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Thread: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

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    Default Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    I was shooting in San Diego yesterday with my new E-3/12-60 combo. Very nice camera and lens indeed. I think I am already used to the camera (learning curve wasn't bad).

    However, I was in the Santa Fe train station shooting indoor and waiting for my returning train to Orange County. I zoomed out to shoot the logo at the far wall of the train station. I had ISO 800 set and in Aperture mode. The camera/lens would not focus on the logo. In addition to that, the lens was making this "ta ta ta ta ta" sound as it tried to focus, but it appeared to be stuck at the closest focal length. I was able to fix it by manually turning the focus ring back to the middle of the focal length. I tried the same shot again, it did it again, and I fixed it by doing the same thing again. Then I went outside the station to shoot around to check if the camera/lens combo was broken or not, but it never did it again.

    I need to shoot more to see if I can repeat this behavior, and I wanted to know if any one of you have the same thing happened to you. If this was discussed before, I apologize for posting it again (please be kind enough to guide me to the right post).

    P.S. Camera and lens firmware are both at 1.1

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    Was the logo or anything it was mounted on comprised of repeating patterns or parrallel lines?

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    Was the logo or anything it was mounted on comprised of repeating patterns or parrallel lines?
    It didn't appear to be so, but I see what you are getting at. I did read in the earlier days of E3/1260 having problem focusing repeating patterns. But I thought that was fixed with the newest firmware?

    I'll double check the image again (I did manage to take some images at a closer distance) tonight when I get home.

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    Another thing to check is to make sure your 12-60 is not one of the ones that Olympus has advised owners to send in for service.

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by de2000 View Post
    It didn't appear to be so, but I see what you are getting at. I did read in the earlier days of E3/1260 having problem focusing repeating patterns. But I thought that was fixed with the newest firmware?
    It isn't. There's a building in downtown Seattle that I can point the E-3 at and the lens will rack back and forth until the battery runs out. There's a steel grate on 3rd Avenue downtown that will trigger the same behavior. This is with the camera set to S-AF not C-AF. I was surprised because under S-AF I expected to camera to rack back and forth once and stop.

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    I also experience this focusing back and forth (ta ta ta ta) behavior on my 12-60 and E-3. Actually I also get it on my 50-200. Rare but does happen once in a blue moon.

    I do not think this is a electronic or mechanical fault. This is just a reminder AF systems, no matter how advanced, can get confused. I would try AF again, another AF target or MF in such situations.
    Leon . . travelfotolog E-3 HLD-4 GS-3 . E-420 . E-420i . E-330 . E-1 FS-2 SHLD-2 GS-2 . 9-18 . 12-60 x2 . 14-42 . 14-50 Vario-Elmarit . 25 Summilux . 25 Pancake LH-43 . ED 40-150 . 50 . 50-200 SWD x2 . EC-14 . EC-20 . EX-25 . FL-50R x2 . FL-36R x2 . FL-BKM03 . RM-1 . RM-CB1 x2 . RM-UC1 x2 . AC-1 x2 . B+W MRC KSM. COLORMUNKI . ENELOOP . FEISOL . LENSPEN . LEXAR UDMA . LOWEPRO . MARUMI Super DHG . NEXTODI . PROSTRAP . UPSTRAP

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    Its a SWD failure due to a skiding metal ring, send it to Olympus for repair.

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by Johannes View Post
    Its a SWD failure due to a skiding metal ring, send it to Olympus for repair.
    Is this a known deal? Seems like several have this same phenomenon...?

    I figure it had to be 12-60 lens related, because nobody has said that it occurs with a 14-54....

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by 4/3_Pickles View Post
    Is this a known deal? Seems like several have this same phenomenon...?

    I figure it had to be 12-60 lens related, because nobody has said that it occurs with a 14-54....
    Known issue on 12-60mm SWD. not on 14-54mm

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    The SWD skiding problem is due to the machining lubricant of the drive ring (metal) is not cleaned properly. It will skid from time to time especially at sudden change of temperature, may not be consistent.

