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Canon Confirms Issues With Lenses

David Gilbert by

Canon Confirms Issues With Lenses

Following a number of complaints from customers, Canon has released a statement to confirm that certain DSLR users are having problems with certain Canon and Tamron EF lenses.

The problem sees users having limited function in the other auto focus points when the lenses are used with Canon DSLRs - EOS 7D, EOS 60D, EOS 50D and EOS 40D. The problem relates to the cameras peripheral AF points, which are cross types (horizontal and vertical sensors) and should therefore work together to produce more accurate results, but in this case are working separately and thus causing problems.

Canon’s German site confirmed (translated from German): “When using one of the eight telephoto lenses, the measurement fields work in the border area is not as cross-spot sizes, resulting in vertical and horizontal lines that are detected simultaneously. Vertical and horizontal lines are detected only separately.”

Explaining further the cause of the problem (again translated from German), Canon said: “This is due to the optical properties of the AF sensor and lens of the camera. If the maximum aperture value of EF lenses and EF-S lenses, is to 1:5.6, all measuring fields function as cross-field measurement, and vertical and horizontal lines are detected simultaneously.”

The lenses affected by the problem are: EF 35-80mm 1:4-5.6, EF 35-80mm 1:4-5.6 II, EF 35-80mm 1:4-5.6 III, EF 35-80mm 1:4-5.6 USM, EF 35-105mm 1:4-5.6, EF 35-105mm 1:4-5.6 USM, EF 80-200mm 1:4.5-5.6 II and EF 80-200mm 1:4.5-5.6 USM. Tamron has not confirmed the issues with its lenses, but Canon Rumours suggest the problems lie with the following models: 17-50 f/2.8 VC, 60 f/2 Macro, 70-200 f/2.8 and 10-24 f/3.5-4.5.

Canon also apologised “that this notice is not in the user manual of the respective cameras is displayed.” Have you had any problems with these lenses? If so, let us know in the comments.

Go to comments


February 25, 2011, 10:01 pm

Ohh..interesting. I was about to purchase a 7D. Might hold off for a while then.

Are Canon going to issue a firmware update or is this a hardware fault?


February 25, 2011, 10:04 pm

Oh dear. That's a bit awkward. Am I right in saying this is a hardware issue and can't really be resolved with a firmware update?

Elie Boujaoude

February 26, 2011, 12:21 am

Canon lenses mentioned in this article are quite old & will not affect any new user who doesn't own one of them. I have owned the 7D as well as all the earlier EOS cameras with a wide range of zoom lenses and never had any focusing problem.


February 26, 2011, 4:23 pm

Oh, good job it only affects older lenses...

*glances at his 30 year old Pentax-M 50mm f1.7 attached to his 2 year old Pentax K-x*


February 26, 2011, 10:46 pm

From what I gathered from the translation the problem doesn't affect "older lenses" in general, so much as a specific set of old lenses at certain apertures. That's no reason to hold off purchase unless you have one of those specific lenses. I only ever experienced focus problems on my 7D with the 10-20mm and 30mm f1.4 Sigma lenses, which are apparently susceptible to problems on any system.


February 26, 2011, 10:58 pm

*Also glances at the slightly more youthful Minolta 35-70 (That still has a good chance of being older than I am) attached to an A100*


February 27, 2011, 11:21 am

Indeed, the fact that their older EF lenses work on their range of D-SLRs is one of the reasons I upgraded from a 500n to a 450d. I should imagine many other people chose a Canon D-SLR so that their lenses will not become obsolete. It really is a problem!

Stefan Dumitrache

August 16, 2013, 11:12 pm

Anybody knows why a lens stays open for longer than expected? I push the button to take the photo, the shutter opens, but it doesn't close unless I push the button again, or move the lens around, or some random stuff I can't really identify. Is like it takes a long exposure. Changing the shooting mode seems to fix the problem. Is a film camera, btw, and it behaves as if the battery is low, but it is not.


December 30, 2013, 1:36 am

Canon EOS 40D. EOS lens 25mm-105mm zoom USM. Auto focus inoperative; has had only moderate use. On manual focus shutter release provokes a msg " . . . clean contacts". Other lenes work as advertised. Have been told this is prevalent. Pity, as the lens cost near $1500

Greg Tuckwell

May 27, 2014, 3:21 am

Did you get this resolved? I am getting the same message using a Tamron lens on my canon 7D. All my other lenses work fine. this one takes the photo but then seems to get stuck and I get the message

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