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Canon IS Binoculars Maintenance?

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#1 DennisWebb

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 05:26 PM

I have a pair of Canon IS 15X50 binoculars that I purchased about 15 years ago.  They are my favorite grab-and-go piece of equipment and I love them.  But lately it just seems that the image stabilization has become less and less.  I've got new, good-quality batteries in them, but I have to hold the binocs nearly rock-steady before the image actually becomes stable.  Because of their age (15 years), do I need to have Canon (or some binocular shop) clean or adjust them to restore the full image stabilization that they used to have?

 

Thanks for any help in this.



#2 tropical

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 06:21 PM

The repair cost will be higher or close to than a brand-new pair.  It has served its life so I think you should move on.


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#3 avid_dk

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 10:23 PM

I have a pair of 18 x 50 of that age that stopped working.  I could actually hear something loose inside mine.  Expecting the worst I sent them to Canon.  I got an email when they received them and two days later an email saying they could be repaired for $87 plus return shipping.  They were returned in like new condition.  


Edited by avid_dk, 24 May 2018 - 10:23 PM.


#4 SMark

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 11:12 PM

I have a pair of 18 x 50 of that age that stopped working.  I could actually hear something loose inside mine.  Expecting the worst I sent them to Canon.  I got an email when they received them and two days later an email saying they could be repaired for $87 plus return shipping.  They were returned in like new condition.  

That is great news! Most "Canon IS Stories" I've heard haven't ended like this one, but maybe things are finally starting to change at Canon. We can certainly hope...


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#5 tropical

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 11:48 PM

I have a pair of 18 x 50 of that age that stopped working.  I could actually hear something loose inside mine.  Expecting the worst I sent them to Canon.  I got an email when they received them and two days later an email saying they could be repaired for $87 plus return shipping.  They were returned in like new condition.  

 

Woww... this sounds too good to be true but maybe they change their policy after numerous complaints.


Edited by tropical, 24 May 2018 - 11:48 PM.


#6 paulsky

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 08:00 AM

For my old second hand 18x50 , Canon tell me that 300 Euro for repair!!

Paul



#7 Binojunky

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 10:02 AM

Just a point , are the contacts for and on the batteries clean?, a Q-tip moistened with a bit of alcohol will do the job,D.


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#8 JeffreyAK

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 12:48 PM

Mine are almost 20 years old and still work fine.  The Canon system uses a fluid-filled wedge to adjust the pointing, presumably with piezoelectric film as an actuator, https://www.bestbino...zation-work-09/  I'd guess the most likely parts to degrade over time are the films, assuming the binoculars haven't been abused, dunked under water, etc.  I haven't looked into it, but even if you had to replace those stabilizer wedges, I can't imagine it costing the ~ $1000 price of new binocs.  Might easily be hundreds, though.  Probably, those wedge systems are identical among models, and might be common to other Canon products like camcorders too.


Edited by JeffreyAK, 25 May 2018 - 04:11 PM.


#9 Gordon Rayner

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 06:52 PM

"Piezoelectric film".     Is that the basis of   the angular motion sensors    for the  Kamakura Koki    Techno-Stabi   for Fujinon and for   the almost identical ones they make for Nikon branding?

 

We know that there  are some type of "solid-state  gyro" (??)   which sense   rotations around   at least two   axes  and send

signals   to  actuators which  change the shape of the Canon  liquid  wedges, or to the  linear motors  which move the correcting  optical elements in the KK .   Is the PE film   the key element  in the vibration  sensors?

 

The Fuji   Stabiscope  $$$$ and the Peleng  ( Soviet/Russian) , or the Fraser-Volpe, use   rapidly spinning discs, of the traditional gyroscopic type,   to stabilize/move   prisms at the  nodal point of the system.  Is there also a Chinese copy now? There was a recent  post by someone in   Spain who  has been inside  those   spinning rotor types.   The substantial  links he/she provided  were in Russian  (Cyrillic  text).  Was there a translation available  via Google  or ???

