Canon Factory refurb lens; pro/cons??

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mtbdudex, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. mtbdudex macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan
    I'm going on business trip to Japan 12/7 - 12/12 and was looking at a good "vacation lens" for non-working time.
    I've read articles here:

    B&H has the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, factory refurb, $150 less than new.

    Has anyone here bought Canon "
    factory refurb"?
    What are your pros/cons?

    It's got 58mm filter, so I'd be able to use the filters I just bought for my kit lens with it (They are decent Hoya's).

    I got this email response to lens condition, kinda generic.


    The other lens I'm looking at is a 50mm 1.8 ($100)
    for the low light stuff, from what I've read it's 99% of the 1.4 ($375), so saving $275 is good for me.
  2. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2008
    My 70-200 f/4 was a refurb and I saved around $85 if you count Bing cashback. It arrived great with basically no sign of use (and the gold contacts were pretty much pristine). Around a month ago though, I noticed that the MF ring was grabbing a little toward the close end of the focus range. The most explainable thing is that a grain of sand got in during a recent beach run, but I don't think anyone is sure.

    We sent it in to their Irvine repair center, and even though our warranty was out, they took it in for free and added more warranty as a courtesy. Quite the service! They also cleaned the Hoya Super left on and returned it with both of the same caps it was turned in with.

    For $150 difference, I'd toy with being a refurb. The biggest downside is probably the reduced warranty, so you'll have to ask yourself if the reduced coverage is worth it. I lucked out with my lens, I'm not sure if Canon reps are so nice with every case.

    Also, the 24-105 uses 77mm filters, and I would recommend getting the best filter possible so you don't betray such great optics. I use Hoya Supers, and I'm sure others have some B+W filters to recommend, but just make sure you don't get a terrible filter.

    As for the 50mm f/1.8, I have it. It's a nice lens, and like all primes, is wicked sharp when stopped down, but it does have hit-or-miss-AF that can become a pretty big problem in low-light. I don't use it enough to justify picking up the f/1.4 though, so that's something to consider.
  3. Roy Hobbs macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Apr 29, 2005
    I wouldn't use a 24-105 on a cropped sensor camera as a vacation lens.

    I would want some MUCH wider
  4. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan
    I'm listening to you here Roy,
    24 x 1.6 factor = 38mm
    kit 17-55 is 17x1.6 = 27
    so I've been shooting with a "27" for past 4 weeks.

    I see your point, need to think, look at options.
  5. Patriks7 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2008
    How about the 15-85? I've heard it's got great quality.
  6. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    On a crop body, for similar money, a 17-55 2.8 is a better investment imho. It shoots a lot wider (although still not that wide) and gives you another whole stop of light (two stops better than the kit lens at the long end).
  7. stagi macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2006
    I agree (17-55 2.8) would be a great option for a vacation lens on a cropped sensor.
  8. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan
    Here is my story:
    I bought the T1i kit w/2 lens (15-55 & 55-250) 4 weeks ago and have liked it very much. Very much. Very much.
    I also realize this hobby can be $$$, so trying to balance here.

    My thinking:
    Buy lens for when in 3-5 years I "move up" to full sensor camera they fit.
    The T1i/kit lens will stay in our family as "wife/kids" exploratory DSLR.

    I therefore have B&H shopping basket sitting on:
    -Canon Normal EF 50mm f/1.8 II Autofocus Lens
    -Canon Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Autofocus Lens
    -Canon 580EX II Speedlite E-TTL II Shoe Mount Flash
    -General Brand Filter Wrench 48-58mm (Set of 2) (based on my earlier incident)
    -Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens (better optics than my kit 55-250)

    Will I miss the wide end? Possible.
    Both EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM and EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM are not full frame compatable.

    Other advice now with the full frame future path suggestions appreciated.
    I'll consider Non-Canon lens also.
  9. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    Buy good glass used. Sell it when you upgrade for roughly the price you bought it for, it depreciates very little. Using glass that works poorly for the next 5 years so that you don't have to sell it when you upgrade is poor economy imho. If you were planning on upgrading in a year, it may be worthwhile to care.

