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Mark D Segal

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« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2008, 05:25:46 pm »

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Have you considered stitching?

It is per my experience a much better option that t/s lenses for architecture shots, and correcting for converging verticals works really well with PTgui.

A recent example.


Cheers,
Bernard
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Hi Bernard,

As usual - stunning.

Turning to the OP's question - I know two people who own Canon tilt-shift lenses and both find them thoroughly unsatisfactory. I forget which vintages. General advice here: make the photograph with a normal lens and correct the keystoning in Photoshop - works much better. Or Bernard's solution. Lovely.

As for my experience: the performance of Canon lenses varies from copy to copy of the same generic lens, hence you need to buy from a dealer allowing try-and-exchange. Canon itself knows perfectly well this is the case. They have a quality RANGE that falls within the "acceptable" category (to them).

I haven't used Nikon lenses on a digital camera so I don't know whether the story is any different, but I would not be surprised if it were the same, dollar for dollar.

Mark
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Mark D Segal

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« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2008, 05:42:58 pm »

As a result of an extended photoshoot in Yellowstone National Park last month where many of the images are of snow scenes occupying the whole image area (shot with my 1DsMk3, using mostly the 24~105L and the 70~300 DO), I discovered that these lenses produce a very slight magenta cast at the corners of the image. Measuring this cast relative to the image area closer to the center, I find the a* channel of the Lab info data would range from 1 to 3 levels more positive. That is, if the center were a* = 0, the corners would be a* = +1 to +3, which is noticeable. One would not notice this kind of thing on most photographs which are not close to bright-neutral throughout.

I have also seen that my 70~300 focused at infinity, 75mm, f/6.3 produces fuzzy corners capturing material which falls within the infinity range. At smaller apertures if performs much better.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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sojournerphoto

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« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2008, 05:58:41 pm »

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As a result of an extended photoshoot in Yellowstone National Park last month where many of the images are of snow scenes occupying the whole image area (shot with my 1DsMk3, using mostly the 24~105L and the 70~300 DO), I discovered that these lenses produce a very slight magenta cast at the corners of the image. Measuring this cast relative to the image area closer to the center, I find the a* channel of the Lab info data would range from 1 to 3 levels more positive. That is, if the center were a* = 0, the corners would be a* = +1 to +3, which is noticeable. One would not notice this kind of thing on most photographs which are not close to bright-neutral throughout.

I have also seen that my 70~300 focused at infinity, 75mm, f/6.3 produces fuzzy corners capturing material which falls within the infinity range. At smaller apertures if performs much better.
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Bernard - 16 images to stitch - lovely work.

Mark, I also have a 70-300 DO and find that wide open it's not outstandingly sharp - and of course on the 1Ds3 you get to see that on screen even more than with the 5D - but agree that stopped down by 1 stop it really improves significantly. It's a lens that repays good technique really, thogh I tend to keep it for it's realtively low size and weight.

Mike
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lovell

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« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2008, 12:42:34 pm »

Here's my experience, and what I own:

15mm F2.8 fish, this is a great lens, and razor sharp too.  Very good color and contrast.

14L Mark I, this is not a remarkable lens.  Not bad, but not what one expects from an L prime.

24L, very good but a tad too soft wide open.

35L, most excellent...the best, perhaps the best 35mm of any brand.  Razor sharp wide open.

50L, AF performance is sub par.  When AF locks dead on and you know how to move your body to mitigate the focus shift, it is great, but when shooting close and fast the AF is dodgy...this is Canon's shame :-(  And yes, it has been calibrated with little improvement.  Why Canon chose to not use a floating rear element like the 35L and 85L is anyone's guess.  Idiots!

85L, most excellent, and no other make has anything over this gem.  Razor sharp wide open.

135L, fantastic, uber over the top amazing.  The color rendition and contrast of this lens is magnificient.

200L, same as 135L

16-35L, very good lens, but not amazing.

24-70L, the best standard/normal zoom of any make, any brand.  Razor sharp wide open, great color and contrast, and built for commercial-pro grade abuse.

70-200L F2.8 IS, a great tele-zoom.  Very sharp wide open across entire focal range.

100-400 IS, nearly as good as the 70-200L F2.8 IS.  This lens is very, very good for a tele-zoom.
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After composition, everything else is secondary--Alfred Steiglitz, NYC, 1927.

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Dr. Gary

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« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2008, 01:04:34 am »

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I don't know if that lens is good, great, or fantastic regarding resolution, color and contrast. But... I can tell you that I don't think it is wide enough for interior arch work with the 1ds3.

I tend to do most of my arch work with the 17-40.... staying in the 17 to 20 range and fixing the perspective in photoshop. I tend to shoot most interior images at a height that equals the the middle of the rooms height. That means that no perspective correction is needed.