 

Is that person in Spain   a Russian speaker or reader?   Working to fix the   gyro  types used in helicopters  in the   Spanish- Tunisian-  Italian(?) tuna industry   who pursue the  remnants  of   Atlantic Bluefin   in the Mediterranian  , violating self- imposed    quotas   and prohibitions?    Or for military applications ?

 

I found the original   Fuji gyro stabiscope to have  a yellowish caste, and the Peleng more.   I have not   looked through a Fraser-Volpe.     

 

I use the 15 x 50  Canon.   When acquired used,   it had  functioning stabilization, but was out of optical alignment . Canon wanted  600 or 700  dollars to fix  it.  When I pointed out that that was close to the cost of a new or functioning used one, they halved the estimate.     They returned it,  without service,   and  in  horizontal storage,  it (coincidentally??)   self -corrected , to my surprise.  It has functioned well for several years.   I use top-of -the -line  Energizer   lithium  batteries. 

 

When  space  and portability permit,  stability   is   somewhat improved with  a shoulder  mounted   , counterweighted,   inertial stabilizer  which has  an eight foot painter's extension pole  forward of the observer.


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#10 JeffreyAK

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 10:09 PM

I believe the Fuji and Nikon binocs use rotating solid prisms, not liquid prisms, so I don't think the actuators are the same.  Zeiss and some others use a mechanical system based on springs and magnets, https://www.cloudyni...inoculars-work/, which by some accounts is the most effective approach, though the 20x60 binocs are now up to eight grand and they must sell about 2 of them per year.



#11 junomike

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 07:17 AM

I have a pair of 18 x 50 of that age that stopped working.  I could actually hear something loose inside mine.  Expecting the worst I sent them to Canon.  I got an email when they received them and two days later an email saying they could be repaired for $87 plus return shipping.  They were returned in like new condition. 

Doesn't sound like the typical "Canon" Reply for repairs.

Was this in North America?



#12 avid_dk

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 10:18 PM

Doesn't sound like the typical "Canon" Reply for repairs.

Was this in North America?

Yes it was.  Because of all the horror stories I read on line I expected the worst.  After my experience I wondered if the horror stories are fake news.  



#13 tropical

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 11:08 PM

Yes it was.  Because of all the horror stories I read on line I expected the worst.  After my experience I wondered if the horror stories are fake news.  

 My experiences were quite different than yours.  They replaced a corroded battery compartment for $150!  Then they quoted ~$700 to fix an out of alignment 10x42L IS.  They requested original document for a brand-new 15x50 IS to repair a small particle inside an objective lens.  I think it is good to wait for more "good" news.



#14 Grimnir

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 12:27 PM

That is great news! Most "Canon IS Stories" I've heard haven't ended like this one, but maybe things are finally starting to change at Canon. We can certainly hope...

 

Alas, not at Canon UK they're not!

 

Although the optics are still fine, the rubberized covering on my 2009 Canon 10x30 IS has dissolved into a sticky gunge which renders the binocular effectively unusable. The entire shell needs to be replaced.

 

So I called Canon UK a couple of days ago to enquire about repair costs. They informed me that they no longer have parts for this model and referred me to three companies, which, they claimed, do their binocular repair work for them. So I called the companies. Two of them do not service binoculars and the other didn't have the parts. In other words, I was given the brush off.

 

Based on this experience I can only conclude that, once Canon have sold their product, they have no real interest in providing support. This is a major disincentive for me to buy any Canon product again.

 

Contrast this with the magnificent service I received last week from Zeiss UK when I sent them a 1993 Zeiss Dialyt 7x42B T*P which, although in broadly very good condition, had a few issues in that the right dioptre ring was broken, there was a speck in the right telescope, the focus was stiff and the armour was starting to lift. Zeiss UK repaired, serviced and returned it to me in only nine days completely free of charge! The net result is that I now have an effectively new sample of this superb classic bino.

 

Well done Zeiss!

 

Shame on you Canon! The global chairman of Canon Inc will be receiving a letter from me, which I will have translated into Japanese, in the near future.

 

Graham


Edited by Grimnir, 27 May 2018 - 12:28 PM.

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#15 avid_dk

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 03:32 PM

I would love a pair of the Zeiss 20 x 60 IS but at $8k I think not.  