    I would also skip the 70-300. You already have an acceptable telephoto lens and the 70-200's blow the 70-300's out of the water. Save for a little (or a lot) longer and get your favorite variation of 70-200.
  10. jlc1978 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2009
    Good place for used glass

    I agree with the suggestion about getting a wid elens for a walk around; a normal walk around on a 35 mm will have limited FOV that you may find too narrow.
  11. soLoredd macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2007
    Well, I used the 24-105 on my 450D for two vacations (Yosemite and Lake Tahoe) and I loved it. So much so I went and bought one. Now, I do plan on upgrading to the 5DMII next year but that did not influence me at all.

    Maybe the wide-end of 24 on a crop isn't wide enough for some folks but it is for others. Besides, there's nothing wrong with moving your feet a little bit.
  12. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    Maybe not, but sometimes your feet need to be 10 feet inside a cliff face, or a few feet underground, etc :)

  13. FX120 macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2007
    People like to go on and on about having a wide angle for traveling, and I just don't get the appeal.

    Most of my best landscapes have been with a 50mm f/1.4, often on a 40D. It really makes you think a little bit more about framing and composition instead of just "getting it all in".

    I am making a trip to peru later next year and my plan is to take nothing but my 40D, 28 f/1.8 and my 50 f/1.4 because it's a light weight kit that will do an awesome job, and if I get robbed I'm not out my 5DII and a bunch of L-glass. And remember, the bigger the camera, and the bigger the lens (especially if it's got a red stripe or it's white), the more thieves it will attract. While most of Japan might be considerably safer than the back neighborhoods of Lima, you'll still be better off with a more discrete kit.

    Personally here is what I would buy:

    EF-S 10-22 f/3.5-5.6
    EF 50 f/1.4 (you'll be happier in the long run)
    430EX II (you really only need the 580EX if you want to optically trigger slaves or really need the extra power, take the money you save and spend it on the better 50mm)
    EF 70-200 F/4L, but leave it at home or at the hotel, telephotos are also over-rated for vacationing and they eat up a ton of room in your bag.

    And if you can afford it, the EF 28 f/1.8 which is a moderately expensive lens ($400), but one that spends the most time mounted to my 40D because it really is a great focal length on a crop body.

    And don't worry about buying EF-S glass. If you buy decent lenses (like the 17-55 f/2.8 or 10-22) they won't really loose value and you can sell them if and when you move up to a full frame body.
  14. soLoredd macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2007
    Touche! :)
  15. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan

    I appreciate your advice and others, gives me sanity check at spending $$$'s.

    Consultation with WAF, here's what I'm doing for now:
    -EF 50 f/1.4 ($375)
    -580EX II Speedlite E-TTL II Shoe Mount Flash ($415w/rechargeable batteries)

    $800 total.

    I'll bring the 50 1.4 and my 2 kit lens on the trip.
    Shot with them and learn their (and my) limits.

    From there, some coin on decent lens is possible for future.

    The 580, I've hemmed-hawed that vs the 430, lots here so I went "big" and ordered the 580.
  16. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    You'll be happy with your choices. Each one brings you something that was unachievable with your current equipment (and can be sold for almost the same money if it turns out that you don't value what they bring).
  17. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    this thinking makes little sense. you're switching formats, so every lens has a different function. there is no guarantee that you will like what lenses you have on both formats, and in the meantime, you're handicapping yourself by not buying the lens designed for your camera.

    buy the lenses for the format you have now. if you're so concerned with losing money, buy used.

    and while I'm at it, don't buy the 50/1.8 because it's cheap. buy it because you like the angle-of-view it offers.
  18. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan
    I agree and changed my strategy, buy and use for the here and now, worry about potential upgrade later.

    Plus, I'm slowly (relatively) buying lens instead of 3 at once, use them and experience each purpose/usefulness.
    I can see if bought all at once potential for overload, which I want to avoid.

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