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Where Do Poor Quality New Lenses End Up?


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I recently purchased a Sony 70-200 FE "G" lens from a major New York photo/audio retailer only to find it to be unacceptably soft at the corners from wide open all the way down to f8 at 200mm. I know this optic is supposed to be razor sharp and a real performer.

I called the retailer, and they agreed to send me out another lens and told me to return the defective one for a refund. I'm currently awaiting the replacement lens for testing.

What I wonder, is just what, if anything, stores like this do with these returned items. The lens is otherwise in perfect, mint condition with all paperwork and packaging, and I'm sure to some casual users would pass off as OK.

My guess is that items such as this are sent out again to some poor customer in hopes that the next buyer will accept it? I wonder if this lens was some former customer's reject and I ended up getting it. Surely items such as this aren't kicked back to the manufacturer.

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If a casual user is OK with it ... However, normally I would expect such a lens to go back to Sony for repair and new packaging (the seal). And, if I had a lens/camera turn up with a damaged packaging seal I would probably send it back for exactly the reason you mention.

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If a casual user is OK with it ... However, normally I would expect such a lens to go back to Sony for repair and new packaging (the seal). And, if I had a lens/camera turn up with a damaged packaging seal I would probably send it back for exactly the reason you mention.

'Problem is, Sony lenses such as this are not even in a sealed box, so there's no way of telling if you are getting a "virgin" or not!

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Isn't this lens the weakest at 200mm? Perhaps you were expecting too much?

 

I'm pretty sure those "major NY photo stores" will either sell as open box or send to Sony for refurbished to keep their integrity. I read it's illegal to repackage and sell as new in the US but seen stories on certain major and minor retailers doing it.

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I had a similar case where the lens was severely decentered, left hand corners much weaker than right hand ones. Thus it was not a question of that type lens being better or worse than competition. It was my copy that was not up to standard. And I know how to set up a test to demonstrate that.

 

One email with the picture files to the dealer. Reply within 5 minutes. An hour later I had another lens, which performed as it should. 

 

But what happened to my original lens, that I do not know.

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Here is my box, two seals, tape from Sony and a sticker from ze Germans.

 

In any case hope your replacement is better. This lens is plenty sharp, the other shot is a 50% crop at 200mm. Yeah ... I can work on my coping skills a bit more I guess  :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Im in Switzerland. We cannot send anything unpacked back to the seller, some stores dont take something back even if still in its sealed, original package! They would only replace it if it falls under warranty.

I read often about people saying "After 3 days of testing I returned it and ordered a new one." Or "I went through 3 copies until I received a good one.".

Theres no way you could do this in Switzerland, unless you find a seller who is very easy on this topic and takes it back if everything looks like new. This also counts for online stores. No return policy.

So we should ask ourselves, shouldnt decentred lenses fall under warranty? How much is too much? Whats the tolerance according to Sony?

They even had to come up with a rule about dead pixels on LCDs (only if a certain percentage of pixels are dead it falls under warranty). We may need something similar for lenses.

 

Anyway, always make sure the undamaged Sony sticker seal is on the box. Try to return if not.

 

Regards

Mat

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I do this.  I buy lenses and the first thing I do is run them through Imatest center and corner testing.  Same thing with cameras.  One needs to have alignment between the sensor, the mounting flange and the lens elements to get the quality they are paying for. 

 

The Otus lenses are without question (because of quality control) exempt from this but I test them anyway. 

 

The early NEX7s had bad alignment - I tested 5 before I found a suitable candidate. 

 

The A7rs took 3.   

 

Once I had a good A7r, I tested FE55s until I had this result.    That's excellent corner to corner and edge sharpness. 

 

I think I tested 3 FE55s from memory - they're all not this good.  

 

Roger deserves all of the credit -  before I read this I was shooting old Czech banknotes

 

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/10/notes-on-lens-and-camera-variation

 

 2b5kbo.jpg

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I do this.  I buy lenses and the first thing I do is run them through Imatest center and corner testing.  Same thing with cameras.  One needs to have alignment between the sensor, the mounting flange and the lens elements to get the quality they are paying for. 

 

The Otus lenses are without question (because of quality control) exempt from this but I test them anyway. 

 

The early NEX7s had bad alignment - I tested 5 before I found a suitable candidate. 

 

The A7rs took 3.   

 

Once I had a good A7r, I tested FE55s until I had this result.    That's excellent corner to corner and edge sharpness. 

 

I think I tested 3 FE55s from memory - they're all not this good.  

 

Roger deserves all of the credit -  before I read this I was shooting old Czech banknotes

 

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/10/notes-on-lens-and-camera-variation

 

 2b5kbo.jpg

Am I looking at the right imatest?  The thing is at least $2500 per license! http://www.imatest.com/products/imatest-master/

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`     

   

Well at least old Czech bank notes are visually interesting,

really actual subject matter. All that other crap, test rigs or

"scientific" targets, delivers vast bushels of useless info for

actual users of the gear under test.  

  

I recall an interview between a motor trade rag and a Benz

engineer. The rag loved to publish "objective test data" and

questioned the Benz engineer as to why his products were  

not generating cornering forces of 0.9 lateral gravity, while

his competitors where yielding those impressive figures. He

simply told the interviewer [best as I recall ... ]: "Look here

my good man. If you're cornering at a G-force approaching

such figures, on REAL roads, you're about to have a really

terrible accident !"

  

There's test data contests, and there's actual real world use.

   

`

   

`   

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