Has the Oly 12-40mm lens mount 'problem' disappeared?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by m43_user, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. m43_user

    m43_user Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 4, 2010
    I haven't heard one peep on various forums about the so-called fragile lens mount problem on the new Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 lens. So I assume the initial paranoia was just that?....paranoia? I haven't seen any more stories of the lens breaking too easily.
  2. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I have a suspicion that Olympus has hacked the web and removed all references to it! :rolleyes:

    Actually I think it was a flaw in a small batch. It could have been a casting flaw in the plastic part or perhaps an error in assembly{overtightened}. Last I heard Olympus was dealing well with those who had the problem which is good news. Hopefully it was just a small problem and it has/is being dealt with.
  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Clearly a few broke real early - more than would be expected. But I haven't seen any new reports since that initial burst of problems. My guess it was a bad early batch with something going wrong in the manufacture process. Since it's a problem that seemed limited to a few really early and nothing since, my guess is it was very limited. I have one and am extremely happy with it. I figure if it had broken, Oly would have taken care of it...

  4. m43_user

    m43_user Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 4, 2010
    I have one too and I'll admit, I've been extra careful with it since reading those stories, but hopefully it's nothing to worry about and if anything ever did happen, I hope it happens during my warranty period :)
  5. Mr Hahn

    Mr Hahn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 9, 2010
    SLC, Utah
    Just don't drop it.

    But in case you do drop it, lose it, or it gets stolen... make sure you call your insurance company of choice and add valuable property insurance for your camera gear. This coverage will cost you $3 or $4 per month and will usually cover anything that could possibly happen to your camera and it's lenses with no out of pocket deductible. If your buying expensive gear like the 12-40mm f2.8 PRO, it's probably worthwhile to spend another couple dollars a month to have REAL protection that will cover the full replacement cost for almost any reason.
  6. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    The broken lens mount should be a case study on the dynamics of the Internet.

    The only information on the net was pictures of a plastic part that broke from minor impact. With out any information as to whether the part met its as designed specifications, or if the lens was assembled in accordance with those procedures, every arm chair engineer declared that it was a lousy design and Olympus engineers were morons.

    I work in the aerospace industry, I review engineering changes made by our suppliers and I audit our suppliers to verify they follow manufacturing requirements and design documentation. I've personally seen what goes on when something doesn't work right. My personal opinion is that some small number of non-complying parts early in the full production runs made their way into lenses and broke. An investigation into the process control of the parts manufacture was done to assure that bad parts didn't get into stock. Oh, and Olympus engineers do know what they're doing.
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  7. Paicey

    Paicey New to Mu-43

    Feb 12, 2014
    I bought a 12-40 about a month ago in Australia before setting off on a 3 month work assignment to Korea. Perfect match for my EM1, or so I thought. I should also add that I baby' all of my kit. It never gets treated roughly but last week I found that the pictures with the 12-40 were very soft at the edges. Long story short, I took it in today to my local Olympus Repair Centre in Seoul who repaired it for free. Problem - one of the plastic lens mounts had broken.

    I have to say that the Olympus people were great - especially as the lens was bought in Australia and their website clearly says that Korea doesn't offer free repairs under their worldwide repair scheme. (How it therefore can be a 'worldwide' scheme I'm not sure!)

    But... and it's a big but, my confidence has been shaken. This is a 'pro' lens but it's robustness is questionable to say the least. I'm just hoping it was a one-off bit of bad luck and doesn't repeat itself.

    I'll keep you posted!
  8. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    So here is another person who had this problem. Of coarse this may have been another one from that same early batch. And again Olympus repaired it.
  9. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    I've had some spills with mine, on and off the camera... I held my breath I'll tell you... but it's still in one piece. Probably a batch of bad parts were to blame.
  10. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Manufacturers do make silent changes/upgrades...perhaps that is the case here. It's extremely hard to tell.
  11. zensu

    zensu Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama USA
    If I remember correctly Olympus postponed the release of this lens. Maybe they discovered this problem and corrected it in the lenses ready for release. Of course maybe a few (and I mean a few) fell through the correction process. As an owner of this lens I would love to hear Olympus Engineers issue a statement about these few lenses and that the problem design or components failure is corrected but I'm not holding my breath for a response.
  12. wildrob

    wildrob Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 4, 2013
    I've been skiing with mine attached to an em-5 in a lowepro top loader pro inside a backpack. I've taken a few falls, and one considerable pact and roll, no breakage. However, I think the barrel wobble gets looser every fall. I think, if it were to break, it would have broken by now. I also am checking for the slightest play in the mount area, and no budge.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43
  13. Neftun

