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Author Topic: He tells me: Compare these lenses and keep any you like!  (Read 3081 times)

Obaidey

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He tells me: Compare these lenses and keep any you like!
« on: June 08, 2012, 09:22:49 AM »
I am new to "proper SLR" photography and would be grateful if you excuse my ignorance
I am in the process of complementing my "future" 5d3 with 3 lenses
This dealer is offering to sell me 2 of each lens I want at a reasonable price, try them, then return the one I don't like
Is that usual?
Is it too good to be true?
Hearing stories of Forum members, having to repeatedly exchange a lens they bought until finding a good sharp one, I am worried that I could end up buying a dud, probably without realising
During our face to face discussion, I told (FotoSklep) Polish dealer at downtown Warsaw (Poland) about my intention to buy 3 Canon L lenses. I live in south London (UK) and frequently travel to Poland
He tried to convince me that quality control at Canon would not allow a dud L-lens, and that the difference, if any, would be negligible.
He offered to sell me 2 lenses each (6 in total), allow me to compare, then return the ones that I do not like. He would also accept to refund me on all 6 if so I wished.
His lenses seem to be genuinely sealed Canon stuff
His prices are currently comparable (+/- 1% or 2%) to other local Polish Canon dealers, which are roughly equivalent to the cheapest I could get from a respectable "UK" internet dealer
I have no idea how to properly test lenses, or who could do that for me, and at what cost. Suppose this was sorted somehow, do you think I shall take up his offer?
p.s.:
I will pay by credit card, which offers some protection I suppose. He says that his canon lenses warranty is valid in UK
« Last Edit: June 08, 2012, 01:43:27 PM by Obaidey »

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He tells me: Compare these lenses and keep any you like!
« on: June 08, 2012, 09:22:49 AM »

michi

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Re: He tells me: Compare these lenses and keep any you like!
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2012, 02:08:06 PM »
Well, I have no experience with all of this. It sounds like a great offer.  But I would just make sure that you are clear with him on getting your money back for those lenses.  If he suddenly says he can't take them back, you're stuck with having to try to sell them and possibly taking a loss. Or worse, if you damage one, then what will be the procedure?  And how picky will he be about the shape of the returned lens?  If there is a tiny scratch somewhere, can he still sell it as a new lens which I'm sure he will want to do?  You should ask him some direct questions before you go through with that deal.

Obaidey

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Re: He tells me: Compare these lenses and keep any you like!
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2012, 02:41:51 PM »
He told me that he returns them to where he bought them from and get refunded with the US Dollars that he paid, which has an additional bonus because the Polish currency dropped 15% of its value against the US Dollar in the last month
What worries me is that he seems to have an answer for everything. But then, what if he is genuine?
What also worries me is the possibility that I buy then find his shop closed when I bring the rejects back in 2 weeks. However, business seemed quite lively when I last visited him
« Last Edit: June 08, 2012, 02:49:37 PM by Obaidey »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: He tells me: Compare these lenses and keep any you like!
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2012, 02:48:41 PM »
New lenses can vary, but those from the same batch tend to be the same.  Still, there are some with decentering, which is more common with complex and apparently difficult to perfectly assemble lenses like the 24-70L.
 
Take him up on it, and report back to let us know what you find.

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Re: He tells me: Compare these lenses and keep any you like!
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2012, 02:59:51 PM »
Check with Canon to verify whether or not it is a Canon approved reseller.  If he is not, I would not do business with him.  There are tolerances on all lenses and bodies -- even if your body and lens are both in spec, you could still have to use sizeable AFMA values to get optimal performance.

I would not buy two sets of lenses.  You are taking all the risk because he has your money.  I would get one, try to match it to the body via AFMA.  If that doesn't work, then I'd contact Canon and have them adjust your camera and lens together.  You'd pay shipping once, but then you'd have a well-matched body and lens combination.  Calibrating the body may also make your future lens purchases easier if they are able to "center" the error.

Complete duds are rare.  Finding a lens that is perfectly matched to your body is also rare. 

Obaidey

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Re: He tells me: Compare these lenses and keep any you like!
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2012, 03:11:42 PM »
Check with Canon to verify whether or not it is a Canon approved reseller.
He is
contact Canon and have them adjust your camera and lens together
What if a second lens needs adjusting? If Canon adjusts camera for one lens, will you lose its adjustment if you re-adjust the camera for a second lens?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2012, 03:14:09 PM by Obaidey »

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Re: He tells me: Compare these lenses and keep any you like!
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2012, 03:30:42 PM »
What if a second lens needs adjusting? If Canon adjusts camera for one lens, will you lose its adjustment if you re-adjust the camera for a second lens?

Canon would adjust both the body and lens and adjust them toward the ideal setting.  I had a 24L II that was out of focus.  It was covered by the warranty, and I sent it in and Canon adjusted its focus.  I got it back and it worked fine now.  However the note they sent may stated that next time it might be better to send the body in too, so they can adjust both independently and together.

