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Canon EF-S 17-85mm F4-5.5 IS USM

jkennedy 15 4 1 Indonesia
24 Jul 2011 6:34AM
Hi everyone,

I was wondering if any of you have had similar problems to this with Canon's 17-85mm Lens.

4 of my friends and myself all have this lens. They were purchased in various countries including UK, Australia, Singapore and Indonesia. All the lenses have the same problem - ERROR 99. This allows one photo to be taken. It then requires a power off, removal and insertion of battery and power on to allow ONE more image to be taken before ERROR 99 shows up again on the LCD panel. The problem definitely lies with the lens as other Canon, (and Sigma and Tamron), lenses work fine on the same camera bodies ranging from EOS 550D, 30D, 40D and 7D.

I have reported the matter to Canons service centre in Singapore but all they said was to send the lenses to them for inspection at a cost of about 90 each plus the post and packing costs.

Has anyone had similar experiences as this looks like a design fault which so far is only showing up with the 17-85mm lens. Pity as I really enjoyed using it.

Looking forward to any feedback,

Thanks everyone,
Joe Kennedy
Jasper87 Plus
11 2.7k 158 England
24 Jul 2011 7:37AM
I used mine on a 40D. It came up with error 99 on the last (fortunately) day of my holiday in Nepal. The ERROR message also came with the warning that the lens wasn't communicating with the camera! Wasn't sure whether to take it to a councillor or a camera repair shop!! Decided on the latter and apparently this isn't uncommon with this standard zoom. Because of the workload it gets (ie. the zooming in and out) and the build quality (lack of it) the internal wiring is prone to wearing out! The cost of inspection and repair wasn't far short of buying a new lens so I opted for the 15-85.

jkennedy 15 4 1 Indonesia
27 Jul 2011 5:11PM
Thanks for your feedback Dave. Since 4 of my friends and myself who all have this lens and are all suffering from Error 99 we are sure its a bad Canon design - I would not say that we give the lenses heavy use and most are still in mint condition to look at. This fault seems pretty common so am sure Canon needs to investigate this properly for their customers.

28 Jul 2011 1:16PM
I have just had the same problem with my 17-85 whilst on holiday in the USA. Fortunately my brother with whom we were staying, also a Canon user, was able to lend me his mid range zoom for the rest of our holiday. My experience was a couple of under-exposed images followed exactly by the Error 99 carry-on that Joe describes, and after a few single image cycles it would not get as far as allowing me to take a photograph. Other lenses worked normally and the lens displayed the same behaviour on my brothers camera body. In my case it is clear now that the aperture control has gone haywire - the lens is permanently stopped down. My local camera shop advises me that repair is likely to cost as much as replacement... but they would wouldn't they?

I was disappointed as I liked the versatility of the lens, I'm now annoyed having found you sad similar experiences.

I will not replace like with like!

steve_p 15 1.2k England
28 Jul 2011 5:35PM
I have owned 3 of these lenses, I won't go into why I have owned this many except that none of them have given me this problem on 30D,40D or 7D. The one I now have seems to quite on old one- it remains to be seen as to what happens!
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
28 Jul 2011 5:52PM
Whilst it may not be the problem in question, it is always worth giving the lens contacts a good clean with a pencil top rubber just in case it is a contact problem.
28 Jul 2011 6:45PM
I cleaned the contacts with great care! It seemed the obvious thing to do... I didn't try the particular device you recommend - I will do so!


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