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Author Topic: Failure rates  (Read 2838 times)

GuyF

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Failure rates
« on: August 08, 2013, 02:10:23 PM »
I'm going to be ordering a 500mm mk2 in the next week or so and in all likelihood will be getting a grey market one as I'll save £1000 on the UK price. If Canon want to play the global market game then so should we. As Canon no longer do international warranties (I wonder why?!?) I spoke to Canon customer services today about what happens if the lens dies in the first year. They told me if the lens went faulty I'd have to return it to a service centre in the territory it was intended for or get it repaired locally and reclaim the costs from Canon in the intended market i.e. Japan in this instance. So even if I bought European-market gear and it went faulty on a trip to, say, Brazil, I couldn't get it repaired in Brazil without forking out for the repair there and then. Customer care? Not once Canon HQ have your money it seems.

Anyway, I'm not here to question Canon's approach to their customers (although I did) but wondered if any of you have access to a table of failure rates for their lenses (or bodies for that matter). I wouldn't expect a lens to fail in the first year but clearly it's possible. Is the percentage failure rate evenly spread throughout their product range or are there specific items that are notorious among service centres?

Essentially I'm trying to convince myself the grey import option is worth doing especially when looking at the savings.

Just tell me to quit whining and buy the damn thing.

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Failure rates
« on: August 08, 2013, 02:10:23 PM »

sdsr

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Re: Failure rates
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2013, 02:40:55 PM »
I don't know whether such a table as you're asking for exists, but by happy coincidence the latest entry on lensrentals' blog addresses their repair rates over the past year:

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog

I haven't read it yet, but if they don't mention the 500mm II, I bet they would be helpful if you sent them an email asking about it - they're an obliging group of people.

Valvebounce

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Re: Failure rates
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2013, 03:26:25 PM »
Hi Guy
Failure rates were discussed on another post on this forum, can't remember which, or who posted this info, but it is not originally mine.
There is a thing with failure rates called infant mortality, then a lower mid term failure level then it rises again as the item wears out, described as a bath tub graph.

My question would be if it fails how much of what you save is a repair going to cost? 20%, 50% or all of the saving or more than you save?
Then decide if this is acceptable or would you sooner have the comfort of a warranty?

Cheers Graham.

Edit, found the thread, have a look here.

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=16236.msg298626#msg298626
« Last Edit: August 08, 2013, 04:55:11 PM by Valvebounce »
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helpful

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Re: Failure rates
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2013, 03:29:48 PM »
Watch out because I was burned by this same type of situation. I bought a 300mm Nikon lens grey market. Two years later, an internal element CAME LOOSE, the only time this has ever happened with any lens. The lens was perfect when I left my studio, but apparently while I was wheeling my lens case across the parking lot to a baseball game the element came loose. Maybe vibrations from similar situations over time caused this to happen.

Anyway, the only available repair locations Nikon permits are its two national service centers. I was told by phone that even if not under warranty, I could still pay full price and have it repaired.  So I insured the lens and shipped it to Nikon... bad decision.

After an 8-week debacle and hours of wasted time on the phone and email, I finally got the lens back from Nikon, completely unrepaired. They absolutely refused to do anything no matter what I paid, because it was imported from Japan by a 3rd party.

I have heard that sometimes Canon U.S.A. will repair gray market lenses as a courtesy only to some customers who pay full price. And I know for a fact that Canon's customer service is close to a 10 out of 10, while Nikon's is close to a 0 out of 10. So my horror story probably wouldn't have happened if I was working with Canon.

But in general, gray market lenses will NOT BE REPAIRED unless you ship back to Japan, and local repair centers may not be trustworthy.

The problem in my case was that I could not even ship back to Japan, because Japan required the ORIGINAL paperwork that B&H Photo Video had when they imported the lens from Japan, and of course B&H refused to provide me their wholesale bill of sale from Japan.

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Vossie

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Re: Failure rates
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2013, 03:30:31 PM »
I don't know whether such a table as you're asking for exists, but by happy coincidence the latest entry on lensrentals' blog addresses their repair rates over the past year:

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog

I haven't read it yet, but if they don't mention the 500mm II, I bet they would be helpful if you sent them an email asking about it - they're an obliging group of people.
Interesting article. Thanks for sharing.
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dhr90

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Re: Failure rates
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2013, 05:43:20 PM »
Just a thought, but don't some grey market dealers offer a warranty of some sort from themselves even if it isn't a manufacturer international warranty?
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Harry Muff

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Re: Failure rates
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2013, 06:04:39 PM »
Are you going with ProCameraShop? They hav excellent customer service as well as being the cheapest.
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Re: Failure rates
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2013, 06:04:39 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Failure rates
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2013, 06:53:42 PM »
Failures can happen at any time.  If you can't stand the thought of shipping is back for repair, you should get it locally.  Mr Murphy is always on the lookout for opportunities to cause havoc!

Grumbaki

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Re: Failure rates
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2013, 10:12:35 PM »
(...)
I have heard that sometimes Canon U.S.A. will repair gray market lenses as a courtesy only to some customers who pay full price. And I know for a fact that Canon's customer service is close to a 10 out of 10, while Nikon's is close to a 0 out of 10. So my horror story probably wouldn't have happened if I was working with Canon.

