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Olympus 12-40 Ouch!

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

  1. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I do not think Olympus is ignoring this issue. They have been informed. But they need to be given time to analyze the problem and formulate a solution. This could take some time, possibly months. So please be patient people. If you already own this lens enjoy it but keep the possible problem in mind and take the lens off when not being used. If you were going to get one but want to wait and see what happens, that is fine.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. dh202

    dh202 Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Dec 27, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    The only problem is typical internet mass hysteria , a lot of people who don't have a clue as to what the truth is, and this is the only forum on which it is taking place!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Mercurio

    Mercurio Mu-43 Veteran

    253
    Jul 17, 2012
    Bogotá, Colombia
    Mauricio
    After reading almost all the posted reviews in the web about the Olympus 12-40 lens, I convinced myself that it would be very useful for my trips and work, so I have it, alongside with a couple of filters, waiting for me to hit the Checkout button of the Amazon cart. Nevertheless, after reading this thread, I decided to halt totally my purchase until I have reassurance that I will not receive a potentially problematic lens. During my travels, I have never had any problems with all my existing Olympus or Lumix lenses even though they are treated normally, this is, with care but without worries. Fortunately, nowadays I can get the lens shipped to South America through Amazon Global, but to return it for any guarantee can prove very difficult, so I prefer to wait and go for sure.

    My doubts are: when and how can this happen? Are we expecting some words of reassurance from Olympus in terms of correcting the possible faults? Or it is going to become a "lucky" buy, without been sure if the problem has been solved...
     
  4. Mercurio

    Mercurio Mu-43 Veteran

    253
    Jul 17, 2012
    Bogotá, Colombia
    Mauricio
    Even though I don't know if they do refer to the already reported issues in this thread, the Customer Reviews at Amazon mention a couple of issues:
    http://www.amazon.com/review/R2MTGR73N5II6M/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R2MTGR73N5II6M

    By the way, the lens that "was waiting for me" at Amazon, decided to go with another costumer: I will have to wait anyway for a new batch of lenses... I hope those are "bump proof".
     
  5. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    So is your point that the people reporting broken lenses here are liars?
     
  6. gronolajoe

    gronolajoe New to Mu-43

    6
    Dec 19, 2013
    Would it be helpful to anyone to see a better, more detailed photo of my break?
     
  7. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    877
    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    If you have a macro lens (or a near macro lens), it might be helpful to see the actual fractured plastic very close.
     
  8. dolbydunn

    dolbydunn Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Dec 28, 2013
    Ohio
    gronolajoe, Welcome! I am new here as you are. I was drawn here by my fascination with this lens and with the reported breakage. I, for one, would be very interested to see detailed photos of the breakage and to hear your account of what you believe happened to your lens.

    I have gone back and looked at your photos and read your statement - (would still like to see close up pics of the plastic bosses on the lens body), and hear any other comments.
     
  9. wildwildwes

    wildwildwes Mu-43 Veteran

    456
    Jun 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    I have to admit that this issue has me a bit freaked out too. Yeah, I also own the 12-40 and feel it is a world-class lens optically. I carry mine around all day in a little bag with a few other lenses. Most of the time it's attached to an E-M1 or E-M5. I'm careful with my gear, but don't "baby" it in anyway. That said, my gear gets a thorough workout and it's not uncommon for me to shoot several hundred frames daily... KNOCK ON WOOD, but my lens (among the first in NYC) has worked out flawlessly thus far. Okay, so what am I getting at?!? Well, when not in use, my camera is positioned in the bag camera body / lens pointing down into the bag (so that the camera body is "sitting" on top of the lens). In this position, the lens is not prone to any horizontal pressure with it mounted to the camera body... I'm wondering how other 12-40 owners keep theirs when not in use?!? :confused: 
     
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  10. btw

    btw New to Mu-43

    1
    Dec 30, 2013
    hi everyone, i posted a picture of my broken 12-40 in 43 rumors a couple of weeks ago. i think it's Stefan who made a comment that leads me here.
    olympus fixed my 12-40 in about one week, and it cost me 775CNY ($128). these are what they gave back to me with the fixed lens.

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    it's my fault that i droped it from my car seat, well actually it's my mother who droped it... anyway, the em5 landed on the ground, and it works totally fine with two dents. but the lens broke from the camera.
    i don't blame olympus for the fall, and i'm ok with they charge me to fix it. although i'm shocked that a less than 80cm fall cost the lens broken even though it's the camera body which landed first. and after see the screws and the plastic threads, i can see why. now i don't attach the lens the my em5 in my bag. i think it's safe this way.
    i have to say 12-40 is a less than perfect experience for me. the motor noise when zooming, the weird thing inside that moves when you turn it upside down (you can see it from the back), and now this...
    have some flaws, but i still think it's a great zoom. just be prepared when you buy it.
     
    • Like Like x 6
  11. gotak

    gotak Mu-43 Regular

    185
    Nov 28, 2012
    Toronto
    Couple things:

    1) People should be concerned. Remember ( I do as I haven't had it fixed yet) the crack bezel issue with the e-m5? That and now this? They need better mech engineers to design their stuff. You can't just make things and expect them to work.

    2) Sorry to see this happened to you shouldn't be the case. But that's what we get when they try to make a light lens with plastic. A $1K standard zoom should never be this fragile. I have seen Canon 24-70 with such badly dented filter ring that you can't mount filters anymore and they still work fine. That's how pro lens should be if olympus ever think their new m4/3 stuff is to replace their old 4/3 lenses.

