Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
QSMcDraw Forum Member • Posts: 90
Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain
8

Soon after receiving an Rf 100-500mm 4.5-7.1L IS, and enjoying its spectacular image quality, AF, and image stabilization abilities, I noticed something that made me a bit uneasy, and I thought it was a problem with just my lens.

When looking down through the front element at the IS element just beneath, I could see that the IS element was moving around freely when there was no power to the lens. If the lens was detached from a body, or if it was attached to a body that had timed out or was powered off, the IS element had a significant amount of space to move around, to bump and knock against its restraining collar.

EF super-telephoto zooms use a parking mechanism to prevent the IS elements from bumping and knocking while lenses are being carried or transported. I had believed this was to protect the IS system from wear and tear, to prevent optics from becoming misaligned. Here are two links supporting this thinking, first from Canon USA, and then from lensrentals.com:

Canon U.S.A., Inc. | Whats-That-Rattling-Sound-From-Your-Image-Stabilized-Lens

Lens Rentals | Blog

I contacted Canon Professional Services in Newport News, Virginia to describe what I was seeing. The initial consensus was that my copy of the 100-500mm was not parking as it should. This would turn out to be incorrect—none of them park!

One tech walked me through the steps to make sure the lens’s IS system was parking. When this did not change anything, he concluded my copy needed to be checked out. Since I was still within my return window, naturally I just sent the lens back to my retailer for a refund.

Then I started a topic thread about this issue on Canon Rumors. A few other Rf 100-500mm owners saw exactly what I was describing. One member dug up a link to an interview found on Canon UK’s website, where a Canon spokesperson stated that the Rf 70-200mm f/2.8L IS was designed without a parking mechanism—to save weight. But the spokesperson did not acknowledge that the IS element was now free to bounce, bump, and knock around when the lens was not receiving power. Here’s that link:

Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM developers interview - Canon UK

Notice, however, that the Rf 70-200mm f/2.8L IS has a shorter focal length, and its IS element does not have the same amount of space within its restraining collar to move around. You can look down through its front element and see movement, but to me it seems slight, without the significant tapping, bumping, and knocking of the 100-500mm’s IS element.

Next, CPS in Virginia checked their own copies of the 100-500mm lenses and saw what I was talking about. They expressed concern, and still believed that something was not right with IS element parking. After a few days, they were told by a CPS engineer that the new RF L-series zooms don’t use a parking mechanism. In fact, a careful reading of the included 100-500mm INSTRUCTIONS alludes to this—but not in the three pages devoted to the IS functions. The CPS techs and I missed this under a “Handling Precautions” box on page ENG-3: “The lens interior may appear to waver, but this does not indicate a defect or failure and will not cause any problems in use.” Here’s a link to the included INSTRUCTIONS:

rf100-500f45-71lisusm-im-en.pdf (c-wss.com)

So Canon has spoken (but not elaborated).

I believe that Canon should explain why, after making IS lenses with parking mechanisms in the past, owners of the new Rf lenses should not be concerned about the IS element being bumped and knocked out of alignment. If Canon has hardened the elements, and/or has enough shock absorption built into the system, that’s great, and it should be something to tell customers.

As things stand, we are not told why it’s ok for optics to be bumping around in the 100-500mm while hiking, etc.

One experienced photographer expressed the opinion that Canon engineers know what they are doing, and we should just trust them. And I would agree with that if Canon educated us enough to understand why something important in the past, that is, parking the IS elements when the lens is not receiving power, no longer applies.

I am concerned that the elements will lose proper alignment over time, but I am not concluding this will happen. I am simply asking Canon to explain the new approach.

At this point CPS has told me they aren’t able to provide more info. A lead support tech urged me to write a letter to Canon USA’s Professional Series Group, which I did. I have no idea how long Canon will take to respond, and I wonder if just one letter will get their attention.

If this post is of interest, if you have the 100-500mm to see what I mean, please share your thoughts. Even better, compare the movement of the IS element with other Rf and Ef lenses to see how much more bumping and knocking is happening with this specific, quite expensive, and otherwise wonderful lens.

Thanks!

Rick Rizza Forum Member • Posts: 93
Re: Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain

This is interesting. I own RF 15-35 and noticed that when it was off the IS element rattle at some degree. Not a hard bang though.

Since IS element is floating by magnetic field, the parking mechanism is that a permanent magnet fixed the element at its position. Also happens when you switch the IS off.

