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Canon rf 15-35mm auto focus issue and repair shop nightmare


In 30 years, i have never needed to seek help, and in 30 years of being a Canon user, i have never ever once need a repair.

Until recently. 

In 2022 i switched over to mirrorless system. First camera i Bought was a R6 and a 15-35mm f2.8 L series lens.

This package was 5 and half thousand euros.

Up until December the 31st 2023, never an issue with Camera or lens, Im December 2023 and now i own multiple R6 cameras and 4 Rf lenses, my beloved 15-35mm lens, just stopped auto focusing as soon as i turn the camera on for the final wedding of the year.  In December i photographed 7 weddings and for 6 of them weddings the lens was flawless, it had taken over 13 thousand images in December, but on the 31st when i arrived at the hotel to start shooting, it would not autofocus. 


It would manually focus, that was not an issue. But autofocus on either of my r6 cameras it would not work. So i took it off, and put my 35mm f1.8 on and finished out the year. That was December 31st 2023.


January 1st and 2nd 2024 contacted canon because i realised my lens was still under warranty.  They created a label i boxed it up and it was shipped to  a canon repair team in Germany. It spent 6 and half days travelling,  and on the 10th of January i got an invoice telling me the basically the entire inside of my lens needs replacing.  And the cost over 1500 euros, woth reshipping back to me 1600 euros. 

I said this is absolutely ludicrous,  that lens does not need an entire replacing insides. That lens worked flawlessly on the 30th of December 2023, and i could manually focus, but not autofocus.


They came back with, it looks like the lens was tampered with, and put back together badly. Some ripon cables are unseated, and some are torn. And they claimed, that the lens in my possession when i had it was unoperational,  it could not have worked.

The anger inside me was growing, i opened lightroom and made a short video showing them the metadata of the thousands of images i had photographed on the 30th of December 2023 where the lens was absolutely perfect. Refuting their claims, 


They basically emailed me back saying. We dont care or need to see the video or images. The lens could not have worked for you. We can repair it, you pay over 1500 euros or we can send it back to you. OR WE CAN DESTROY IT, FREE OF CHARGE.


Dont think i have ever been so angry in all my life sitting at my work station, looking at that email.  The cold hearted email, reading that we can destroy this lens for you as an option. 

They were calling me a liar, and i am sitting here wondering what is the point of having a warranty,  what was the point of paying extra to extend warranties in the past. Because no matter what, it seems like,  they will make you or force you to pay one way or another.

I know, that lens has never left my camera, rarley have i ever taken it off. That lens was a work horse and worked flawlessy. That lens had never been tampered with in all the time i had owned it. Only to clean the connections when it would not autofocus, the timeline is key here. 


Lens works flawlessy all December,  last wedding that lens worked flawlessly was December 30th 2023. My last wedding was 31st, lens as soon as i turned it on, would not autofocus. 


It is the holidays, no where to look at that lens was opened. Contacted canon, shipped lens within 4 days of an issue. 

Lens spent 6.5 days travelling to the repair shop. So unless the courier fancied himself as a repair man, then i have no answers as to why that lens needs an entire replacement insides. They listed so much stuff, it is hard to quantify what they are talking about. Worked manually focusing no problems.  Then work autofocusing. 


But according to them, it could never have worked when i had it. Even tho i sent them the video and metadata proving it did.

And a cost of 1500 plus euros, 1600 euros when you factor in shipping and quick turn around, like honestly. Is it to just con people out of more money.


The lens sits currently in German while a UK team looks into this investigation, i need the lens in 3 weeks when wedding season starts again.


So who knows..


Anyone with a similar story to mine?


Let me know.



"Anyone with a similar story to mine?"


No! However a good guess, it was damaged in shipment.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

I would agree, 6 days in transit to get thrown around. =(

Get thrown around and tear a rippon cable and move other rippon cables around. Is that even possible.. 

Could this be a mix-up of some kind? If you mention the lens' serial number to Canon support, wondering if that's the serial number of the lens they are working with.


Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

Apparently the lens is correct,  it is the lens that I sent them, thats what they are telling me.

I honestly just dont know how so much damage could have happened to that lens. I have zip, nothing, that lens was like a child to me, all my lenses are precious to me, for how much they cost, you need to be looking after them. It was a fantastic lens and worked flawlessly. 

I have questioned myself, if by zooming in and out really quickly durning the first dances, have i somehow ripped a rippon cable,  and if i have then surley it is a poor design flaw.

Such is the way i shoot, i would circle the bride and groom, using the 15mm to get wide shots and quickly zooming in to get tighter shots, and switching to my other camera and using my f1.2 85mm. But maybe after that many weddings in december maybe i dislodged the cables somehow.

But from what i am reading online, that just could not have happened. So i am lefted with a repair center that wont believe me.

It seems they sooner wished i took the blame and just pony up 1600 euros and call it a day.


Which is just wrong... so i dont know. I have one week, left to see if i can get this sorted and have them fix it under warranty.  Because 2nd week of February i am back in wedding season and i need that lens, badly !!


For what it is worth.  Senior Canon employee took over the case last week. 

She said The UK repair team will now be looking after this case and they will reach out to me A.S.A.P.

Monday came and no contact, 

Tuesday came and no contact.  Tuesday evening i reached back out to that employee, she said she had just contacted them again and they will reach out to me with an update on the case asap.  I reminded them that i have up coming weddings and time is not on my side. I will need an update so i know what i need to do, with regards to the lens. Buy a new one, or get that one back and take it to a repair shop in my city to refute their claims. 

Ahe saie they will be on to me very soon.


Wednesday came and bo contact,  Thursday rolled along and by now the frustration was rolling in, searching the web for a deal on the same lens. Growing seriously angry now at Canon, telling myself i should not have to fork out another 3k euros.

Friday morning arrived, and i told myself that by close of business today 5pm, if they don't contact me, i need to make a decision on whats going on with my lens. 5pm rolled by, NOTHING. 

No update, no phone call, no email, nothing.


I reached back out to the Canon employe who took over the case, and told her to just return my lens, that the way they treat people is unacceptable, that she told me someone would be in touch, and no one even bothered to contact me, and time for me is running out with pending weddings.


She replied with oooooooo my god, i am so sorry they told me they would contact you. Did you get even a phone call.


I said no,


She said ahe has escalated it again...


So here i am with this update..


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