Shot with the Canon 70-200 f2.8L at 1/250 second, f5, 110 mm
I recently had my 70-200 f2.8L repaired locally, it needed a new front filter ring (it had been dinged and I couldn't screw in my polarizer any more). They took the opportunity to replace a scratched front lens element and tighten up the lens body (the lens was eight years old). The repair cost $250 and took 4 weeks, part of that due to the time it took to order the necessary parts from Canon. Unfortunately after the repairs, what had been one of the sharpest lenses I have ever owned became a bit soft, particularly at the corners.
Well, as luck would have it, a fairly new 50 mm f1.4 lens I own went west during a shoot last week. As a result I decided to take advantage of my membership in Canon's professional services group (CPS) which claims a 3 day turn-around on repairs (if you are a member and submit through the CPS service center). The 50 mm was still under warranty and I had a grip for my 20D which wasn't performing up to par, so I figured as long as those two pieces were going in, I might as well include the 70-200 and ask CPS service to check it out.
Canon repair received my package Monday morning and by that evening I had an email explaining that the 70-200 would require $120 worth of repairs, and that everything would be finished in ten working days. What! What! What about the three day turn-around promised in my CPS package??? So, I called Tuesday morning (which I had to do anyway to authorize the 70-200 repair and arrange for payment). Ah, not to worry, it was a mistake. The lens would be finished in 3-5 working days. While I was not happy about even this small change, at least I was satisfied that I wasn't going to have to wait two weeks to get some of my critical equipment back. Still, that 3-5 days would start on Tuesday since that's when I authorized the repair (and you know it's going to be 5 days!).
Silly wabbit, I got an email Wednesday night with an overnight Fed Ex tracking number for the 70-200. It arrived Thursday around noon, repaired and essentially a new lens. They replaced an intermediate barrel, mount, and lens. Checked everything, cleaned, and adjusted the lens to factory specifications (it is sharp again, so very sharp!). Oh, they also charged me $15 for that Fed Ex overnight return.
So, what about the other two items? I called Thursday after I received the first package and was informed that they couldn't get the 50 mm and the grip out until Friday, so I could expect it on Monday (no Saturday delivery on standard overnight). Okay, I went fishing Friday morning and returned to discover that Fed Ex was unable to deliver my 50 mm lens and the grip because I wasn't there! What! What! What happened to CPS telling me on Thursday they couldn't ship until Friday? Obviously they shipped that same day! I figured I would have to drive to the Fed Ex office that evening when to my surprise the bell rang and there stood the Fed Ex guy! "I figured you might be back, so I thought I'd try again. Here you go!" I should buy a lottery ticket, this NEVER happens (although I do have a great Fed Ex guy. UPS is not Fed Ex, nuff said). I got my 70-200 zoom back in three days from the time Canon received it, and the grip and 50 mm lens back in four days. Amazing.
Anyway, long story but worth telling. Canon's Profession Services organization does a great job with their fast repair service (free to all CPS members). I'm pretty sure the Nikon guys will have similar stories about Nikon Pro Services since Nikon invented the idea. While the program is designed for professionals, students and others do qualify. You can get the CPS application package sent to you by writing to CPS at email@example.com
. Perhaps a member of Nikon Pro Services could chime in with how a Nikon user might become a member of NPS. Membership is free, and worth every penny!
A final note, there was no charge to me (other than the cost of sending the equipment to CPS) for the warranty repairs to the grip and 50 mm lens. Canon had sent me a voucher for $100 which could be used for any repairs when I bought my EOS 5D, so the out of pocket for everything including the repairs to my 70-200 was only $35. And I used the 50 mm lens today shooting a couple of recording artists for their label, so I was happy to have it back!
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