I had experience with my EF 85 1.4 IS rattling heavily when I pick it up from my bag. Looks like the element was released from the permanent magnet and rattle. The noise was gone after I attach it to the body and turned it on.

I'm not sure why they removed the simple locking system. Have you tried to put the IS switch in off position? But maybe the suggestion is right, the designer should be aware of this and if it is damaged by normal handling, the warranty should cover it.

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David Franklin Senior Member • Posts: 1,542
Re: Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain
1

Very well expressed post. I don't have the 100-500, but will probably eventually get one, as it's on my "list." I do, however, have the RF 70-200, so I will check this out with that lens. Thanks for your illuminating post.

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Funny Valentine
Funny Valentine Senior Member • Posts: 1,198
Re: Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain

Well the IBIS unit is also free to wobble around when the power is turned off, and usually they don't get damaged in normal use.

For optical IS, the fact that the IS glass element can move around isn't a problem either. Usually they're free to move within a frame, so misalignments aren't a risk, unless you smash the lens really hard, which is more likely to break a glass element before misaligning it.

Misalignments usually happen with low intensity but long duration vibrations, that can make the adhesive layer between the glass and the frame to gradually come off. It usually happens when people carry lenses naked in the trunk or floor of a car without a bag or padding. And in these types of situations, IS element parking doesn't help either. It may actually make it easier for vibrations to be transmitted.

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Franz Kerschbaum
Franz Kerschbaum Contributing Member • Posts: 898
Re: Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain
1

I saw this on both my rf70-200 and rf100-500 and was also surpriced...

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OP QSMcDraw Forum Member • Posts: 90
Re: Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain
1

Funny Valentine wrote:

Well the IBIS unit is also free to wobble around when the power is turned off, and usually they don't get damaged in normal use.

From what I learned while working through this with CPS, the rf 100-500mm has three states for the IS elements.

1) When the lens is detached or the body it is attached to is powered off or timed out, the IS elements are "limp," free to just bump about when the lens is tilted, rocked, or shaken.

2) Attached to active body with IS switched on, the elements are responding to movement, gently countering the barrel's movement. I can see this happening when I look down through the front element. It's very interesting to watch!

3) When the lens is attached to an active body with IS switched OFF, the IS elements are held rigidly, making the lens behave as if it had no IS. I switch mine off when using a tripod, for instance.

For optical IS, the fact that the IS glass element can move around isn't a problem either. Usually they're free to move within a frame, so misalignments aren't a risk, unless you smash the lens really hard, which is more likely to break a glass element before misaligning it.

Misalignments usually happen with low intensity but long duration vibrations, that can make the adhesive layer between the glass and the frame to gradually come off. It usually happens when people carry lenses naked in the trunk or floor of a car without a bag or padding. And in these types of situations, IS element parking doesn't help either. It may actually make it easier for vibrations to be transmitted.

On older EF zoom lenses with IS, there is a parking mechanism to reduce movement of the elements when the lens is being transported in a bag, or when the body has timed out and the rig is being carried while walking or hiking. I've checked my other Rf lenses and see the same behavior, but the gap between the lens element and the "frame" or restraining collar is tiny on those other lenses. On my Rf 100-500mm, the gap was surprisingly large, and that's why the IS element appeared to be bumping and knocking with enough force to affect alignment over time.

I don't literally run around with my rig much anymore, but still hike vigorously. If I'm holding the rig by the lens's tripod foot, and consciously holding it so that the lens is mostly parallel to the ground, I don't think any significant bumping is happening. But that means being conscious about an outdoor/sports/action piece of gear in a way I wasn't before. Having the body + lens together in a backpack also seems to be a common situation which can lead to quite a bit of what you refer to as "low intensity but long duration vibrations."

Please, let me repeat here that I am not saying Canon or 100-500mm customers have a problem. I am expressing a concern, asking a question. Not parking the IS unit is a significant change from how Canon has built lenses in the past, and I will feel much better if Canon explains in marketing, or a PSA, or even through their repair and customer service techs, why the elements needed parking before but now are not being parked.

Your points do make me feel as if there isn't a big potential problem with most of the new Rf lenses. But because the 100-500mm has so much more "travel space" for the IS element, I'd like to have Canon's explanation of the new approach before I order another copy of the lens.

