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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 04 May 2012 (Friday) 17:53
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How often do you return a lens in hopes of getting a better copy?

46 posts
Joined Jun 2010
May 05, 2012 00:12 |  #31

I had 2 shady 28-135's in a row from KEH. The first was okay until one day I zoomed out and a huge curled-up hair appeared in the middle of the elements. I sent it back to have it cleaned, and they sent me another one...this time with abnormal autofocus and IS noises. I got a refund and got a Canon Refurb direct, and it's been great and I still have it. (well, it's for sale now).

For Sale, 28-135, like new, under warranty and with box, etc included. I'll even throw in a UV and a Circular Polarizer and the hood, for $325 plus shipping.

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koala ­ yummies
Senior Member
736 posts
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Joined Oct 2008
Location: Los Angeles
May 05, 2012 00:27 as a reply to  @ saabstorey's post |  #32

Reading the responses in this thread, they are not what I would have expected after reading thousands of posts on this forum about returned lenses over the past four years of being a member here. Many people return lens after lens in hopes of getting a "good copy". Non stop talk about the lack of expected sharpness (razors often mentioned), front-focus and back-focus, viewing everything at 100% and the only example photos are taken from inside their dwelling in really horrible lighting, or test charts.

I have not had a problem with any of the 8 lenses I've purchased new (Canon and one Tokina). I've never used a test-chart or MFA adjustment feature... But I still think Canon's new-version lens prices are outrageous. :-P

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ed ­ rader
"I am not the final word"
23,112 posts
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Joined May 2005
Location: silicon valley
May 05, 2012 00:38 |  #33

Adum wrote in post #14380728 (external link)
How often do you buy a lens, try it out, decide it's flawed, and then exchange it for another copy?

If you do so, what kind of defects caused the exchange?

never. i did return one lens because i decided it wasn't for me, though. and another because it quit AFing the day i got it.

both were L lenses.

ed​draderphotography/ (external link)
5D4, 80d, 16-35L III, 24-70L II, 70-200L F4 IS II, 100-400L II, sigma 15mm FE, tc 1.4 III, 430exII, gitzo 3542L + markins Q20, gitzo GT 1545T + markins Q3T, gitzo GM4562

1,418 posts
Joined Mar 2010
Location: CA
May 05, 2012 00:55 |  #34

Was playing "get a better copy" lottery with Sigma once to have it finally fixed by Sigma service, the problem with Sigma is that they don't do optical work in States and had to send it to Japan thus long repair time.
With Canon it's better just to send it in for calibration/check. Much better luck to get a better final result than endlessly exchanging in a hope for a better one.

1,122 posts
Likes: 5
Joined Nov 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
May 05, 2012 01:11 |  #35

Never with a new Canon lens, and I've never had to have one "calibrated". I do check them when they arrive and the performance of every single one of them has been consistent with published test results.

On the other hand, when I was buying 20 year old used lenses that were made in the 1970s I did cherry-pick them. I think most of the rejects had been "repaired" by a backyarder. It would have only taken one energetic shonk to flood this relatively small market with bad copies.

Likewise, several reports of "bad copies" of lenses could well be the same lens being unloaded onto several owners.

4,087 posts
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May 05, 2012 01:13 |  #36
bannedPermanent ban

Canon never
sigma, played in lottery 5 times, lost 3 times.

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May 05, 2012 02:36 as a reply to  @ nekrosoft13's post |  #37

Jeez I can't believe I am the only one with significant problems with Canon lenses. I am at 50% if you include the ones needing MFA. I am starting to wonder if it is my 7D that is off. The thing is my second copy came back perfect 2 times and my 50/1.8 after Canon calibrated it was good too.

And both my Sigma's are perfect. Sigma must have calibrated my 7D when a previous owner sent it in with a 50/1.4 and then returned it. Then Newegg sold it to me as new. :confused:

Canon 7D/350D, Σ17-50/2.8 OS, 18-55IS, 24-105/4 L IS, Σ30/1.4 EX, 50/1.8, C50/1.4, 55-250IS, 60/2.8, 70-200/4 L IS, 85/1.8, 100/2.8 IS L, 135/2 L 580EX II, 430EX II * 2, 270EX II.

