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Old Jul 13, 2005, 11:20 AM   #1
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Here's a question that's been bothering me as I've read posts on this and other sights over the last year. Unfortunately I don't have enough experience to answer it so I'm going to ask for opinions from 'old pros' - those who did film DSLR work and not just digital:

Are there really that many 'bad copies' of lenses out there? I accept the fact some third-party lenses may need to be re-chipped for newer cameras. But I keep seeing threads and warnings about making sure you get a 'good copy'. I am inclined to believe most 'bad copies' are really operator error (and I include myself in this category). So for those of you who have been shooting SLRs for 25+ years - is there really a QC problem with the major lens manufacturers or is it just like me blaming my driver for shanking the 4th tee shot in a row into the woods :-)

I'm curious what those who have been around the equipment for a long time believe.
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Old Jul 13, 2005, 12:33 PM   #2
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It a combination of both. Lenses are fairly complex and there is a lotof things that could potentially push them out.It depends on who I'm listening to and the sound of the problem when I am deciding if is the operator or the equipment that is at fault.

I've had many bad lenses, butin those cases theywere as good as they were ever gonna get.

Out of all the good lenses I have used (Canon)- which is a lot. 2 went off over time and 1 was not right straight out of the box. I don't think thats a QC problem, at least not with Canon from my experience. Considering I've used dozens and dozens in quite demanding use and situations over the last .... oh.... 17 years. I haven't even blinked at those 3 small problems.

You will however hear allabout it when someone is not happy and it will stick in your mind like a bad experience. Especially if you hear two or three stories about the same lens.And a forum is a melting pot for complaints. Thats all it is.You will not probablyregister as easily how many satisfied customers out there that find no reason to complain. And why would they.

So take all the bad stories, cut the number in half for user error and there you have a reasonably small a┬┤mount of lenses in the scale oflenses soldthat are out of 'balance' so to speak.

But then again John if your golf is as good as your photography, like NHL says - the equipment don't matter. :blah:
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Old Jul 13, 2005, 12:44 PM   #3
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Thanks LBoy,

I knew I could count on you for a refresher on what it's like to be 6 years old - where intellect can't prevail use childish taunts
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Old Jul 13, 2005, 1:25 PM   #4
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JohnG

Companies QC are very good theses days (thank to the ISO 9000 processes) - You don't really see that much of a bad products anymore, except for shipment damages (and they test for that too)

-> think about DVD players - They have optics, autofocus , laser, and active mechanical tracking all for under $40... How reliable can you get? People today expect theses things to work with zero defect - A lens is pretty simple (the mechanics of it) in comparison... the smart is in the camera, but it's the photographer who has the 'brain'
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Old Jul 13, 2005, 1:56 PM   #5
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I don't have anything like the experience of equipment that NHL and Lboy have, but I think you're instincts are right John.

True professionals i.e. people who actually make a living out of this are bound to run into dodgy equipment from time to time, they mention it on the forums - mostly because it's so unusual that they're finding it hard to believe that the lens really is faulty.

What happens next is that thousands of unskilled amateurs who have spent loads of money on a lens and are getting similar results to their cheap kit decide it can't be that there is a gap between their new kit and their old skills. So they blame it on the lens - usually sample posts are of technically very poor shots, and leave me in little doubt that the operator is unskilled, which leads me to believe that their opinion on what constitutes a "good" v "poor" copy of the lens is pretty much worthless.

My subjective estimate is that probably more like 95% of complaints about poor lenses have the problem behind the camera rather than in front of it.

I find this to be particularly a problem with mid-level lenses like the EF-S 17-85mm, the new DSLR user recognises that his pictures aren't up to scratch and decides that spending more money will solve the problem. Of course it doesn't but once they have the L lens they have to admit to themselves that it was them after all, of course they don't post THAT on the forum where they previously trashed their mid-level lenses.
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Old Jul 13, 2005, 3:55 PM   #6
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talking about people skills, I thought I was getting better and was thinking of upgrading from the kit lens on my XT, but then I was looking at other peoples' photos with the same lens at pbase.com and, I must say, "wow". Some of the shots were so fantastic, I couldn't believe I was using the same lens as them. They put me to shame

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Old Jul 13, 2005, 3:58 PM   #7
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BoYFrMSpC wrote:
Quote:
talking about people skills, I thought I was getting better and was thinking of upgrading from the kit lens on my XT, but then I was looking at other peoples' photos with the same lens at pbase.com and, I must say, "wow".
Try Photosig as well where they critique and vote too, the images there are definetly in a different class:
http://www.photosig.com/go/photos

... and you can sort by lenses, cameras or ratings
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Old Jul 13, 2005, 11:54 PM   #8
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Hmm... the very worst of my lenses still amazes me. In all I don't think I've ever managed to collect a bad lens. There are differences and certainly some are better than others, usually comenserate with cost. Everyone of us is flooded with more information than I would have thought possible fifty years ago when I started. What we have available today is like a fairytale. Make your selection,learn the lens and work within it's limitations. Can you imagine two artists argueing in a gallery in front of a painting as to what brushes or brand of paint it was? Only this pursuit is plagued with this occurance. I never carry a compass or a map! No need, I can be all alone in the middle of no where but when I kick the tripod legs apart there magically appears someone that has to know what lens I'm using and also if my camera is as good as his friend's. Yup, there is always some one there to tell me where to go!
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Old Jul 14, 2005, 1:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Thanks LBoy,

I knew I could count on you for a refresher on what it's like to be 6 years old - where intellect can't prevail use childish taunts
Well "consistency" ain't that bad a middle name.
mmmm..ok then, I suppose better that than being a humorless ol goat. Still calling me out I see John....... Oh how I laugh..... you need some more examples? To justify my opinion on 'bad copies'.

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=65

Then again simply look at your album.

Now thats a childish taunt. As opposed to my previous effort to add some light hearted humor to the thread,you have again chosen the high road and indeed added the rather insulting tone.Yeah... indeed quite intellectual of you John G.





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Old Jul 14, 2005, 7:08 AM   #10
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Lorraine,

I thought you weren't going to talk to me again? As memory serves that was the last private message you sent me. You must work on your self control a little bit. You didn't even make it two weeks before you couldn't resist replying to one of my threads. I'm deeply flattered that you can't stay away
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