If I had not been in my return window, I would have bought a CarePak from Canon and just used the lens as any other similar zoom. And enjoyed it!

Huntin4photos Contributing Member • Posts: 650
Re: Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain
1

Thank you.  I have always been careful with all my lenses, yet I wonder if the thought is that the mirror focus system will correct whatever minor problems are created from minor rattling around. It seems to have corrected some focus concerns wth my Ef 24-70mm when on my 5D mark iv that lead me think I had a less than perfect copy.  However, I also learned that the leading cause of focus and apperture issues related to cable connections and the cable itself breaking from being worn out from constant flexing from the movement of the elements when zooming in and out.

The absence of a lock would to me raise the question of accelerated failure from the increased  movements in RF zoom lenses from these lens movement  activities described in this thread.

RCicala
RCicala Contributing Member • Posts: 765
Re: Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain
18

I'll throw in what I know, FWIW.

If the IS unit is off AND the camera is mounted to a camera with the power on, the IS unit electromagnetically parks. So if you're walking around, shooting rapid fire, etc. the IS unit is held in place.

When not mounted to a camera, it is no longer electromagnetically parked so it can indeed bounce around. There have been other lenses in the past that have been this way. As a repair-centric person I don't like it on the basis of 'no good can come of it'. But we haven't seen astronomically higher damage or anything UNTIL the RF 100-500.

With those, we have no seen the IS glass crack in 4 cases. In all my years I've never seen IS glass crack before. I've seen IS units break, usually from the case or electromagnets coming loose; it's rare but it happens. But never cracked glass in the IS unit.

To be clear, in all cases the glass has cracked during shipping. Many of you know how LR packs for shipping; heavily padded in a soft case in a pelican case -- nothing breaks ever. But our packing can't prevent bouncing around during shipping and I assume the IS unit is getting jounced. For anyone who wants to know, IS replacement is about $1,000.

Huntin4photos Contributing Member • Posts: 650
Re: Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain
1

RCicala wrote:

I'll throw in what I know, FWIW.

If the IS unit is off AND the camera is mounted to a camera with the power on, the IS unit electromagnetically parks. So if you're walking around, shooting rapid fire, etc. the IS unit is held in place.

When not mounted to a camera, it is no longer electromagnetically parked so it can indeed bounce around. There have been other lenses in the past that have been this way. As a repair-centric person I don't like it on the basis of 'no good can come of it'. But we haven't seen astronomically higher damage or anything UNTIL the RF 100-500.

With those, we have no seen the IS glass crack in 4 cases. In all my years I've never seen IS glass crack before. I've seen IS units break, usually from the case or electromagnets coming loose; it's rare but it happens. But never cracked glass in the IS unit.

To be clear, in all cases the glass has cracked during shipping. Many of you know how LR packs for shipping; heavily padded in a soft case in a pelican case -- nothing breaks ever. But our packing can't prevent bouncing around during shipping and I assume the IS unit is getting jounced. For anyone who wants to know, IS replacement is about $1,000.

Silly me.

I was worried about wearing out various electronic flexible cables over many years of use, but having that life expectancy reduced a few years by the vibration and jostling from being unlocked in an RF zoom.

Never thought about cracked glass.

Another reason among a number of others, that I am glad I still have my pre-owned Ef 100-400mm ii

I carry whatever lens that i intend to use in seperate padded cases inside a pelican type case. My 100-400mm at home is never left in the case at home but stored to keep it safe from moisture, dirt and mold growth.

While moving and travelling around, I am not as bad as Jim Carey making deliveries at the start of Ace Ventura but I did have to have 2 wheels on the right side replaced as they were bent beyond repair when I hit a large hole that also took out only one of tires, sometime at the end of September last year.

The case with the 100-400mm went flying off the front seat unto the floor.

No damges, but if it were the RF 100-500mm well, I dunno....but...

Thank you for the information....As far as as I am concerned, only 4 is to me about 40 or more too many.

ffabrici Senior Member • Posts: 1,201
Re: Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain

Franz Kerschbaum wrote:

I saw this on both my rf70-200 and rf100-500 and was also surpriced...

I don't have the RF 100-500, but I have the RF 70-200 and I can see or hear anything bouncing or moving when I shake it in any direction.

I have the 100-400L II and its IS unit is loudly bouncing and moving around if the lens is detached from the camera before the IS unit is parked.

