Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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A friend of mine fell with my new Canon EFS 15-85mm lens - nothing happened to the camera, but the lens is... well see for yourself:

Bent lens

As you can see the top part of the lens looks bent towards the right side. Autofocus doesn't work anymore and the manual focus ring is hard to move.

I will send it directly to Canon for repair and see what they can do about it. I am hoping that the top part of the lens above the base only "slipped" out of it's casing and all the repair guys have to do, is to screw the lens open and put the top part back into the right position - on the other hand something could be irreversibly bent inside.

My question to you guys: What are your experiences with lens repairs in general? When done by a professional will the lens be as good as new afterwards or will it experience some kind of degradation (like a car, where value decreases with its accidents)? I mean: I will see about quality issues after the repair, but if the repair is like $400 I could probably start thinking about a new lens, hence my question.


EDIT: Just to let people know. I sent the lens to Canon for repair. It was about 260EUR for the repair (~350USD), which is quite expensive, but they had to change the ultrasonic motor, casing and some more stuff inside. The lens is as good as new (so is image quality), so the money was worth it!

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Out of curiosity: what do the photos look like when shot with that? –  koiyu Jan 9 '11 at 15:35
    
To be honest, I didn't try. As autofocus didn't work (first WTF moment), I tried manual which was very hard to move (2nd WTF) - to not break anything inside or damage the lens even more I just stopped touching it. I could imagine it having a slight tilt-shift effect - but I don't know how long the focusring would hold when used as a "self-made" tilt-shift lens.. –  Dennis G Jan 10 '11 at 10:25
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I wouldn't be surprised if it were better than new. When you buy an off-the-shelf lens, it's the result of mass manufacturing. It probably gets a nominal inspection, but not a careful one. With a lens repair, since every damaged lens is different, your lens is guaranteed individual attention. –  mattdm Mar 11 '11 at 18:41
    
And the lens feels even better now after this comment ;-) You could be right about that! –  Dennis G Mar 11 '11 at 19:15

4 Answers 4

up vote 11 down vote accepted

I've had two lenses repaired. 10-22 which was obliterated by a skier on a half-pipe (it ended up looking very much like your lens) and a 50 f/1.4 which I dropped onto concrete. Both of which came back optically as good as before they were damaged, as far as I can detect. The 10-22 does however have a ski mark down the side which will probably reduce the value if I ever sell it!

This is the last photo I got before impact!

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At least you got a great photo out of it! –  rm999 Jan 9 '11 at 15:26
    
...and a great story to tell when you're surrounded by other photographers swapping 'this one time...' stories. :-) –  Jay Lance Photography Jan 9 '11 at 21:14

I had a 70-200 f2.8IS repaired by canon and the repair was first rate. The lens fell out of a camera backpack and hit the pavement. I expected the repair to be extremely costly but was very moderate.

You should be able to get a firm estimate from the repair depot before proceeding.

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Can you be more specific about "moderate" costs? That could mean a lot of different things to different people. –  mattdm Jan 9 '11 at 16:47
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Just labour costs. I believe it was around $140. Considering that I could hardly turn the focus ring, I was ecstatic with this price. –  Brad Hiron Jan 10 '11 at 19:19

I've had Canon lenses properly repaired (by Fixation in London) and there was no noticable affect on image quality or build of the lens.

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What had happened to your lens? –  koiyu Jan 9 '11 at 15:31
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I also got hit by a skier (and have a very similar last photo before impact) the body of the lens was OK (gotta love L series build quality) but the AF was a bit noisy and MF felt gritty, probably due to the shattered UV filter. –  LC1983 Jan 9 '11 at 16:18

The manual focus on my canon 24-105 f/4 L started feeling gritty, so I took it in for repair (to Jessops in London, but I believe they send it to Canon). They charged me a fee just to have a look, but that was deducted from the final price. In the end, it cost about GBP 200, but that saved GBP800 on a new lens!

The lens is now absolutely fine as far as I can tell, with no quality problems that I can detect.

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Thanks for your input and some price indication! –  Dennis G Jan 11 '11 at 13:29

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