My 12-32 "melted" and the front covering has come of

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by hemuni, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. hemuni

    hemuni Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 18, 2014
    Thanks to Dave Lively I found a thread on dpr with other 12-32 owners having similar problems. Seems there might be at least a batch of these lenses with "glue issues".

    So I am sad to say that my favorite lense has gone and divided it self into two separate parts. It seem that the glue that holds the front covering element has somehow liquified and is no longer holding the pieces together.
    I first realised this when picking my GX7 up by grabbing the lense and feeling a slight give in the front part of the lense. After closer inspection I found an increased gap between the lense and the thin metal front covering.The cover slid right of and I saw what looked like a black grease on the outer part of the lense and the inside of the cover.
    After cleaning of the "grease" I realised that this was actually an adhesive that had somehow liquified which reminds me of black sikaflex or similiar.
    I take very good care of my equipment and the lense has never been exposed to any environment that could cause this to happen except maybe from the high temperatues of a car sitting in the summersun. I have had plenty of other electronics lying in the car before, including smartphones wich are all mostly glued togehter, and have never before seen something like this.
    The lense is still fully functional and Im able to use it without the covering and I will of course turn it in for repairs as it is still under waranty.
    I was wondering if anybody else have had this happen or seen something similar. I have added some photos to show the parts in their current condition:





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  2. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Real Name:
    Ray, not Oz
    It looks a bit sad, but I would recommend never storing, standing, whatever, a lens without it rear lens cap on. Dust etc on the front of a lens is often undetectable in the image, but anything similar on the rear elements will show up one way or the other. Frequent cleaning of the rear element should also be avoided.
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  3. hemuni

    hemuni Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 18, 2014
    I am not in the habit of storing my lenses without their proper protection. The front and rear covers where removed to show the lense bare and without obstructions.
  4. Vesku

    Vesku Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 23, 2014
    I think that Panasonic has some quality issues with lenses. My experiences:

    14-42mm - Zoom creep is so stiff or not moving smoothly that zooming during video is impossible.
    14-140 II - POWER OIS is jittering during handheld video shooting
    45-200 - bad optical quality, not smooth zoom
    100-300mm - autofocus died after a year of use, replaced by a new one and now after 1.5 years the same issue! Very sticky zooming too.
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  5. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    bit of a worry that the glue melted, isn't it? Hopefully they'll sort this issue in future production.
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  6. hemuni

    hemuni Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 18, 2014
    I have a 14-42, that came with my ep5, as well and I agree, the zoom is basically useless for video. I haven't used it much though, since I much prefer the size and IQ of the 12-32. I have had other kit lenses with similar sticky zooms, it probably has to do with the plastic construction.
    In general I have considered the 12-32 to be a better quality lense than the basic zooms and it may be i just got a dud, since I haven't found anybody else with a similar situation as mine. Google doesn't turn up any quality issues with the 12-32 that i have been able to find.
    If there is a general quality issue I can't say. It is not my impression that this is so, but you do seem to have had a lot of bad luck. These are my only two panasonic lenses, so I can't really speak from much experience my self.
  7. hemuni

    hemuni Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 18, 2014
    I don't know if that is actually the case,but most adhesives will return to being sticky again when cooled down. In this case there was a remaining black grease resembling black silicone or sikaflex. After wiping the liquid part of I found smaller bits still sticking to the lense and covering exactly the same color only rubery dry.
  8. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest

    Interesting ! I had the rubber zoom-ring slide off my Panasonic 14-45 kit (admittedly now 5 years old - but that's hardly an excuse) on a warmish day at the Farnborough Air Show last July. Looked like a "glue" problem. How "quality" control has changed.

    I regularly pick up my 30 year-old Pentax M and A lenses in admiration, they were so beautifully built.

  9. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Heat will soften many adhesives, which sounds like what happened here.
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  10. hemuni

    hemuni Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 18, 2014
    True and I also believe that to be the case. I live in a very warm area and my guess is that temperatures can probably get up to 60° celsius inside the cabin. I am going to ask in the shop where i bought the lense (came as a kit with GM1) if they have seen other issues like this.
    If it is indeed the case that the glue is melted from staying in a hot car, I would consider that a serious design flaw. Like stated in my previous post, I've had plenty of gadgets stored in my car and never having any issue like this before.
  11. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Wow, amasing pictures.
    It looks like a really easy fix, but this is a brand new lens!
    Thanks for posting, I hope your replacement doesn't do the same.
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  12. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Yikes. I had that happen with my cheap(ish) tilt lens adapter, but this is a $350 piece of first-party gear. I hope that their service operation lives up to its obligations.
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  13. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    60 degree heat is well out of spec for pretty much all consumer electronics (generally 45 is the limit), and a temperature where lots of glues start to go soft
  14. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I have heard a number of stories of lenses from a variety of manufacturers "melting" in the heat of a car during the summer. In fact, I was just perusing some old Tamron lenses on eBay and noticed one that described exactly that issue (the focus ring had melted and left the focus feeling quite sticky).

    So while it may be a quality control issue, 60 degrees is a bit of a torture test for a kit zoom. It's still unfortunate, and you're rightfully upset, but it's perhaps not entirely surprising given the conditions. At the temperatures inside a hot car (especially if it's exposed to direct sunglight), you might also find that the coatings on the glass can also be damaged.
  15. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    60C is really, really hot, probably hotter than the recommended operating temperature for most gear. Whenever I leave gear in a hot car I put it in the trunk or crack the windows so it doesn't get crazy hot.

    Its not entirely surprising that the front ring on this lens is glued on, it only weighs 70g after all so some compromises in build quality had to be made.
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  16. zensu

    zensu An Old Fool

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama, USA
    Real Name:
    This old fogey has a typically semi-off topic post yet again. This happened on a Canon 28-105 f3.5-4.5 EOS (a kit lens with my Canon EOS A2) film lenses front element back in the late 90s'. No glue was involved but the front element came off the lens after repeated filter mounting/unmounting. Just the one front element came off and looking very closely it screwed into an inner barrel on the front of the lens. This element had a very fine thread and I feared my ham fisted repair might cross thread the setup so I sent it back to Canon. It was out of warrant but they were great and repaired the lens and shipped it back all free of any charge. It never came off again no matter how many filter changes I made. I hope Canon still provides this excellent customer service. I also hope Panasonic will correct this without any hassle.
  17. coffeecat

    coffeecat Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 4, 2012
    SW England
    Real Name:
    In many of the places I frequent, if I left camera equipment in the cabin of my car (hot or otherwise) I would not expect it to still be there when I returned! In its place would be bits of broken window.

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  18. biza48

    biza48 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 31, 2014
    What I find surprising is people leaving cheap lenses in 60 Celsius inside a car and then blaming the product... really, common sense, as well as any instruction manual, will state that one should avoid subjecting electronic material to such heat...
  19. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Real Name:
    When I was just starting out in photography, one of the first things that other photographers always stressed was never leave your camera gear in a hot car. Here in OH, summers are very humid and we can see up to 104F temps and normal summer highs can be in the mid to high 90F for weeks at a time.

    It is a hard lesson to learn, but this to me seems more of a user mistake.

    If you do need to keep your gear in a car, it has been recommended to me to use an insulated cooler of some kind. I have a camera of some kind with me at all times, and I never, ever leave it sitting in a hot cabin or trunk.
  20. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I'm sure there are the usual "environmental" specs that mention temps much lower than that, but I agree that no thinking engineer should spec an adhesive that will separate at 60 degrees C.
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