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Old Monday 4th September 2017, 12:57   #1
Richken
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Canon 10x42L IS focus stiffness?

Good morning guys. Still waiting for my replacement pair to be sent back but Canon need to verify that my pair is as bad as I say it is. The supplier is saying that the new pair they have on the shelf is likely to disappoint me as the focusing is not as smooth and light as mine were when returned a few days ago.

To recap, mine when first supplied in March this year were silky smooth with no feeling of subdued click stops at irregular intervals. After four months suddenly they changed to being stiffer and notchy. I sent them back and they were returned to Canon service here in the UK. On their return they were just the same as regards to the focusing but in addition had a major problem with the IS which was only partially working.

Over the next few days they went from being a bit notchy and a bit stiff to beautifully smooth even if just picked up through a day to check without being used. Then within a day or so there was the episode when I took them outside the house to watch a Spitfire flying overhead and the focus locked up solid and when more pressure was applied it suddenly freed up with the feeling that a screw had been jammed in the internals. Straight away the focus returned to how it was when new but for a minute or so there was a rattling sound from within! They remained silky smooth but I was concerned by what had happened and obviously was not happy that the IS was faulty and requested a brand new pair.


Now the real issue is that the supplier says that the smoothness of this model is very variable from specimen to specimen and I may have to wait a time for a smooth one to turn up. This seems odd that there can be such a difference between the same model of 10x42 binoculars. Poor manufacturing control?

The supplier tell me that some people like a notchy stiffer focus control and seem a bit surprised that I like it smooth and light. What are the thoughts of members on this issue please?

Many thanks, Richard

Last edited by Richken : Monday 4th September 2017 at 13:01.
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Old Monday 4th September 2017, 13:22   #2
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My first Swift 7x50 was so smooth that the focus wheel turned by itself as soon as I looked up to the sky for astronomy observations.

It was useless to me. I probably still have it somewhere as I was too young to realise I should have returned it.
It was expensive for me and a great disappointment.
1960s I think. Maybe earlier.

Perhaps ask the supplier to get what you want from Canon, seeing as you have had a bad experience with your present binocular.
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Old Monday 4th September 2017, 17:05   #3
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Dear Binastro

That's an interesting observation....had not thought of that. I'm surprised that your Swift binoculars were so smooth that they altered when sky watching. I suspect that the design of the mechanism on the Canon 10x41L's would not allow that to happen but what do I know <G>

Cheers

Richard
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Old Monday 4th September 2017, 18:07   #4
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.........
Now the real issue is that the supplier says that the smoothness of this model is very variable from specimen to specimen and I may have to wait a time for a smooth one to turn up. This seems odd that there can be such a difference between the same model of 10x42 binoculars. Poor manufacturing control?
..........
There are some models out there that are known for the variability in the focus mechanisms, but I do not think of the Canon as being one of those models. I have experience with two 10X4 L IS units and two 15X50 IS units and all have smooth focus mechanisms. This has not been a problem reported in this forum and yours out of the box was nice and smooth until something apparently broke with use. Sounds to me that yours had a defect of some kind, it happens.

It seems unlikely to me that the second unit does not have a smooth focus mechanism. Can you obtain it to check it out for yourself and if it is notchy, can you return it? I have noticed that if you give the same binocular to five different people, you will get five different descriptions on the focus. I think it is a realistic expectation to obtain s smooth focus in a Canon 10X42 L IS.

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.........

The supplier tell me that some people like a notchy stiffer focus control and seem a bit surprised that I like it smooth and light. What are the thoughts of members on this issue please?

Many thanks, Richard
Now that is a hard one to believe. Sounds like they are making that up to get you to accept the current situation and get you out of their way. Who ever came up with that line should be selling used cars! A nochty focus is not a desirable trait.
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Old Monday 4th September 2017, 19:27   #5
Richken
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Dear Bruce

It seemed a bit odd to me as especially if I'm hide watching a large area of say water then I'm constantly adjusting focus and the last thing I would want is a stiff notchy focus.

The guy at the camera/binocular shop who make this comment is responsible for dealing with all returns. I've borrowed other birder's binoculars from time to time and they have all been stiffer and less smooth than my Canon binoculars which I have to say were lovely and a joy to use hour after hour. I've had many years of constant camera focusing and I expect a smooth easy action throughout the range of focus.

Cheers

Richard
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Old Monday 4th September 2017, 20:37   #6
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...... I've had many years of constant camera focusing and I expect a smooth easy action throughout the range of focus.

