After a lot of discussion with various professional photographers we have come up with few curated points that is not found anywhere in the internet. These are evolved through years of experience and handling, which our professional friends have agreed to share with you. This article thus, is a well-researched information about how exactly a camera lens last.
Canon IBIS and AF Motor
One of our team members who is a fan of Canon cameras told us that he had purchased a Canon EF 70-200 2.8L IS USM lens for his high school photography students. According to the class schedule, the camera was used at least 2-3 times a week for about 8 months. It wasn’t particularly rough handling but had changed hands as students used it quite often during the classes.
Compared to the cost of the lens, which $2,000, it lasted about seven years before the AF motor quit. It was impressive because, it never went had regular maintenance or professional service. Canon representatives at the store had said, it will take about $350 labor and $600 parts to repair the AF. So naturally it was better to get a new camera instead of investing that amount in repairs. However, our friend had said that if the image stabilization were perfect, then it would have lasted more than 10 years or so.
One of our team member also pointed out that if the manual focus works, then a camera lens can be used for a lifetime. You can find manual-only Canon FD lenses that still perform like champs some 20+ years later.
Dust Particles on Camera Lens
Canon lens when exposure to harsh weather often fell on to steel shuttering, shearing the camera mount and the lens mount. It needs servicing after using it. As another of our professional friend points out that during a photography campaign in Mongolia, the lens was exposed to 6 weeks of dusty conditions. Hence, it had to be given maintenance service. However, the lens which was not used in such harsh conditions lasted for 35 years and counting.
Lens Mechanical Problems
In a Canon EF 29-90mm kit lens there is a band of connectors that bends every time you change the zoom. After several years it has bent too many times, so the electronics fails. This is therefore a mechanical problem of the lens itself. It can last for 10 years or 20+ if you maintain it well.
Moreover, cheap lenses like Canon EF 18-55mm IS are not too long lasting. Many reported problems after two years with the AF motor. But the more expensive models and some older ones are built to last. For example, the Canon EF 70-210 f4 from 1987 for couple years with 450D and it worked fine. Much recently it was sold after an L-upgrade, our professional friend states.
A camera lens should be easily good for 10k exposures. This is especially true for Canon 18-35mm lens. This is considering the fact that the camera lens have suffered harsh and extreme climatic conditions.
These curated points are sure to give you a point-on perspective as to how long Canon lens last. Ultimately it will depend on your usage and your maintenance factors. Tell us some problems you have faced; if any of them are similar to those we have mentioned above.