 

By the way, my two pair of Canon were purchased with US warranties and the registration for both were returned in a timely fashion.  Before anyone accuses me of being a hopeless Canon fanboy you should know I recently sent back a new pair of 18 x 50s to the vendor because the IS did not work correctly.  I will try again with a different seller because the DW really wants her own pair.  



#16 DennisWebb

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 08:56 AM

Thanks to everyone who took the time to offer advice to my question.

 

BinoJunky, I took your advice and cleaned the battery contacts.  Since we had a rare clear night here in Cincinnati, I tested the Canon binocs on Jupiter and got quite a bit of IS.  With a little effort on my part I got a very solid stabilization.  I'm not sure the IS is now as good as when they were new, but it is certainly usable, so I'm just going to use them as they are and not send them off to Canon.  Thanks.

 

Wishing everyone a "starry, starry night".

 

Dennis Webb

 


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#17 DennisWebb

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 09:08 AM

This is an addendum to my original posting that began this topic:

 

I had finally decided I would buy a new pair of Canon IS 15X50 binoculars, since my 15-year-old ones really didn't have much IS left in them, and I use them all the time.  A new pair now sells for about $1,200.  But before biting the bullet, I looked around a bit more on the internet and came across a company in Pasadena, CA called VideoCam Repair.  They are a brick and mortar store but they also do repair work on cameras, video cams, binoculars, and other optics through the mail.  Their website allows you to send info on your repair need and get an estimate from them.

 

So I did just that and got a reply back from one of their technicians about an hour later.  He replied simply that "the IS module needs to be replaced".  Total cost estimate $179 including parts, labor, & shipping.  So I sent my Canon binocs to them.  After examining them, the tech sent me a followup that something called the "holder base" was damaged from vibrations from the worn out image stabilizer; so the holder base would cost another $100 to replace.  So I gave them the go-ahead and three or four days later had my binocs back in my hands and the IS seems as good as new.  Total cost $282.  Much better than $1,200.  The tech also did a complimentary cleaning and optical alignment since, in his words, "the binocs are already opened up".

 

So if anyone has an expensive pair of IS binocs with worn out IS, you might want to give VideoCam Repair a try.  The estimate can be gotten online and there's no obligation, of course.  I found reviews of their work online and they seem to have a lot of very satisfied customers.

 

--Dennis Webb

 


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#18 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 09:59 AM

This is an addendum to my original posting that began this topic:

 

I had finally decided I would buy a new pair of Canon IS 15X50 binoculars, since my 15-year-old ones really didn't have much IS left in them, and I use them all the time.  A new pair now sells for about $1,200.  But before biting the bullet, I looked around a bit more on the internet and came across a company in Pasadena, CA called VideoCam Repair.  They are a brick and mortar store but they also do repair work on cameras, video cams, binoculars, and other optics through the mail.  Their website allows you to send info on your repair need and get an estimate from them.

 

So I did just that and got a reply back from one of their technicians about an hour later.  He replied simply that "the IS module needs to be replaced".  Total cost estimate $179 including parts, labor, & shipping.  So I sent my Canon binocs to them.  After examining them, the tech sent me a followup that something called the "holder base" was damaged from vibrations from the worn out image stabilizer; so the holder base would cost another $100 to replace.  So I gave them the go-ahead and three or four days later had my binocs back in my hands and the IS seems as good as new.  Total cost $282.  Much better than $1,200.  The tech also did a complimentary cleaning and optical alignment since, in his words, "the binocs are already opened up".

 

So if anyone has an expensive pair of IS binocs with worn out IS, you might want to give VideoCam Repair a try.  The estimate can be gotten online and there's no obligation, of course.  I found reviews of their work online and they seem to have a lot of very satisfied customers.

 

--Dennis Webb

 

Thanks, Dennis for update and good information.  I have three (18x50, 10x42, 12x36) Canon IS binoculars.  18x50 is my oldest (15 years old).  

They are all going strong.  But it is inevitable they will break some day.  It is nice to know someone in driving distance can repair Canon IS binoculars.

 

I noticed that there are several highend video camera/optics repair/service places around here. I guess it is a part of Hollywood film industry infrastructure.

