Bricked Panasonic 20mm Lens

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Charlie Jones, May 15, 2015.

  1. Charlie Jones

    Charlie Jones New to Mu-43

    May 15, 2015
    I've got an original Panasonic 20mm lens that I botched flashing the firmware. It's not recognized by my G1 or OMD-E10. So I mailed it off to Mcallen TX to get an estimate. They came back with $288 for the out of warranty repairs. Seeing how another $12 would get me a new lens, I'm a little skeptical on the quote.

    Has anyone bricked a lens and recovered from it?
  2. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    If the main chip is "bricked" then you are talking about lens dissasembly and replacement of the ROM. It's not trivial. My guess is that you got a flat rate quote and they'd ship you a replacement refurb lens rather than fix it.

    You can pick up a used 20mm for about $200-220, so that would likely be your best bet.
  3. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    I'm not particularly surprised at the amount of the quote. At that cost, in essence you've totaled the lens. I'd second the suggestion to just look for a used replacement.

    As to your second question, I have not heard or read of any alternate solution for a bricked lens other than sending it back to the manufacturer.
  4. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    That is a rotten bit of luck. Did it happen updating a Panasonic lens on an Olympus body? I've read about issues like that.

    I always end up holding my breath a bit whenever I do firmware or BIOS updates, and stories like this only validate my's why I usually end up with Gigabyte motherboards in my desktop, since they have a redundant UEFI/BIOS chip so that you can recover from a bad flash...
  5. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Kiillarney, OzTrailEYa
    very sad to read.

    On the subject of updates for what its worth my experience goes like this:
    In Australia we call your anus your "date" ... also if we don't like an idea someone comes out with, we often suggest that they "stick that up their date".

    My experience on "up-dates" is that the new changes often "jams it up your date" .. so you get "up the dated" as much as you get updated.

    I'm cautious with updates as even machines I use have had their CPU fan stop working after a microsoft "up-date"
    • Funny Funny x 6
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  6. Charlie Jones

    Charlie Jones New to Mu-43

    May 15, 2015
    I've got an update on the situation. I pushed back a little on the repair center and asked for a cost breakdown on the $288. The response stated that the $288 was an estimate, noting that they had not inspected the lens because it was out of warranty. I didn't bother asking them how you can make an estimate without an inspection. Anyhow, for $57.50 they will inspect the lens and provide a detailed breakdown of the actual repair costs. The whole time I'm trying to focus the CSR on the fact that the lens is not physically broken, that it just needs to be reflashed. Still not sure if it sunk in or not. I should know where we're at in a week or so.

    In the mean time we've had graduations, confirmations and other family functions. So I picked up the Oly25mm f1.8 to fill the gap. So far I really like it, the autofocus speed was the biggest advantage I noticed over the Pany20mm. If the Pany20mm ends up getting fixed I'll have to figure out if it makes sense to keep both lenses. I'm thinking it will come down to whether or not I "need" a pancake lens as my daily carry.
  7. Pretty sure that's what they charged me to replace my GX7's LCD when it fell off a tripod and smashed to a cement floor. Wonder if Panasonic subsidizes or otherwise limits repair costs to that figure (or hourly rate max)? Good luck with that.
  8. Charlie Jones

    Charlie Jones New to Mu-43

    May 15, 2015
    It might be an internal over/under figure they use to reduce the number of repairs they have to perform. I'm sure many people hear $288 and stop right there.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    That's not necessarily true. It may need chips replaced and it is doubtful those are individually replaceable. So it might need a full logic board replacement. You can't flash something that you can't bring online.
  10. Charlie Jones

    Charlie Jones New to Mu-43

    May 15, 2015
    Thought I'd offer an update. Looks like the cost of the repair is going to come to $145, so not nearly as bad as the initial estimate. That price includes the $57.50 inspection amount. I'll be happy when it's in my hands, but this is a good sign...
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. NoSeconds

    NoSeconds Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    $145 is reasonable, considering it's probably less than buying a good condition used copy, $288 is almost new lens territory...
  12. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Naw, the servicing departments have a loom which connects to the chips directly (think JTAG) and can write new firmware directly without having a valid bootloader - if nothing else they can easily rewrite the bootloader without firmware so that a more traditional method can be used to push firmware afterwards.

    How do you think they get the bootloader on the chip in the first place?
  13. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Programmed by specialty equipment prior to installation?
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