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04-23-2012, 05:27 AM   #1
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How long a life does a zoom lens have?

I have a 200mm zoom lens that is about 3-4 years old. A couple of weeks ago the auto focus went faulty when using the lens at full zoom. I took it to my local Jessops and they said that 'well it is at least three years old' as if this was a normal life of a Pentax lens. He also said it would be too expensive to repair. Is this normal that we have to replace our lenses so frequently? In the good old days of film, my 20 year + lenses worked fine (and still do!)

04-23-2012, 05:44 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I presume you're talking about a Pentax lens?

You'll find here in the UK that the presumption is that goods will last up to 6 years. Go back to your original retailer and see what they have to say about it. Consumers in the UK have the statutory right to expect products which are of “satisfactory quality and fit for purpose”. It enables us to request a repair, replacement or even a refund at any time, bearing in mind the price you have paid and the expected lifetime of the product. In many cases, this may be longer than two years and could be anything up to six.

What tends to confuse consumers and allow traders to wriggle out of their legal obligations under Sale of Goods, is the mention of guarantees or warranties (essentially the same thing). How many of us are under the impression that once a product is ‘out of warranty’, the retailer or supplier is no longer responsible? Wrong. Your statutory rights under Sale of Goods mean you may still be entitled to a repair, replacement or a refund long after the warranty has expired.

Your lens should last more than 3-4 years if used properly and carefully.

As to repairs, if you're left holding the baby so to speak, get in touch with Johnsons Photopia the official UK repairer.

Last edited by JohnX; 04-23-2012 at 05:53 AM.
04-23-2012, 06:18 AM   #3
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No, an AF lens shouldn't crap out after 3-4 years. My FA100-300 (silver) and F35-70 are what, about twenty years old? And they functions perfectly. So do mass-market Promaster-Tamron and Quantaray-Sigma AF zooms of the same vintage, maybe older. Unless a modern lens has been badly built or terribly abused, it should last a LONG time. Tamron hints at this with their seven-year warranty.
04-23-2012, 07:25 AM   #4
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

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like RioRico I have AF zoom lenses dating back to the early 1990's which still work. SOme lenses, like my Sigma 70-200F2.8 which i bought in december 2003 with my *istD get almost daily use, and have been very heavily used over the past 10 years, with no issue. I believe the expectation is lenses should outlast cameras.


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