Cheers

Richard
I think that same expectation is also reasonable for the Canon 10X42 L IS. I just checked mine again and it is smooth in both directions of full travel with no stickiness.

After thinking about your prior comment where the store says their second unit is notchy, it appears to be defective and they should take it on their own to return it to Canon rather than leaving it for sale to an unsuspecting customer.
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Old Monday 4th September 2017, 21:22   #7
John Frink
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The supplier tell me that some people like a notchy stiffer focus control and seem a bit surprised that I like it smooth and light. What are the thoughts of members on this issue please?
Richard,

My thoughts are: 1) your 10x42 L unfortunately is defective, and 2) your supplier is defective as well. I recommend replacing both.

The focus action on my 10x42 L is smooth as silk, by the way. Lovely view. Big and clunky, but a lovely view nonetheless.

Cheers,

John
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Old Monday 4th September 2017, 22:43   #8
Richken
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I think that same expectation is also reasonable for the Canon 10X42 L IS. I just checked mine again and it is smooth in both directions of full travel with no stickiness.

After thinking about your prior comment where the store says their second unit is notchy, it appears to be defective and they should take it on their own to return it to Canon rather than leaving it for sale to an unsuspecting customer.
Dear Bruce

Thanks for your comments. When I say notchy it was a jerkyness such as you would feel if there were soft click stops set at an unevenly spaced number of degrees. This together with stiffness spoiled the relaxed enjoyment of the binoculars for me. I felt the need to use two fingers when focusing. Hope that gives you a better feel of what I was experiencing.

What is especially odd to me was that on the day before the focusing locked solid I had the binoculars on a chair next to my computer and every so often through the day I lifted them up and used the focus and quite often the operation changed from the faulty state to beautifully smooth and light and back and forth.

All very concerning from an expensive flag ship product,

Cheers

Richard
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Old Monday 4th September 2017, 22:46   #9
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Richard,

My thoughts are: 1) your 10x42 L unfortunately is defective, and 2) your supplier is defective as well. I recommend replacing both.

The focus action on my 10x42 L is smooth as silk, by the way. Lovely view. Big and clunky, but a lovely view nonetheless.

Cheers,

John
Dear John

Sadly I have to agree with you.

Cheers Richard
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Old Tuesday 5th September 2017, 05:35   #10
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Dear Bruce

Thanks for your comments. When I say notchy it was a jerkyness such as you would feel if there were soft click stops set at an unevenly spaced number of degrees. This together with stiffness spoiled the relaxed enjoyment of the binoculars for me. I felt the need to use two fingers when focusing. Hope that gives you a better feel of what I was experiencing.
..............
Cheers

Richard
Richard ...... I believe I have a good idea of what you are experiencing as I have seen it in other binoculars, the most notable being Swaro EL units up until the last couple of years, which are much better now. It was a result of the design and manufacturing process in that case. I don't recall anyone preferring it, but many are able to ignore it. Your case appears to be a defect in your particular unit with even more serious issues of the focus locking up.

I think John Frink's post is spot on. I hope you can get a good one because when all works as intended (which usually seems to be the case), it is a most excellent viewing experience. Sorry you got one of the few with issues and are now having difficulties getting it resolved. Thanks for keeping us updated.
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Old Tuesday 5th September 2017, 21:59   #11
Richken
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Richard ...... I believe I have a good idea of what you are experiencing as I have seen it in other binoculars, the most notable being Swaro EL units up until the last couple of years, which are much better now. It was a result of the design and manufacturing process in that case. I don't recall anyone preferring it, but many are able to ignore it. Your case appears to be a defect in your particular unit with even more serious issues of the focus locking up.

I think John Frink's post is spot on. I hope you can get a good one because when all works as intended (which usually seems to be the case), it is a most excellent viewing experience. Sorry you got one of the few with issues and are now having difficulties getting it resolved. Thanks for keeping us updated.
Dear Bruce

Thanks for your posting. You will recall that when I received my first pair I was rather phased by the level of CA but everything else was really good. Then the replacement pair came along and the CA was a bit less and I just accepted the situation.

The IS and the focusing was fantastic and I was able to enjoy several months of pure watching pleasure then WHAM the focus suddenly went wrong. This was from putting the binoculars away from one outing to the next occasion I went out. It's been downhill since then. So disappointing as everyone here will fully understand.

I'm not going to rest until the situation is resolved you can be sure of that<VBG>

All the best

Richard
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Old Sunday 17th September 2017, 23:03   #12
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Quick update. The binoculars have been returned by Canon to the shop having had a replacement IS unit installed. I've told them what I have previously told them that I'm not prepared to accept them back and to their credit they have offered me a refund or they will get another pair into stock in the hope that the focusing will be light and smooth unlike the pair they already have in stock. They said that they could only do one additional pair.

