Folks, here is an update:
Purchased the Canon 1DS Mk II, a 16-35L and 70-200L lens middle of November, 2006 from Calumet. Bought the 24TSE from B&H middle of Feb. 2007.
Been dealing with health issues and only 3 weekends ago was I able to get out to run some test on the 16-35 and the 24 TSE Lenses.
B&H was excellent and allowed return of the 24TSE - I sent them a CD with the RAW files on it indicating the poor quality of the lens. No problem with them, they were great, professional.
Called Canon this past Thursday, General Office, and defined the problem for them on the 16-35 L. They said that I'd have to work with the dealer. I expressed that it was not the dealer that produced the problem, but Canon, and I felt they should be the ones to resolve the issue with an exchange. They again said NO.
Call Calumet and defined the problems. They promptly offered to exchange the lens for the new 16-35L II when it is available! Just asked that I return defective lens and all packaging and they would deal with Canon. Said they've had a lot of issues with Canon and just because I bought an L class lens does not mean Canon lived up to what a buyer would expect.
In short, I found both dealers excellent to work with, but totally disgusted with Canon and their attitude. They didn't even offer an apology for the inconvenience they have caused me!
Never again will I purchase from Canon.
Jack, this fits within the parameters of what I described and suggested in my previous post.
As well, normally retailers can't be expected to accept return merchandise for full refund or replacement once you've had it longer than 30 days, but given your exceptional circumstances and the fact all you did was test it since you bought it, sounds to me as if Calumet could have been more forthcoming. As difficult as Canon may be, Calumet would have more clout dealing with them than would you. Obviously they don't want the hassle.
It really is essential to buy lenses from retailers who give you easy return and exchange privileges because fighting with Canon and their standards is a waste of time. I've been there, done that, with a 17~40 L which is "OK" but not the best an L can be. The chap at Canon was very friendly and forthright with me about how their policy works, but they didn't yield an inch, and at the time it wasn't logically possible for me to deal with returns and exchanges through retail. So henceforth, forewarned if fore-armed.