Franz Kerschbaum
Franz Kerschbaum Contributing Member • Posts: 898
Re: Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain
1

... take your dismounted RF70-200 in your hand, frontside up, remove lanscap and shake the lens to the side. You will definetly see the in the interor the shake of both a black circular structure and the cetral lens element. Same is true for the RF100-500. Nobody says that this is bad but is very different to our comparable old long EF IS L lenses from which I owned and still own several. They all park.

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F3RSH Forum Member • Posts: 51
Re: Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain
1

Just to clarify, if the 100-500mm is attached to the R5, is turned on but has gone to sleep until reactivated by touching the shutter button, the IS unit is floating around and not parked. It is a little worrying for those of us who do carry the lens and camera on a strap while out walking.

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jl_smith Veteran Member • Posts: 3,970
Re: Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain
1

Thanks for chiming in Roger. That’s worrying that in a Pelican case that LR uses, you’ve already had 4 cases of cracked glass.

Either some delivery drivers take detours through their local motocross track on their route, or Canon under-engineered the lens to save weight

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R2D2 Forum Pro • Posts: 23,262
Re: Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain

RCicala wrote:

I'll throw in what I know, FWIW.

If the IS unit is off AND the camera is mounted to a camera with the power on, the IS unit electromagnetically parks. So if you're walking around, shooting rapid fire, etc. the IS unit is held in place.

When not mounted to a camera, it is no longer electromagnetically parked so it can indeed bounce around. There have been other lenses in the past that have been this way. As a repair-centric person I don't like it on the basis of 'no good can come of it'. But we haven't seen astronomically higher damage or anything UNTIL the RF 100-500.

With those, we have no seen the IS glass crack in 4 cases. In all my years I've never seen IS glass crack before. I've seen IS units break, usually from the case or electromagnets coming loose; it's rare but it happens. But never cracked glass in the IS unit.

To be clear, in all cases the glass has cracked during shipping. Many of you know how LR packs for shipping; heavily padded in a soft case in a pelican case -- nothing breaks ever. But our packing can't prevent bouncing around during shipping and I assume the IS unit is getting jounced. For anyone who wants to know, IS replacement is about $1,000.

Canon must have bazillions of returned lenses for this issue (having shipped every one of them already).  Anyone hear of someone receiving a damaged lens?

R2

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ffabrici Senior Member • Posts: 1,201
Re: Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain

Franz Kerschbaum wrote:

... take your dismounted RF70-200 in your hand, frontside up, remove lanscap and shake the lens to the side. You will definetly see the in the interor the shake of both a black circular structure and the cetral lens element. Same is true for the RF100-500. Nobody says that this is bad but is very different to our comparable old long EF IS L lenses from which I owned and still own several. They all park.

Yes, you are absolutely right!

Huntin4photos Contributing Member • Posts: 650
Re: Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain
1

ffabrici wrote:

Franz Kerschbaum wrote:

I saw this on both my rf70-200 and rf100-500 and was also surpriced...

I don't have the RF 100-500, but I have the RF 70-200 and I can see or hear anything bouncing or moving when I shake it in any direction.

I have the 100-400L II and its IS unit is loudly bouncing and moving around if the lens is detached from the camera before the IS unit is parked.

Yes. Several years ago, I discovered that my Ef 100-400mm ii would do the same as have others reported unless the procedures listed by Canon were followed.

It does not seem to be widely used or known and Canon does not provide sufficient notice to make everyone aware of how to lock this and other lens.

But at least one can park the 100-400mm which is something that is apparently impossible with the rf 100-500mm.

While hard to say for a scientifically certainty, I am now convinced when I hit the hole, the RF would have probably suffered a crack in the glass or some other major issue. I was sort of aware the hole was there, but previously,  it was very minor. However when it happened, it was full of water and had gotten much deeper and wider. I did not slow down, expecting a simple splash and go , but...

My only lens damaging accident was when in the kitchen many years ago, I put my 1Ds with an Ef28-70mm on a self about 6 feet above a ceramic floor on what should have been out of harms way.

In my full view but before I could do anything, my young son reached up and grabbed the dangling strap. It went down faster as my son had pulled hard, landing in a position with the lens taking the force of impact.

The barrel would no longer move to zoom. Midwest Camera replaced the barrel assembly and filter ring that were badly bent and as a precaution, the electronic cable. Total cost was something under $200, a reasonable sum back then.

