CPS, TF Camera Repair, and the Canon Factory Service Center

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As it turns out, CPS is well worth the investment should you ever damage your equipment. But in the interim, here’s a tip: Don’t try to balance your iPhone between your head and shoulders while securing your camera to your tripod. Better yet, don’t talk on your phone at all when using camera gear.

My day came to quick and unfortunate end when both my 5D Mk III and attached 16-35mm f/2.8 II USM lens went shattering into pieces after making contact with the tile floor about 5.5 feet below. This self-inflicted accident happened around the end of last month, and my camera and lens are still out for repair.

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My 5D Mark III ($3,500.00) and Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM ($1,700.00) in pieces on the floor after falling 5.5 feet.

Turns on there are a number of different avenues to pursue a camera accident. Thankfully I haven’t had one in a long time, but now that I have, I can explain some of the options incase any of you encounter a camera boo-boo.

First there’s TF Camera Repair managed by a man named Toshio, who I believe is a former Canon repair technician. I was referred to him by a Dallas wedding photographer some time ago, but never got the opportunity to use him until now. I’ve heard nothing but great things about him. He provides you with a quote and offers a slight discount on repairing your items (compared to the Canon Factory Service Center estimates).

Secondly, there’s Canon Professional Services. I highly recommend becoming a member. Currently, they offer three tiers of membership: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each has its own advantages and ranges in price (Free for Silver, $100/yr for Gold, and $500/yr for Platinum). However, you have to have more than a big wallet to qualify for the Gold and Platinum memberships. For the highest level of membership, you have to be a professional photographer with a minimum of 50 CPS product points accrued by owning eligible CPS products. Gold requires 20 CPS product points, and Silver 10. CPS product points are earned each time you register your Canon product(s) on the CPS website. Once you have enough product points and enough cash to pay the annual fee, then you can become a member of that tier and earn the benefits.

In my case, Toshio quoted me $308 (parts and labor) for the repair of the 16-35mm f/2.8 II USM lens, but wasn’t able to provide a quote for the damage to the body because he didn’t have the tools necessary to repair it. Fortunately, Toshio’s shop is about 10 minutes away from the Canon Factory Service Center in NJ, and offered to drive the body over to Canon at no additional cost.

After Toshio quoted me the repair cost of the lens, I logged on Canon’s CPS website and found out I could become a Platinum member. The initial investment was steep ($500/yr), but at the Platinum level all repairs are 60% off, plus, you get free shipping to and from the Canon Factory Service Center, 6 free cleanings/yr, and a bunch of other benefits. Unfortunately, I paid $100 to ship and insure my gear to TF Camera Repair because I wasn’t a CPS member at the time, which sucks, but at least the return shipping of my equipment will be free.

Here’s a break down of the various quotes for my incident:

Non-CPS member mailed straight to Canon Factory Service Center in NJ:

  • Canon 5D Mark III: $279.00 (Labor) + $0 (Parts) = $279.00
  • Canon 16-35mm F/2.8L II USM: $269 (Labor) + $160 (Parts) = $429
  • Shipping to location: $102 (insured, shipping from TX via UPS) 7-10 business days
  • Shipping from location: $65 (approx) 7-10 business days
  • Total: $875

Mailed to Toshio @ TF Camera Repair in NJ:

  • Canon 5D Mark III: [Unable to be repaired by Toshio; Equipment needed for repair] Approx. repair cost: $215
  • Canon 16-35mm F/2.8L II USM: $308 (Parts & Labor)
  • Shipping to location: $102 (insured, shipping from TX via UPS) 7-10 business days
  • Shipping from location: $65 (approx) 7-10 business days
  • Total: $690

Canon CPS Repair, Platinum Membership (60% off parts and labor):

  • Canon 5D Mark III: $189.03 (Parts and Labor)
  • Canon 16-35mm F/2.8L II USM: $120.81 (Parts and Labor)
  • Shipping to location: Free, overnight
  • Shipping from location: Free, overnight
  • Total: $309.84 (+ a $500 annual fee and thousands of $$$ in Canon equipment to qualify for the Platinum Membership). 

For more information on Toshio at TF Camera Repair, check out some of the great reviews on Google through this link. Also listed is the phone number and address, should you need to contact him. Heads up! He’s a little difficult to understand, but very friendly. 

For more information on CPS, check out this link.

If you’re a Nikon or Sony user, click here. 😛

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