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Longevity of electronic lens elements? (Electronic EF lenses)

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    Longevity of electronic lens elements? (Electronic EF lenses)

    How long will the electronic components in an EF lens hold up? I have a set of Zeiss Milvus EF lenses, and they use electronic control for the aperture. I know the lenses will last forever, but I am worried about the shelf life of the aperture rings/electronic contact. Any insights as to whether or not the electronics will hold up for 20-30 years?

    I'm not worried about the world moving to mirrorless or the death of the EF mount. I appreciate being able to use adapters so I could change camera systems at will. However, I am worried if the electronic components won't last as long as the glass?


    #2
    Depends on how and how much you use them.

    I'm sure some people out there are just now hitting that 25-30 year mark with some of the first electronic lenses from the late 80s, early 90s.

    Maybe learn some models and see if you can find any for sale and learn if those still work.

    Other than that, it's impossible to know.

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      #3
      There's no way to truly know. There may be some anecdotal stories out there. But a number of people telling you their lens failed doesn't tell you how many million people that had lenses that didn't fail.

      The lens makers know, but that's not data that is likely to be published. I did find one security camera maker that estimates their lens motor to last 500,000 cycles (the motor is the weakest link in the electronics) and the camera to last 300,000 hours (82 years at 10 hours x 365).
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        #4
        This is helpful, thank you. I’ve found reports of multiple people with EF lenses from the late 80s and early 90s saying theirs still work like new. I don’t run my lenses anywhere close to 24/7, so it sounds like they should last my career... if I even opt to keep using them that long!

        If David Jones is still around, I’ll bet he could speak to his experience with his 70 lenses over the years!

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          #5
          Personally Im in the down department. Plastic cogs on focus motors can and do fail. Connectors oxidisee up.

          Not to mention just falling apart.

          Im particularly talking 24-105 and most zoom lenses that 'trombone' thats not 16-35, 24-70 or 70-200
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            #6
            Electronic connectors are very simple, solid-state components in most cases. It's far more likely that you'll have issues with the mechanical components controlling the iris (or the iris blades themselves), before you'll have issue with the electronics.
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