In my Lightroom library, 5,824 photographs were captured with my Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L lens that I purchased in the summer of 2005. While the actual numbers of images made with the lens are certainly higher (I delete a fair amount), it is the most used lens that I have. The second place honor goes to my 50mm f/1.4, with 1,856, and third runner up is the 400mm f/4 DO IS lens and its combinations with the 1.4x and 2x teleconverters.
Because of the heavy use that my 24-70 receives, I had become concerned that it was getting a little worn. While cosmetically it looks fantastic–better than camera bodies that have been used less–I noticed that the zoom was a little “stiff” sometimes, one of the mounting flanges was a little dog-eared, and I wondered about the effectiveness of the rubber seal after all of this time. This lens has been to Africa, the Galapagos, and all over the United States. It’s been exposed to blowing sand, blizzards, and rainstorms. It’s banged against countless door frames and walls as its hung on my camera body, slung over a shoulder.
Along with my 1D IIN, it survived the downpour that sent my 50mm to the repair shop this past fall. My 400mm DO actually went in for a repair in 2007 when its image stabilizer died in Kenya, and the 50mm was inspected and repaired in October. But I had two vouchers for Canon to clean and inspect my gear for free that were due to expire this coming March, and they were burning a hole in my filing cabinet, so to speak.
I received the vouchers as part of re-upping on Canon Professional Services last year, and did not think much of them at the time. I’ve had these clean & check vouchers in teh past, and let them lapse without using them. However, something told me that my semester of working for the Columbia Missourian had strained a lot of my gear. So, as soon as Christmas was over, I packed up my 1D IIN and my 24-70 and shipped them off to Canon’s facility in Jamesburg. I figured that the worst that would happen is that Canon would clean my 1D’s sensor for free.
Continued after the jump!
A Pleasant Surprise
Canon received my body and lens on New Year’s Eve and sent confirmation of their arrival that day, along with follow-up e-mails that the equipment received would be “cleaned and checked.” I did not hear from them for a couple of days, until shipping notices were sent and the body arrived on Tuesday, 5 January. The lens arrived the next day. Evidently, there was more going on with both pieces than I realized.
The 1D IIN received a new hot shoe, as well as having its shutter, exposure meter, and focusing re-calibrated. The new, shiny black hot shoe on top looks strangely out of place given how scuffed the rest of it really is!
My 24-70 apparently received more of a personal touch. The entire lens mount was replaced, as well as the rubber o-ring that makes the weather seal with the 1D series cameras. Additionally, its focusing was re-calibrated. The new mount also means that it has a new serial number–I’ll have to let Chubb insurance know of the change ASAP.
And the cost? $20 to ship the two items (fully insured) FedEx Ground to Jamesburg, N.J. Pretty cheap for a replaced hot shoe, lens mount, and all of the labor.
At least partly because of the University of Missouri’s relationship with Nikon, I feel that I frequently hear some biased comments directed at Canon’s service. And what I will say is this: my beef is with the designers of the equipment at Canon, but the support staff have not let me down. I know of at least one colleague who cannot say the same–her 24-70 was effectively lost by Nikon for close to five months, and they did not send her a replacement while they attempted to find it.
Joe McNally came to campus, and I remember him (somewhat) jokingly saying that it was “OK”–I could confide in him my Canon service horror stories. Sorry Joe, but I still don’t have any to share!