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Archive 2013 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's
  
 
lowa2
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p.1 #1 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's


Well I just got news from CPS that my 500/4 IS (v1) is a complete write off. Mold/fungus has destroyed most of the inner elements.

This has let me to think, how "tight" are the weather seals on the Canon supertele's? I shot out in the snow (with a lens coat) this weekend, but I can't see one three hour session of photography in snow causing massive mold growth inside such an expensive lens. Does fungus take long to grow?

I was using a 1D body on the lens and when transferring the lens from cold/warm I put it in the car (with the car warming up naturally as the car warms up).

I would like to hear about your experiences with the big whites, and how well they hold up to weather.

Charles



Feb 13, 2013 at 06:33 PM
bigbluebear
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p.1 #2 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's


Hello Charles,

Could you provide some more information as to the history of the lens? That may be helpful.

Based on the info given, I can't imagine one 3 hour stint out in the snow would result in mold/fungus on most of the internal elements.



Feb 13, 2013 at 06:41 PM
dolina
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p.1 #3 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's


In countries with 80-90% relative humidity items like camera gear and other optics tend to be stored in electronic dry boxes with dehumidifiers.

From the details provided my guess is that fungus growth in your lens took less than a month?



Feb 13, 2013 at 06:42 PM
Monito
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p.1 #4 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's


lowa2 wrote:
Well I just got news from CPS that my 500/4 IS (v1) is a complete write off. Mold/fungus has destroyed most of the inner elements. This has let me to think, how "tight" are the weather seals on the Canon supertele's? I shot out in the snow (with a lens coat) this weekend, but I can't see one three hour session of photography in snow causing massive mold growth inside such an expensive lens. Does fungus take long to grow?


That much fungus would take months or years to grow!

Sorry to hear about that lens, but it didn't happen from something you did this weekend. How long have you had the lens? How have you kept it?

It doesn't matter how weather sealed the lens is on the camera, it is not weather sealed off the camera. Fungus grows from humidity! That can seep in to the lens whether it is weather sealed or not and whether it is on the camera or not.

Weather sealing seals against weather! Against droplets and liquid penetration. Not against gas, which is what humidity is (water vapour).



Feb 13, 2013 at 06:45 PM
lowa2
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p.1 #5 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's


Sorry, I guess I should have been more specific.

I bought this lens used about 3 months ago. I bought it locally, from someone who had the lens since day 1. The lens was used to being in humid environments as she used the camera on the beach all the time. The lens has basically traveled the world (africa, ect...)

She said that the lens has been sprayed multiple times with salt water spray when photographing shorebirds, but I didn't think anything of it...I've done the same with many lenses (although not as bad as she was describing), and have not had issues, EVER, with any other lens.



Feb 13, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Sunny Sra
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p.1 #6 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's


Charles,
Man that sucks! It would take years for fungus to grow and destroy the innards of the lens like that, shooting in snow won't do it that fast.



Feb 13, 2013 at 06:51 PM
convergent
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p.1 #7 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's


I've never had fungus problems, but my guess is that it is going to occur most often in lenses that were "road hard and put away wet". I believe that if you let things air out well after getting wet, then you'd be OK. That sealing could also work against you if moisture does get in... it would then not be able to get out. Have you told the prior owner about what happened. If I were her, I'd feel terrible if I didn't know about the problem when I sold it. It makes me wonder if she knew. Just seems pretty coincidental that she has had the thing since new for many years and luckily sold it right before it was discovered that it was full of fungus.


Feb 13, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Sunny Sra
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p.1 #8 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's


Another thing to do would be to ask Canon if that lens has been in for service prior to you sending it in and what repair work was done. not sure if they will share the info, but worth a try.


Feb 13, 2013 at 07:18 PM
willis
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p.1 #9 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's


80-90% relative humidity is still fairly common in temperate climates where fungus is not much of a problem. It's much more of an issue in hot AND humid climates. Fungus needs water and small falls in temp can lead to significant condensation, this combined with warmth is what does the damage.
At lower temperatures much less condensation occurs when air cools (cooler air holds a lot less water even if the % relative humidity remains high) and growth is slower in the cold so fungus is less of a problem.
Unless lenses are airtight then it wont stop fungus-if air can get in so can water vapour and fungal spores are tiny and pretty much ubiquitous.



Feb 13, 2013 at 07:19 PM
lowa2
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p.1 #10 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's


convergent wrote:
I've never had fungus problems, but my guess is that it is going to occur most often in lenses that were "road hard and put away wet". I believe that if you let things air out well after getting wet, then you'd be OK. That sealing could also work against you if moisture does get in... it would then not be able to get out. Have you told the prior owner about what happened. If I were her, I'd feel terrible if I didn't know about the problem when I sold it. It makes me wonder if she knew. Just
...Show more

I have contacted her and she has offered a partial refund. I basically threw away 6 grand in equity, so I don't know what to do. I could take the partial refund and sell it it with full disclosure for cheap and find another one...