 

Tammy


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#19 junomike

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Posted 21 July 2018 - 01:03 PM

This is an addendum to my original posting that began this topic:

 

I had finally decided I would buy a new pair of Canon IS 15X50 binoculars, since my 15-year-old ones really didn't have much IS left in them, and I use them all the time.  A new pair now sells for about $1,200.  But before biting the bullet, I looked around a bit more on the internet and came across a company in Pasadena, CA called VideoCam Repair.  They are a brick and mortar store but they also do repair work on cameras, video cams, binoculars, and other optics through the mail.  Their website allows you to send info on your repair need and get an estimate from them.

 

So I did just that and got a reply back from one of their technicians about an hour later.  He replied simply that "the IS module needs to be replaced".  Total cost estimate $179 including parts, labor, & shipping.  So I sent my Canon binocs to them.  After examining them, the tech sent me a followup that something called the "holder base" was damaged from vibrations from the worn out image stabilizer; so the holder base would cost another $100 to replace.  So I gave them the go-ahead and three or four days later had my binocs back in my hands and the IS seems as good as new.  Total cost $282.  Much better than $1,200.  The tech also did a complimentary cleaning and optical alignment since, in his words, "the binocs are already opened up".

 

So if anyone has an expensive pair of IS binocs with worn out IS, you might want to give VideoCam Repair a try.  The estimate can be gotten online and there's no obligation, of course.  I found reviews of their work online and they seem to have a lot of very satisfied customers.

 

--Dennis Webb

Gotta remember this post as It's the only reasonable repair shop I know of willing to take on the IS's.



#20 tropical

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Posted 21 July 2018 - 03:28 PM

It must be some Canon technicians decided to have their own IS bin repair shop.lol.gif



#21 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 21 July 2018 - 05:12 PM

This is an addendum to my original posting that began this topic:

 

I had finally decided I would buy a new pair of Canon IS 15X50 binoculars, since my 15-year-old ones really didn't have much IS left in them, and I use them all the time.  A new pair now sells for about $1,200.  But before biting the bullet, I looked around a bit more on the internet and came across a company in Pasadena, CA called VideoCam Repair.  They are a brick and mortar store but they also do repair work on cameras, video cams, binoculars, and other optics through the mail.  Their website allows you to send info on your repair need and get an estimate from them.

 

So I did just that and got a reply back from one of their technicians about an hour later.  He replied simply that "the IS module needs to be replaced".  Total cost estimate $179 including parts, labor, & shipping.  So I sent my Canon binocs to them.  After examining them, the tech sent me a followup that something called the "holder base" was damaged from vibrations from the worn out image stabilizer; so the holder base would cost another $100 to replace.  So I gave them the go-ahead and three or four days later had my binocs back in my hands and the IS seems as good as new.  Total cost $282.  Much better than $1,200.  The tech also did a complimentary cleaning and optical alignment since, in his words, "the binocs are already opened up".

 

So if anyone has an expensive pair of IS binocs with worn out IS, you might want to give VideoCam Repair a try.  The estimate can be gotten online and there's no obligation, of course.  I found reviews of their work online and they seem to have a lot of very satisfied customers.

 

--Dennis Webb

 

goodjob.gif

 

This should be add to the best of binoculars at the top of the forum.. 

 

https://www.videocamrepair.com/

 

Jon


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#22 KennyJ

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Posted 21 July 2018 - 05:24 PM

I must say, before clicking that link (assuming that guy cleaning the front lens is around 6 feet tall) I hadn't realised those Canon EOS 5D cameras were anything like so HUGE.


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#23 Neil Sanford

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 10:18 AM

Surprisingly, shockingly, these guys collimated for me a Canon 15x50 Image Stabilized and did a perfect job. 

https://www.videocamrepair.com/

 

 


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#24 ihf

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 08:42 PM

Surprisingly, shockingly, these guys collimated for me a Canon 15x50 Image Stabilized and did a perfect job. 

https://www.videocamrepair.com/

I kept wondering if the store was any good. It has advertised its Canon IS services for years, but seems a bit sketchy. Glad it worked out!




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