Over the weekend I have been wondering if it might be better to have accepted it back as they had very nice focusing after it had feed up. I was thinking of accepting them provided they gave me a really long guarantee on them. I'm aware that one or two people here have a poor impression of Canon service centers so because of this perhaps I should stick to not having it back. Any thoughts guys? Cheers, Richard
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Old Sunday 17th September 2017, 23:16   #13
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The Canon service centre in Elstree was very good, efficient and seemed to have competent technicians.
But our good experience may not be the same as others. I don't know.

It is partly down to luck.

Some intermittent faults as with cars can be difficult to trace.

Our warranty was extended by 6 months, but with your binocular that may not mean anything.

It really is your call as to what you want to do.
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Old Monday 18th September 2017, 20:03   #14
Richken
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The Canon service centre in Elstree was very good, efficient and seemed to have competent technicians.
But our good experience may not be the same as others. I don't know.

It is partly down to luck.

Some intermittent faults as with cars can be difficult to trace.

Our warranty was extended by 6 months, but with your binocular that may not mean anything.

It really is your call as to what you want to do.
Thanks Binastro. I think I will just wait and hope that the new pair is fine and if not reconsider what to do. Missing not have them!

Cheers, Richard
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Old Sunday 24th September 2017, 17:01   #15
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Well guys some good news! The brand new binoculars arrived on Friday and thankfully they seem to be fine. The IS is working well and the focusing is light and smooth, and CA is acceptable. I had a very pleasant couple of hours out with them yesterday afternoon so I'm a happy chap.

My thanks to everyone here who has give me their support these past months. Very much appreciated. Richard
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Old Sunday 24th September 2017, 17:42   #16
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Hi Richard,
Good news indeed.
Maybe use away from the beach.

I think there is a very dark area on the island where rockets used to be tested.
I don't know if it is accessible to all.
Possibly the local astro society use it.

I used to travel to the island by hovercraft from Southsea? beach. 1960s or 1970s. I stayed in a local hotel.
I got a classic Zeiss from that area where the eyepieces were nearly opaque from incorrect cleaning. Probably with sand and an old hankie.
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Old Monday 25th September 2017, 22:54   #17
Richken
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Hi Richard,
Good news indeed.
Maybe use away from the beach.

I think there is a very dark area on the island where rockets used to be tested.
I don't know if it is accessible to all.
Possibly the local astro society use it.

I used to travel to the island by hovercraft from Southsea? beach. 1960s or 1970s. I stayed in a local hotel.
I got a classic Zeiss from that area where the eyepieces were nearly opaque from incorrect cleaning. Probably with sand and an old hankie.
Dear Binastro

Yes it is a big relief to have it sorted.

I think the rocket testing site was up near the Needles. Not heard the site mentioned at the astronomical society at the meetings. Their observatory is situated quite a bit inland. I joined the society some months ago. A friendly bunch.

The hovercraft still use the Southsea site. If you ever plan of coming across please let me know as it would be good to meet up.

Cheers

Richard
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Old Monday 25th September 2017, 23:33   #18
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Hi Richard,
I didn't realise that the hovercraft service is the world's oldest, 52 years and still going.
One hovercraft holds world records for service and in salt water and poor conditions.

I started to use it right at the beginning.

Also the cross channel hovercraft before the tunnel.

Good birdwatching with the Canon 10x42 L IS.
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Old Tuesday 26th September 2017, 23:26   #19
Richken
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Hi Richard,
I didn't realise that the hovercraft service is the world's oldest, 52 years and still going.
One hovercraft holds world records for service and in salt water and poor conditions.

I started to use it right at the beginning.

Also the cross channel hovercraft before the tunnel.

Good birdwatching with the Canon 10x42 L IS.
Dear Binastro

Some months ago I took a cheap day return trip from Ryde to Seaview (Portsmouth) and was very disappointed as it was so noisy and rough. It was one of the older craft, then a few weeks ago I took advantage of another cheap trip but this time the latest craft was running and it was so different. Not noisy and it was quite smooth.

Last week I along with my neighbours went on the paddle steamer Waverley from Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight to Portsmouth and it was amazingly smooth and hardly any noise. The trip was meant to be around the island so a bit of a disappointment.

No birds of note to report!

Cheers Richard

Last edited by Richken : Tuesday 26th September 2017 at 23:29.
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