Photographer finds fully-functional Fujifilm lens 4 months after losing it in the desert

20 Oct

Modern camera lenses are durable, but a little anecdote from Steve Boykin, writing for 35mmc, shows just how far weather-sealing has come in the past few years.

Four months ago, in June of this year, Boykin managed to lose his Fujifilm XF 23mm F2 R WR lens while on a hike in the wilderness. This week, he managed to stumble across the lens while out on another trek and after a bit of cleaning up, he says the lens is in seemingly perfect condition, even after withstanding the summer heat, countless thunderstorms and freezing temperatures.

The location where Boykin found the lens

Boykin says he was walking along a path he’s walked ’30 or 40 times over the last few months’ when he looked down and noticed the lens ‘sitting on the ground a few inches from my foot.’ Naturally, Boykin assumed the lens wouldn’t work, due to the harsh conditions it incurred, but after getting home and removing the front B+W filter and rear lens cap, Boykin mounted the lens to his Fujifilm X-Pro1 and ‘it came to life like nothing had happened.’

Despite there being some ‘slight discoloration’ on one side of the lens barrel (likely the side that was laying in the dirt) Boykin says the autofocus works ‘like nothing ever happened’ and both the aperture and focus rings rotate smoothly. Boykin credits much of the survival to the fact the front filter and rear lens cap were still attached, but even then it’s an impressive feat for the lens to survive a third of a year in the desert with essentially zero protection.

To read the full story, which includes a pair of photos captured with the lost lens, head on over to 35mmc (and check out their other coverage on all things film photography related).

Image credits: Photos by Steve Boykin, used with kind permission from 35mmc

Update (October 16, 2019): Updated the first sentence of the article as to better explain the current state of lens weather-sealing.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

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