Photographer Ben Cooper took this photo of a Delta 4-Heavy rocket launching at Cape Canaveral using a sound-activated camera. And when your camera is that close to a launch, your lens probably won't survive.
The particular setup for this was sound activated. The lens was destroyed (worth it of course) but the camera survived this one despite being severed from its ratchet straps and thrown to the ground, and the sound device used for this one disconnected from the camera and thrown about 200 feet backwards into the pad perimeter fence (still worked!). All settings are preset manually. No one is allowed closer than several miles from a launch.
Originally posted by Alaskan Man
Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
The article states, as does the quote in your post, that the camera survived but the lens did not.