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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 16 Jan 2011 (Sunday) 11:34
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Repairing the 17-85 flatcable: My experience and Nightmare

 
Alex_Venom
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Jan 16, 2011 11:34 |  #1

As some of you guys might be aware of, the EF-S 17-85 has a major design flaw, where the shutter flatcable wears when zooming in/out and eventually it will collapse and break. This has happened to many (including myself) and will probably happen to you sometime (knock on wood).

Canon Brazil would charge me US$ 200.00 to replace the flat cable, what I thought was a bit too high for a lens that I can get new for twice that much, so I decided to risk it and try a DIY approach to fix it.

I found these 3 websites that have been my salvation. I would NOT accomplish it without following them:

http://www.doekle.nl/c​anon_17_85_IS_repair.h​tml (external link)
http://www.silco.ee/le​nsfix/ (external link)
http://thydzik.com …d-zoom-repairdisassembly/ (external link)

Today I finished the repair and the lens is working again. I have no words to express how proud I am of myself for doing it. It just feels great! :)

So, if any of you guys go trough this problem at any time, just get the cable from eBay, and if you feel like, do it yourself. It's an amazing experience to see how complex these pieces of engineering are inside.

Now, a few hints of my experience that can be helpful to you:

1- Do it at day. There are VERY small screws in the lens and daylight will help a LOT.

2- Use latex gloves to handle the lenses and have some plastic bags with you. The gloves will avoid fingerprints (SUPER HARD to take off from the inside elements) and putting them on plastic bags as soon as you get them out will prevent dust issues.

3- Have a compact camera with you and PHOTOGRAPH every "layer" of the lens you take off. The pictures on the websites help a lot, but I got lost a few times during the process.

4- Most important thing: MARK THE 3 SCREWS POSITIONS in the front element. These are adjustment screws and if you don't return the lens to the exact same position, it will front/back focus and you'll lose at least a day trying to adjust it (personal experience :oops:)

5- Try it and do it. It's not easy at all, but it's far from impossible. With a little patience, following the website's instructions and photographing the process, it can be done in 2 or 3 hours if you never opened a lens before (again personal experience)

Hope this is helpful to you! ;)


Photography is about GEAR and not talent or practice. Practice won't make you a better photographer. Expensive equipment will. =D
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booja
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Jan 16, 2011 11:50 |  #2

my buddy has a 17-85 that always gets an err now when trying to take a pic. i wonder is this whats wrong




  
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Alex_Venom
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Jan 16, 2011 11:58 |  #3

booja wrote in post #11652269 (external link)
my buddy has a 17-85 that always gets an err now when trying to take a pic. i wonder is this whats wrong

Probably it is the same case. I got this behavior before mine died.

At first he'll get a lot of ERR00 and ERR99 (while the cable is getting broken) and then the shutter will die (when the cable actually breaks).


Photography is about GEAR and not talent or practice. Practice won't make you a better photographer. Expensive equipment will. =D
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SASman
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Jan 16, 2011 12:41 |  #4

Is there any way to pre-empt or prevent this problem?


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booja
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Jan 16, 2011 13:03 |  #5

Alex_Venom wrote in post #11652318 (external link)
Probably it is the same case. I got this behavior before mine died.

At first he'll get a lot of ERR00 and ERR99 (while the cable is getting broken) and then the shutter will die (when the cable actually breaks).

Yup. He was getting the errors randomly. Then it would happen when the lens had the slightest tap against anything it would give the error. Now it's almost all the time.

Maybe I can get it from him and attempt to fix it




  
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rusty.jg
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Jan 16, 2011 13:49 as a reply to  @ post 11652827 |  #6

Well done. I love doing stuff like this although at the moment none of lenses require ummm...maintenance.


to be OR NOT to be = 1 (which is "to be" so that one's cleared up at last ;-)a)
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Alex_Venom
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Jan 16, 2011 15:11 |  #7

SASman wrote in post #11652564 (external link)
Is there any way to pre-empt or prevent this problem?

Unfortunately, there isn't. The way Canon projected the lens leads to this since the cable is bent in such an closed angle, it's almost certain it will happen with time.
If you don't use the lens much, don't zoom in/out much, it will take more time, but if they kept the design inside the lens (and I'm pretty sure they did), it will happen. :(


Photography is about GEAR and not talent or practice. Practice won't make you a better photographer. Expensive equipment will. =D
"Nobody can buy a scalpel and become a doctor, but anyone can buy a camera and become a photographer."

  
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xarqi
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Jan 16, 2011 17:31 |  #8

You've mentioned "shutter" a couple of times - do you mean the iris diaphragm that controls the aperture?




  
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Alex_Venom
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Jan 16, 2011 19:33 |  #9

xarqi wrote in post #11654150 (external link)
You've mentioned "shutter" a couple of times - do you mean the iris diaphragm that controls the aperture?

Yes, that's it. Sorry, I didnt know the word in English ;)


Photography is about GEAR and not talent or practice. Practice won't make you a better photographer. Expensive equipment will. =D
"Nobody can buy a scalpel and become a doctor, but anyone can buy a camera and become a photographer."

  
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SASman
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Jan 17, 2011 00:50 |  #10

I wonder if all 15-85mm USM's will suffer the same fate?

I bought my 17-85 USM used, now I'm worried. But love it too much to get rid of it!


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Invertalon
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Jan 17, 2011 12:59 |  #11

I just got mine repaired by Canon, even though I am selling it right away. It cost $102 for the repair.


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Alex_Venom
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Jan 17, 2011 13:09 |  #12

Invertalon wrote in post #11659236 (external link)
I just got mine repaired by Canon, even though I am selling it right away. It cost $102 for the repair.

So cheaper in the US :(


Photography is about GEAR and not talent or practice. Practice won't make you a better photographer. Expensive equipment will. =D
"Nobody can buy a scalpel and become a doctor, but anyone can buy a camera and become a photographer."

  
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Manix90
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Jan 17, 2011 13:28 |  #13

Anyone know how much this would cost in the UK? I got quoted £50 for a Tamron with the same problem but got it done under warranty.


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Repairing the 17-85 flatcable: My experience and Nightmare
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