Warning: Schneider LS lenses are not suited for serious use.

Discussions regarding Phase One 645 DF / DF+ and Mamiya 645 DF / DF+
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Warning: Schneider LS lenses are not suited for serious use.

Postby David Cohen de Lara » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:44 am

Either I am just really, really unlucky or Schneider-Kreuznach LS lenses are really just cheaply made pieces of sub-amateur quality rubbish.

About a year ago I bought a trio of LS lenses: 55mm, 80mm, and 110mm. Over the course of the past year, each single one of these lenses has at some point locked up completely and needed to be sent back to Phase One for servicing. The 110mm has even had this happen twice already. Each time it happened during the middle of a shoot, and each time the lens became completely unusable for no apparent reason.

I don't even shoot that much. On average I do 1.5 shoots per week, and often I'm using borrowed or rented gear because something is always in repair. My 55mm held out the longest because I hardly ever used it as I have a 45mm Phase One lens that I prefer. I've only used the 55mm briefly a few times but yesterday I pulled it out and within 60 shots it locked up: viewfinder blacked out, blades in the lens clearly stuck. That is a $4500 lens and it didn't even last for a few days of shooting. It's an absolute joke.

I really don't know what to do anymore. I've already purchased a brand new backup 645DF+ body because the one I had kept going wrong. I got a backup brand new 80mm LS in the same package. My 45mm is the backup for my 55mm, but I haven't yet bought a backup for my 110mm. That would be another $4500 to get a second copy of a crappy lens that has gone wrong TWICE already.

I feel like a total schmuck: the only solution I have for dealing with such unreliable gear is to buy extra copies of that same unreliable, sub-amateur quality gear. My warranty on everything but my back is about to expire so from that moment on I know I will be faced with hundreds of euros of repair bills every month for the handful of shoots that I do... How do other people deal with this?
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Re: Warning: Schneider LS lenses are not suited for serious use.

Postby dbrouse » Sat Dec 14, 2013 1:37 pm

If you don't have faith in the gear you should purchase something else. Also, if you document your issues you should speak to your local rep and see if anything can be done.

My backup is a less expensive Nikon d800. I'm not sure if that is an option for your specific situation. I know it's not the same.
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Re: Warning: Schneider LS lenses are not suited for serious use.

Postby David Cohen de Lara » Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:01 pm

I do not have faith in my gear, that's why I have backups. I have two bodies, two wide angles, two 80mm lenses. So far I only have one digital back (IQ160) and one long-ish (110mm) lens. Until I have backups for those, I bring a full D800 set on every shoot.

Having backups is normal. Even Nikon shooters have backups. But the difference is that a Nikon shooter might actually use their backup once every few years if they shoot a lot. I shot Nikon for 6 years without a single problem that couldn't be solved by a power cycle. With Phase One, I can't go more than 5 or 6 days of shooting without having to use a backup of one thing or another.

I bought my Phase One gear as a kit with three lenses a year ago. So far, every single item except the back has spontaneously and completely crapped out on me during a shoot at least once, and half the items have failed twice or more. And when I say the back hasn't failed me, that's only half true; I've had 'Error DB' errors ruin commercial shoots but my rep insisted that was a 'communication error' so they didn't have to send me any thing under the Value Added warranty program I paid for.
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Re: Warning: Schneider LS lenses are not suited for serious use.

Postby David Cohen de Lara » Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:15 pm

As a further word of warning:
Phase One lenses at least get a three year warranty. With Schneider-Kreuznach lenses, you only get ONE year, or 100.000 shutter actuations, which ever comes first. That should tell you how little confidence they have in the reliability and durability of their own products.
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Re: Warning: Schneider LS lenses are not suited for serious use.

Postby Ulf » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:57 pm

Hi David

I do not know your specifics but wanted to comment on the last post you made.

1 year / 100k warranty is more or less a industry standard.

Hasselblad H
http://www.hasselbladusa.com/service--s ... ranty.aspx

Alpa lenses
http://www.alpa.ch/dms/downloads/manual ... rranty.pdf

And Leica S does 100k on their shutters as well despite it not being a full frame medium format

We simply adhere to the Industry Standard for all other comparable hardware.
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Re: Warning: Schneider LS lenses are not suited for serious use.

Postby NN159009UL4 » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:41 pm

I am I missing something? The link you provided as well as my own Alpa documents reference a 36 month warranty.
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Re: Warning: Schneider LS lenses are not suited for serious use.

Postby dbrouse » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:16 am

It's says that lenses are 12 months
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Re: Warning: Schneider LS lenses are not suited for serious use.

Postby David Cohen de Lara » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:46 am

Thanks for putting that in perspective Ulf. Knowing that life sucks for Hasselblad users too makes me feel a lot better.