But in general, gray market lenses will NOT BE REPAIRED unless you ship back to Japan, and local repair centers may not be trustworthy.
(...)

Warranty might be an issue but Canon for sure repairs at a price whereever you bought your gear. Many tourists and foreigners (and HK buyers) here in Chengdu (China) and the official service center has a stellar track record. From different sources, foreigners get check up for free (including sensor cleaning O.o ) and L glass gets you the VIP Treatment. We're wondering if they are sponsored by the Tourism Agency!

To put it short: grey market = no warranty but =/= no repairs.

GuyF

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Re: Failure rates
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2013, 02:46:12 PM »
I wish trying to save money wasn't such hard work.

I was going to go with HDEW as they are £1000 cheaper than anywhere else. Hold on, isn't their price too good to be true? Yes. Their website claims:

"HDEW is an online retailer offering superb prices...." but then the small print says, "Please note that by making a purchase on this website you will be acting as the importer of the product for all purposes including all customs  regulations,copyright and trademark laws.You accept that the role of HDEW Cameras is limited to sourcing products and making them them available for you to import directly from the country of origin.By purchasing a product through this website you authorise us to make arrangements for clearance of customs on your behalf for the products you have ordered."

So they are a retailer who isn't a retailer. Pfff. A small package might slip through Customs' vigilant net but a box the size of a 500mm lens? No way.

Next up are ProCameraShop as recommended by Hairy Muff. Spoke to them and had difficulty explaining I was after a Canon 500mm. The bloke seemed to think this was the Sigma 150-500mm  ::) He then couldn't find it on his own website. A bit of online trawling (not trolling) offered a mixed bag of reviews - even one where a 7D was sold by them with a fake serial number as confirmed by Canon. Possible malicious posting but this "saving money" business just wears you down.

So the moral is probably best to pony-up and buy UK stock in the UK - Mifsuds are doing the lens with a free 1.4x TC at the moment. Would only save about £20 on this combo via Digital Rev so I've learned a lesson. Your mileage may vary.

Many thanks to all who replied.

dhr90

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Re: Failure rates
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2013, 03:03:51 PM »
That does sound quite a good price. Have you checked whether Kerso sells the 500mm? He seems to have very good UK prices from what I have looked at.

I bought a 70-200 f2.8 from hdew 2 weeks ago whih was in a fair sizes box and had no customs problems. Equally about 4 months ago I used digital rev to buy a 7D and 24-105 which was delivered in one large DHL package, it was marked as being a digital camera for customs, but the value was only £40 or so.

I guess it comes down to whether it is worth the risk or not. If however you were thinking of buying a 1.4x anyway then I'd be tempted to go for that deal for peace of mind.

Just my experience/thoughts.
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GuyF

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Re: Failure rates
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2013, 03:11:00 PM »
Dhr90 - I bought my 300mm f2.8 IS from Kerso and have e-mailed him re the 500. His Flashcamera site quotes £7750 for it but it also says the US warranty is valid in the UK. Well not according to Canon UK! I'll see what he comes back with.

Thanks again.

Harry Muff

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Re: Failure rates
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2013, 03:18:58 PM »
Before going with ProCameraShop for the first time last year, I checked out the reviews and found over 5,000 saying they were excellent.


Since then, I've bought three cameras and two lenses off them totalling around £4,500. All without the slightest problem.


There are bound to be the occasional cases of something going wrong. I've yet to encounter perfection.




It says on their website that if you have a problem within the first year, just send it back to them and they'll deal with it.




And, in any case, if you are saving £1,000 by going grey market and there IS a problem, would it cost a grand to fix? I doubt it.


And if it doesn't, you've pocketed a nice chunk of money.






I really don't see the problem.
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Re: Failure rates
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2013, 03:18:58 PM »

kaihp

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Re: Failure rates
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2013, 11:37:46 PM »
Warranty might be an issue but Canon for sure repairs at a price whereever you bought your gear. Many tourists and foreigners (and HK buyers) here in Chengdu (China) and the official service center has a stellar track record. From different sources, foreigners get check up for free (including sensor cleaning O.o ) and L glass gets you the VIP Treatment. We're wondering if they are sponsored by the Tourism Agency!

To put it short: grey market = no warranty but =/= no repairs.

There's a Canon repair center in Chengdu o.O

Do you know if there are other Canon centers in China (I'm in Xiamen)? - my Chinese reading skills are not good enough to navigate the .cn sites (and the quality of google translate is 马马虎虎).

Grumbaki

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Re: Failure rates
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2013, 04:37:03 AM »
Do you know if there are other Canon centers in China (I'm in Xiamen)? - my Chinese reading skills are not good enough to navigate the .cn sites (and the quality of google translate is 马马虎虎).

Seems to be one (it's service center not repair center, different service but they can help with simple stuff and take care of shipping to repair service if need be)
http://www.whatsonxiamen.com/ask-topic-2995.html

Old info but check it out. The other solution would be to ask your usual vendor. I guess you have a computer city or photo city there too ;)

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Re: Failure rates
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2013, 04:37:03 AM »