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Dropped lens --> repair?

Pascal B. , Jun 26, 2011; 04:02 p.m.

Hi
I dropped my canon ef 70-300 IS USM onto concrete floor from about 1 meter. DAMN!
The glass seems ok, but I can't use it anymore. When I attach it to the body and press the focus/release button, the image starts to vibrate. I thought taht this could come from the IS but it also happens when IS is set to off. I could focus manually with IS off but the image still vibrates when I push the release. There's also one loose ring I can see inside.
So what do you think: Is it worth to send that in for repair? I paid around 550 USD for this lens and they would charge me 75 only to look at it (I'm in Switzerland).
Or is there any chance I can do something myself by opening the lens? Would I need special tools to screw it together again? I'm very patient but have never opened a lens before...

Responses

Colin Carron , Jun 26, 2011; 04:43 p.m.

The same thing happened to me with my 70-200 f4 L. It cost me about £150 (about 225USD) to get repaired by an authorised Canon dealer. I claimed against my household insurance but still had to pay an excess. Whichever way you play it it will cost you money but getting it repaired is the best way forward unless the cost is more than the second hand value.

William W , Jun 26, 2011; 05:03 p.m.

So what do you think: Is it worth to send that in for repair? . . . they would charge me 75 only to look at it.

I don’t presume to know how it works where you live - but for me that, initial fee is to ascertain the damage and provide an indicative quotation for repairs which are guaranteed for a period of time.
If I accept the quote, the initial fee is then deducted from my final account, as money already paid.
So, for me, that initial fee is more than for “just looking at it” . . . therefore, if it were my $550 lens - I would pay the $75 fee.

WW

Matthias Meixner , Jun 26, 2011; 05:35 p.m.

So if the image starts to vibrate at least one of the optical elements is not moving as it was meant to be. I would guess that the IS-element is loose. What happens if you shake the lens? Does something inside move?

Peter J , Jun 26, 2011; 05:42 p.m.

The big question is how sharp will the images be after the fix? It will be a financial gamble after the cost of the estimate. I dropped a Nikkor 20/2.8 and a Nikkor 17-35/2.8. It wasn't worth fixing the former. The latter got fixed. It was never as sharp again. Life lessons learned.

As an alternative, I am sure you have pondered on getting either the Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6L IS USM, Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM or something else to meet that excellent focal range.

Doug Landrum , Jun 26, 2011; 09:34 p.m.

Here in the US, Canon's proprietary repair facilities usually charge a flat fee for a lens repair. They will either repair the lens or tell you that it cannot be repaired. In the US, they do not charge if they can't fix it. They also have a loyalty program. Under that program, they will sell you a refurbished lens at a significant discount. Either way, they aim to please customers. One of the primary reasons that I chose Canon is their first class service and lucky me, the Irvine facility is just down the canyon road from my home in Laguna Beach.

Pascal B. , Jun 27, 2011; 03:06 a.m.

Thanks for the answers. It is certainly a gamble, I just try to see if it's worth it...
at Matthias: Yes, something inside moves. It's like a plastic ring or something. The front part of the lens is a bit wobbly now...what if it's the IS elemnt? could that be repaired?
Has anybody had something similar?

Matthias Meixner , Jun 27, 2011; 05:09 p.m.

So it looks like the optic elemens are OK but the mechanics is damaged. Since this is all precision parts and, therefore, the question arises if it will meet the same precision constraints as it did when it was new.
Just regarding repair costs: I had a sensor of a point and shoot camera repaired. The bill was more than 100 EUR. Luckily this was under warranty so I had not to pay for it. So extrapolating from this I would guess it will cost you at least 200 EUR (280$) since your lens was much more expensive than my camera.
Just another question: How old is your lens? And how much is a used lens of the same age?

Pascal B. , Jun 28, 2011; 07:53 a.m.

The lens is only 6 months old. And would still have warranty if I didn't drop it. I bought it for CHF 580.-, which was then about 550 USD.

Matthias Meixner , Jun 29, 2011; 05:17 p.m.

This is a tough question. Maybe you should try to contact another repair center. Maybe even outside of Switzerland. Do you live close to the border? Maybe take a trip to the other side :-)

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