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Thread: 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

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    Default 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

    Reference thread:
    http://www.fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/s...ad.php?t=22761

    Well, after shooting that 400 shots on Friday after the lens repair, I thought that the lens was ok now. Took the E-3/12-60 combo to Vegas this past weekend. It happened again!

    This time, I was outside under a strong afternoon sun, in between Luxor and Excalibur hotel. I pointed the combo at a tall dark building of the Luxor hotel, half pressed the shutter, the lens went OOF (but no continuous clicking, just OOF). I tried to refocus on something else lighter in color to see if the lens will come back into focus. Nope! Shut off the combo and turned it on again. Nope! Manually turned the focus ring to bring back the focus range to somewhere in the middle, the combo started to work again. I didn't dare to try to focus on that dark building again because I didn't know if that will damage the motor of the lens.

    The lens continued to work flawlessly after that. I shot night scenes along the Strip. I shot under really dark conditions in Rio Hotel. No problem. The combo worked flawlessly the next as well when I was at Hoover Dam.

    Soooo! What does this mean? It seems to me that this is now not a motor problem. I think this is more of a firmware issue between the lens and the camera.

    I don't know. Should this be part of a bug report?

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    Default Re: 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

    When you're confronted by one of these situations where the lens apparently won't do anything, does the focus confirm light come on?

    If the light does come on, it's more likely you've found a subject that confounds the AF system, rather than a hardware fault. The easiest way to confound the AF system is through the "repeating lines paradox", which all parallax based AF systems can encounter. The E-3, with extra broad AF points, can even be flummoxed by things like rows of building tiles or windows. Try immediately changing your target to something devoid of repeating detail and see if it then focuses and locks properly.

    As I understand the 12-60 recall, the problem will manifest in such a way that the body wishes to drive the lens to a new focus point, but due to insufficient friction in a clutch mechanism the lens' ring motor is unable to move the focusing group. The viewfinder AF light should not come on in this case, and you should be able to hear the sonic motor running, though the lens's focus point will either not shift, or will shift in fits and starts.

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    Default Re: 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

    Thanks acme, for a good description of the problem faced by the 12-60s in the recall.

    Quote Originally Posted by acme View Post
    As I understand the 12-60 recall, the problem will manifest in such a way that the body wishes to drive the lens to a new focus point, but due to insufficient friction in a clutch mechanism the lens' ring motor is unable to move the focusing group. The viewfinder AF light should not come on in this case, and you should be able to hear the sonic motor running, though the lens's focus point will either not shift, or will shift in fits and starts.
    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: 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

    This time, I was outside under a strong afternoon sun, in between Luxor and Excalibur hotel. I pointed the combo at a tall dark building of the Luxor hotel, half pressed the shutter, the lens went OOF (but no continuous clicking, just OOF). I tried to refocus on something else lighter in color to see if the lens will come back into focus.
    Well I wasn't there at the time, but I think it is what I suggested in the original post, repeating pattern syndrome, but somehow you got diverted into thinking the lens was at fault. The fact that Olympus automatically replaced a unit in the lens is no indication that it was faulty, it is just something they do to avoid lengthy lens testing.

    So you focus on a building, which presumably has windows (a.k.a. repeating pattern) and the lens is thrown way out of focus, so far out of focus that the light coming through the lens no longer has any subject definition or contrast, nothing for the AF to latch onto such as a detail or edge. So when you try to re-focus on something else nearby the lack of contrast and being so far OOF fools the AF, it has nothing to work with. Turn the focus ring and you bring something into clearer definition and the AF can get going again. Now the flaw, if there is one, in my argument would be that if you turn the camera off and on it would normally reset the lens to infinity, so the question is 'do you have the Lens Reset function switched OFF'?

    You will no doubt have the 'send it back to Olympus for another new drive motor' lobby advocating that course of action, but I'd suggest you do go and try again, it logically can't break anything on the camera that isn't already broken, and I suspect nothing is broken anyway. You should also note that other manufacturers warn of the repeating pattern syndrome in camera manuals, and in the Nikon D3 manual it warns specifically about focus problems when trying to photograph skyscrapers.

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    Default Re: 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    and the lens is thrown way out of focus, so far out of focus that the light coming through the lens no longer has any subject definition or contrast, nothing for the AF to latch onto such as a detail or edge. So when you try to re-focus on something else nearby the lack of contrast and being so far OOF fools the AF, it has nothing to work with. Turn the focus ring and you bring something into clearer definition and the AF can get going again.
    Don't be too forgiving here. In such a condition (where the AF sensor can't see anything to work with) normal behaviour is to do a full travel seek to see if any contrasty bits turn up. So, when he pulls away from the building (whose possibly repeating patterning is hypothetically causing an erroneous focus lock), and points the camera at his shoe, the camera should, given a few seconds, be able to find correct focus without any manual kick start or reset of the lens.

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    Default Re: 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

    and points the camera at his shoe,
    Sorry, I couldn't read the bit about focusing on his shoe on my PC,......so if this was the 'lighter in colour' object they could have been trainers then? Do you think the brand or size make a difference?

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    Default Re: 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

    250swb I think acme was simply referring to a hypothetical focus point (shoe).

    If de2000 does not have the body set to reset the lens upon shutoff it (the lens) might remain in a error or (crashed) mode and even though the camera is rebooted the lens is still in that state and wont wake up.
    I would be curious to know if removing the lens and rebooting the camera would in fact reset the whole focus circuit.
    I have had the same problem with the repeat pattern syndrom and that seemed to be the cure for me.
    David

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    Default Re: 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

    250swb I think acme was simply referring to a hypothetical focus point (shoe).
    Without any more information we are all making hypothetical points. I just wonder were making hypothetical points about hypothetical points gets us? I'll show you, 'acme, if his batteries were drained pointing the camera at his shoe wouldn't work'. I didn't need to say that, it wasn't important.