The other lens I'd get ( as I already said ) is the 14mm II... I just tested one Saturday and it is truly fantastic.
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Have you tried any of the panoramic systems that are designed for vertical stitching?
drgary
« Last Edit: March 28, 2008, 01:04:57 am by Dr. Gary »
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Dr. Gary

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« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2008, 01:10:30 am »

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Here's my experience, and what I own:

15mm F2.8 fish, this is a great lens, and razor sharp too.  Very good color and contrast.

14L Mark I, this is not a remarkable lens.  Not bad, but not what one expects from an L prime.

24L, very good but a tad too soft wide open.

35L, most excellent...the best, perhaps the best 35mm of any brand.  Razor sharp wide open.

50L, AF performance is sub par.  When AF locks dead on and you know how to move your body to mitigate the focus shift, it is great, but when shooting close and fast the AF is dodgy...this is Canon's shame :-(  And yes, it has been calibrated with little improvement.  Why Canon chose to not use a floating rear element like the 35L and 85L is anyone's guess.  Idiots!

85L, most excellent, and no other make has anything over this gem.  Razor sharp wide open.

135L, fantastic, uber over the top amazing.  The color rendition and contrast of this lens is magnificient.

200L, same as 135L

16-35L, very good lens, but not amazing.

24-70L, the best standard/normal zoom of any make, any brand.  Razor sharp wide open, great color and contrast, and built for commercial-pro grade abuse.

70-200L F2.8 IS, a great tele-zoom.  Very sharp wide open across entire focal range.

100-400 IS, nearly as good as the 70-200L F2.8 IS.  This lens is very, very good for a tele-zoom.
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Are you talking about the 200 F/2.8 or the new 200f 2.0?

drgary
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Kirk Gittings

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« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2008, 03:24:39 am »

I make my living shooting architecture and do almost all my assignment magazine work with a 5D and PC lenses. These include a Canon 24 t/s, Olympus 35, Canon 45t/s and 90 t/s. The worst of the bunch is the 24 but if used carefully it is perfectly serviceable for magazine size spreads including double truck horizontal layouts. I do some stitching mainly from the 24 from left/right shift pairs. I usually work it out with a single image if possible. Part of the reason to use shift lenses is that I work allot on site with art directors of big magazines shooting tethered and a perspective corrected image popping up on the computer screen looks much more professional and understandable to the client. Also severe perspective correction in PS relies on significant interpolation and is not any better than mediocre lenses in the severely stretched areas. It doesn't surprise me that users of higher MP cameras than the 5d find fault with the 24. The 5D out resolves the 24 in the far corners even at f11, but my copies of the 45 and 90 are superb and sharp at the corners even fully shifted. These lenses certainly would work well with a 16MP and possibly 21MP camera. Certainly Canon has some work to do in this area, mainly on the 24 and wider lenses. I also own a 16-35L (mediocre), a 24-70L (adequate), a 70-200L (pretty good) and a 135L (absolutely superb).

For 30 years I only worked with 4x5, believing the naysayers, I did not believe I could get professional architectural results from the 5D and Canon lenses. I bought it just to play around andupdate my skills for the day when this technology really arrived. Christmas of 07 my local lab shut down for a couple of weeks forcing me to shoot digitally for a very picky client. I have never looked back. The technology had already arrived.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2008, 03:37:57 am by Kirk Gittings »
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Thanks,
Kirk Gittings

cecelia

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« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2008, 11:24:30 am »

I have some technical questions from this interesting thread:

The photos from Kirk and Bernard are wonderful!  We've all read numerous times that a single shot from the 1DsIII does not compete with the medium format digital backs for IQ, but are you both saying that stitched 35 mm shots do compete?  

If you are going to use stitching, are the 12 MPIX cameras inherently better (dynamic range, high ISO, "pixel quality") than the 16 or 21 MPIX options?  

If you were going to do a 12-image stitch, what lens would you choose?  My inclination would be a normal prime to optimize optical quality.  The T/S are nice too because you could use shift in one direction and move the camera in the other.

Thanks,
Cecelia
« Last Edit: March 29, 2008, 12:36:50 pm by cecelia »
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David Sutton

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« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2008, 06:19:45 pm »

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If you were going to do a 12-image stitch, what lens would you choose?  My inclination would be a normal prime to optimize optical quality.  The T/S are nice too because you could use shift in one direction and move the camera in the other.

