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How many times have you had a lens repaired?

Discussion in 'Lens Matters' started by Bazarchie, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Prior to this week I have only had one lens fail. As it was a secondhand and mid quality I decided to buy a replacement lens rather than get it repaired given the repair quote. This week I returned a lens that was 16m months old and still under warranty for testing and repair and it looks like they will replace the AF motor.

    I am not a heavy user of my camera equipment so two issues in 40 years is very good, however I would be interested to find out if others have had issues with lenses, ignoring self-inflicted damage.
  2. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    I have rarely bought new so over 50+ years I've had my share of lenses with problems. I usually repair them myself. Thomas Tomosy books have been a great help plus a good selection of tools and a collimator.
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    No. I have a s/h lens which is slightly misaligned (a Bronica PS 50 mm) but I didn't realise quickly enough afyer buying it that the softness on the left hand side wasn't down to my poor focussing.

    My Canon lenses (all L) have survived various things. The most expensive sound I have heard was a 70-200 F2.8 L scraping its way down a spiral staircase wall in Conwy castle. My most slow reaction was watching a 400 F5.6 (luckily in its soft case) going backwards on the rollers of the airport security scanner at Brussels airport and off onto the floor. I also once made the mistake to try and catch it when the camera slipped off my shoulder rather than put my hand in the air but that time it was mud underneath. My most "glad it wasn't my fault" moment was watching my 17-40 hit a stone flag floor when my son knocked it off a table in a NT coffee shop. It was attached to a 1Ds II and landed front element down. Cracked the lens hood but the lens was perfectly OK.
    Bazarchie likes this.
  4. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    I have had two Mamiya 645 lenses repaired, both 80mm f2.8s and both with the same fault, a diaphragm stuck at f2.8. I had the rear mount replaced on a Canon 24mm f2.8 EF as it had been dropped and damaged, there was a small crack in the plastic casing which I didn't really see as worth trying to fix. I wrote off a Pentax lens when I was near the kerb, I dropped it onto the pavement, it rolled into the road and was run over by a bus.
  5. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    I dropped my 24-105 while out zombie hunting in the woods at midnight. (Yes. Before you ask, utterly legless. Why else would I have thought taking a camera on a zombie hunt was a good plan?) That repair cost me about £300. Most expensive zombie hunt ever. The lens then failed twice more and it's my belief that the first repair either didn't address all the damage or else inflicted some of its own elsewhere. The quote for the final failure would have brought the total amount spent on repairs to more than the cost of a new lens so I decided not to have it fixed but to cut my losses and buy a new one. Not been happy with the replacement at all as I feel the distortion and the vignetting is awful compared to the original incarnation. But I can't afford to anything with it but fiddle in photoshop to correct everything.
  6. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Only twice I think and both of those on the same lens - my 17-85. First time for the perennial AF fault where the cable breaks and then a few months later the diaphragm gave up. Luckily the total cost of the repairs was less than a replacement, even a used one... I did debate junking it when the diaphragm went AWOL but as it performs rather well on my IR body and has IS it got the benefit of the doubt - if it goes again who knows...