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    Default Re: 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

    Sorry guys, late reply.

    The lens reset was ON. So, by turning off and on the camera, the lens should have gone to infinity, but it did not.

    The building does have repeating patters, but they are much broader and wider patterns, not intricate patterns. So, I thought that it would work, but it didn't.

    The lens should have found it's way back when I focused on something else, but it didn't. So, it "crashed".

    I don't plan to send the lens back yet, but it really starts to look like a deficiency in the system. I don't know if there will be a fix for it though.

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    Default Re: 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

    Quote Originally Posted by de2000 View Post
    The building does have repeating patters, but they are much broader and wider patterns, not intricate patterns. So, I thought that it would work, but it didn't.
    The patterns don't have to be fine, they need only by fine enough that they create two equidistant edge transitions on one AF point. That can actually be quite broad.

    Quote Originally Posted by de2000 View Post
    The lens should have found it's way back when I focused on something else, but it didn't. So, it "crashed".
    Are you (or 250swb) sure it's the lens that's crashed in this example? That seems fairly improbable to me, as the lens is the ignorant slave of the body's AF system. If the camera's AF gets sufficiently addled then locking up until power cycled is a possibility, though it would indicate poor programming in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by de2000 View Post
    I don't plan to send the lens back yet, but it really starts to look like a deficiency in the system. I don't know if there will be a fix for it though.
    Again though, in the repeating patterns issue, the "system" is shared by all modern DSLRs. Any can suffer it, with variations on when and where caused by the specific design of the AF sensor.

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    Default Re: 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

    When I referred to the "lens crash", it may have been the AF system in the camera that crashed, or both. I hope Olympus can figure that out.

    This behavior was not experienced in my E-1 system with the older lenses, and I have shot buildings with repeating patterns with that system. I know E-1's AF system isn't as quick as the E-3, but is the E-1 AF system part of the "shared" AF system of modern DSLR's?

    I am wondering if there is a way to fix this in firmware or not.

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    Default Re: 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

    That is not correct! Does your E-3 do this only with the 12-60? Sounds to me like a fault in the E-3?

    [quote=de2000;153011]Sorry guys, late reply.

    The lens reset was ON. So, by turning off and on the camera, the lens should have gone to infinity, but it did not.

    quote]
    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: 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

    Sounds to me like the problem my sigma 18-50 has occasionally. AF wont budge unless manually turned.
    Since turning off lens reset , it hasn't occurred again.

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    Default Re: 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

    Quote Originally Posted by travelfotografer View Post
    That is not correct! Does your E-3 do this only with the 12-60? Sounds to me like a fault in the E-3?
    That is the part that I can't find out.

    E-3 shoots well with my 11-22, 35-100, 50-200, and 14-54, in or outdoor. But I didn't have the chance to try a different lens when this "thing" happened with the 12-60. All I can say that so far, it only happened with my 12-60.

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    Default Re: 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

    I've had the ZD 50mm hunt all the way to minimum focus distance and just stay there. It would not move again until I powercycled the E-3. This has happened a couple of times. My assumption has been that it is a firmware problem, but I'm just guessing like everyone else.

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    Default Re: 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

    We may never figure it out!,and we all must remember this is a computer. All computers have a glitch every once in a while,programs that crash and lock up no matter what you do.


    As I said earlier my 12-60 has done this a couple of times since I have it and both times I was the one to induce the problem by trying to focus repeatedly on AF when it did not or could not lock on.
    I also have had the 50mm hunt erratically but not stop focusing altogether.
    Both times the only way I got it to normal again was to remove the lens and reboot the cam.
    But,I don't think my lens is faulty just because it has happened twice in 5 months.
    David

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    Default Re: 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

    This behavior was not experienced in my E-1 system with the older lenses,
    This may be stating the obvious after all these posts, but going back to basic's, you aren't holding on to the MF ring are you de2000? Older lens work differently to the 12-60mm which has full time MF 'geared' from the focus ring, so you can alter focus even after switching off. And you are keeping your finger off the lens release button when mounting a different lens, which otherwise can cause the lens to be 'dead' until you do something like manually change focus or zoom and this action makes the lens seat properly and wake up?

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    Default Re: 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

    No, I don't touch the MF ring on any of my lenses when I shoot. My left hand palm area is bracing the bottom of the camera while only my fingers stick out a bit to turn the zoom ring. As far as changing lenses, I always turn off the camera first.

    It would be interesting to see if I can make the 12-60 to go crazy with my E-1. This will prove that it is an interaction between the camera AND the lens. However, I can't put this E-3 down at the moment. I really like the camera.

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    Default Re: 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

    Quote Originally Posted by de2000 View Post
    As far as changing lenses, I always turn off the camera first.
    Where 250swb was going was concern that you might be holding the lens release button down while attaching the lens. This can allow the lens to over-rotate rather than click into place with the electrical contacts properly centred over their pads. All manner of inconsistent behaviour has been noted when this happens.

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    Default Re: 12-60 Strange behavior, AGAIN

    Quote Originally Posted by acme View Post
    Where 250swb was going was concern that you might be holding the lens release button down while attaching the lens. This can allow the lens to over-rotate rather than click into place with the electrical contacts properly centred over their pads. All manner of inconsistent behaviour has been noted when this happens.
    I see.
    No, I've never done that since my first days with a Nikon F2. I've always let the lens click itself in without holding the lens release button on any DSLR's.

    Initially, when I first encountered this problem at San Diego and then at Vegas, I thought about that too. I quickly rotated the lens slightly to see if it was locked down properly or not even though I never hold the release button when putting on lenses anyway.

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