Thanks,
Cecelia
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I'm not an expert here, but isn't the answer to your question dependent on what you intend to do with the image? My panos usually end up as a half gb tiff, and I don't expect to be printing larger than say, 17 x 30 when I get a new printer. So I figure my 24-105mm zoom is up to the job, and certainly everything is sharp on screen down to the smallest detail that will be possibly visible on print. This file size also gives the stitching software a lot of leeway when it's correcting for perspective. Cheers, David
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Kirk Gittings

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« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2008, 06:56:16 pm »

Cecelia, Those are allot of questions. I can't give you a comparison of the 5D and higher MP cameras, because I don't own them and haven'y used them much. I will probably upgrade to one of them latter this year, perhaps the new 5D?. MF digital doesn't interest me right now for my photography as shooting 4x5 film is so simple (for me I have been doing it for 30+ years) and cheap (the camera and lenses were paid off decades ago and work as well as the day they were new). For me I would never do 12 image stitch (I rarely do more than 3) unless I did not have my 4x5 handy which is rare, I almost always have it with me.
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Thanks,
Kirk Gittings

lovell

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« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2008, 12:03:41 am »

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Are you talking about the 200 F/2.8 or the new 200f 2.0?

drgary
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F2.8....I would love the F2 IS though.
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After composition, everything else is secondary--Alfred Steiglitz, NYC, 1927.

I'm not afraid of death.  I just don't want to be there when it happens--Woody Allen, Annie Hall, '70s

RobertJ

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« Reply #31 on: April 04, 2008, 08:30:07 pm »

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Now some will tell you: Shoot primes. Yes. They are better. But then you loose the speed and ability to quickly reframe between shots. The 70-200 is great... full lenght then one second later you take a close-up portrait - that's where DSLR's shine. If I need to shoot primes I stay with the Mamiya RZ.

Well, that's your problem.  If you enjoy spending top dollar on Canon bodies, and then turn around and use a 70-200 zoom instead of a prime, then don't complain, and more importantly, don't say that Canon lenses suck.

I've used many Zeiss, Leica, and Nikon lenses on Canon, and I've only kept a few, mostly because my Canon primes have outperformed them.  The wide end needs help.  Quality control also needs a bit of help, though I've had good luck with my "copies."
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boba

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« Reply #32 on: August 07, 2008, 04:36:13 pm »

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Cecelia, Those are allot of questions. I can't give you a comparison of the 5D and higher MP cameras, because I don't own them and haven'y used them much. I will probably upgrade to one of them latter this year, perhaps the new 5D?. MF digital doesn't interest me right now for my photography as shooting 4x5 film is so simple (for me I have been doing it for 30+ years) and cheap (the camera and lenses were paid off decades ago and work as well as the day they were new). For me I would never do 12 image stitch (I rarely do more than 3) unless I did not have my 4x5 handy which is rare, I almost always have it with me.
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boba

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« Reply #33 on: August 07, 2008, 04:39:33 pm »

Kirk,
What's the difference in image quality between using a T/S and modifying the image in Photoshop?  Are there situations when you choose one over the other?
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Er1kksen

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« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2008, 10:09:05 am »

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what about the olympus 24mm pc, any info?
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It's popular in some circles of 5d users, where it's reputed to do an excellent job, and possibly on par with modern offerings (otherwise they wouldn't be shelling out $2000 apiece for them to use with adapters on canon bodies). Not sure how well they would perform on a 21mp body, though.
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lovell

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« Reply #35 on: August 13, 2008, 01:31:44 pm »

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They don't call it the "Canon Lens Lottery" for nothin'. L or non-L means little. Their QC sucks.

Their MTF charts are, at best, wishful thinking -  and based on theoretical computer models, NOT real lenses tests.

At and 'above' the 300/2.8 IS - excellent

'Below' the 300/2.8 and above the 50mm range - some suck, most are just OK - IF you get a good copy (big IF), and a couple like the 135/2 are excellent - if you get a good copy that is still calibrated.

In the WA side - suck vs. the alternatives (manual focus) you can use on EOS (thankfully). The Alt glass trend on Canon (see FM Alt Forum) was born as the result of these lousy glass offerings.

Canon spent a kings ransom developing it's long pro glass and it shows. The rest....

Shoot a nice Zeiss or Leica lens (to name two) on your EOS and it's like you've got a whole new camera - excellent resolution in the fine detail, great transparency, accurate colors (no over-the-top reds and yellowy greens), much better shadow detail, etc.,

Most big SLR vendors are simply selling mass-production lenses designed in the days of film. However, unlike Nikon with the 14-24, 24-70, etc., Canon has yet to get its act together by starting to offer sub-300mm IS glass that lives up to the resolution abilities of it's sensors.
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To be fair, what lens maker is not a lottery of quality?  Some are worse then others of course.

When it comes to Canon L glass, they show the best QC with few exceptions.

As to Canon non-L, especially zooms, they are mostly craaap, and show lousy QC.

The 3rd parties are the worse with few exceptions, when it comes to QC.

