Focus clutch broken on new Olympus 25mm f1.2 ??

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Jan 5, 2020
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Hi guys,
Not sure if anyone ever heard of/experienced this problem.
I am toying with a new Olympus 25mm f1.2 lens and something odd happens when I engage the focus clutch mechanism.

The focus becomes blurred, turning the focus ring no longer changes the focus of the lens. Turning in both directions until the hard stops does not change focus at all.
Returning the focus clutch to its original position allows me to use AF again. Setting the camera to MF allows me to manually focus without engaging the clutch.
I've tried on an E-M1 ii and an E-M5 iii and am now out of ideas.

Is it defective?
Has anyone ever seen this on a new lens?
If so, what the hell kind of quality control is this?
 

Mountain_Man_79

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There’s a menu setting for the focus clutch, where it can be set to operative or inoperative. Have you ensured that’s set to operative?

Sorry I don’t know exactly where it’s at in the menu off the top of my head.
 
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Jan 5, 2020
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Hi Chris,
Thanks for this idea, I checked and it's set to "operative" on both cameras.

Found it in the A4 menu of the E-M1 ii and E-M5 iii, by the way.
 
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Jan 5, 2020
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I agree, I sent a message to Oly support already but don't expect a response today as it's after work hours. I got it for free as part of an E-M1 ii promotion so I don't feel cheated but I am very surprised about the lack of quality control on a pro lens this expensive.

I mean, at over 1000 bucks a pop regular price I kind of expect a guy or gal in a lab coat to take a gander at these things before shipping them out...
 

PakkyT

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The focus becomes blurred, turning the focus ring no longer changes the focus of the lens. Turning in both directions until the hard stops does not change focus at all.
Returning the focus clutch to its original position allows me to use AF again. Setting the camera to MF allows me to manually focus without engaging the clutch.
I've tried on an E-M1 ii and an E-M5 iii and am now out of ideas.
Sounds like it is defective and that the absolute encoder that reads the position of the clutch is inoperative (stuck in one position). The clutch switch works, which tells the camera you moved it to MF, but after that turning the ring doesn't have any effect on the encoder.
 
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Sounds like it is defective and that the absolute encoder that reads the position of the clutch is inoperative (stuck in one position). The clutch switch works, which tells the camera you moved it to MF, but after that turning the ring doesn't have any effect on the encoder.
That sounds like the best explanation, thanks for providing insight!

I think it's safe to say the lens is defective, when I explained the situation to Olympus Support they suggested I immediately send it back for replacement, I didn't have to explain any further.

So I sent it back yesterday and hope to get a replacement soon.

I've also requested that they exchange it for the 17mm f1.2 while they're at it, as that is the lens I initially wanted, but it wasn't available anymore when I ordered.
They said that they "will look into it" so fingers crossed here :) :)
 

PakkyT

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Keep us updated as we all like to hear the good and bad experience with Oly service as data point for future needs. Also interested if they simply fix the one you send in or if they replace it, if they honor your request for the 17mm.
 
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Well, it's not going great in my case.
In fact, Olympus support here in Germany is a bad experience right now. They must be downsizing as well, because they have stopped responding to me. More than 10 days have passed since my last message and I asked again this week about any news, but no response. I know this was a promotional item and a free pro-grade lens, no less, but the E-M1 ii + 12-45 f4 PRO combo I bought seems like less of a bargain right now without the f1.2 Prime in the bag.

EDIT: They did not respond but sent a replacement 14 days after I sent in the broken one so kudos!
 
Last edited:
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Jan 5, 2020
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So, this story ends well. With no further message, they simply sent a replacement which arrived today. I tried it and everything works, including the focus clutch.

They even respected my wish to have the 25mm switched for the 17mm f1.2, which I am more likely to use. That is great because it was sold out a few days into the promotion!

Now we'll just have to see if I can coax a few nice images out of the f1.2 lens, otherwise I will sell it to someone with more professional ambitions than myself. I do have a couple of lenses that cover this (or close) focal length already, but the 35mm equivalent is just sooo handy...
 
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