What to do: Canon 50mm 1.4 EF

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by AverageJoe, Oct 22, 2009.

?

What to do with this 50mm:

Poll closed Jan 30, 2010.
  1. send it to Canon for servicing as long as it isn't more than $200.

    4 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. replace it with another 50mm 1.4

    5 vote(s)
    41.7%
  3. replace it with the 50mm 1.2 L

    1 vote(s)
    8.3%
  4. go the cheap route with the 50mm 1.8

    2 vote(s)
    16.7%
  1. AverageJoe

    AverageJoe TPF Noob!

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    A few years ago I picked up a used Canon 50mm 1.4 EF lens off ebay. I think I paid about $300 for it. I didn't throughly test/examine the lens but over time (and working with better lenses) I've come to the conclusion this lens is not performing as it would new.

    One big issue is the focusing. I think sand sand or something got into the lens which causes it to focus slower and or give up on focusing. On top of that, I took both lens caps off and looked through the lens and I can clearly see several black fragments in the lens elements, very tiny but still noticable.

    So at this point it's a question of: get a new 1.4 (or go big and get the 1.2L) or send this into Canon for servicing/repair.

    Pros/Cons:

    Sending in for repair is at least $100 based on the website. I'm not sure they are going to completely repair this back to close to new condition (anyone with experience please chime in!). But this could be a money saver for a decent lens.

    This won't be worth much on the used market, I can't honestly put this on ebay and sell it as working fine (even though sometimes it does), and buying new means less money to spend on other photo stuff I don't need. But buying a new lens would mean it is in great condition.

    I'll try to get some photos of the junk in the elements.

    What would you do? Maybe I can setup a poll...
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009
  2. AverageJoe

    AverageJoe TPF Noob!

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    Ok, these aren't the best images but should help:

    Here's the lens from a distance (notice the website in the background :wink:)
    [​IMG]

    Here's a tighter shot (cropped) with arrows pointing to the "debris"
    [​IMG]
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Going big on the f/1.2 sounds like wishing splurge... people who buy that lens have been already planning for it.. not just using a problematic f/1.4 lens as an excuse. This is one way to blow money needlessly... but if that's your thing, go ahead.

    I'd take it to a canon dealer and actually get a real estimate... until then, you don't have enough information to make a decision. I am leaning towards repair. My 24mm f/1.4L's CLA went in for $200 and I can't imagine yours being that much (hopefully)
     
  4. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    Though the f/1.2L is a gorgeous piece of glass, I'm not sure it is $1200 better than the f/1.4. Save the cash and fix the f/1.4. Try an authorized repair facility, it might be cheaper to get it fixed and cleaned.
     
  5. AverageJoe

    AverageJoe TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies/votes, I think servicing is a good option either way. I was trying to find a date code for my lens but had no luck, the only thing I can find is a serial number. Any idea how I can correlate that to a date of manufacture?
     
  6. AverageJoe

    AverageJoe TPF Noob!

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    Ok, here's an update. I sent my 50mm in for repair, I noted on the repair sheet

    "Dust on interior glass. Focus is slow. Check all functions, repair to good working order. Please respond to estimate."

    Received the lens back today, visually inspected it, everything looks good, dust chunks were removed but off to the true test. Slapped it on my body and tested the focus STILL HORRIBLE! I'd almost say it's WORSE than when it left! I tried running the focusing ring back and forth a few times maybe it was cold or sticky from sitting in a box, nothing no luck.

    I shot a video of this phenomenon and it's on it's way to YouTube now with key words "Canon, 50mm, 1.4". As soon as it's public I'll post a link in here. But what the hell, I paid $101.18 to have dust removed. The comments back from Canon are:

    "We have examined the product according to your request, and, upon close inspection it was found that excessive dirt/grit was inside the lens. After cleaning and greasing all functions are operational and within specifications. Other inspection and cleaning were carried out."

    I have other EF and L glass and this is NOT "within specifications". I'm going to call them tomorrow and discuss it, I'm going to show them the video on YouTube which is basically a PR nightmare.

    Anyway, I'm disappointed in Canon on this one, lets see what comes of it.
     

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