But there was no cracked or broken glass and the other original parts are still there. I seldom use it anymore, but I still have it.

But the 100-500mm?  Just another reason I am glad I still have my 100-400mm.

OP QSMcDraw Forum Member • Posts: 90
Re: Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain

RCicala wrote:

I'll throw in what I know, FWIW.

If the IS unit is off AND the camera is mounted to a camera with the power on, the IS unit electromagnetically parks. So if you're walking around, shooting rapid fire, etc. the IS unit is held in place.

When not mounted to a camera, it is no longer electromagnetically parked so it can indeed bounce around. There have been other lenses in the past that have been this way. As a repair-centric person I don't like it on the basis of 'no good can come of it'. But we haven't seen astronomically higher damage or anything UNTIL the RF 100-500.

With those, we have no seen the IS glass crack in 4 cases. In all my years I've never seen IS glass crack before. I've seen IS units break, usually from the case or electromagnets coming loose; it's rare but it happens. But never cracked glass in the IS unit.

To be clear, in all cases the glass has cracked during shipping. Many of you know how LR packs for shipping; heavily padded in a soft case in a pelican case -- nothing breaks ever. But our packing can't prevent bouncing around during shipping and I assume the IS unit is getting jounced. For anyone who wants to know, IS replacement is about $1,000.

Can you estimate how much weight Canon saved by doing without a parking mechanism?

Luddify
Luddify Regular Member • Posts: 102
Re: Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain
2

Canceled my backordered 100-500 after reading this thread. Seriously. It's bad enough that my RF 24-104 f4 L and EF 100 f2.8 L Macro have done this from day one. No way can I live with this on a $2,500 lens...

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jl_smith Veteran Member • Posts: 3,970
Re: Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain
1

QSMcDraw wrote:

RCicala wrote:

I'll throw in what I know, FWIW.

If the IS unit is off AND the camera is mounted to a camera with the power on, the IS unit electromagnetically parks. So if you're walking around, shooting rapid fire, etc. the IS unit is held in place.

When not mounted to a camera, it is no longer electromagnetically parked so it can indeed bounce around. There have been other lenses in the past that have been this way. As a repair-centric person I don't like it on the basis of 'no good can come of it'. But we haven't seen astronomically higher damage or anything UNTIL the RF 100-500.

With those, we have no seen the IS glass crack in 4 cases. In all my years I've never seen IS glass crack before. I've seen IS units break, usually from the case or electromagnets coming loose; it's rare but it happens. But never cracked glass in the IS unit.

To be clear, in all cases the glass has cracked during shipping. Many of you know how LR packs for shipping; heavily padded in a soft case in a pelican case -- nothing breaks ever. But our packing can't prevent bouncing around during shipping and I assume the IS unit is getting jounced. For anyone who wants to know, IS replacement is about $1,000.

Can you estimate how much weight Canon saved by doing without a parking mechanism?

This guess isn't as good as removing components and weighing them, but if you compare the EF 100-400 vs the RF 100-500, you'll see the 100-500 is 1/2 pound lighter.  That's pretty significant.  Of course the 100-500 I don't think maintains f/5.6 out to 400mm (just shy I believe), so there may be some weight saved in glass as well.

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ProDude Senior Member • Posts: 2,395
Re: Rf 100-500mm Not Parking IS Elements…Canon, Please Explain
3

Luddify wrote:

Canceled my backordered 100-500 after reading this thread. Seriously. It's bad enough that my RF 24-104 f4 L and EF 100 f2.8 L Macro have done this from day one. No way can I live with this on a $2,500 lens...

LOL nothing like some over reaction. I'm glad I'm a bit OCD. My gear experiences no significant bangs or movement to speak of so I'm not the least bit worried about these so called issues. I'm rather confident the issue even Roger brought up may effect as many as 10 for every 1000 out there and also be promoted by subjecting the lens to a reasonable amount of dropping or thrashing about. All of which I don't do to my lenses....especially the larger/heavier ones I have. They are treated with kit gloves, as a fine instrument would (and perhaps should). I am well aware there are 2 camps of users out there. Those that thrash the heck out of their gear and feel it's there to do so. And others that respect their tools and use them as instruments (not the kind of tools you build houses with lol). Now another new worry has been created out there and will be heavily discussed all the way back to Japan. Sheesh..........

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