Another Upgrade

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Probably my least used lens over the last 18 years is the 28-70mm F2.8L which for the most part sits in my kit bag as the 16-35mm & the 70-200mm are almost permanently bolted to my cameras. Looking back in my Archive, it seemed that it was used for less than 5,000 frames. So even though it was time to upgrade, I didn’t think that the extra weight & cost of the 24-70mm F2.8L was worth it, so I have replaced it with the smaller & lighter 24-70mm F4L IS.

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Time to Upgrade

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It has been a while, the Canon 16-35mm F2.8L I have since it’s original launch in the UK, even though it has been serviced it is time to retire the old girl, also the 17-40 F4 L that I purchased as a temporary replacement is to go on ebay also.

I can’t justify a brand new 16-35mm F2.8 mkIII so I have a brand new old stock 16-35mm F2.8 L mkII.

Also contemplating replacing the equally old 28-70mm F2.8 L as it is a similar age to the 16-35mm and the 70-200mm F2.8 L (all of which were purchased in 2001 along with a pair of EOS 1D bodies).

New Toy

 

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Don’t do much macro work, probably two jobs in the last year or so, that have actually come close to requiring a macro lens, but I was able to get away with a 24-70 & extension tubes. But I decided that it was time to invest. So a 100mm F2.8 Macro lens has been added to the arsenal. For the most part it will probably seldom leave the house, but it is handy to have.

Very Impressed…

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Sent my ageing Canon 16-35mm F2.8L away to The Lens Doctor for repair as it was incapable of producing a sharp image. I was purchased some 16 years ago & Canon wouldn’t touch it. So anyway a mere £239 and the lens has been fixed & returned, and what a job they have done. It has been completely stripped down, cleaned, repaired, parts replaced and returned.

I have shot a few test images and it seems every bit as good as the day that it was purchased. Despite being a heavily used lens, the focus & zoom rings are as smooth as a baby’s bottom. The weather seal has been replaced, in fact it seems a shame to stick my battered old lens hood on it.

I have no connection with The Lens Doctor other than being a very satisfied customer.

The details of the work required is shown below.

Stated Fault: Lens producing soft results /service

Observations: The lens looks in used cosmetic condition, showing small external wear on paintwork and fixings (some small paint wear commensurate with age), there is also slight wear on the lens grips and rubbers. The internal glass has an amount of dust/ debris on all the elements, suggesting there is a slight covering of environmental oils and dust throughout the lens. The Electronics/mechanics of the lens after inspection and test have shown a loose central corrector group carrier, the lens will require to be fully disassembled to re new bushes and to secure loose barrel assembly.

Estimate: The lens requires a complete disassembly for internal repair, replacing the Central Corrector group’s bushes and securing drive assembly. The lens also requires a general service including Clean, Lubricated and adjusted, giving principal consideration to the focus movement, this involves stripping out the entire focusing mechanism system and movements from the lens. Assemble all parts and secure loose Guides and key ways (Corrector Group), and re-assemble internal focusing movement, and I.C. assembly’s new internal bearings/bushing kit, re-align focus, collimate re-centre element groups and calibrate, test back to standard.

PARTS: The lens performance will be seriously affected by the movement of the Corrector Group carrier, which hopefully will be secured by new bearings/bushes, but I cannot ascertain the full extent of wear on the carrier housing until I have entered the lens. Also the lens requires a securing of Guides and key set bearings kit. I have priced for the parts which I will have to order.

  1. Key Guides bearings and bushing kit assembly.
  2. May require Central Corrector group carrier assembly

COST:  Disassemble all function parts Including mechanics and glass, check and inspect internal functionality and Helicoids action. Remove all mechanical assemblies, clean glass and element groups. Inspect and investigate all mechanical lens movements, check tolerances and re-new housing bearings. Re-install Power Diaphragm, Iris motor and drive unit and assembly, check and re-new barrel Key Guides and bearings. Re align and fully re –centre, collimate helicoids and align, calibrate aperture system reassemble, seal and fully test.

TOTALS: For full repair, test and bring back to standard   £239.00

               : Postage and Packing at cost

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Not Unreasonable…

_PBA3144Just received a quotation from www.thelensdoctor.co.uk for the repair of my 16-35mm F2.8 L USM, which I think is quite reasonable, bearing in mind that I purchased it brand new when it was first released so, in reality, although originally expensive, it owes me nothing.  It has given faultless service since 2001 and for the sake of £300 to repair & service it will be fine for a back up lens, or used behind the goal on a remote.

The work required is

The lens requires a complete disassembly for internal repair, replacing the Central Corrector group’s bushes and securing drive assembly. The lens also requires a general service including Clean, Lubricated and adjusted, giving principal consideration to the focus movement, this involves stripping out the entire focusing mechanism system and movements from the lens. Assemble all parts and secure loose Guides and key ways (Corrector Group), and re-assemble internal focusing movement, and I.C. assembly’s new internal bearings/bushing kit, re-align focus, collimate re-centre element groups and calibrate, test back to standard.

Looking forward to getting it back, as much as I like the 17-40mm F4 L USM that has replaced it, I like the extra stop & the extra 1mm.

Sigma 120-300 DG OS HSM Sport

_PBB3608Having acquired a Sigma 120-300 F2.8 Sport, it seemed prudent to get a USB dock to customise the lens & ensure that the firmware is up to date. Having been through the process once before with the non-sport version the software was instantly recogniseable & the firmware update was completed in about 30 seconds, then configuring the customisable switches to around another 30 seconds. Hopefully I will be able to see the results the next time I use it.

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Lovin’ the new toy

Sig123I am enjoying the new Sigma 120-300 EX, HSM, OS, Sport, [add your own random letters here] which replaced an ageing 120-300 EX, DG, HSM, however I do need to get used to the very different handling characteristics. However shooting today with a Canon 1.4 extender it works really well 99% of the time, just looking forward to getting a USB dock to tweak some of the settings. Build quality is truly several orders of magnitude better than it’s three generation older lens, which to be honest I used to constantly have a chamois leather in my pocket, just in case of a light shower.

I am looking forward to pushing this lens in the same way that I did the last one.

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The Quality of the switches is greatly improved, and there are more of them

The Quality of the switches is greatly improved, and there are more of them

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A pair of proper strap lugs  rather than a single one on the tripod mount

Much nicer finish to the lens body

Much nicer finish to the lens body

A big knurled wheel to lock the lenshood in place

A big knurled wheel to lock the lenshood in place