Is there such a thing like pro stock lenses, or special +++ quality lenses for demo or reviews ?

TES

I'm New Here
Feb 20, 2021
23
2
I am a new member here, let me give a little info about myself: Professional Photographer for the last 30 years, with international assignments, I am based in Europe.

I am very particular when selecting a lens, I am a good customer at a pro shop and they generally will lend me 4-5 lenses for me to pick the best one. I think it is no secret that there are sample variations, and they can be huge especially on zoom lenses.

I have been testing for years, and my first encounter with a special lens was the 100-400 ver 1 for my 5DsR - I got to test the demo provided by canon, and 3 other 100-400, and some prime 300 and 400. That demo 100-400 was a pure gem, and was overall a much better performer that the other glasses. I ct a deal and was allowed to purchase the 100-400 Demo.

Next time was with the 24TS II (my bread and butter lens when shooting architecture), I had a really great 24TS (very early model) but it got damaged beyond repair, so I had to get a new one. I just purchased a new sample, but it was no where as good as my old one, and I went through 4-5 other samples with same result. My pro shop called canon, and their rep let me try their Demo version of the 24TS, and voila that was a gem of a lens, and I got to purchase that sample.

Now I am in a similar situation, I changed to R5 and was looking for an 85 (my bread and butter lens for portraits), I have the Canon 85 1.8, 85 1.4 ID, 85 1.2 II, Tamron 85 1.8 VC and Sigma 85 1.4 - so I don't really need anything more, but it is also time to perhaps upgrade to RF 85 1.2

So I got a Canon demo RF 85 1.2 and had a shoot out (nerdy testing) with the other 85's to see if it's really worth it before making a purchase. All I can say is WOW that lens is just magical, never seen anything like it, better than my 90 TS II, better than anything. I was so exited and went to buy the lens. Got a brand new one, and went straight back to my studio setup and made a test, and the lens was good (great) but not like the demo version, and there was a clear difference. I went back to my pro shop and got another sample, and that was even worse.

So I wonder when I read glowing reviews on that lens, if there is such a thing like pro stock (tennis term for special racquets for top pro players) or a selected A+++ lens for demo and reviews.

It is kind of frustrating, so I would like to have your opinion on this topic (apologize if that has been discussed before or if it is a well kept secret).

Thank you very much for any feed back, as monday morning I will have to replace the lens for another sample, or perhaps get the demo.

Cheers, TES
 

Joules

doom
CR Pro
Jul 16, 2017
1,475
1,771
Hamburg, Germany
I am a new member here, let me give a little info about myself: Professional Photographer for the last 30 years, with international assignments, I am based in Europe.

I am very particular when selecting a lens, I am a good customer at a pro shop and they generally will lend me 4-5 lenses for me to pick the best one. I think it is no secret that there are sample variations, and they can be huge especially on zoom lenses.

I have been testing for years, and my first encounter with a special lens was the 100-400 ver 1 for my 5DsR - I got to test the demo provided by canon, and 3 other 100-400, and some prime 300 and 400. That demo 100-400 was a pure gem, and was overall a much better performer that the other glasses. I ct a deal and was allowed to purchase the 100-400 Demo.

Next time was with the 24TS II (my bread and butter lens when shooting architecture), I had a really great 24TS (very early model) but it got damaged beyond repair, so I had to get a new one. I just purchased a new sample, but it was no where as good as my old one, and I went through 4-5 other samples with same result. My pro shop called canon, and their rep let me try their Demo version of the 24TS, and voila that was a gem of a lens, and I got to purchase that sample.

Now I am in a similar situation, I changed to R5 and was looking for an 85 (my bread and butter lens for portraits), I have the Canon 85 1.8, 85 1.4 ID, 85 1.2 II, Tamron 85 1.8 VC and Sigma 85 1.4 - so I don't really need anything more, but it is also time to perhaps upgrade to RF 85 1.2

So I got a Canon demo RF 85 1.2 and had a shoot out (nerdy testing) with the other 85's to see if it's really worth it before making a purchase. All I can say is WOW that lens is just magical, never seen anything like it, better than my 90 TS II, better than anything. I was so exited and went to buy the lens. Got a brand new one, and went straight back to my studio setup and made a test, and the lens was good (great) but not like the demo version, and there was a clear difference. I went back to my pro shop and got another sample, and that was even worse.

So I wonder when I read glowing reviews on that lens, if there is such a thing like pro stock (tennis term for special racquets for top pro players) or a selected A+++ lens for demo and reviews.