There's no way of knowing if it was there before I got it, but 3 months of sparing use seems quick for all the elements to grow mold.



Feb 13, 2013 at 07:23 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



lowa2
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p.1 #11 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's


Sunny Sra wrote:
Another thing to do would be to ask Canon if that lens has been in for service prior to you sending it in and what repair work was done. not sure if they will share the info, but worth a try.


It was in last year for a corroded tripod mount (salt spray)



Feb 13, 2013 at 07:24 PM
Sunny Sra
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p.1 #12 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's


HOw much would canon charge to repair it?


Feb 13, 2013 at 07:30 PM
lowa2
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p.1 #13 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's


9500. They said it is completely UNREPAIRABLE. They would send me a 500/4 II


Feb 13, 2013 at 07:31 PM
thedutt
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p.1 #14 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's


lowa2 wrote:
9500. They said it is completely UNREPAIRABLE. They would send me a 500/4 II


partial refund + $1000 savings on a 500 II sounds like way to go. Sorry to hear about your loss, we all tend to assume that camera equipment will stand up to a lot of abuse, and often it does but sometimes lady luck does not smile.



Feb 13, 2013 at 07:36 PM
lowa2
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p.1 #15 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's


thedutt wrote:
partial refund + $1000 savings on a 500 II sounds like way to go. Sorry to hear about your loss, we all tend to assume that camera equipment will stand up to a lot of abuse, and often it does but sometimes lady luck does not smile.


Except the me forking out another 9g's. I spent 6g's on this one, so my 500II will have cost me 14!



Feb 13, 2013 at 07:40 PM
dsr1
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p.1 #16 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's


Man , that sucks Charles. I'm guessing the lens wasn't cheap, even though used. It seems a little coincidental that the origional owner sold it just 3 months before the trouble was found.


Feb 13, 2013 at 07:42 PM
bigbluebear
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p.1 #17 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's


Hi Iowa.

You mentioned you purchased it only 3 months ago locally. Since it was purchased locally, I assume you inspected the lens at that time. Are you stating that visually the lens looked fine three months ago?

Can you see the fungus from looking through the lens?



Feb 13, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Rodney O
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p.1 #18 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's


OP,

What did Canon say exactly? While fungus can ruin a lens, I'm not sure what parts fungus will actually "destroy" (read eat & devour). Would this not most likely be that the lens is not worth cleaning and repairing? And that Canon does not want to do that level of repair.

Not that Canon is wrong. In its current condition, the odds of fully "recovering" a working lens after all the cleaning may be minuscule.

And did Canon say that this would have been found on a CPS coupon for a "clean & check"? If so one might accurately guess the seller knew of the issues. I would suggest talking directly with Canon and at least at the manager level. They seldom ever let you talk with actual technicians, btw.

Rodney




Feb 13, 2013 at 07:44 PM
lowa2
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p.1 #19 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's


bigbluebear wrote:
Hi Iowa.

You mentioned you purchased it only 3 months ago locally. Since it was purchased locally, I assume you inspected the lens at that time. Are you stating that visually the lens looked fine three months ago?

Can you see the fungus from looking through the lens?


Yes I did purchase the lens locally. I looked through the lens upon meeting wit the seller and did not see anything obvious. To see this "fungus", you have to look at the lens at a very specific angle under bright sunlight or with an LED light. It was overcast on the day of purchase. I missed it.



Feb 13, 2013 at 07:47 PM
lowa2
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p.1 #20 · How "tight" are Canon Supertele's


Rodney O wrote:
OP,

What did Canon say exactly? While fungus can ruin a lens, I'm not sure what parts fungus will actually "destroy" (read eat & devour). Would this not most likely be that the lens is not worth cleaning and repairing? And that Canon does not want to do that level of repair.

Not that Canon is wrong. In its current condition, the odds of fully "recovering" a working lens after all the cleaning may be minuscule.

And did Canon say that this would have been found on a CPS coupon for a "clean & check"? If so one might accurately guess
...Show more

Rodney, they said the fungus had propelled itself though the entire lens. The IQ is still VERY good of the lens but I sent it away immediately after finding this "stuff" on the main element.



I was "concerned" about the use of the lens with a 1.4x also so I am sure this "fungus" is making the lens perform not exactly as it should.

The lens was sent for a clean and check last march, and after speaking to the seller and CPS tech, they said they would have most likely MISSED something like this as well.



Feb 13, 2013 at 07:51 PM
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