How to return bad copies?

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Musty, May 23, 2005.

  1. Musty

    Musty Guest

    First off, I dont have a bad copy of any lens (yet). I am looking at buying
    a few different lenses which are synonymous with "bad copies".

    I typically buy my gear from B&H (and I dont live in NY), so I am buying
    online. So, lets say I buy a Canon 24-70 f2.8L and it turns out to be a "bad
    copy". What do I do? Do I try to return it to B&H and pay for shipping or do
    I deal with Canon?

    How does the whole "bad coy" thing work?

    Thanks
    Musty.
     
    Musty, May 23, 2005
    #1
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  2. The chances of buying one of the batch which got this lens a bad name is
    slight. To get one from B&H would mean they'd have to not have sold any
    for 3 month and that is not just a remote chance but pretty much much
    impossible.

    Canon are the first port of call for all warranty problems, in my
    opinion. I have one of these lenses and it is interesting to note the
    chain of events which occurred so you too may gain peace of mind.

    The camera came as a "Kit". I have bought 3, 20Ds in total but we'll
    concentrate on the latest one. The Kit lens has minimum aperture or
    f3.5. Canon guarantee their 20Ds will pull focus within the depth of
    field of the lens supplied with it. OK so I got an event with 300 shots
    done using nothing more than the kit lens and they were all sharp shots.

    Then I bought a 50mm f1.8 and everything was out of focus. OK so I took
    it back and got a refund. Plastic mount, Dud lens I thought. It wasn't
    until I bought the 24~70 f2.8 that I started to consider the likelihood
    the camera was the problem.

    I run off a test print of lines 2 mm apart with a pronounced one in the
    middle, covering an A4 (letter) size page. I set the camera up on a
    tripod at 45 degrees to the chart and shot some tests at the middle
    line. At f3.5 it was boarder line if the thing focused or not but at
    f2.8 it was auto focusing an inch or two behind the point of focus. When
    I used a 50 f1.4 from my 1D MkII, the focus error got really bad.

    Canon re-calibrated the camera (a week) and the lens is exactly what
    you'd expect from a "L" series now. So... The early lenses were the ones
    with an issue. The new ones are OK except for some barrel distortion
    wide open which is easily corrected with DxO or a miriyad of lens
    correctors in Photoshop. Considering the quantity of lenses Canon sell
    and the reported problems, I have a guess that about half of them are
    really camera problems.

    Douglas
     
    [email protected], May 23, 2005
    #2
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  3. Musty

    Alan Browne Guest

    More myth than fact. There is sample variation among shipped products,
    but all products you get should be within manufacturers spec. If you
    can show that there is a real defect (eg: won't focus at infinity), then
    return the lens.

    You would normally return it via the vendor (B&H) who, if the lens is
    truly defective, should pick up S&H. Read the policies at their website
    to be sure.

    Cheers,
    Alan.
     
    Alan Browne, May 23, 2005
    #3
  4. Musty

    Musty Guest

    Are you saying that there was a known bad batch?
    I can definitely see that. Luckily I think my camera is ok. My 17-85 gave
    pretty sharp pics, and my 70-200 f2.8LIS has just _amazing_
    sharpness/color/contrast.

    Its just that at sites like Fred Miranda reviews, you hear so many people
    say it took 5 copies to get a goo 24-70L. Its enough to scare you into not
    buying _any_ lenses. I think you may be right that in many cases it is the
    camera.

    Still thinking about the 24-70 f2.8L. It would be nice if it had IS....

    Musty.
     
    Musty, May 24, 2005
    #4
  5. SNIP

    That would surprise me, the variation is more likely to be from lens
    to lens, and the limits are tighter than for some other brands.

    SNIP
    I've seen the results from a friend's copy, and they looked quite good
    although with some CA (which can be somewhat corrected in
    postprocessing, should one feel the need).
    It's regarded as a good lens by many.
    That, or the photographer... I've read those comments from people
    chosing the better out of several, and I hardly ever saw objective
    tests corroborating the choice they made. A good test is something
    that is not easy to do right, and easy to do wrong, so their
    conclusions might be wrong as well.

    Maybe I've been lucky, but my lenses all perform within expectation
    (and I do know what to look for). That includes my judgement for the
    highly praised EF 17-40mm f/4.0 , it's reasonably good at such a
    wide-angle range (same or better level than EF 24mm f/2.8 in the
    center, slightly softer at the corners for full frame but less CA),
    but the bokeh looks horrible (I've never seen anybody complain about
    that, so maybe it is just my copy? ;-) ).
    It's a wonderful walk-around lens (although 24mm could be a bit long
    for 1.6 crop factor cameras, depending on subject), although my EF
    50mm f/1.4 is better (but less flexible in rapidly changing
    circumstances).
    IS would be nice, but it's heavy enough as it is ...

    Bart
     
    Bart van der Wolf, May 24, 2005
    #5
  6. I agree. Lenses are, of course, more variable than today's typical
    electronic devices. With a digital device, the darned thing works as
    specified or doesn't work at all. The "bad copy" label is too often a lure
    for a disappointed buyer looking for something to blame. However, a lens is
    indeed a tricky mechanical/opical assembly and all are certainly not created
    as equals. Bottom line: I'd guess that the number of "reported bad copies"
    (compared to those actually out of specified tolerances) is significantly
    inflated.
     
    Charles Schuler, May 24, 2005
    #6
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