Not Your Everyday Banana

by Bart Arondson

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OK, so the worst thing happened during my last trip abroad - When replacing the 10-22 with a another lens, I put it in the backpack (KATA 3N1-33) that was laying on the bench. Unfortunately, I did not close the zipper. When finished shooting I folded up the equipment and raised the bag to my shoulders. Then I heard the horrible sound of the 10-22 and the 28-135 tossed on the hard Jerusalem stone.

Later on, I checked the lenses and it happens that the 10-22 still works, except for not zooming out all the way to 10mm - it now ranges only 13-22mm.

I am about to send the lens for service (it is still under warranty) in one of the center. However, checking at the Canon website, there happen to be 3 of them (NJ, CA, VA). I remember reading in the past that the centers are different in their quality of service. So, my question is - for those of you who are experienced with the Canon service, which center is considered best and what is the expected turnaround time?

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All I can say is... Ouch. Unfortunately, I can't offer advice on a Canon service center, but hopefully they can fix it up for you. –  John Cavan Apr 6 '11 at 2:54
    
They will fix it up for you for a fee since this is not covered under warranty. Any user error is your fault. Warranties are for manufacturer's fault. If there is any evidence of external impact, they will charge you even for looking at it. If you put yourself in their shoes, I am sure you can understand. –  Itai Apr 6 '11 at 3:08
    
@Itai - I kinda imagine that. I do need to check the photo equipment rider on my home insurance policy, it may cover damage as well as loss. However, the question still remains, which center should I work with? –  ysap Apr 6 '11 at 3:22
    
Do not send anything in to a service center without calling support first. They will walk you through some tests and then give you the information you need to send your equipment in. –  Dave Nelson Apr 6 '11 at 11:42
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1 Answer 1

I have used the service center in California, to repair a gritty tension ring on my EF 100-400mm L series lens. (Turned out that some kind of bearing inside the tension ring had shattered, leaving a very rough, gritty feeling when twisting it.) The inter-personal service was pretty good, people were friendly and moved me through the process pretty quickly during the initial stages. I had some up-front questions that I wanted to ask before sending it off, and that was where my experience got a little strange.

I was eventually forwarded to a man who sounded like he was in his late 50's or early 60's, sitting in his dimly, oddly yellow-green lit garage, tinkering with lenses and rummaging through old metal cabinets. It was one of the most ad-hoc, down-to-earth, "out of the remote wastelands" kind of conversations I think I've ever had with a support center...I really felt like I was getting answers from and shipping my lens off to some little shack on an island out in the middle of the arctic circle, manned by one old geezer who Canon apparently thought was an absolute lens repair wizard.... VERY DISTINCTLY ODD EXPERIENCE.

That said, the service was pretty quick, I think it took just over two weeks (shipping time included), and when I received my repaired lens, it worked great. Still works great. There were a couple days of lag time from the point where my lens was marked as received at the service center to the time it was actually worked on. That spanned a weekend, so it felt like a long time, when I think it was only two or three days at most. The time actually in service was just a day, if I remember correctly, with an extra lag day after service before it shipped. One thing that was a bit frustrating was the fact that a service order number apparently could not be created until the service center actually received my lens and put the physical item into their pipeline. That made it difficult to track until shipment arrived, AND they had time to process it. I eventually found out that I was able to track by my serial number before an order number was created, but after the order number was created, I had to track by that and not the serial number (still getting the feel of an arctic wasteland shack here....)

If I ignore the odd conversations with the optics wizard in the arctic island shack, I felt the service was pretty good and decently quick. If I include the odd conversations...well, it can't be anything better or worse than simply odd. I would get some opinions on the NJ and VA service centers before sending your gear off to the CA one...just to see if you can get a more refined experience.

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