Sunday, March 29, 2009

My New Nifty-Fifty is Broken-Before-Using

See Tom. See Tom snarling. He can be pretty good at snarling.

For many months last year, Tom tightened down his budget so he could save up for a 50 mm F1.4 Canon lens as a Christmas present for me. This was all long before we knew we'd be dealing with his cancer.

So along came Christmas - getting my beautiful new lens was so exciting, but it stayed safe in it's box until this past week when we finally brought it out to play. It's a fabulous lens, a real workhorse that shoots sharp - when it's working!! Unlucky me - this lens happens to be a lemon, and only operates properly when it feels like it. If lenses have brains, this one says "I don't feel like it" much more often than "Ready to shoot!"

It's only occasionally focusing, and then - especially when out of focus - won't shoot at all. The shutter won't even release. So after an hour of messing around with different settings and only getting it to shoot right less than 5 times, we took it back to the camera shop. This was the only shot of my favorite model that was in focus, and a shot of Tom snarling about my new lens isn't exactly what I had in mind. (But hate to waste it - it might just have to be Snarling Man, a stock photo shot!)

I'm jinxed. The salesman at the shop couldn't get it to misbehave. He tried all sorts of settings, and the darned lens worked every friggin' time. We finally gave up, left the store and continued with our plan of an afternoon of shooting.

Like I said - I'm jinxed. The lens again wouldn't focus, and we went back again to the store. This time it malfunctioned for the salesman, who pronounced that the lens motor was "hanging up." I'd shot this lens less than 50 times, all that same afternoon - and most of the shots were out of focus, or worse, the dumb shutter wouldn't release. The shot of me at right was taken by the salesman, during the second go-around, as he was trying to duplicate my lens problem. Can you say "Beth is politely very unhappy?"

First, we were told that it was questionable that we could exchange the lens, as the store had a 30 day exchange policy and it had been purchased nearly 4 months ago. The salesman suggested that we might have to have it repaired. Oops. Being somewhat pre-occupied with other matters, we'd never given any thought to a brand new Canon lens not functioning. You wouldn't have wanted to see a photo of me upon learning that my new screwed-up lens might not be exchangeable. According to Tom, my facial expression was no longer polite. Not surprisingly, the salesman didn't take that picture.

Finally, the salesman said he'd talk to his manager and the Canon rep, to see if an exchange could be made. Tom thinks it was my silent-but-deadly facial expression that convinced him to find an alternative to the repair suggestion.

The next day, we learned that we could exchange the lens for another, but that the shop currently didn't have any in stock and that a new one would arrive Friday. That was two days ago, and still no lens. The manager has promised to call when it shows up. Whenever that is. But at least now I don't have to make polite-but-stern dialog with the Canon rep, which was my next step.

Hoping my lens comes in sometime soooooon . . . .


Eric B. Photography said...

Ugh. That sounds extremely frustrating. At least they are replacing it for ya. Lesson learned. Always check out the lens as soon as ya get it.

Eric Booth said...

Ugh that can be very frustrating. Lesson learned. Always check out the lens as soon as ya get it. :-)

Antique Mommy said...

Oh that kind of crud happens to me all the time! So frustrating when things don't work the way they are supposed to and then everything that is supposed to fall into place down the line to make it better - doesn't!

Hope you get it all straightened out soon.