Lessons Learned

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Sony A6000 and 20mm Lens Destroyed….Again….Yes….Again - Part 2 of 2

Part 2 of 2

So why am I writing this story….. I lost another Sony A6000 (my third)…..

While on one of the 10,000 Islands near the Caxambass Pass with my daughter who join me for this sail I pulled out my kite and Stratospool and put the Levitation delta fitted with a Mike LeDuc dynamic spreader. The kite flew great and I was confident to put my auto KAP rig with the Sony A6000 on the line and send it up in the air to capture the wonderful “sand art” from above.

This KAP plan was working well enough that I tied off the delta kite to a piece of driftwood along the shore….. and proceeded to pull out my few month old DJI Mini 2 drone for some fun shots of my daughter and the surrounding area. I did a few spot checks on the Levitation delta and all was going well. A fun 25 minute session with the Mini 2 drone completed successfully…. With many fine 4K videos and stills (jpeg and DNG).

I began to wind in the Levitation delta with the auto KAP rig with my trusty Stratospool kite line reel…..getting ready to pack everything up and head back out for a returning sail.

As the KAP rig neared the ground….. I noticed an odd behavior…. The auto KAP rig was in continuous pan mode… slowly spinning with out stopping or making any tilt movements….. I immediately knew this was not a good sign….

Upon retrieving the auto KAP rig and Sony A6000 camera…. A quick inspection revealed the source of the problem….

  • I had placed a protective daylight filter on the Sony 20mm lens (to protect against scratches)….when I inspected the lens (still attached to the camera) it was like looking at an aquarium …. The lens was half full of salt water…. Water was trapped between the daylight filter and the lens….. not a pretty sight…..

  • The camera was not working – no power – ….

  • The auto KAP rig pan servo was still spinning…..

  • The CAMremote controller looked suspect…

Basically the camera took a dunk in the Gulf of Mexico with out me noticing (while I was flying the drone) …. The Sony A6000 camera is a lost, the rig is a partial lost, 20mm lens is a lost, I still need to check out the servos and controller…..

I did take some immediate actions, battery removal, flush with fresh water, followed by dry outs….

I was hopeful that 2021 would be an improvement over 2020 … but the KAP Spirits had other ideas.
See a few close up shots of the salt water damage below and in this flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wind-watcher/albums/72157719022422756

KAP Camera Loss
KAP Camera Loss
KAP Camera Loss
KAP Camera Loss
KAP Camera Loss
On the positive side:

  • I was able to recover all the pictures from the KAP session … (small consolation) ,,,
  • I did not loose everything like I did in 2020….
  • I was able to fly kites just about every day after this loss….
  • I recently passed my FAA Part 107 Commercial remote pilots certification for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) …. Official drone pilot…..
  • I got to spend many unexpected hours flying my drone and taking lots of pictures and 4K video that I was not expecting to do.
  • I got to take lots of pictures and video of my kites in the air…..from my drone…..
  • Still learning…..my multitasking behavior (not focusing 100% of the time on the kite and KAP rig) …. Is at the center of most of my failures….

What is next:

  • I am still flying kites and taking pictures
  • I am in the early phase of deciding on what camera I will use to replace my destroyed Sony A6000. I am leaning towards….a used Sony A5000….going back in time….. hoping to be back in the air with KAP soon
  • More time with the drone…..
  • Avoiding discussing this subject with my wife….my KAP investments (cameras, rigs, kites)…. it seems these investments are not risk free….by a long shot….

Did I say KAP pictures are priceless….. 😉

Enjoy a few pictures below and in these flickr albums:



  • That's a whole lot of damage dollars!!
    I've said it before when people have asked for recommendations on a good quality but inexpensive KAP camera - the Sony A5000 is very underrated. An intervalometer program should still be available from the Sony store (I'll send you a quick email about that). The standard 16-50mm lens is decent. You have manual settings to play with if you so desire. Raw is available is you like tinkering with your pictures. It is a great everyday camera too. These are photos I have shared in the Sony A5000 Flickr group pool.
    While I know the A6000 is a superior camera, I do not feel I have missed out by buying the slightly lower spec A5000 7 years ago.