I still find it telling that Phase One seem to have 3x more confidence in Phase One lenses than they do in the generally more expensive Schneider-Kreuznach ones. Is that because leaf shutters are just more prone to failure?

Also, why are Schneider-Kreuznach LS lenses not subject to the EU-wide legal minimum two-year warranty as stated in EU consumer laws?

And one last question: after my warranty ends, how much will those stuck leaf shutter repairs cost me? I want to know how much money I'll need to spend every 6-8 weeks to keep these three lenses (plus backups) in working condition.
Last edited by David Cohen de Lara on Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Warning: Schneider LS lenses are not suited for serious use.

Postby Ulf » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:57 pm

Hi

The Phase One lenses have no shutters, in other words there is no part that will wear out.
We could do 3 years warranty and exclude the shutter but this would not make sense.

But to swing around to the actual issue at place.
I do not know the details of your specific case.
Your dealer should be the one to assist you.
We at Phase One will always be there for you as well if needed.
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Re: Warning: Schneider LS lenses are not suited for serious use.

Postby David Cohen de Lara » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:24 pm

Ulf wrote:The Phase One lenses have no shutters, in other words there is no part that will wear out.
We could do 3 years warranty and exclude the shutter but this would not make sense.


So what you're saying is that because of the leaf shutter, these €4000 lenses cannot be expected to last more than twelve months before breaking down? That is certainly consistent with my experiences but still, wow. I wish someone would have told me that before I bought them.

But still, the fact that Schneider LS lenses are inherently prone to breaking down still doesn't explain why they are not subject to the EU-wide legal minimum two-year warranty as stated in EU consumer laws. Could you shed some light on that?

Ulf wrote:I do not know the details of your specific case.


It's very simple. I bought three of these lenses (55/80/110), and they all spontaneously broke down (stuck shutters) within months if not weeks of each other. I got all of them repaired under warranty, but the 110mm broke down again two weeks later.

If you don't mind, I have two more questions about repairs. First, how much do these shutter repairs cost when they are not under warranty? Second, is there any sort of warranty on a repair? Say if I pay for a repair and the same lens breaks down again within a month will I then have to pay for the second repair as well?
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Re: Warning: Schneider LS lenses are not suited for serious use.

Postby Ulf » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:35 am

Hi David

There is customers who put 100k on the shutter in a couple of months and service will be required.
Customer that does this knows this and will send the part in for service with in this time frame.
I am sure that your car has a warranty which is based upon time and the amount of kilometers you drive.

We sell across the world and mostly business to business where consumer laws does not apply.
We have not problem applying 2 years but it is all based upon manufacturing flaws and not on serviceable parts which wears out.


There is more to this case then you the two lines you write, please contact and clear it with dealer alt. contact us directly.
will close this thread here.

If your lens or camera has not preformed to specification then of course we will find a suitable solution.
However if it has performed to specification then service is required.

From what you state below it seems it has not but we have to of course investigate the details.

This is a user to user forum so lets close this one here.
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Re: Warning: Schneider LS lenses are not suited for serious use.

Postby David Cohen de Lara » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:51 pm

Ulf wrote:please contact and clear it with dealer alt. contact us directly.


I see my dealer at least once a month because of these issues so I think it's safe to say he knows about the situation. I have sent an email through your contact form on the website and I will place a call to follow up. I certainly hope we can come to some sort of solution, which from my perspective needs to involve replacing some of the gear that keeps failing with gear that I can use to do my job.

Thanks for your help,

David
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Re: Warning: Schneider LS lenses are not suited for serious use.

Postby HASSAN4 » Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:03 pm

I am new to the phase one cameras but have used the DB on all my V system Hasselblads. Needless to say, I have had an excellent results from using V bodies with P+ backs. However, using my Phaseone and 80mm schnider lens is by far disappointing as the back is so superior to the quality of this lens. One solution I may suggest to you is to try using a Zeiss v system lens on your 645 DF. Yes, there are limitations unfortunately, but this is what it is now with this system.
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Re: Warning: Schneider LS lenses are not suited for serious use.

Postby vreeke » Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:57 pm

Simple solution just do not use LS lenses you almost never ( only with flash) use LS and the Phase One glas is just good.
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Re: Warning: Schneider LS lenses are not suited for serious use.

Postby NN635506188296647066UL » Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:37 pm

My suggestion is similar to the above.

Just turn off the Leaf Shutter until you absolutely need it, and use the DF Body's focal plane shutter instead.

There's zero purpose to using the Leaf Shutter unless you're shooting fast moving subjects with flashes. If you're shooting everything with the Leaf Shutter then you're unnecessarily wearing it down faster, and it will eventually break faster.

If the only shoots you do are fast moving subjects with flash, then sorry you're kinda stuck.

Leaf Shutters are complex parts, not durable, and are expensive, for any camera system. Unfortunately it's the only option we have and we have to live with it.
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