Canon Rebel and Kit Lens Survives 3,000 Foot Skydiving Fall and Still Works, Then Why Are Their L Series Lenses So Crappy?

From Crunchgear:

I don’t think anyone is too hot on the idea of testing this question, but one skydiving photographer added a data point unwittingly when his Rebel XT popped off his head at the beginning of a jump. I would have pulled some True Lies-style freefall gymnastics to get it back, but not everybody’s as cool as me and Arnie.

Incredibly, the camera didn’t explode into a thousand pieces on landing — in fact, it sustained only minor damage and both the camera and lens are working! Are you kidding me?

Looks to me like it landed in a bog, or peat or something. That probably helped. Whatever the case, let’s hear it for this heroic little camera.

Of course my own experience with Canon products has been the exact opposite and I find that especially their lenses hold up horribly. I’ve had to send my $950 L Series 135 f/2 lens into Canon now *FOUR* times for the exact same autofocus problem. The last two times I’ve sent it in they’ve claimed “impact damage” even though I’ve never dropped the lens in my life. At first they sent me an email saying that because it had been my fourth time having it repaired that they were going to repair it for free. But then 2 days latter they called a psyche on me and took back their offer to repair it for free and decided to charge me $315.14 instead.

So how is it that a Rebel with a crappy kit lens can fall 3,000 feet and survive but I’ve never dropped my 135 f/2 lens once in my life and have had to have the lens repaired 4x for the exact same problem.

I’ve had autofocus problems with my 50 f/1.2 L series lens (it has a really hard time autofocusing on things within 10 feet) since the day that I’ve bought it but don’t dare send it in to Canon because I’m sure they’d want to ream me again for their shoddy L series products.

Thanks, Clearlight!

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7 comments on “Canon Rebel and Kit Lens Survives 3,000 Foot Skydiving Fall and Still Works, Then Why Are Their L Series Lenses So Crappy?
  1. Ed says:

    Wait, who’s experience is that with the L series lenses, I’m not quite sure I get it? Your’s or “Clearlight’s”. In my experience my Canon Rebel XT and kit lens fell all of 3 feet onto pavement – the camera seems fine but the kit lens, 18-55mm, now doesn’t go beyond 35mm. It’s autofocus ability seems the same as previous though. At least I have a Zeiss 50mm f1.4 Planar T* to get that focal length.

  2. muzik dinle says:

    thanks so much. greetings

  3. Well might have something to do with the fact that it’s all plastic and so light. I’m always shocked at how lightweight Canon gear is in comparison to Nikon.

  4. Wow, I’ve only killed my 135/2 AF once (in 4+ years), and I bash it around at punk rock shows. It’s durable compared to my 24/1.4 (two AF kills, although neither total, and one lost lensmount stop screw that led to $250 in body damage) and my 50/1.4 (three kills).

    My manual-focus Leica 19/2.8, however, is rock solid. Even knocked a tuning peg off a guitar with the front element and zero damage. (I was shooting close and got hit full-speed from behind. When I picked myself up from the face plant I didn’t realize at first why the guitarist was giving me the Look of Death :-)

  5. Karel says:

    Thomas,

    The issue with the 50mm f/1.2 L is a known issue and Canon appears to ignore it on purpose. I wrote about it here:
    http://www.kareldonk.com/karel/2008/07/16/canon-ef-50mm-f12-l-defective-by-design/

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