    Neftun Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 15, 2012
    Patrick Kristiansen
    I'm not worried. At all. Oly has reportedly fixed all the faulty ones; good enough for me. But maybe I'm just spoiled by Norway's mandatory (by law) 5 year right to complain on comsumer-bought products.
  14. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Not likely. All the early/pre-production review copies would have had the original parts, and no reviewer mentioned that their lens fell apart. Also, after reviewing around 12,000 engineering changes, spontaneous catastrophic failures are rarely due to poor design. Real companies go through a design review, prototype cycle that would reveal a serious design flaw. Parts not being made to design specifications are the usual culprits.
  15. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    Manufacturers make silent changes because if we're too open about what's really going on every lawyer on the planet would be at our doorstep with their hand out demanding we pay them off to go away or they'll sue.
  16. MacBook

    MacBook Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    Has anyone ever posted serial numbers for problem lenses to establish whether these are low numbered -- and so presumably early run -- lenses? I know that other forums, such as the Pentax Forum, have done so in the past. It may even be that the first three letters and first three numbers are sufficient, leaving the last two numbers as xx, if anyone has concerns for some reason.

    By the way, that seemed to decrease rather than increase general anxiety.
  17. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I think with any new equipment, buying early has it's growing pains. If you want to play it safe, buy several months to a year down the road until all the issues have been ironed out. Though I think Nikon with their D600 oil-on-sensor issue seems to be the worst in recent camera history, especially since they did not rectify the problem really and ended up just making a minor update (D610).
  18. JamieW

    JamieW Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 25, 2013
    I pre-ordered mine. It arrived in Oct. I don't baby my equipment, but I also don't use it as a hammer. This is the lens I use probably 95% of the time, and so far no issues. I absolutely love this lens.
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  19. Paicey

    Paicey New to Mu-43

    Feb 12, 2014
    About a month ago I posted about my 12-40 and how it had been repaired after being diagnosed with a broken plastic screw. I wasn't overly impressed but happy that my local dealer in Seoul, Korea had sorted it out for free. So here's a somewhat unusual update:

    Last weekend I took my EM1 and 12-40 away with me to the lovely island if Jeju. On the Sunday I was doing some sightseeing and wanted to change lenses and slip on my Panasonic 25mm. As I took off the 12-40 it accidentally fell out of my hand and dropped with a large thud on to a concrete floor from waist height. To say I was angry with myself would have been a huge understatement. I have never ever dropped a lens and here was my newly repaired pride-and-joy in the gutter!

    I picked up the lens and tried the zoom. No problem, all good. I checked the barrel. No dents or scratches. Phew! The filter was fine and everything looked perfect, but who knows what happened inside the lens. Fearing the worst I tried to mount the lens to the body. No dice. It almost went on but not quite and I didn't want to force it.

    On the following Tuesday I rather sheepishly took the lens back (again) to the Olympus dealer. Funnily enough they remembered me and with some miming I explained what had happened. They took the lens and told me to call them on Thursday. Now, at this stage I had absolutely no idea what the damage would be. Maybe it would be minor, or maybe the whole of the inside was a chunk of shattered glass. Either way I was hoping for a bit of a miracle and a cheap bill. There was no way this one was going to be free!

    On the Thursday I called. The reply was that the screws had broken again - no real surprise there, but everything else was pretty much fine. A new back plate was required for the mounting and with labour the whole thing came to $160. I collected the lens the following day!

    Personally I count my self lucky. Maybe another day the fall would have shattered the whole lens, but I do know that if I'd have dropped a lot of other lenses incl. quite a few from my Nikon gear the outcome would definitely been a lot worse. However, I am now more confident that the Oly is a strong lens and can take a few knocks.... But I wouldn't recommend you try this at home!
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  20. zensu

    zensu Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama USA
    I'm sorry you've had problems with this lens but am also relieved it wasn't an expensive repair. As another owner of this lens I was concerned when I read some reports of other users who had problems due to the mounting screws breaking. I speculated then that the lens might have been designed this way.
    For 40 years I worked as a mechanical draftsperson and tolerances were always a critical factor in any design. No manufacturing process is perfect, to achieve perfection would require the price of the item manufactured to be out of most consumers reach. In reality you must prioritize your critical tolerances to the highest degree which in turn forces you to allow less critical tolerances to fall somewhere in the design, in a place where it will effect the design the least.
    In Olympus 12-40 lens it's possible the designer allowed less critical tolerances to fall into the screws at the rear near the lens mount. Or in other words the lesser of two evils. Would it be preferable to have lens elements shatter or misalign or would it be more cost effective to let the mounting screws break. I'd rather pay $160 repair bill for a broken lens mount than $400 for shattered lens element replacement.
    Just my opinion.
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