I shook my camera and lens very hard. Will this cause damage to the camera or lens?

I did this 4 to 5 times. Should I be worried?

  • 4
    You would be the first to know if it did. We can't tell from here.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 30 '20 at 18:29
  • 1
    If you didn't know whether it would cause damage or not, why would you do it to begin with?
    – twalberg
    Jun 30 '20 at 18:37
  • You need to go to time out until you can learn to control your temper. Do that again young man/lady and i will take your camera away from you. TAG-Camera-shake P.S. you will not get a very sharp image that way, even if you have image stabilization on.
    – Alaska Man
    Jun 30 '20 at 19:00
  • 4
    Please reply fast? Please note this is not Twitter or a site like that. It can take a day or two (or never) to get a response here because on this site answers are supposed to be carefully thought out and useful to other people, not just the person asking the question. A lot of the members are in different time zones all over the planet as well. If you want instant answer, this is not generally the place. So please be patient on StackExchange.
    – StephenG
    Jun 30 '20 at 20:39
  • 1
    Which camera? Which lens? Some cameras & lenses are pretty rugged... others not so much. How did you shake it (With your hands? Was it bouncing around in the trunk of a car driving down a bump road?) There's too much unknown to provide a quality answer. Jul 26 '20 at 17:57

Your fear that it might not be the best way to handle a camera, is quite right. Although most cameras and lenses are astoundingly robust and can be used in rough situation without much danger of damage, there are limits. Mild shaking, however should not be any problem.

Shaking something violently is similar to dropping on the floor as there will be quit abrupt changes in the velocity, which applies a lot of energy that has to go somewhere. You know that from doing an emergency halt in a car.

This can be a problem for moving parts in your camera. When things are in motion, these things want to keep that motion (conservation of momentum). The urge to keep the motion multiplies with its mass. Suddenly changing the direction (shaking) will apply forces, that can potentially break things.

So lightweight things like the shutter will have less energy applied than heavier things. Luckily most things in your camera are quite lightweight - apart from the in-camara stabilizer (IBIS) if your cam has one.

This CAN be damaged by shaking, especially when it is not locked. This is usually the case when the camera is switched off. The IBIS then can move around and when you apply more force than the centering can handle, it will crash into the side of the housing.

With lenses, the situation is similar. It depends on the construction of the lens. Some have floating elements in the tube, which might get damaged. Some might have stabilizers that could be damaged. And the risk of damage greatly changes with the direction. Usually directions 90 degrees from the axis the light passes through is less problematic. Shakes along this axis might be more dangerous.

TL;DR: Stop shaking your gear. It is delicate. You might damage it, if you do it violently enough.

  • You'll never get even remotely close to the kind of forces generated by dropping something on the floor by merely shaking it. Jul 31 '20 at 7:28
  • Depends on the height and material of the floor.... ;o) And I specified violently. Not merely shaking. Jul 31 '20 at 10:32
  • I revised some portions to reflect the differences between a mild shake and violent shake. Jul 31 '20 at 10:48

Well does your camera work now? I don't think there should be any damage, unless you drop it on the floor or something like that

Cameras are not that easy to break by "shaking"

  • Yes it still works but I want to know if there will be a problem in the Image Stabilization... Jul 1 '20 at 3:36

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