This lens is great, that lens is great, my copy is awesome, your copy sucked. This is usually the extent of our ability to find out about lens quality. We have to dig through reviews, forum posts, and rely heavily on the opinions and perceptions of people that we do not know. Wouldn’t it be easier to have hard data to look at in regards to how often a lens needs repair or how often is has problems? Well now we have just such a list, courtesy of Lens Rentals.
In a recent post on their blog Lens Rentals provided a detailed list of the top 19 lenses that they rent out which need repair more frequently than every 60 weeks. It is worth pointing out that since these are rental lenses they are likely very well used and most likely get much more use that one of these lenses owned by you or I at home. But still, the results are both surprising and expected.
You can see from the screen capture above that the list includes (expectedly) a lot of third-party and low budget lenses. These lenses are cheap for a reason, that is not to say they are not good lenses, but it is obvious that they are not meant for heavy use like rental service puts them through.
The other bit of information you can glean form this listing is that 70-200mm lenses are just more prone to needing repair than any lens range, regardless of the manufacturer. This is rather surprising because you look at these lenses made by Nikon or Canon and think that they are built like tanks and that they will last forever. In reality there is a lot of stuff jammed into those lenses and as such under heavy use something is bound to break and cause issues.
The blog post is a really interesting read; if you are interested in learning more about lens repairs and how the different companies do do for turn-around time I suggest you check it out.
Does this list surprise you? Let us know in a comment below.