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Olympus 12-40 Ouch!

Discussion in 'Back Room' started by langer318, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Dean, it's really not about "new and useful". Very few threads will be moved back here. I don't know exactly what the criteria are, but when we start to have a bunch of members complaining that a thread is straight out of the DPR forums, then I know it's degrading the overall forum experience for those members. I read quite a few complaints about this thread before looking to do something about it, and the complaints were not coming from anyone trying to "suppress" the information. It's the way people were making their points in this thread. More like a 43 Rumors or Engadget comment page than a friendly community discussion.
    • Like Like x 2
  2. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    northeast US
    I get it Amin; I was being playful (trying, at least). A lot of our discussions are obviously just re-heated from days or weeks passed, and that's just fine with me. And truly original thoughts are few and far between! I really can't get enough "what lens should I buy next?" threads. Being playful again. :smile:

    On a totally serious note, I like the idea of an "article" on the front page about this issue, that is locked from comment but links to this thread (wherever it lives). That would seem to keep a potentially serious issue in the light without turning this place in to DPR-East. Like you, I survived the X10 Inquisition. I'd hate to see that again anywhere.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    • Like Like x 6
  4. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Nobody is hiding anything. It is also a value-laden word and, dare I say it, political. I question its repeated use like that.

    If it was hidden, then you would neither be able to find it nor post to it. If it was hidden, the links to it from DPR forums would not work. And surely, being covered on DPR will provide much broader exposure than the smaller mu-43 forum. In fact, nothing stops you opening a thread on DPR on this topic and providing yet another link to this thread.

    I fully concur with the moderators in their efforts to manage the New Posts section of their website, as that is protecting the brand of mu-43.com and I really appreciate the friendliness of this forum. I would have zero objections if many of the posts to this thread were deleted as not in the mu-43 spirit, including most or all of my own. Posts that go along the lines of 'surely this is proof of cheap engineering', 'I would never buy from Olympus', 'you won't find this in a Canon lens', etc. (As an aside, Roger Cicala posted in a related DPR thread how the 1998-released (until when? still current?) Canon 35mm f1.4 L uses the exact same lens mount into a plastic boss with no metal thread insert, and has no bad reputation for it, and it is common across many smaller lenses (below 70-200mm actual) from all brands except Zeiss.)

    The recent decision to put an article on the Front Page with a link to this thread should silence this line of objection. It proves that the mods were honestly focusing on their New Posts section and their site's brand, and nothing to do with hiding anything. Posters of posts that suggest otherwise might consider deleting them as a courtesy.

    I would make a lousy mod, because I would jump in guns blazing at the insinuations embedded in such a post. I would be looking for an apology.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. photographer2020

    photographer2020 New to Mu-43

    Dec 27, 2013
    Christmas eve, my EM-1 with my 12-40 fell 12 inches onto the carpet and is in a box on its way to Olympus. I'm back to my Nikon D3. Double ouch!!
    I will call Olympus to let them know that just because the lens is sharp and that it has a 'Pro"sticker on doesn't mean that it is Pro Grade. If so you might hneed to buy a warranty and 3 lens to use while you're getting new plastic to hold the screws.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    Hi, thanks for the post and adding to this thread. However do you have anything to prove this happened? (e.g. photos, anything from olympus?) Don't take it personally, but I'm bit of a skeptic when it comes to claims on the internet.
  7. dh202

    dh202 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    I signed on here just to reply to this post , I posted a reply to a similar complaint on 4/3rds rumors site

    Regarding Stefans 12-40 Pro lens,
    There is no way in hell that the lens just miraculously separated from its mount in a padded bag!!!!
    I was a camera tech for 4 years back in the day, and heard every cock and bull story out there when people refused to accept the responsability that they misused, dropped, or dunked their equipment, and tried to blame damage on poor manufacturing to get out of paying for repairs. I have seen and heard it all !
    This is not a design flaw but a rough handling issue, especially if Roger Cicala from Lens Rentals is not reporting issues from renters!

    It would take a significant sheering force to separate the mount from that assembly and I don't believe for a second that that lens fell from only 1 foot on to carpet !

    The internet has become a convenient soap box for all sorts of misleading and false information
    • Like Like x 2
  8. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    I might be guilty of poor communication here, forgive me if I am. I didn't intend that as any sort of political statement or insinuation, I meant it literally. Hidden in the sense of no longer visible in the active threads.

