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Old 8th of February 2006 (Wed)   #1
pitabread
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Default What's the lifespan of a typical lens?

Maybe this is a dumb question, but I've been wondering... what's the average lifespan of a typical camera lens? L versus non-L? Do the motors ever wear out and need replacement? What about IS lenses? Do they need more maintenence in the long run versus non-IS lenses?

With the cost of those L lenses, I would hope they'd last for a long long time. But when I'm using my 100-400mm and the IS kicks in, I wonder how long those motors can keep ticking.
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Old 8th of February 2006 (Wed)   #2
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Default Re: What's the lifespan of a typical lens?

Most of my lenses are probably 30 years old but they don't have AF or IS and are beautifully made the old fashioned way, but I don't think they're typical
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Old 8th of February 2006 (Wed)   #3
DocFrankenstein
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Default Re: What's the lifespan of a typical lens?

IS goes out fast. You just need to bump your lens.

I've seen 70-200 disassembled and it's all plastic inside. The gears... the elements, electronical connections are not build to last. So if you really use it, then it WILL wear out.

I think in the future I'll go the way of condyk and get a few contax/leica/takumar lenses. Those last until they get fungus inside them or blades stick together.
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Old 8th of February 2006 (Wed)   #4
Tom W
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Default Re: What's the lifespan of a typical lens?

These would be the folks to ask about durability....



They undoubtedly break one every now and then, but they give their lenses pretty rough treatment every Sunday afternoon.

My 400 served time in another life working for the San Diego Chargers, and came through relatively unscathed some 7-8 years later.
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Old 8th of February 2006 (Wed)   #5
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Default Re: What's the lifespan of a typical lens?

I have a 20-35 2.8L that is about 12 years old, never had to have it serviced....my 70-200 2.8 had to go in recently because the AF motor stopped working properly. I used to have a 400 2.8 that never once needed service in 6 years of tough use. It even survived getting run over by a very large fullback at a football game. The hood was smashed, but the lens itself was fine.
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Old 9th of February 2006 (Thu)   #6
pitabread
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Default Re: What's the lifespan of a typical lens?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayHawk
I used to have a 400 2.8 that never once needed service in 6 years of tough use. It even survived getting run over by a very large fullback at a football game. The hood was smashed, but the lens itself was fine.
Wow, that's a pretty ringing endorsement of the toughness of some of those lenses!
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Old 9th of February 2006 (Thu)   #7
Andy_T
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Default Re: What's the lifespan of a typical lens?

Consumer lenses last until you drop them.
L lenses are more expensive, so you have them repaired in that case

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Old 9th of February 2006 (Thu)   #8
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Default Re: What's the lifespan of a typical lens?

Quote:
Originally Posted by condyk
I don't think they're typical
Not hardley.
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Old 9th of February 2006 (Thu)   #9
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Default Re: What's the lifespan of a typical lens?

I have EF lenses that are 12 years old and are still working fine, even after extensive use. I have FD lenses (non-autofocus) that are nearly 30 years old and are working fine. Lenses aren't nearly as fragile as many people think. If you're moderately careful - and don't drop your lenses onto hard surfaces from significant heights (more than a couple of feet), your lenses will last at least a decade and probably significantly longer.

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Old 10th of February 2006 (Fri)   #10
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Default Re: What's the lifespan of a typical lens?

I'm still using a Zeiss Protar, circa 1905.
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