    My old manual focus 50mm Nikkor probably needs a service as the focus ring is horribly stiff but since I bought an AF copy cheap and then managed to pick up an f1.4 for peanuts I doubt it'll happen now...
  7. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I had my 135mm SF repaired when I dropped it and broke the AF/M switch off it, and my 28-135 IS when it stopped zooming. My 24-105L had the IS unit replaced and a front element replacement at the same time. All of those lenses had had a significant amount of use at the time, and I had no further problems with them. The aperture unit went on my Sigma 12-24, and that's been as good as gold ever since, too. I've had a few other lenses fail, but all at prices too low to make repair cost effective.
    Bazarchie likes this.
  8. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    I have been lucky and needed to have one repaired.
  9. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Hopefully you found a few zombies!
  10. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    I han not had a lens repaired in 72 years of using them, and a life time as a pro. I have not even damaged one yet.
    However I do not think auto focus and antishake systems are likely to have such excellent reliability.
  11. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Not a single bloomin' one, but to compensate, I and the assembled company spent the next 24 hours LOOKING like zombies.
  12. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Very impressive. I agree about AF and IS. I would still like to think quality lenses and cameras are very reliable.
  13. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    My camera (D5100) and 35mm prime took a 5 foot tumble onto concrete. They both survived so no repairs necessary. I sometimes think the lens is sharper now than before the drop! :confused:
  14. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Most of the few repairs I've needed have been on very old lenses, e.g. strip, clean and overhaul a Canon 50/1.2 rangefinder lens from the 1960s. Two have been on Leica lenses: focusing tab loose on a 35/1.4 and lock failed on a 90/4 Elmar-M collapsible macro. My 200/3 Vivitar Series 1 succumbed to a partially unscrewed element on a 5000 km motorcycle tour on a 350cc single in India, and Frances has a 90/2.5 Series 1 where the focusing mount could do with tightening up as well as a Voigtlander (50/2.5 Color-Skopar) that again has a loose focusing tab. I've had trouble with a 105/2.5 Nikkor (sticky diaphragm -- returned on apprioval) and a 35/2.8 PC-Nikkor (sloppy focusing mount again).

    Use any lens hard enough and for long enough -- especially if it spends much time out of the studio, still more if you spend much time travelling with it on a motorcycle, in a Land Rover or even in an aeroplane -- and it may need repair.


    Bazarchie likes this.
  15. Bipolar

    Bipolar Well-Known Member

    My Canon 10-22 lens stopped auto-focusing one day. I sent it to Canon to be repaired.
    Two weeks and $120.00 it was back. Its worked perfectly ever since.

  16. David Loxley

    David Loxley Well-Known Member

    My youngest lens, a Cannonf1:1.8 - 50mm. Leica thread, is 54 years old. I sent it to Newton Ellis, the focussing mount was stiff and the diaphragm ring very stiff - now perfect. Similarly a f1:2 - 5mm. collapsible Summicron which had a fearful Klonk in the focussing mount that too came back klonkless. Both with nice shiny lenses. Similar to 'Craig 20264' I bounced my Miranda F on its 50mm. nose on a concrete wharf in Borthmadog, filter ring bent and a chip out of the edge of the front element. Still works fine. Having qualified as a Chartered Engineer, beyond living memory, I came to learn the meaning of KISS (Keep It Simple, Silly). Now that most 'consumer products' are built 'chips-with-everything', and plastic, one can expect failure rates to be relatively high, and expensive to repair. The cheaper end products are mostly designed on a 'use-once-and-throw-away' basis. e.g. motor car wheel hub bearings, once just the rolling element bearing could be changed - now the whole hub unit is made one piece. Here endeth this rant.
    Bazarchie likes this.
  17. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Technically my Tamron 10-24mm needs repairing as beyond about 6-10 feet the AF drives right through to the hard stop. My local indie camera shop sent it in for investigatiion and the repair would have been about £250 - since that's more than I paid for it to start with I declined. Now I'll adjust it manually and get another when or if it stops permanently, as it's a wide angle zoom pretty much everything beyond a few feet away is in focus anyway...:rolleyes:
  18. RobertCoombes

    RobertCoombes Well-Known Member

    The one in my right eye was so bad it has been replaced.
    RogerMac likes this.
  19. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    It's the left eye in my case!
  20. IanG1957

    IanG1957 Well-Known Member

    I have changed all the little black strings on the zips of my two camera bags with yellow strings.


    Because then I can see quickly if the bag is open or not. If the two yellow strings are side-by-side then it's closed.

    Why is this important?

    Before I changed the strings, I grabbed one of my bags, thinking it was closed, and it opened and a VERY expensive 24-70 hit the tiled floor of my kitchen.

    Cost of the repair?

    More than 560€ - and the barrel was damaged so it was replaced and the lens came back with a brand new serial number! It hit the floor square on the front ring - and in this particular lens, the zoom isn't 'inside' the lens barrel - as it de-zooms, it sticks out more and more - moral: fit a lens hood (this attaches to the barrel, thus protecting the moving parts!)

    So, anyone else thinking of changing their 'strings' ??
    Geren likes this.

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