thanks everyone. I did read both of the lensrentals.com articles. they are great!
Good news. the guy i purchased the lens from had purchased a 5 year extended warranty through Ritz (where he had purchased it), and there was 1 year left on the warranty. I took it in there and they honored the extended warranty from the previous owner; im pretty happy about that.
I think the employee at Ritz said they would end up sending it to Canon, but Im not real clear. It sounded like maybe Ritz was sending it (guessing their own repair facility first) would look at it first, then send it to Canon if necessary...? Im not sure.
I also spoke to canon and I they said if I send the lens to them it would take them about 3 days, after they receive it, to give me an estimate and then about 5 days to fix it and send it back. so about 1.5 week process.
Ritz told me it would be a couple of weeks, so im guessing they send it to their own repair facility first and then to Canon if necessary, so a little longer then if I just sent it to canon myself....but this way it wont cost me anything.
Does anyone know how, or if this is how, the Ritz extended warranty process works? Im just hoping they just send it to Canon.
When I get it back, if fixed correctly, Im guessing I should see the same sharpness at f/2.8 70 as I currently see at f/2.8 24?
thanks, and I appreciate you guys answering all my questions