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Messages - R1-7D

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I’m starting this thread to tell of my recent Canon Canada (Mississauga Service Center) experience with not only two of their top-of-the-line products, but with their customer service as well. I apologize for the length, but I'm trying to provide context to the story.

EF 24-70 f/2.8 II Story

How did the images look?  Did you do a lot of shooting or just rely on "FoCal"

I have used the FoCal software, am an owner and yup... I have used my 24-70 II for over a year, wanted to make sure with FoCal and gave me the same crap.  Remeasured based upon the guidance, re-did it and then came up with NO-ADJUSTMENT.

FoCal can be great.  It also can be a piece of crap.  I find this true on the WIDE side versus the Tele.  My 24-70 II is fine, though everytime I test it with FoCal I get different results... That tells me the software is crap.... May be solid for a lot of things, does not mean it does not have trouble at distances or with certain lenses.

Like I said to Mackguyver earlier in the thread, I didn't notice anything too out of the ordinary with the images themselves. I never did a brick wall test, however.

What I did notice was that the focusing on the left side of the frame was quite slow compared to the right; sometimes it still preferred to focus on the right even with contrasty subjects to the left of the frame. So I did feel something was amiss, and generally a decentered element can explain a phenomenon like that.

When I got my current copy of the lens, to me, at least, there felt like there was a noticeable difference in focusing speedy and accuracy. FoCal also, for this lens, gave me consistently good results on both my cameras, where as the first lens gave me consistently bad results on both cameras, as well as a friend's camera.


Thank you for the response. I'm glad you recently had a good experience with Tamron. I feel that both Tamron and Sigma are extremely viable alternatives now; they are making outstandingly good performing products and offering excellent customer service to back them up too. Their repair turn-around times are phenomenal, and you don't even need to pay them extra for it; Canon, on the other hand, requires a membership and a $100 or $250 fee for decent turn-around times. Maybe I'm being unfair and it's because they have such a large volume of products to deal with in their centres, but I still feel they can do much better.

I just hope my advice helps some people. Honestly, don't be afraid to make returns on brand new purchases if they don't perform as expected.

As far as sending your gear in to Canon goes, my suggestion is this: wait until something goes really wrong, be very specific both in your required letter to the technician and on the phone to Canon's CPS agents, and then don't hesitate to send the equipment back if necessary. It's really the only thing you can do.

However, as you've pointed out, you mostly read horror stories online. A happy customer tells maybe 2-3 people of their experience. An unhappy one can tell up to 10X those numbers, especially if they are on the internet with an audience, which is understandable. So, there is still a good chance you'll get satisfaction when you need to send your stuff in. When you do, I wish you luck and a better experience than I had on both occasions; you might actually get what you're after. :)

I'll keep everyone posted on what else I do and what happens. To be perfectly honest, at this point I'm not expecting much more out of Canon unless I send the camera in again, which I opted not to do the last time even with them offering me a loaner. I'll write them a letter, but unless they plan on giving me a new camera, which I know they won't, I'm done for awhile sending my camera across the country for them to mess around with. If the letter gets a response I'll be sure to post it for everyone.


Sorry to hear what happened to your 24-70 and 1DX, and especially how Canon servicecenter dealt with it.
Thank you for sharing your experience here. Although I don't have to deal with the service center in Canada, you have given some good tips here that are valid for everybody.
I have spent a lot of money on my gear as well and I am not able to easily replace it. I would be stressed if there is an issue and understand your frustration. I once had an issue with my tamron 24-70vc. I had to sent it in. I was really stressed about how I would get it back. But they treated the lens very well and fixed the problem. Still, I am not looking forward to sent in any of my gear because of 'horror'stories (and I know, you mostly read the horror stories and seldom the good stories).
I hope that somehow they will treat you well and make your gear in order.
I would love to hear how they followed up your complaint and what solution they will offer you.
Good luck!


Thank you for your thoughtful post, and no disrespect was taken at all. I appreciate you taking the time to read my, admittedly, very long post and responding.

That is interesting information about your 24-70 II and FoCal giving you a crazy curve. I did notice some autofocus lag on my original copy on one side (the left) of the frame. However, the photos still looked good. Maybe you’re right and it was just a glitch in the software? FoCal isn’t always as reliable as it should be… On my current lens copy, however, I have a very linear curve, and at the time I did test it with the same software version of FoCal I used previously. At this point, I guess I will never know for sure; I was worried enough by the bad curve and slower AF that, to me, it warranted sending it in…which is where my troubles with Canon Canada started. I do remember being a bit surprised at the difference in AF speed lock ons with the new copy, though. I suspect that with your copy it’s indeed FoCal glitching out if you’ve not noticed any photo quality loss or AF performance impact.