It is kind of frustrating, so I would like to have your opinion on this topic (apologize if that has been discussed before or if it is a well kept secret).

Thank you very much for any feed back, as monday morning I will have to replace the lens for another sample, or perhaps get the demo.

Cheers, TES
As you seem to evaluate lenses critically, do you have the images that demonstrate these supposed performance differences?

Not doubting you, but seeing that you should have evidence at hand and are proposing what borders on conspiracy theory, it would be nice if you could prevent the thread from divulging into unhinged FUD by starting out with a transparent and scientific backup for your claimed observations.

Other than that, if you just want to read some opinions on the matter, there was a recent thread with a similar subject here: https://www.canonrumors.com/forum/t...d-binning-fantasy-or-sometimes-reality.40059/
 

TES

I'm New Here
Feb 20, 2021
23
2
As you seem to evaluate lenses critically, do you have the images that demonstrate these supposed performance differences?

Not doubting you, but seeing that you should have evidence at hand and are proposing what borders on conspiracy theory, it would be nice if you could prevent the thread from divulging into unhinged FUD by starting out with a transparent and scientific backup for your claimed observations.

Other than that, if you just want to read some opinions on the matter, there was a recent thread with a similar subject here: https://www.canonrumors.com/forum/t...d-binning-fantasy-or-sometimes-reality.40059/
Thank @Joules I was reading a little on the thread, and I guess its called cherry picking. Not sure if this is a fantasy of mine, but is just seem odd that this is my 3 experience with Canon demo lenses being superior to the new ones I get in the store.

YES I do of cause have images (only from the RF 85 1.2, 24TS and 100-400 is deleted a long time ago) as I am in the middle of testing. When I get the next sample or I get the demo back, I can upload some images.

I remembered when testing lenses with the 5D's one had to take the AF accuracies in consideration. I guess that is not the case with the R5. I also have a normal R so perhaps I should redo the test with that camera too, to eliminate and camera depended factors.

Other good ideas are most welcome.

Cheers, TES
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,554
1,534
There are differences in lenses, and in a few cases, its noticeable. Lens Rentals tests large numbers of them, and sometimes offers articles demonstrating the range of differences. At one time, they considered testing them for consumers, but the time and cost did not justify the effort.

You can rent a lens from them, and if you like it, you can buy it and apply the rental cost to your purchase. The lens has been tested, and any bad ones sent for repair but there is still variance.

Personally, I would not deal with a company that allowed cherry picking of lenses, obviously, a buyer would get lenses rejected by someone else.
 

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
1,004
1,038
I was thinking about AFMA, this could explain the huge differences in sharpness.
My 24 TSE II was a very disappointing lens, until, after a while, I decided to give AFMA a try. The lens was transfigured (+ 15 !)!
PS: the 24 TSE was with my first digital body, my very first Canon lens, and, quite naively, I didn't even know AFMA existed...
 

CanonFanBoy

Purple
CR Pro
Jan 28, 2015
5,270
3,528
Irving, Texas
Wow. I can't imagine the retailer's nightmare of having to take a return from the same customer 3 - 4 times for the same product, and then not being able to honestly sell said item as new to the next person. Maybe it's just me, but that seems obnoxious. Were I a retailer of lenses, I'd say to go pound sand and never come back.

Yes, there are copy variations, however, not so much that one should need to "test" 4 or 5 lenses. I have never had to return a single lens because I thought it wasn't acceptable. Of course, I don't pixel peep either. Sheesh! This smacks of an inflated sense of self-importance... or obsessive compulsive disorder.
 

privatebydesign

EOS-1D X Mark III
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
9,460
3,846
I was thinking about AFMA, this could explain the huge differences in sharpness.
My 24 TSE II was a very disappointing lens, until, after a while, I decided to give AFMA a try. The lens was transfigured (+ 15 !)!
PS: the 24 TSE was with my first digital body, my very first Canon lens, and, quite naively, I didn't even know AFMA existed...
How do you AFMA a manual focus lens?
 

TES

I'm New Here
Feb 20, 2021
23
2
I was thinking about AFMA, this could explain the huge differences in sharpness.
My 24 TSE II was a very disappointing lens, until, after a while, I decided to give AFMA a try. The lens was transfigured (+ 15 !)!
PS: the 24 TSE was with my first digital body, my very first Canon lens, and, quite naively, I didn't even know AFMA existed...
What is AFMA ? Is that relevant for an R5 body ?
 

privatebydesign

EOS-1D X Mark III
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
9,460
3,846
So I wonder when I read glowing reviews on that lens, if there is such a thing like pro stock (tennis term for special racquets for top pro players) or a selected A+++ lens for demo and reviews.