I have 15 Canon L lenses, and the only one that I think performs subpar, and even after being calibrated by Canon, is the 50L....it is AF issues when shooting close and with wide apertures, and there is NOTHING that can be done about it because the problem is innate with the design....the 50L aside, I've never had any QC issues with the other 14 L lenses.
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After composition, everything else is secondary--Alfred Steiglitz, NYC, 1927.

I'm not afraid of death.  I just don't want to be there when it happens--Woody Allen, Annie Hall, '70s

lovell

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« Reply #36 on: August 22, 2008, 05:04:24 pm »

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Are you talking about the 200 F/2.8 or the new 200f 2.0?

drgary
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F2.8
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After composition, everything else is secondary--Alfred Steiglitz, NYC, 1927.

I'm not afraid of death.  I just don't want to be there when it happens--Woody Allen, Annie Hall, '70s

telyt

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« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2008, 08:49:14 pm »

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what lens maker is not a lottery of quality?

I've used at various times over 20 Leica-R lenses and have had no QC problems.
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CJL

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« Reply #38 on: August 23, 2008, 10:27:57 am »

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To be fair, what lens maker is not a lottery of quality?  Some are worse then others of course.

When it comes to Canon L glass, they show the best QC with few exceptions.

As to Canon non-L, especially zooms, they are mostly craaap, and show lousy QC.

The 3rd parties are the worse with few exceptions, when it comes to QC.

I have 15 Canon L lenses, and the only one that I think performs subpar, and even after being calibrated by Canon, is the 50L....it is AF issues when shooting close and with wide apertures, and there is NOTHING that can be done about it because the problem is innate with the design....the 50L aside, I've never had any QC issues with the other 14 L lenses.
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Canon certainly sets the standard... for dismal quality control - and their apathetic "pro" service is even worse.

They do make some very good lenses, such as the 35mm f1.4L, 85mm f1.2L, 135mm f2L, 200 f2.8L, and all of the big white "L" lenses are excellent (except the 100-400L which must have lens elements supplied by Coca Cola, the 70-200 f4L (non-IS) which is plagued by back-fcous problems, and the 300 f4L which is only a so-so performer - perhaps it was the marketing department, rather than the design people, that decided to give these latter three lenses the "L" designation...  )

The 17-40 f4L is decent if you can find one that doesn't have de-centered elements (a problem which is unfortunately all too common with Canon lenses).  The 16-35 f2.8L is a forgettable lens, and the revised version is only slightly better.  The 24-70 f2.8L is okay (except for the rather severe light falloff), but it certainly doesn't compare with the Nikon AF-S 24-70 f2.8.  I liked the 180 f3.5L macro for closeups, but it wasn't too sharp for distance work.  I owned about 6 different copies of the 24mm f3.5L TS-E; I really like that focal length and loved the tilt-shift features, but it has the worst CA of any lens I've ever used, and it wasn't exceptionally sharp either.

I've owned literally dozens and dozens of Canon L lenses over that last 15 years - typically having to go through two, three, or more copies of each to find one that didn't have problems (more than 10 copies in the case of the 100-400L IS, without finding one that was capable of delivering sharp images).  Some of these lenses probably could have been made functional by having Canon calibrate them to the cameras I was using, but with typical "pro rush" turnaround times of 6-8 weeks, and usually having to send them back two or three times to get the work done, that didn't seem like a viable option either.

I've amassed a collection of about 20 Nikon lenses and several camera bodies in the couple of years since I started the switch away from Canon, and have yet to see a single problem of any kind... certainly a refreshing change.  
« Last Edit: August 23, 2008, 10:28:24 am by CJL »
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schrodingerscat

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« Reply #39 on: August 24, 2008, 05:01:34 pm »

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Canon certainly sets the standard... for dismal quality control - and their apathetic "pro" service is even worse.

Some of these lenses probably could have been made functional by having Canon calibrate them to the cameras I was using, but with typical "pro rush" turnaround times of 6-8 weeks, and usually having to send them back two or three times to get the work done, that didn't seem like a viable option either.

I've amassed a collection of about 20 Nikon lenses and several camera bodies in the couple of years since I started the switch away from Canon, and have yet to see a single problem of any kind... certainly a refreshing change. 
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Not sure how different it is oop north, but this hasn't been my experience. I do repair work for the last mom 'n pop full service pro oriented camera store in Northern California and spend two days a week processing all their incoming repairs. Even the Joe Blow repairs come back from Canon Service usually within a week or two. The only hold up is the occasional part back order. Nikon is a different story and their part backorder rate runs about 30%. Canon's redo rate is a little less than Nikon's and we spend a lot less time arguing about warranty status. Heck, Canon has even fixed stuff a couple of months outside the timeframe under warranty.

The people who've used Canon USA's Pro Service seem quite satisfied.

FORD-CHEVY-FORD-CHEVY-FORD-CHEVY-FORD-CHEVY...
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