    I didn't mean to infer anything. I tried to be clear and direct about my opinions, and I feel I didn't hold back in expressing anything. Just to be clear, I have no ill will, bad feelings or unsaid opinions about this topic, and I certainly didn't mean to offend.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. eaaseth

    eaaseth New to Mu-43

    Nov 14, 2013
    Erik Aaseth
    Many pro-grade lenses have their mounts screwed into plastic bosses.
    Also the mighty Zuiko 14-35/2.0 SHG is made that way (image courtesy Lenstip.com):

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Being a far heavier (and longer) lens that the 12-40 (915 vs 382 grams), it should be far more prone to break than the 12.40.
    But still I have never heard of one single mount breaking off the 14-35 (or any other SHG for that matter).
    So I tend to believe it is not the use of plastic as such that is the problem here.
    Oly knows how to make that right, so provided the alleged 12-40 weakness is real (and not just two random mishaps),
    I suspect this to be caused by some design or assembly flaw, rather than from the materials used.
    Anyway, Oly should verify/qualify their construction, and especially the screws - their fit, length, torque and depth.
    If even the slightest mismatch there, it will introduce some stress/fatigue, that can cause a shear or break to occur...

    I'd wager the Zuiko 14-54 MkI is also made like this.
    I once lost my slingpack w/ the 14-54 and E-1 inside it, while standing high in a mountain wall.
    The bag took off like a shot, fell 400m along a steep, icy and stony slope, and ended up falling vertically 8m into a glacial crevasse, and landed on some rocks at the bottom.
    I descended to pick it up, expecting to find just shattered pieces left of the kit.
    But guess what - it both looked and worked like new!
    So the plastic held up, even in -10°/14°F.

    So again, Oly should look into this, performing thorough QC on their assembly line, with a keen eye on the screws and their fit...
  10. lombardispot

    lombardispot Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 19, 2013
    Hey, 12-40 pro, mounted on the em-1, swung against a truck tailgate as I was hoping in. Still works. :) 

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
  11. dolbydunn

    dolbydunn Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 28, 2013
    I have followed this thread with great interest, (reading ALL nearly 500 comments), because I am on the B&H notification list for this lens when it becomes available, . . . AND because I was a camera repairman from 1972 to 1978. Since then I have been a tool & die maker for over 30 years.

    Judging by the photos alone, the lens mounting appears weak, brittle and light duty.

    In the 1970's, plastics and self tapping screws were the hallmark of the Kodak Instamatic 100. ALL Interchangeable Lenses were constructed entirely of aluminum, brass and bronze, screw holes were machine tapped. Most impact damage involving lenses would feature deformed filter mounting threads, damaged lens hoods etc. I don't recall many broken lens mounts, (though there were instances where the collimator would show mal-alignment after a severe impact . . . in my mind, the only justification for using shims).

    In the cross-sectioned photo of the lens, it appears that the entire lens is plastic internally. Only the screws, outer lens barrels, and mounting flange are made of metal. The small plastic bosses which are broken in these lens mounts, would not appear adequate to support all the heavy glass of the lens while also providing the structural rigidity needed to resist impact.

    Cosmetically this lens is a beauty. It's specifications are a photographer's dream. I was excited by the thought of using this lens on my GH-3. It seems that Olympus designers are at the extremes of lens speed and zoom range. That, combined with the compromises necessary to accommodate the sophisticated AutoFocus system, should have caused Olympus to OVER-design the internal lens mounting adapter, (unless the "breakaway" bosses are intentional by design, to protect the camera body). A brass or even Titanium internal lens mount might have been cheaper for Oly than this.

    The Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 fiasco underscores one of the inherent benefits of the micro 4/3rds system. With adapters, we can use the older, more heavily constructed lenses rather than spend $1000 for high tech plastic and shims and self tapping screws.