What I am trying to say is if your body is the one that has the tolerance error, then it might require all your lenses to have a AFMA of +15 for an example.  If you got a new lens that needs a +8 adjustment on a neutral body, the closest you will be able to get is +20 (camera limit) but it needs a +23, so your perfect shots would be slightly OOF.  If you send the camera in, then they can adjust it so that it is closer to zero, which would give you the full +/-20 range to make adjustments with.

You can check how well a lens' AF works by taking pictures with phase-detect AF and LiveView.  A good lens would give you similar sharpness across the frame with either method.  A bad lens might give you good LiveView performance, but be blurry with phase-detect AF.  That is what I experienced with a 50mm f/1.4.

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Re: He tells me: Compare these lenses and keep any you like!
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2012, 03:30:42 PM »

jweu

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Re: He tells me: Compare these lenses and keep any you like!
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2012, 04:06:12 PM »
I realy need a comparisson with more than 100 lines per mm, since that is what my camara body has. Why do we only get charts with 30 lines per mm?

ScottyP

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Re: He tells me: Compare these lenses and keep any you like!
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2012, 04:37:37 PM »
Yes-you should be able to make it work with microfocus adjustment unless it is WAY off and a total dud.  Not sure if this is really necessary.

If I did take him up on the offer to buy "pairs" of each lens, I would only do ONE PAIR AT A TIME, not all 3 pairs at once.  That way you have bought only 2 lenses from him, not 6.
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Obaidey

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Re: He tells me: Compare these lenses and keep any you like!
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2012, 11:47:16 AM »
I am grateful for all the replies
Thanks
Thank you Random Orbits for your helpful explanation of lens and camera calibration
I found a great write up about that here
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2008/12/this-lens-is-soft-and-other-myths
After reading these, and as my future 5d3 can calibrate and adjust for multiple lenses (I think), I now may not bother and risk buying lenses in pairs
I suppose that 5d3 does have lens microcalibration feature on it. Correct?
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 11:57:50 AM by Obaidey »

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Re: He tells me: Compare these lenses and keep any you like!
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2012, 12:20:38 PM »
I am grateful for all the replies
Thanks
Thank you Random Orbits for your helpful explanation of lens and camera calibration
I found a great write up about that here
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2008/12/this-lens-is-soft-and-other-myths
After reading these, and as my future 5d3 can calibrate and adjust for multiple lenses (I think), I now may not bother and risk buying lenses in pairs
I suppose that 5d3 does have lens microcalibration feature on it. Correct?

As noted, microfocus adjustment is not what you should be worrying about, the issue to check for is decentering and overall lens sharpness.
 
Here are some articles written by   Roger Cicala of lens Rentals telling about what they see.  They test all of their lenses many times.  Lenses do vary in quality, the 24-70mm being notably a culpret.
 
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/10/notes-on-lens-and-camera-variation
 
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/10/the-limits-of-variation
 
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/05/testing-for-a-decentered-lens-an-old-technique-gets-a-makeover
 
 

Radiating

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Re: He tells me: Compare these lenses and keep any you like!
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2012, 08:54:29 PM »
I am new to "proper SLR" photography and would be grateful if you excuse my ignorance
I am in the process of complementing my "future" 5d3 with 3 lenses
This dealer is offering to sell me 2 of each lens I want at a reasonable price, try them, then return the one I don't like
Is that usual?
Is it too good to be true?
Hearing stories of Forum members, having to repeatedly exchange a lens they bought until finding a good sharp one, I am worried that I could end up buying a dud, probably without realising
During our face to face discussion, I told (FotoSklep) Polish dealer at downtown Warsaw (Poland) about my intention to buy 3 Canon L lenses. I live in south London (UK) and frequently travel to Poland
He tried to convince me that quality control at Canon would not allow a dud L-lens, and that the difference, if any, would be negligible.
He offered to sell me 2 lenses each (6 in total), allow me to compare, then return the ones that I do not like. He would also accept to refund me on all 6 if so I wished.
His lenses seem to be genuinely sealed Canon stuff
His prices are currently comparable (+/- 1% or 2%) to other local Polish Canon dealers, which are roughly equivalent to the cheapest I could get from a respectable "UK" internet dealer
I have no idea how to properly test lenses, or who could do that for me, and at what cost. Suppose this was sorted somehow, do you think I shall take up his offer?
p.s.:
I will pay by credit card, which offers some protection I suppose. He says that his canon lenses warranty is valid in UK


The stories you've heard of copy variation are exagerated to the point of ridiculousness on the internet. For every copy that someone got that was bad and they posted about there have been 20 others that have had good copies and not said a word.

Here's a list of lenses with major and minor copy variation for image quality:

Major:

- 24-70mm f/2.8 Mark I
- 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6

Minor (you would probably never notice it):

- 24mm f/1.4 L II
- 50mm f/1.2 L
- 400mm DO

All other lenses are incredibly consistent with almost no copy variation whatsoever at all to the point where images look 100% idential with nearly zero difference.

The only other copy variation is with autofocus which can easily be remidied with microadjustment or sending your gear in for calibration.

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Re: He tells me: Compare these lenses and keep any you like!
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2012, 08:54:29 PM »