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Canon 24-70mm f2.8 ii flex cable ribbon problem again


I have a couple of these lenses and I do really love them. They are the work horse in my stable of glass.

That being said, this is the 3rd lens now that has failed with the ERR code communication problem. I have had this happen a couple times before so was able to trouble shoot the issue and know that its the flex cable ribbon that is bad inside the lens.

It will work perfectly as long as you shoot at 2.8 (the wide open aperture setting). As soon as you change it and the lens needs to change the aperture for a image, it fails. 

Now, this is the 3rd  time with 2 different lenses that I've had to send them in for this repair. It would seem to me that this is a defect in the lens and I should not hae to pay for it. Or... Canon needs to use better parts so this does not keep happing over and over again.

Yes I use the lenses a lot. And yes, they are out of the warranty period. That being said, they should step up and repair without quesion. The have to know that this is an issue with the lens. 

Anybody else experiencing the same issue with their Canon 24-70mm f2.8 ii?

101 REPLIES 101

It cost me 150 euros. Canon official repair service in Athens.
They said, that they replaced cable and reinforced it. Looks like, Canon service is aware of the issue. I wonder if newer models, have this issue fixed.

I guess will have to start saving up for it! I noticed when i turn the zoom ring, i can hear a soft click like a ribbon being rubbed against and when reversing the zoom, can feel/hear the same 'click'.  Sounds like I have the exact issue which many people have.


edit: just got a quote for $380+tax... yikes...

Update... I received back both of my 24-70 USM II lenes a couple weeks ago. One lens needed a new aperture so not the dreaded common ribbon cable fix that made me start this thread. The other lens tho... BLAHHHHH.... flex ribbon cable again!

I've lost count on this repair. I don't think it's double digits yet, but getting close.


It's almost time to move onto the new Canon R6 and get me a RF 28-70 F2L USM lens... but at $3K each for that lens... it will be a while before I replace my stable of 24-70 F2.8 USM II Lenes. Let's hope they figured out how to make them last!


I love Canon... but things change, and my old love isn't the same as it used to be!

It's a big decision to leave Canon and start over with another brand with it's own challenges. That being said, if there is a right time, it's now as I start to move to the mirrorless world! 

My feelings about Canon these days are they are always late to the dance and playing catch-up! Don't get me wrong... I love them and wish they were more on the ball with my personal needs. I have spent countless on them for years and have camera bags full of gear. 

Do me a favor Canon and knock my socks off with your next release that will renew my faith and make this decision easy for me!

"Do me a favor Canon and knock my socks off with your next release ..."


It sounds like you believe the other camera/lens companies don't have any issues or problems.

They do!

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!



Read my thread again please. 

What I said was... "It's a big decision to leave Canon and start over with another brand with it's own challenges."  

That means I realize that other companies are not perfect either and have their own problems. 

When you write the way you do, its feels like you are always on the attack. It does! (See what I did there?) Mirroring how you reply with your answer.

It sounds like you believe the other camera/lens companies don't have any issues or problems. They do!

Please take the time to read each thread before you post a reply. Not just pick out a sentence you want to dispute. You have disputed many of the things said here in the last 3 years on this thread. May I ask you a question because I see you are a long-time member of this forum and have almost 14,000 replies... Impressive!  Do you work for Canon or why are you so reluctant to consider the thought that they may have made a mistake or have a design flaw in the product? You are always looking to put the blame on me or my use of the equipment. Do you think that Canon will always be your company of choice, or are you open to the possibilities that maybe at some point, it may be a better choice to move on. Maybe that time is now as I mentioned... we are moving into a whole new era of tech and this is a perfect time to evaluate and reassess our options. (Again... mentioned in my previous thread)

Try and make a positive contribution. We are all just trying to help each other. 


"Try and make a positive contribution."


My reply was/is neither positive nor negative.  It is neutral. No I am not a Canon employee.  Never have been and to top that off I have been a strong critic when I see misconduct and screw ups on their part. I am sure some of the moderators here would confirm that. The worst recent lens, IMHO, Canon has made is the ef 16-35mm f2.8L II. I had to stop using mine. 


It sounded like you thought only if you switched brands all would be fine. In that case, my advice is go for it. It is the only way to know. Perhaps my 16-35mm was a lemon. Perhaps your lens is too.


I have had or I currently have every version of the lens in question and have never had an issue.  This is going back to the 28-70mm f2.8L So, please understand my point and experience. You do not use your gear any more or harder than I do. Maybe you are doing something wrong. Who knows?




EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Great response.

Well, I have 3 of these lenses. 2 24-70 F2.8 II and a version I (original with reverse the reveres zoom movement).

Don't use old faithful much but it to has had the problem.

I shoot 2500 - 5000 images a week with them. So...130,000 to 260,000 images every year.  And they continue to have this problem about every 6 months for the past 3 years. Consistently.  Breaking that down... since I use the version II lenses and my version I as a backup these days.
Let's use the average of 195,000 images before a break down between 2 lenses. So, that would mean on average I am getting 97,500 images / lens / yea since I have 2 of them. Making it about 1,875 images / week for its work load. Week in and week out... 1,875 clickity clicks of the cameras they are attached to. (Oh, those would be the Canon 5D Mark III bodies if that has anything to do it?!?!?)
Is that how much you've been using your lens every week of the year?

If I am doing something wrong... there should be a way to replicate the problem I would think. Maybe I zoom in and out to much... maybe you don't zoom at all? Again... I don't know. I guess I could go thru my lightroom and start looking for a pattern using the number of images taken at each focal length looking for a pattern of use and break down? 

Anybody out there that can tell me how one could use this lens in such a manner to make it break like this consistently... love to hear how?!!

You are considering switching brands now is your chance. Buy a Sigma, preferred, or a Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 and see if they fair better. The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens is every bit as sharp as the Canon. It is build very well, too, so why not?


Instead of fighting the obvious poor IQ of my ef 16-35mm, I bought a Tokina 16-28mm f2.8 and am very happy with it. Seems silly to keep doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Whether your fault or Canon's.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

This is what I have today... and the whole reason for this thread was to discover an answer. That being said, your solution to go with Sigma or Tamron would be something to consider if it wasn't for this whole llne of lenses and cameras right now becoming antiquated. One could argue the lifespan left. The pre vs post mirrorless age... but for me, it's nearing the end.

Sure, people may use them for a long time to come but truth is we are going thru a huge leap in tech right now.

Considering my options and other companies... I repeat from my previous post... Canon do me a favor! Knock my socks off with your next release that will renew my faith and make this decision easy for me! (No, this dosen't mean I think other companies have their problems as well)

I think we've come full circle again. 

BTW... how many images are you taking every week with your 24-70 lens? I don't think you said?

"I shoot 2500 - 5000 images a week with them. So...130,000 to 260,000 images every year."


With all due respect a person that shoots that amount and is that busy, a new lens purchase is just an entry in the ledger sheet. To continue to fight which seems to be a losing or at least an on going battle is futile, IMHO, of course. Again if you think switching brands will solve the problem that is the way I would go.  I did and it did with the 16-35mm.


I am retired now so my daily shooting is a non-factor any more. I worked for Hallmark in KC for 40 years. I had my private photography business along side of Hallmark. I have no idea what a daily count was.  We did whatever was needed. As a full time or part time photographer far more time is/was spent with LR and/or PS than any time spent behind the camera.


When I shot film for a wedding as example possibly four or five rolls.  With digital perhaps several thousand. Then either hours in the darkroom or behind the computer.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!