If you’re running more tests on your lens I am happy to send you copies of my charts for comparison, if you’re interested?

From my online reading and research it seems that specks appearing in the viewfinder is normal for the 1D X — maybe it has something to do with the interchangeable focusing screens? I still maintain that the amount that was in my original pentaprism was far beyond normal and was some sort of defect, especially since the camera was so new. Before I first sent the 1D X in I sat and was actually able to count upwards of 60 different particles after a day’s shooting, and it was just getting worse and worse with every shutter actuation.

Reading others’ posts on various forums, debris that can’t be blown out is in either two places: between the super-imposed plate and the bottom of the prism, or inside the prism itself. Dust in the former area is by far the most common and can be cleaned with disassembly of the camera. Debris in the pentaprism calls for a replacement, which runs at $800 (not including CPS Gold or Platinum membership discounts).

If and when you eventually send your camera in for a cleaning, if you wouldn’t mind, please let me know what they tell you or do?

Anyways, your approach I think is the right one: I shouldn’t let it cause me grief at this point. Everything is certainly better than it initially was. I still want to, and probably will, write a letter to Canon, though. In my opinion it’s still important to give feedback. I’ll give CR Guy a holler to see if he has any suggestions as well. But the main thing is to just enjoy this camera now.

I also just want to say that most of my Canon products are bullet proof. My 70-200 II, my most used lens, is a bloody tank. Same goes for my other cameras and L glass too. With the 1D X and 24-70 it’s just a shame because of the added expense of those products; they are top-tier and their price reflect that, so it stings a bit more when there are problems.

I'm sorry to hear about your experiences and have actually had both happen to me.  I don't mean any disrespect, when I say this, but neither issue has caused me enough grief to do anything about them.  I'm not trying to belittle your issues as I'm sure your problems are more severe, or you wouldn't have sent them in for service.  Those turnaround times are terrible and I would be beyond frustrated if I were you.

FoCal shows a crazy curve with my 24-70 II, but I have never seen any issues in actual photos, so I think it's either a glitch with the software or my testing or both.  Or maybe FoCal is right, but again, the photos from the lens are razor sharp so I'm not too worried about it.  What were you seeing in your photos?  I'll take a closer look at my lens now that you've mentioned this issue.

With my 1D X, I have noticed small black specks in my VF, and I tried to blow them out with no luck.  They aren't really bothering me enough to do anything about them.  I was planning to have CPS give it a once over during a Clean & Check, but haven't sent it in for that, yet.  Your information is interesting, however, and I'll be curious to see how they handle it.  They totally botched a 5DII VF cleaning a few years back and I had to send it back, so hopefully I'll have better luck this time.

Again, I'm very sorry to hear about your issues and wish you better luck in the future.

CR guy sends a lot of equipment there for repair.  He's probably pretty busy, but drop him a e-mail and see if he has any contacts who would help.

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll do that.

Here in the U.S., if they make three attempts to fix the same issue and it still doesn't work, they're obligated to replace the entire product.  I don't know if Canada has any similar laws, but it might be worth looking into.  :)

Thanks for the suggestion. I will have to look into what laws protect consumers in Canada. The problem is, however, that Canon considers debris within the viewfinder and pentaprism cosmetic, and they don't normally cover it under the warranty. They would simply make the case that it's not their problem, despite having already replaced the pentaprism.


Posting here is not going to get the message to Canon, you need to send a letter to customer service with your story, and perhaps post it on the Canon forum.

Just a quick question:

Would you recommend sending the letter to CPS Canada, the same people I've been dealing with? Or, is there another address I should be looking for? Companies like Canon and Nikon don't necessarily make it easy for customers to get ahold of them directly unless it's through specific channels. EDIT NEVERMIND. FOUND AN ADDRESS. Thanks

Also, just to clarify...even though I would absolutely love Canon to hear my complaints, the main point of my little essay here is to warn people; check to see if there's a problem and if so return the product right away and try again until you get one that's right. It's the only way to be satisfied.

Yes, it was the Mississauga facility. I've edited my first post to specify. Thanks.

Unfortunately, I'm one of the ones who has had a bad experience. Can't say I'd recommend them.

I will write a letter like you have suggested. It's a good idea and I don't think I'm going to let my unhappiness with the situation deter me from at least getting some sort of response or apology.

Either way, I still feel like I have lost this battle. They certainly aren't going to replace my camera, and their idea of fixing issues/defects certainly is not what mine is.

It would help to tell people which facility you sent the camera to.

I assume that it was the Mississauga, Canada Facility?

