Canon 24-105mm F4L – the conclusion

This is the third instalment of my broken Canon 24-105mm F4L lens and associated err 01.

My Canon 24-105mm F4L  was recently giving me problems where it would not focus properly when zoomed in and above f4. Now, the lens has been fixed and it is working properly again! I’m very happy about this situation and so relieved that I was almost considering forgiving Canon and just filing this one away as part and parcel of living in a consumer society. But actually, this situation really sucks and it is simply a money grab. I think it has something to do with Canon not wanting customers from expensive countries in the West shipping their gear to Indonesia to be fixed.

So, the lens was fixed and it took about 3 weeks all up from the time I gave it to the shop until the time they returned it along with the faulty part.

Broken 24-105mm diaphragm
Broken 24-105mm diaphragm

They told me it was the diaphragm that was broken which matches pretty closely to what everyone on the web already knows. These lenses break too easily for a professional quality lens. Why would you buy an L lens that breaks easily if you can get a lens at a fraction of the cost with image quality that is still pretty good? Well, the answer is simple. Do not buy an L lens. Buy a cheaper one, just so long as the image quality is good. Forget all this rubbish about better build quality etc. There is no guarantee about build quality and if the lens breaks, you are screwed. You have to pay to get it repaired. In the end mine came in at about US$220 which included about US$160 for labour and about $60 for the part. Those figures are rough because I was charged in Indonesian currency which is fluctuating against the dollar at the moment.

So… these people are telling me that the labour of the Indonesians involved in fixing the camera is more expensive than the imported part they had to replace? Give me a break. The only reason I can think of that they charge so much for the service is to try and standardise costs across the world so there is no leakage of repairs from a country like Australia to Indonesia. But why not!? It’s good for Indonesia and great for Australian consumers. I can understand that happens to some extent with imported products where production occurs offshore. But we are talking about service charges here and service charges are almost entirely made up of cost of labour. As I made the point in the previous posts, labour in Indonesia is dirt cheap and nothing costs as much as this repair costs. It’s the equivalent of a housekeeper for 3 months. A store worker for 1.5 months (ie the girl at the counter that I handed the lens to), a teacher for 3 weeks. I mean, come on. Someone is stealing money and it is simply a sham.

Companies celebrate the global economy because it allows them the shift production to lower paying countries so that consumers around the world can benefit from lower prices. Well, this is the line we are spun all the time. Actually, what these big companies tend to do time and time again is shift their production costs to countries where they can get things done more cheaply. Great. But they only pass those savings onto consumers when they are forced to by competitors. There is only one authorised Canon repairer in Indonesia and the lack of competition means the price is fixed. The price is FIXED.

Anyway, I’d had it with Canon. They are absolute robbers.

One thought on “Canon 24-105mm F4L – the conclusion

  1. Join the club! After having my 24-105 repaired TWICE at a cost of Usd 500 and then having to replace the lens anyway because of the recurring broken ribbon, the replacement lens is now( only two years old) also malfunctioning in the same way. What is you PROBLEM Canon? I have been a Canon “fanatic” for the past 47years, but will switch to Nikon, or any other brand for that matter.

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