"Tired of Goldmember label"
5,168 posts
Joined May 2006
Location: Okie
May 05, 2012 02:49 |  #38

The Canon 50mm 1.8 , never got a good copy of it either . Never had a problem with Sigma , Tamron or my other Canon lens .


Cream of the Crop
8,164 posts
Joined Jan 2007
Location: Sydney/Beijing
May 05, 2012 03:42 |  #39

I've only ever had one bad Canon lens -- a 17-40L which performed dismally wide-open. Everything else has been great. Second-hand has been different - I've been stung by all sorts of stuff, including a banged up focus-shifting (yes you heard right) 16-35 Mark I.

Col | Flickr (external link)

Sony A7 + Leica 50 Lux ASPH, Oly E-M5 + 12/2
Canon 5D3, 16-35L, 50L, 85L, 135L

Senior Member
281 posts
Joined Oct 2011
Location: Devon
May 05, 2012 03:47 |  #40

Never, Sigma and Canon (external link)

Senior Member
327 posts
Joined Oct 2004
Location: Wales, formerly southampton UK
May 05, 2012 05:18 |  #41

17-55mm EF-S

On Copy number 5 I believe, 3 new and 2 used, I tried 2 used ones first, one was decentered and the second had focus issues. Then I tried a new one that wouldn't focus properly (and I mean way out not just out of tolerance like in the lens rentals article) so I exchanged it for another that again would never be sharp on the right edge of the frame at any aperture and I sent that back for a refund. I then bought another new one from a different retailer which is soft on the left side and totally misses focus sometimes and every now and then get's it spot on, not really sure what to do at this point, the lens is supposed to be amazing and I want to use it I just can't seem to get a good one! I had considered moving to a 15-85mm but apparently they are just as bad!

I have also had problems with sigma 18-50mm f/2.8, always fantastic optically but never focus well.

My 70-300mm L MIGHT have a TINY centering issue but it seems to come and go with 90% of shots being tack sharp corner to corner so might just be related to the IS system in some way, in any case I don't think I would send it in either to replace or repair because the results are so stunning already I don't want to risk losing what I already have!​photos/fatdeeman/ (external link)​t (external link)

Senior Member
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Location: BELGIUM
May 05, 2012 05:45 as a reply to  @ fatdeeman's post |  #42

I returned a 35L, a 70-200 F4 L IS and a Sigma 85.

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Joined Jan 2009
May 05, 2012 08:57 |  #43

Never, I have three Canon lenses, all are good.

Copper ­ NYC
Senior Member
386 posts
Likes: 20
Joined Sep 2011
Location: Queens County, NYC NY
May 05, 2012 17:14 |  #44

there are tolerances built into just about everything, the "plus or minus factor". gee i wonder how many of us would pay a premium for a "blueprinted" lens? sold, serviced and warranted direct from the company only! canon can then add a blue stripe next to the red stripe on their L lens to signify BLUEPRINTED and make all the red stripe lens owners feel inferior. (wow maybe i can get a marketing job with canon and get employee discounting,:lol:)

40D Gripped, 50D, T2I Gripped, 5D Mark III Gripped, EF-S 18-55 IS, EF-S 55-250 IS
EF 28 f/2.8 IS, EF 40 2.8 STM, EF 50 f/1.4 USM,
EF 85 f/1.8 USM, EF 100 f/2.8 Macro USM, EF 24-105L f/4.0
EF 28-80 USM, the good one with metal mount and ring USM.
EF 28-80 USM V, EF 28-135 USM IS, EF 100-300 USM, EF 100-400L USM IS.
Rokinon 14 f/2.8

4,352 posts
Gallery: 44 photos
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Joined May 2005
Location: Akron, Ohio
May 05, 2012 19:08 as a reply to  @ Copper NYC's post |  #45

Never sent a lens back, since buying my first on about 1982.

FEChariot wrote in post #14382448 (external link)
..... my 50/1.8 after Canon calibrated it .....:confused:

How much did that cost you, including shipping?

7D MKII ■ 10-22 ■ 15-85 ■ 28-135 ■ Σ 50-150 ■ 70-200 f4L ■ 100-400L ■ 580EX II
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How often do you return a lens in hopes of getting a better copy?
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