I have heard horror stories as well as stories from happy users for that facility.  Probably more unhappy users than I'd think was normal.

Posting here is not going to get the message to Canon, you need to send a letter to customer service with your story, and perhaps post it on the Canon forum.

Canon does not let customers talk with their technicians, so that is no surprise.  The tech should have got your note though, something is wrong.

I sent a lens via CPS to Canon USA stating that it focused poorly on my 1D MK III.  It came back quickly and perfect.  The paperwork indicated that the AF was adjusted using their reference 1D MK III, so the tech got my note.

I’m starting this thread to tell of my recent Canon Canada (Mississauga Service Center) experience with not only two of their top-of-the-line products, but with their customer service as well. I apologize for the length, but I'm trying to provide context to the story.

EF 24-70 f/2.8 II Story

Last year around September I purchased a Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8 II. At the time it was the most expensive lens I owned. After using the lens for about a week I noticed something wasn’t quite right. Unfortunately I made the purchase at an extraordinarily busy time and didn’t have the forethought and time to immediately test the lens. My big mistake. When I eventually got around to running the lens through FoCal software to check aperture sharpness I was amazed at the wonky curve I was getting. It was behaving very much like it had a decentered element. I tried the lens on both my 5D2 and 5D3, and even had a friend come over with his 5D2. All of the test results were roughly the same. I immediately packed the lens up and sent it to Canon. Since I was not a CPS member at the time I got stuck in the 4-6 week return cue, which in my opinion is disgraceful for a company like this when both Tamron and Sigma offer far superior return-time estimates. Anyways, I waited patiently. I also took the opportunity while the lens was away to sign up for the gold CPS membership, thinking that it would be $100 well spent for a six day return around-time in the future.

I received the lens back with a note saying it was adjusted and cleaned after about four and a half weeks. I ran it through my software again. Whatever they did to it made it even worse. At this point Canon had already had the lens longer than I had and I was quite upset with the results of their work. I had even included a note with the lens and a FoCal chart to detail exactly what was wrong. I called CPS Canada and spoke with a young lady there; she couldn’t have been any less friendly or unsympathetic. She told me that if I “wanted” I could send the lens back but that “they probably won’t do anything to it because it’s within their specifications.” I told her I had done extensive testing and that there was something very wrong with the lens, to which she told me that my testing wouldn’t have been nearly as thorough as Canon’s technicians.

I was completely aghast but her lack of regard and complete dismissal of my problems. I even asked if I could speak to a technician to which she replied “Nope.”

Realizing I wasn’t getting anywhere with this lens I decided to sell it. I sold it at a massive loss, detailing to the buyer what I had experienced. Thankfully the purchaser was a good chap and said that arguing with Canon to get it right under warranty was worth it for the savings, and also he had the Platinum CPS membership for an even faster turn-around time. Unfortunately he never contacted me again to let me know if the lens got sorted out.

I had sold my trusty 24-105 to help fund this lens, and now this new lens was gone too. I still needed a lens in this focal range. I made up my mind that I would still get a 24-70 II. I went to the local camera store and purchased another one. I immediately brought it home, tested it, and found it too was giving me a wonky curve; albeit a much better curve still than the last one. I immediately returned it to the store this time. I received my second lens from the store (third over all), brought it home, tested it and found it tested really well but had that weird clicking noise while zooming in and out. Back it went to the store. Thank God for the wonderful people at the store; the manager came out carrying six unopened boxes of this lens and told me to go through them all to find one that didn’t click and that looked good. I finally found one where I couldn’t hear any apparent clicks, signed the exchange papers and went home. The lens also tested well and it’s the copy I still have to this day. Unfortunately, there is still a faint click when zooming, but it’s not that bad and I was unable hear it with all the hustle and bustle in the store at the time. I’m just living with it.

Lesson learned: Check lenses immediately after purchase and return if necessary. Canon technicians won’t help.

EOS 1D X Story

As some of you may know I purchased a 1D X recently; June 16 to be exact. The first two weeks of using the camera were absolutely amazing. This thing produces images like nothing I have ever seen before, and functions like spot-metering linked to each AF point is a God-send. The problems started almost exactly at the two mark, however. I was out shooting with a friend in the country side and I started noticing these little black specks all over the viewfinder. As the day wore on the specks started accumulating more and more around the edges and even towards the center of the frame. When I got home I immediately lowered the focusing screen and blew it off with my rocket blower. I put the screen back and all the specks were still there. I did some research online and what I found is that if the specks are visible and well defined they are either on the bottom of the pentaprism or within it (apparently Canon doesn’t seal 1D pentaprisms for whatever reason). I also found a whole slew of people who were experiencing this problem with their 1D X cameras. Many of these people reported Canon telling them that they’d either need to pay $300 for a clean or $300 + $500 for a new pentaprism. I was quite alarmed that I might have to fork out more money on an extraordinarily expensive camera to get it back to normal. I called CPS and told the lady on the phone, who this time was very pleasant, what was happening. She told me to send it in right away and she’d make a case for a new pentaprism to be installed free of charge since the camera was so new.