    I have decided NOT to buy this lens when B&H notifies me of it's availability.
    • Like Like x 3
  12. eaaseth

    eaaseth New to Mu-43

    Nov 14, 2013
    Erik Aaseth
    Now that is (to say the least) an exaggeration at this point, isn't it?
    Two broken mounts known world wide at the time - not exactly what I'd call a fiasco.
    Let's see what develops over time, as the lens is delivered to far more customers.
    In the mean time I'll use mine just like I'm used to use my HG/SHG Zuikos, which has never ever failed me so far.
    For general outdoor nature photography, mountaineering/scrambling/climbing, kayaking, trekking...
    If it breaks, well, then there would be a difference, and maybe even something wrong.
    But as of now, I would not imply anything of the sort.
  13. john0707

    john0707 Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 2, 2013
    Go to the home page and read Amin's write up "Is the Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Lens Fragile?"... There are at least 4 instances at this point, not two. It would be five if you include post #490 above from yesterday... Just to clarify things...
  14. dolbydunn

    dolbydunn Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 28, 2013
    While I will agree that my reference to a fiasco seems premature . . . time will tell. So far, delayed initial shipping and what may now be 5 of these busted lenses, 500 concerned comments on one Olympus-centric website and DP Review's knee-jerk attempt to bury this story suggests a fiasco to me.

    I have the Zuiko 45mm f1.8 which I LOVE and use it on my GX-7. It is very light-weight and would not be subject to prying away from the camera. In my camera repair days I saw some severely abused cameras, Nikons Canons etc being thrown in the trunk of a car by news reporters and police etc. The cameras and lenses of the 1960's and 1970's were MUCH more rugged. Before there would be any chance of damage to the lens mount there would be PLENTY of obvious cosmetic damage to the lens barrel. When looking at the several broken lenses depicted here, the cosmetic condition of the lens barrel exterior appears new and unblemished. Admittedly, I have NOT seen the front end of any of the damaged lenses, which in my experience is where the worst of any impact damage will be found.

    I don't want to go back and forth over my comments. I have a certain measure of experience with these matters and wanted to comment accordingly.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Highlander

    Highlander Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    USA, Northeast Coast
    Richard Correale
    And just to add to this, I'm wondering how many more broken ones there may be but the owners have no idea about this forum in which they may report it.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  16. photographer2020

    photographer2020 New to Mu-43

    Dec 27, 2013
    As a matter of fact I do have something to prove this happened.

    I do have something to prove it happened. A bill for shipping, $25.00, and a web repair order to Olympus for $135.00 that their repair site generated for the "typical" repair. I'll let you know what they have to say when they get the lens and respond.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    If I read correctly, the lens described in post #490 was fully working after it hit the side of the vehicle. No damage was reported as I read it.

  18. m43happy

    m43happy Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Feb 18, 2012
    Just came across this thread from 43rumors.com. I ordered my 12-40 back on Nov 15, and got it in on Dec 9th, so I've only had it a short time. So far so good as the lens when mounted to my E-M1 feels very solid. Still, even though it's a tiny percentage of lenses that have fallen apart compared to the number of lenses that are actually sold and in circulation, the fact that they all broke at the same point on the lens shows cause for concern. My friend advised that I "not keep the lens mounted on the camera", which I'm assuming he means when I keep it in the bag. But what happens when I use it? If I use it for an extended period of time, I'd hate for the lens mount to weaken and just fall off unexpectedly while I shoot. Like other users have mentioned, failures such as these definitely do not warrant a "PRO" label even though Olympus markets the lens as being extremely tough by being splash, dust, and freeze proof. Hopefully, these are just isolated incidents as I really like this lens and everything about it. I also hope that Olympus comes out with an official statement regarding the matter.
  19. Mike Ronesia

    Mike Ronesia Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 16, 2013
    Mark James
    I work on printers of all sizes and I know that when I start seeing these posts break it tends to be inherent to that product or part. Maybe the plastic was not made to spec, maybe the machine that tightened the screws was set to too tighten them too much, maybe the o-ring or seal is expanding because the material is not right. My point is it could be a lot of different things, but in the end when I see this sort of thing a few times with one part it tends to mean I'll see a lot more of it as time goes on and the plastic becomes even more brittle.

    Remember the old AT&T phones? That plastic was almost bullet proof, now days everyone is looking for lighter cheaper answers and sometimes it doesn't pan out.

    I didn't buy the 12-35 and waited for this lens, but I won't be getting one now. I'm hope they will address this in their version II of this lens.
  20. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    I think he meant #485. Which has follow up info in #496.
    • Like Like x 1
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