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Author Topic: Lens Tweaking Service  (Read 2459 times)

Mt Spokane Photography

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Lens Tweaking Service
« on: September 22, 2012, 04:31:10 PM »
I was wondering if there was a market for a lens tweaking service for enthusiasts and smaller profesional users. 
Obviously, cinema photographers rent lenses that are carefully maintained, but say someone wants to purchase a new 24-70mm f/2.8L and wants it tweaked to its best possible resolution, and wants a test report showing how good it is.
I realize that each lens is not equal, and no amount of tweaking can make a lens perform beyond a certain point.  Those 14 or 18 elements all have a tolerance, and the tolerance stackup makes for lenses that are going to vary. 
However, it is possible to eliminate decentering and align things so that they are the best they can be for that particular lens.
A test report would be provided to show sharpness at various focal lengths for zooms.
We can send in a lens to Canon and pay a few hundred dollars to have it tested and adjusted, but just how good is it when they are through?
Maybe someone already does this? i'm not thinking of doing it, just speculating. 
It might even be something that a person can make a living at.  Software and test charts are available, so it only takes the know how to adjust the lenses and the investment in a proper test facility, lighting, etc. 
 
I was also thinking of a business that sold lenses which have been tested and adjusted, but what would one do with the X% that were not top performers but still met manufacturer specs?  Buyers would only want the best of the best, of course.  That doesn't sound very practical.  I guess you could sell the rejects on ebay.  (Kinda like Hills Brothers coffee bean rejects ;) )

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Lens Tweaking Service
« on: September 22, 2012, 04:31:10 PM »

EOBeav

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Re: Lens Tweaking Service
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2012, 02:02:58 PM »
Kind of like what they do to cars sometimes. Think of it as the Shelby treatment for lenses.

I think it's a cool idea, I just wonder what kind of market there is for it. I'm guessing you'd primarily be looking at L lenses that retail, say, in the 1500-2500 USD range? If so, then that means you buy it brand new, do your adjustments/calibrations, then upcharge it enough to make it worth your effort. Also, since I'm guessing that the work you do would void the mfr warranty, you'd need to throw in a little extra to cover the costs of warranting it yourself. Does that push the lens into the 3000 USD range? 4000? A 10,000 USD 400-ish prime grows to 15,000 USD. That seems to be a lot of money for the average prosumer to pay for some extra tweaks, but perhaps there is a market for that among the upper tier professionals. Problem is, how many upper tier professionals are there? I would guess that's a fairly finite number. 

All that to say, by my calculations, it looks like there might be an opportunity to turn it into a specialty service for something you already do (repair work, etc), but I'm not sure there's enough of a market to turn it into a full time gig.

Somebody persuade me that I'm wrong, though.
In landscape photography, when you shoot is more important than where.

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Halfrack

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Re: Lens Tweaking Service
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2012, 03:10:32 PM »
Roger over at LensRentals has to be hit with this ask every day...  Of all folks, he has the tools on hand, and I believe folks would pay a premium if they could purchase new lenses that have been checked out.
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dirtcastle

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Re: Lens Tweaking Service
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2012, 03:09:07 AM »
Great idea.

I would definitely pay extra when I have a lens I think needs to be tested and calibrated properly. Also, AF testing would be nice too. It would be great if someone could definitively tell me what AFMA settings to use on a particular body.

AudioGlenn

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Re: Lens Tweaking Service
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2012, 03:05:03 PM »
I'd be on the market to check all my lenses out for optimal performance.
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Lens Tweaking Service
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2012, 09:25:59 PM »
Roger over at LensRentals has to be hit with this ask every day...  Of all folks, he has the tools on hand, and I believe folks would pay a premium if they could purchase new lenses that have been checked out.
Roger has tools to check a lens, but only has the know how to tweak a few adjustments in a lens, and some he leaves to Canon.
I do not think it would be feasible to sell new lenses, since people would only pay a premium for the top 10% and you would be left with the other 90%.
A testing and report issueing service would put the onus on Canon to fix a bad lens, and would not void a warranty.

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Re: Lens Tweaking Service
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2012, 09:25:59 PM »