I sent it in and got an e-mail saying they were indeed having to replace the prism. I got the camera back within six days, as per CPS Gold standards, and turned it on, excited to have a clear viewfinder. Unfortunately there was still some debris in the finder. I also took a shot and heard a “clink” sound. I took off the lens and the focusing screen bracket had dropped. Horrified that it or the focusing screen may have hit the back element of my lens I did a quick inspection. Thank God nothing seemed to be touched. I used my focusing screen pincher tool (comes with all focusing screens purchased separately) from my 5D2 to push the bracket back into place. I then checked to see if the latch was too loose. To my dismay it wasn’t, it was too tight. Whoever pushed the bracket back into place did not push it in hard enough for it to click in, and now that I had push it in properly the little tongue/catch would not release the bracket properly. I had to manually pull the bracket down, thus causing either the focusing screen to drop down abruptly or for it to stick in place above the bracket and not come down at all.

I called CPS and immediately told them. The gentleman I spoke to said that shouldn’t happen and to send it back. Unfortunately I had a photography job on the weekend so I told him I’d have to wait until the following week. The camera still worked alright once the bracket was in place properly, and despite the dust in the viewfinder. Using the camera during the job, however, yielded even more particles entering the prism and viewfinder. How the hell does this camera have so much crap inside of it? I never change a lens when it’s windy outside or dusty. In fact I usually carry two cameras just to avoid changing lenses outside. I also mostly shoot indoor events. So what gives?

I sent the camera in as soon as I was able. I included another letter detailing the issues and explaining exactly what I wanted done. I even called CPS to make sure that the same information be added to my account. I received an e-mail from CPS once the camera arrived telling me they were graciously doing a one time cleaning of the viewfinder and that they were just replacing the focusing screen. I was so annoyed! The focusing screen was not the issue, it was the bracket, and there is a serious problem inside the camera for that much debris to be forming in the viewfinder.

I called CPS, and they told me the technicians never got my notes added to my account because the camera received a new repair number. I then had to explain again, in detail, what I wanted done to the camera. I even said replace the prism if necessary, as I have insurance that I purchased with the camera that covers cosmetic repairs. The CPS lady, who again was very pleasant (unlike the lady I spoke to over the 24-70 issue), assured me they would fix everything and to call back if I wanted to check on the repairs. I did, twice. The next time I spoke with nice lady CPS agent she said the repairs were completed and she had inspected the camera herself and everything looked good. The viewfinder was cleaned she said and did not need replacing.

I received the camera back with debris in the finder, albeit not as much. The focusing screen bracket was still stiff and not operating normally. AND the most glaring issue was a finger print right on the mirror that was completely visible when I took the body cap off.

I called CPS and they were quite apologetic for the fingerprint. I asked them why, after the CPS agent said she had inspect the camera herself, had they thought it was acceptable to send a camera back with debris in the finder and a finger print on the mirror, while at the same time not even bothering to fix the main mechanical issue I sent it in for. I got no response other than “send it back.” I told her that sending it back is a nuisance because I’m without the camera for a week and I need it for jobs occasionally. The agent told me they’d send me a loaner 1D X until the repair was completed, and that they normally don’t do that for Gold members.

After stewing on everything for about three hours after that phone conversation I got my sensor cleaning kit out with swabs and solution and gently cleaned the mirror myself. I also took some screws out above the focusing screen bracket and adjusted that myself too, bringing it back to how it once was. I called CPS and cancelled the loaner. I did the cleaning and repair in roughly ten minutes. Unfortunately I’m just going to live with debris in the viewfinder because obviously Canon won’t do anything satisfactorily for me on this issue. If it ever gets bad enough I have insurance for a new prism to be installed again.

It annoys me to no end the trouble I have had with these products. The level of service is quite laughable and upsetting when you’ve spent thousands of dollars on their products.

I’m aware debris in a viewfinder is just superficial and doesn’t affect the end product. I also get that these are tool cameras and meant to be used and that things will happen to them in the course of their lives. What I have trouble with, however, is that this is a problem that started almost immediately after purchase and continues to persist. Again, it’s not a huge issue, but it’s still annoying.

The fingerprint and focusing screen bracket issues are unacceptable from a repair standpoint. There’s no excuse in my opinion.