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by Johannes View Post
    The SWD skiding problem is due to the machining lubricant of the drive ring (metal) is not cleaned properly. It will skid from time to time especially at sudden change of temperature, may not be consistent.
    Wow, so was this an "official" notice from Olympus for some of the 12-60 lenses?

    Also how would you find out if my lens is "one of those" that Olympus wanted to fix?

    This behavior did not happen again for the rest of the trip, an additional 20 or 30 shots or so. I'll have to play with more. If this indeed is a problem lens, then I'll have to drive to the service center really soon.

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    Thank you so much. Will check the serial number and basically take it to the repair center very soon (I have a shoot this Friday).

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    What me wonders is that no one tried to change the focus point from its present state to something else. Also you can swing a little on the subject to see if it will lock and if so keep that by holding that with ael. Or do I say strange things here?

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    I did swing away from the logo and tried to focus on something a little closer, and it did that ok.

    Regardless of the behavior, the way it sounded just didn't sound right.

    I called Olympus repair. They told me the turn around time is 48 hours after I drop off the lens. So, I think I'll drop it off tomorrow morning and better get it back by Thursday.

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    Wow, so was this an "official" notice from Olympus for some of the 12-60 lenses?
    The "known issue" only applies if your lens is in the serial number range where Olympus had a production problem. Otherwise it is a scare story. If you lens focused when you pointed it in another direction the focus trouble may just have been the result of the repeating pattern syndrome. This wasn't fixed in the firmware update because there is nothing to fix, it is just what happens to all DSLR's from time to time.

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    de2000, if you already heard the 'dak dak dak' noise from the lens barrel while it tends to focus, 99.9999% is the SWD drive unit skids, as you said when you rotate the focus ring it will works again, that is exactly the scenario of the faulty SWD drive unit. Send it to repair is the right choice, ask them if they are sure to return it to you before you need it on Friday, or ask them to lend you a lens.

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    Yes, when I rotated back the focus ring to mid focus range, the lens starts to work again. By the way, turning off the power did not help (that was the first thing I did when I had my first dak dak dak).

    I am going to the repair center tomorrow, a 30 minute drive for me, faster than UPS.

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by de2000 View Post
    30 minute drive for me, faster than UPS.
    Thats is good, then you can also check out if something new there, may be the E-420 and the 25mm f2.8, cheers

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    Interested to hear if the repair works... I've been extremely happy with this combo but have had an occasional weird/non focus issue... very small percentage of the time.

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    I will certainly update the outcome of this issue.

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    Interested to hear if the repair works... I've been extremely happy with this combo but have had an occasional weird/non focus issue... very small percentage of the time.
    The repair works perfectly if your lens is one of those in the serial number sequence.

    Mine was intermittent focus problems, and I never got the 'dak,dak,dak,' noise (so this is not a universal symptom). The main problem I had was that the lens would not wake up after turning it off for some time, and the focus ring needed turning to get it up and running. After it came back from repair it works perfectly, and focuses faster than it did before.

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    I just checked that my lens serial number is not within the range.

    Going to the repair center a little later today.

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    I just got back from the repair center. It won't be ready until Friday at 2 PM. Should it get done earlier, I'll get a call (which I doubt).

    So, according to them, the motor needs to be replaced. They don't have any lens to lend me (which officially they don't do anyway). I was a little ticked off, but they told me that most people just live with it until they have the time to get it repaired.

    Oh well. Since I didn't want to waste my drive there, I left the lens with them for repair.

    For my Friday, I am going to have to shoot with the 1454, or 1122/35100 combo. This 1260 is really nice at both ends. It really almost replaces those 3 lenses in terms of focal length for a small event.

    I'll update further when I know more.

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    Default Re: Strange E3/12-60 behavior

    A quick update.

    I just got a call from Olympus service telling me that my lens is ready to be picked up!

    Now I don't know if it is really fixed or not, but this certainly is faster than what was promised (like next day service). I think the showing of me not being too happy may have bumped up the schedule.

    I'll let you guys know further after I pick it up.

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