It is kind of frustrating, so I would like to have your opinion on this topic (apologize if that has been discussed before or if it is a well kept secret).

Thank you very much for any feed back, as monday morning I will have to replace the lens for another sample, or perhaps get the demo.

Cheers, TES

This has been discussed before and the idea has no merit or proof whatsoever. All you are doing is presenting a classic case of confirmation bias.
 
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unfocused

EOS-1D X Mark III
Jul 20, 2010
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www.mgordoncommunications.com
To answer your question: No. There is no such thing as "pro stock lenses or special +++ quality lenses for demo or reviews. That would actually be a really bad idea for a company to do.

I imagine Canon hand assembles a few bodies and lenses for prototype testing purposes before committing an assembly line for manufacturing large quantities, but those are probably limited to a handful of bodies and lenses that will never be sold.
 
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TES

I'm New Here
Feb 20, 2021
23
2
This has been discussed before and the idea has no merit or proof whatsoever. All you are doing is presenting a classic case of confirmation bias.

Well I am new to this forum so I have not been part of this discussion.

I would think you are correct and I am not trying to set up some conspiracy theory, but now this happened 3 times to me that the Canon demo optics were superior, anf yes this could just be by chance, this is why I posted to get some more inf from all the gentlemen here.

Cheers, TES
 

TES

I'm New Here
Feb 20, 2021
23
2
To answer you question: No. There is no such thing as "pro stock lenses or special +++ quality lenses for demo or reviews. That would actually be a really bad idea for a company to do.

I imagine Canon hand assembles a few bodies and lenses for prototype testing purposes before committing an assembly line for manufacturing large quantities, but those are probably limited to a handful of bodies and lenses that will never be sold.

I would happily agree with you, but there are certainly sample variations - and they can be quite substantial.

Perhaps it was just by chance the demo lenses from Canon that I tried turned out to be the best of the handfull I tested.
 

TES

I'm New Here
Feb 20, 2021
23
2
Here are a 2 screenshots - 1 full view of my books, focus on the white text for all 3 RF Lenses @ 1.2
2nd are 100% view of the 3 RF Lenses - no sharpness or post applied
 

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TES

I'm New Here
Feb 20, 2021
23
2
Sheesh! This smacks of an inflated sense of self-importance... or obsessive compulsive disorder.

I used to be a member of the Rob Galbraith forum if anyone remembers the good old days where posters were respectful to each other. When that closed there was a forum for som years by invitation only, where pro's would discuss gear and business some still very good friends, but that closed years ago. Have not posted on forums for years, but have been following Canon Rumors, so I thought I would give it a try again.

But post like this will very soon have me close down my profile again. So if you want to post again, be respectful and do not be personal.
 

Ramage

EOS R5
CR Pro
Aug 27, 2019
418
775
I used to be a member of the Rob Galbraith forum if anyone remembers the good old days where posters were respectful to each other. When that closed there was a forum for som years by invitation only, where pro's would discuss gear and business some still very good friends, but that closed years ago. Have not posted on forums for years, but have been following Canon Rumors, so I thought I would give it a try again.

But post like this will very soon have me close down my profile again. So if you want to post again, be respectful and do not be personal.
TES, welcome to Canon Rumors, this a great forum that has an amazing community that is always willing to help and offer advice to those that need it.

That said this is also a favored spot for users with 1 - 10 post to come shit on x Canon (normally spelled Cannon) gear get their ass chewed out and slink back away into the black hole of the interwebs.

I would suggest if you are actually seeking advice to "Read the Room" this discussion has no legs.

Cheers
 

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
1,004
1,038
How do you AFMA a manual focus lens?
I did it without difficulties for my MF Zeiss 50mm Macro Planar (which has an electronic interface).
But obviously it doesn't work with for instance fully "electronic-free" lenses (Leica R).
Edit: did it also for the Zeiss 21mm f2,8, EF mount.
PS: manual lenses of course don't autofocus after "AFMAing" them, but the green focus-ok LED in the viewfinder shows you if the lens is properly focused.
If you prefer, in this case, call it "FMA";)
 
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TES

I'm New Here
Feb 20, 2021
23
2
Auto Focus Micro Adjust, used to adjust a lens' manufactoring tolerance to the camera's auto-focus system.
Only (apart from Nikon's Zs) dor DSLRs.
Thanks, I had an idea that it could be that, but I was not aware of the abbreviation as English is not my first language.