So I was out shooting tonight testing my new lighting gear while using a friend as a model. I had my Nikon D700 with the 24-70 attached and a cactus V5, locked it into my Manfrotto 190XB head, and everything was going great. Had fired off about 50 shots for various poses and made a change. Had the camera in the vertical position to do a few shots, got through about 8 and went to change the light position and as I got back to the tripod (as I reached to grab the camera to fire the next shot) the camera fell out of the mount some 2.5-3 feet (with the plate still firmly attached). Long story short I think I am down a 24-70mm Nikon AF-S ...its taken an absolute beating on the rim (naturally the lens took the main impact and not the more durable body) won't zoom fully due to barrel damage (distorted points), and may have some of the internal plastic broken (not sure on this I can't recall what the central insides looked like. None of the glass elements seem to have been damaged and it does seem to still focus as sharp as ever.
So now I feel even crappier over what was already a bad day, no idea what to do (though I am considering suing manfrotto for damages given a bloody tripod mount should not fail when it was clearly correctly used), wondering if it can be fixed or will need to be replaced, and wondering if it will be covered under my insurance.
Lesson learnt. Never trust a tripod, no matter how good it supposedly is.
Oh and a bit of irony, after leaving home I realised I had left my tripod while 15 minutes away, so went back to fetch it. Never normally shoot with one but figured it might be worth while. I should have stuck to hand holding. Lens survives all the abuse of a US stormchasing trip but can't handle Melbourne
On a side note at least I finished the shoot with my nifty 50 which i had on hand. A big thumbs up for contingency, but otherwise a very expensive test shoot.