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To repair or not to repair ... (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
The battery cover of my Canon 12x36 IS III binoculars broke a few weeks ago. This made the image stabilization temporarily nonfunctional.

Since our local camera shop no longer does this kind of repair and I read online that Canon charges $250 for the repair, I decided to fix the problem myself by closing the battery door with the a piece of heavy-duty plastic tape (the duct-tape method) and voilá it worked fine again. I had no problem with the tape coming off, but I will need to scrape it off and reapply a new piece every couple of months or so when I change the batteries.

I also went ahead and bought a new pair of the same binoculars (I really like them).

However, my husband (also a birder) who really likes everything to be ship-shape and functional suggested that I still try to get the old ones repaired anyway.

So, I called Canon and asked them if it really cost $250 for the repair. Even after lots of wheedling they refused to give any estimate at all over the phone. I had to send them in to their official repair center and they would send me an estimate. So I did.

The estimate was $275, with a six month warranty on the repair work.

I am totally on the fence as to whether or not I should have the work done. The quote just seems outrageous to me, given that I can get the old bins functional again with duct tape and I now also have the new bins, which of course, are perfectly fine. But it just somehow feels wrong to “give up” and have them sent back. My lovely husband is not helping me decide. He is fine either way.

We can certainly afford the repair. I’m just not sure it’s the best use of our money and I hate feeling ripped off. But I don’t really like using duct tape and “giving up,” either.

What would you do?


Well-known member
BTW, the price for the new bins was about $680. So the repair would be between 1/3 and 1/2 the price of the new bins.


Old Berkshire Boy
Ditch your husband or swap for a roll of Gorilla tape.
Sadly, we as a race now live in a throwaway society with the planet described as a huge waste bin. If money is not a problem then buy a new pair and donate the old pair to a worthy cause, I'm sure they would be happy if all that was needed was some occasional tape. Everyone is then happier.
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Well-known member
I had the same problem with my Canon A720 IS compact camera.
After 175,000 individual photos the battery door compartment hinge wore out. I get about 400 shots from 2 Eneloop AAs.
If I put simple clear tape on the camera door it works fine.

But as secondhand A720 ISs cost about £30, I just bought other secondhand ones, which probably have a few thousand exposures on the clock.

The reason for the $275 that Canon quote is that they would probably internally clean and check and collimate the binocular, and it is a fixed rate repair.

So maybe buy another Canon 12x36IS Mk 3 and keep the damaged one for occasional use.
I always wondered whether a lead from the binocular to an external power pack would work.
The Fujinons do this in helicopters.

Get the Gorilla tape and keep the husband :)


Registered User
Sell or donate the 'old' pair to someone who has no beef with duct tape. I saw one one for sale on ebay recently with the same issue. On a local website here in Ireland, someone is selling a 10x42 in which the battery has leaked so the IS doesn't work. The price is very low but it would be a risk trying for a repair. If your binos work fine with duct-tape, they will bring much joy to someone.
I got a lovely pair of ex-demo 12x36 MkII recently, I like them so much I bought a 10x42 secondhand from the USA. (I had both years ago, dropped one and sold the other. My tastes have changed and now I think IS is important for my uses).


Well-known member
I would fix them and then sell them since you have already bought a replacement pair. Or, like Sancho says, gift them to someone who doesn't mind the duct tape.

Things like duct tape on binoculars may be annoying, but they really are 1st world problems. Some people even see well used and worn and self-repaired equipment as something to be proud of. Imagine that.


Well-known member
Sell the old pair for like $300 and tell the buyer about the issue + tape and $275 repair cost. I'm sure you'll find a buyer who cares more about the $ than the tape as long as the IS and optics are good.



Well-known member
I bought a Canon 12x36 IS III recently. It cost a bit over $600.00

I like it but I wouldn't want to bird with it exclusively. I find it awkward to manipulate the IS button after using it a while. If I decided to get another one I would want one with a lock down mechanism on the IS button. I definitely wouldn't pay 250 bucks to get the battery cover fixed.

So I think I will get me a role of Gorilla Tape to be on the safe side.:smoke:


Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
Instead of duct tape, use cloth gaffer tape. It sticks really well but it (generally) doesn't tear or leave residue, and the same piece can be re-used several times.



Staff member
Did Canon tell you precisely what the repair would consist of? If there is damage to the main housing, either at the 'hinge' or the 'catch' (that holds the cover closed) the repair might be not only a new cover but a complete new housing which could explain the repair quote.

Given that there is always a risk you might one day get caught out by rain and the taped-down cover might not be as weather-proof as an undamaged cover, leading to the possibility of water getting onto the electronics, I would pay for the repair.



Well-known member

The fact that the stabilisation is still working if you tape the cover closed would indicate that the electrical part of the battery system is ok and the only problem is the broken cover.

Battery covers for the 10x30 and the 12x36 in all series are available as spares. I have checked the cover measurements of my 10x30 mk1 and mk2 and 12x36 mk3 and they all appear to be identical. If you search on the US ebay.com site for "Canon 10x30 is battery cover" they are $47 plus postage from the uk, although they might well be available locally in the US. I think this is the same company that Canon UK directed me to for bino spares as they don't supply spares themselves However, that's the easy bit to replacing the cover yourself.

I have looked at replacing the cover by just unhooking it, but I don't think that it's possible. I have found a link on the internet that seems to confirm that, but it does give instructions on how to do it.


The instructions do indicate it is tricky to do, but given that it doesn't involve working on the optics or the electronics - apart from the battery connection, if I had the same problem I would have a go myself.

Having seen what is involved, you might be able to find a binocular or camera repairer who could do the job cheaper than Canon. Perhaps there are US members who could recommend someone.

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Well-known member
Stan and Melisande.
One would need to check that the part holding the battery cover is not damaged or worn.

With the Canon A720 IS camera, both parts were just worn out. But probably after 500 plus times opening and closing.

I doubt that a Canon binocular cover would have such frequent opening and closing.

I did note that on some Canon IS binoculars the battery comportment was too small for Eneloop Pros black, but O.K. for white Eneloops. Canon seem to have corrected these too small compartments.
Lithium AAs would probably last longer, but may not be advised for the Canon 12x36 IS Mk 3. Early Canon IS binoculars did not advise against lithium AAs, but some later ones said don't use lithium throwaway AAS in the instruction books.

With light use lithium AAS might last six months or longer and white Eneloops 3 months. So tape would be a good option.

The Fujinon has a separate battery pack, but takes 4 AAS and clips to the bottom of the binocular.



Well-known member
I'd have a hard time paying $275 to repair an older IS (w/6-mo warranty) when for roughly twice that amount I could get a brand new pair.


Well-known member

I'd be wary to shell out that much money to fix a cosmetical problem on some elder electronic device which indeed might fail in the near future and I would not bet that the 6 month is for anything else than the repair done.

So it would be either tape or I'd try to do diy, but the instructions did indeed read a bit tricky.



Well-known member
I have always used lithium in my 12x36II, been going for best part of 15yrs. The only issue I have is the rubber coating has started to go icky, but I am battling it with baby powder and armour all. Might have to scrape it all off and replace it with some alternative coating, by would prefer not to. I’d keep on with the duct tape, maybe 3D print a better looking bodge, but don’t see that cost being worth it.



Experienced observer
United States
Just tape it up. I have tried a recent Canon 10x32 IS binocular, I was not impressed with it in any way.
Good optics, poor ergos.


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