Canon Error Code 01 - Lens Fault

My Canon 10-22mm EF-S lens gave a lens communication "Error Code 01" yesterday afternoon (on my Canon 7D when I was about to shoot a still - shutter button would not activate/camera locked up). I looked it up and the Canon website said to carefully clean the gold plated lens and lens mount contacts (which all looked clean - but I gave them a clean with a lint free cloth anyway). No joy.

Tried removing the camera battery - but not some of the more extreme suggestions on the web like trying to clean the contacts with a pencil eraser...did n't fancy that as bits might end up in the camera! I did try taking 2 shots without the lens attached, then part mounting it, taking a shot then fully mounting it etc. - but still no joy.

Tried all my other Canon EF and EF-S lenses on the 7D and they all work fine/as expected.

Then a bit of web searching told me that it is a somewhat common error often discussed on photography forums. It seems that cleaning the lens contacts rarely works since it's often due to a fractured ribbon cable within the lens body itself. With zoom lenses, this ribbon needs to be flexible as it moves backwards & forwards depending on the iris block position within the lens body. However, with time the ribbon cable ages, becomes fragile and can then crack/break, making it impossible to change iris (F stop). So I put the lens on my C100 and, sure enough, iris adjustment seems to be impossible.

This was all new to me, but it seems Error Code 01 is a more common fault than I would have liked, even with L lenses (the Canon 24-105mm F4 L seems to get regularly mentioned as another lens that can suffer this failure - and a few others too).

My lens is about 6-7 years old. I have found a Canon certified repairer centre in Colchester that has some glowing customer testimonials. Rang them and their prices seem very reasonable so my lens is on its way to them as I type this. I should find out soon if I've diagnosed the fault correctly. Luckily, it did not happen on a client shoot and I am hoping I can get the lens repaired (or replaced with a new alternative) before I need it next - thankfully all my shoots in the next 10 days or so are interviews/need longer lenses.

UPDATE 19th May: Just had an email notification that my repaired lens is being shipped back to me via UPS so I should get it tomorrow. So about 10 day turn around time. Total cost of this episode is just under £200 (including VAT and all postage costs).