  • What an expensive mistake, Jim! With all that salt water around, you were taking quite a risk, and this one didn't pay off. It sounds as if the drone is starting to edge out the kite as your means of aerial photography, but I know you will stay faithful to KAP, because on your travels (when they resume) there must be many places where a drone would not be permitted, and we know of your ability to fly a kite in the most difficult of locations and somehow get fantastic results every time.

  • Hi WindWatcher,
    very sad for your troubles...
    it is clear that the list of material consumption is out of common imagination
    wish you all the best possible
    SMAC from Italy

  • edited April 26

    WW, I don't know if you are taking votes, but the story about getting your KAP stuff confiscated by police in India sounds like an interesting one to me. :)

    While you are thinking of options to replace your camera, I'll put in a plug for the Sony RX0. It's tiny, the image quality in good light (as in KAP) will be equal to your A6000, and the lens is wider than your 20mm. Plus it's waterproof, which, as you and I both found out, can be helpful sometimes...

  • Hey Jim I have a brand new never used Sony NEX 5n with the box and all the items that came with it. If your interested send me an email.

  • Hi Nestor, Good to hear from you! Thanks for the offer....
    I am still working on replacement KAP camera options...
    I have both a Sony NEX and NEX-T cameras on my "KAP retirement shelf" that I may take out of retirement and press into flight operations again ;-).


  • Looks like you need a Sony RX0 and a non electronic rig Jim. (other waterproof cameras are available)
    Fly High

  • Slowly getting back into KAP.
    - picked up a used Sony A6000.....
    - picked up a used Sony 20mm prime lens....
    - Starting to work on the KAP rig next (servos, CAMremote controller).....
    Still flying kites every week....
    Still taking pictures from above....but with my four prop camera.... ;-)
    Enjoy a simple sunset video here:


  • A beautiful piece of art!

  • Thanks Jim,
    My dog Tucker in the video passed away yesterday....with my kite in the air over WW proving grounds....a good companion for over 15 years .... and a lot of kite flying...he will be missed. :'(


    Marco Island

    Marco Island

  • Hi WindWatcher,

    very sad for your dog, an important piece of family missing
    SMAC from Italy

  • Sad news, Jim. I hope you find a good replacement.

  • Hi Sorry for your loss. Wishing you comfort and peace during this difficult time.
    I still remember him when I had visited your house few years back.

  • I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your faithful KAP Partner, Jim.

    I lost mine over five years ago, and I still miss her every day.


  • I hear you Chaz....doing a bit of research on my next 4 legged KAP partner.....hope to line up a puppy by the end of the summer!


  • KAP Rig is finally operational again. Hope to be in the air over the skies of Wisconsin this weekend. ;-)


  • Well done, Jim. Take care! There are some keen kite-fliers in Wisconsin, and I'm sure Michael Sherman and the rest of them will be glad to see you, so I hope you're meeting up with them.

  • edited August 7

    Good to be back in the air! 4 KAP sessions completed so far in Wisconsin. Fair number of people joined the fun. Pictures coming!


  • Return to KAP started with a bang.....of people enjoying kite flying....KAP pictures coming soon.

    Enjoy the smiles!


    People who fly kites ;-)

    People who fly kites ;-)
    People who fly kites ;-)
    People who fly kites ;-)
    People who fly kites ;-)
    People who fly kites ;-)
    People who fly kites ;-)
    People who fly kites ;-)

  • edited August 25

    A few pictures taken from the kite above Lake Geneva Wisconsin!

    Feels great to get my KAP gear back in the air.

    Upgraded my Lightroom and moved to a new computer....took a bit of doing but should be on the correct path going forward.



    Kite Above Lake Geneva WI
    Kite Above Lake Geneva WI

    Kite Above Lake Geneva WI

    Kite Above Lake Geneva WI

  • edited August 28

    Nice! It's always fun getting a new kite, rig, or camera in the air. I need to get to work on a portrait-orientation frame for my rig for a specific subject I have in mind.

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