Lesson learned: If you buy Canon, or any product for that matter, check it thoroughly and use it as much as you can immediately after purchase. If there’s something wrong, return it. Getting satisfaction from repairs is a futile effort.


Canon’s customer service, while greatly improved from the time I dealt with them over the 24-70, still leaves a lot to be desired. The phone agents are all friendly and willing enough to help. However, they aren’t the ones doing the repairs, and from my experience with both the lens and camera, it’s Canon’s technicians who need a lesson on how to do their jobs.

Will I switch brands? No. Where would I go? Sadly, Nikon is worse, and what other companies are out there that offer similar performing products to Canon? I also have close to $20,000 worth of Canon gear at this point…so, it’s not realistic to make a change. Like I said above, I’ll just be thoroughly checking every purchase I make in the future and I will immediately return it to the retailer if something is amiss. It’s hard for the retailer, but as a customer it’s the only safe way of truly protecting myself if I want to continue playing the game.

EOS-M / Re: Something loose when shake EOS M?
« on: August 17, 2014, 03:00:25 AM »
If the camera is operating as it should I wouldn't worry about it. If there's one thing I've learned since my 1D X purchase it's that none of this stuff is made completely bullet proof.

Canon General / Re: Canada Post Thefts Halt Lens Rentals Canada Service
« on: August 01, 2014, 10:25:59 PM »
Everything about Canada Post is a joke. I'm sorry this is happening, but it's no surprise considering how it run.

Every year the service gets worse; if they aren't cutting services to Canadians, their employees are stealing property.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 1DX dust behind superimposed screen
« on: July 14, 2014, 04:30:45 PM »
So I just got the camera back.

The new pentaprism has some tiny black specks in the pentaprism too. Oh well...much better than before and I can live with this.

It's come back with a slight problem, however. When I try dropping the focusing screen down it sticks. It drops down about 2-4 millimetres and stops. I have the use the screen removal tool to pull it down and then it releases dropping the focusing screen.

Think this is an issue worth sending it back over?


The camera keeps getting dust on the bottom of the focusing screen now. Not a big deal as I just remove the battery, remove the focusing screen and blow it off. While the focusing screen not dropping down freely is a bit annoying, it doesn't particularly bother me. Probably the technician tightened something a bit more than normal. Either way it's not really interfering with the removal of the screen other than just having to use the tool to slightly move the bracket down a bit more before it drops down on its own.

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Searching for a lightroom 5 deal...
« on: July 13, 2014, 10:57:42 PM »
Their website does not seem to offer the option of downloading a "standalone" version anymore and I don't know what is feasible but, assuming you owned the copy of LR5 that was working on your old PC and had the install disks, you should be able to put it on the new machine.  What is frustrating is that you cannot "deactivate" the old version to activate the same product on a new machine, however.  Same thing happened to me when my old PC decided to give up the ghost and my restore from backup would not install LR.  Spend some quality time with Adobe support.  It is a bit of a hassle, but they can helped me activate it on my new machine through their workaround.

Now if you do not have the install disks, do a "search" on adobe.com.  It takes a bit of looking, but you can find an LR 5.4 download that they say will install on a machine without any previous additions of Lightroom installed.  Then, it is all about activation (see above).

The standalone version is still available, it's just bloody hard to find on their website. They are really trying to push people into CC, which is complete BS in my opinion.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 1DX dust behind superimposed screen
« on: July 11, 2014, 12:55:42 PM »
I just called CPS Canada to find out what repairs they were doing. The repairs are apparently finished and they are shipping it back to me today, so it will be here Monday.

The CPS lady told me they replaced the pentaprism and eye piece, and cleaned both the mirror and sensor. All done under warranty.

Looking forward to having the camera back.

Site Information / Re: 1dx users now 300L IS II?
« on: July 09, 2014, 11:30:27 AM »
Neuro is still ranked as CR Geek.
The ranking is related to the pricing of products. So next after 1DX is 300mm f/2.8.
Yes, I would think so. A lot of great advice and input from Neuro

agree. trolls love him

Anyone with more knowledge than most attracts would-be know-it-all competitors.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 1DX dust behind superimposed screen
« on: July 08, 2014, 11:43:53 PM »
Hi R1.
That's good news, I guess they must think it is excessive or somewhere it really shouldn't have been able to get. Or a goodwill gesture.

Cheers Graham.

Canon Canada received the camera this morning and are going to do the clean/repair free of charge. Gotta love the CPS membership.

Thanks Valve. Yeah, maybe all of the above? Either way I'm happy they are doing it. I will report back on the repair once the camera gets back into my hands.

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