     
  12. Freddy VP

    Freddy VP New to Mu-43

    7
    Dec 13, 2013
    The Nederlands
    Freddy van Puymbrouck
    The photos of btw say more than thousand words, look at closely at the fracture itself because that is the end. The used platic seems to me totally not suitable, half of that material is just out air bubbles. That is asking for trouble and that while ther a lot of platics that as good as unbreakable. I hope that this going to change, this Olympus optical gem earned better than distrust after seeing those photos.
     
  13. dolbydunn

    dolbydunn Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Dec 28, 2013
    Ohio
    The site moderator asked the question; " Is the Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Lens Fragile?"
    The answer, unfortunately, is YES. The lens may be weatherproofed but it's too fragile to survive normal use.

    The plastic lens frame/housing which is breaking in these lenses is not repairable and must be replaced requiring complete disassembly as shown in btw's photos. The plastic frame itself is probably as cheap as dirt, but the disassembly and complete rebuild of the lens to install a new housing evidently costs about $130. This repair should ONLY be done by Olympus, at their factory, in a dust-free environment with ALL the proper tools and instruments to adjust & check it's accuracy. And it should be done at no charge to the consumer.

    When repairs are completed, the questions about it's fragility remain.

    If I am correct in my evaluation, Olympus will need to redesign the lens mount/frame/housing. I would hope that Oly changes it's specs for the material used to form the frame/lens housing. I am not impressed with plastics in a critical structural function. It even appears weak, and if we are honest with ourselves, most of us are probably shocked to see how poorly this lens is constructed. It resembles a custom home, attached to its footer with just a few Tap-con screws. Beautiful until the wind blows it away.

    I would not blame Oly's engineers and designers for this . . . they are among the best in the world. This looks like the handiwork of marketing and bean-counters. Using plastic for such a critical function would NEVER occur to an engineer.

    The auto-focus system is hogging up space where there should be structure, so much in fact, that the designers couldn't even use 6 attachment screws rather than 4, (which might have helped). Not only are the plastic bosses too few, too small and too brittle, but plastics, in general, are known to deteriorate and change dimensionally over time, shrinking, cracking, and becoming more brittle, etc. In other words, this lens will grow increasingly fragile as it's structural plastic decomposes. Unlike Titanium or brass.

    I would be willing to pay a couple hundred dollars more (for a Titanium lens housing rather than plastic), just for the confidence that the lens would be rugged enough to withstand ordinary use. My Pany 35-100mm f2.8 cost $1500. Most PRO zoom lenses cost much more than this. Olympus may be trying too hard to shave cost and weight by sacrificing quality to get to a certain price point.

    In an earlier post I referred to this unfortunate development as a "fiasco". My sloppy use of that word was immediately challenged. Actually, it is beginning to look more like a full scale disaster. Even as Olympus continues to say nothing, owners of broken lenses are beginning to speak out in fora and in buyer reviews. This has the markings of a Public Relations disaster for Olympus and for the m43 system. My fear is that Olympus has shown a lack of corporate wisdom in the past and will not have the wisdom to navigate through this setback. If Oly decides that profitability is king, (rather than customer satisfaction or Corporate reputation) then this will be worse than a mere fiasco.
     
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  14. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    • Like Like x 7
  15. Freddy VP

    Freddy VP New to Mu-43

    7
    Dec 13, 2013
    The Nederlands
    Freddy van Puymbrouck
    I have carefully read the article by Roger Cicala read and fully agree with him. The question is whether there is in the Olympus 12-40 polycarbonate is used as in the better lenses from Canon and Nikon. presumably this is not the case given the reports of fractures in a lens that is only on the market.Polycarbonate is virtually unbreakable. Is there to save a cheaper and more fragile plastic chosen? I would like to hear a response from Olympus so I can buy this lens with peace of mind.
     
  16. dolbydunn

    dolbydunn Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Dec 28, 2013
    Ohio
    I read the commentary by Roger Cicala, twice, and then I did a word search for "arm chair engineers" . . . Roger Cicala never mentioned arm chair engineers. I did separate searches for "arm", "chair", and "engineer". In Roger Cicala's post he never used any of those words, either separately or in a phrase.

    b_rubenstein, you appear to be trying to insert your spin for Roger's comments.

    I get it. You are taking a shot at me for my analysis of this lens failure. I am just calling it the way I see it. As a camera repairman who has seen hundreds of lenses completely disassembled, I never saw one which had any plastic inside the lens. The beauty ring or bezel around the front element, maybe on cheaper lenses, but certainly not in the lens mounts. A bygone era, to be sure.

    Surely b_rubenstein, you can insult me without misquoting others to prove your point. While I do not dispute with Roger Cicala's experience, I have a different experience from an earlier era.

    What Roger is relating here is that many camera manufacturers are currently using plastic lens mounts. He seems to believe that it makes little or no difference if plastic or metal is used for structure in modern lenses. Well, I disagree with his conclusion.

    Perceptions may vary, nevertheless, the PERCEPTION that this lens is FRAGILE will be difficult to dispel.
     
  17. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    I keep getting sucked back in....

    First off, I disagree with Rogers premise that terms like "professional quality construction" and “weather resistance” are merely "subjective terms just like ‘elegant design’ and ‘innovative styling’." Personally I see a BIG difference both linguistically and in implied expectations between the phrase "professional quality construction" and the phrase "elegant design", but for a moment, lets assume his premise is correct.

    If his premise is correct, are we then to assume that PRO on the side of the lens in all capital letters is just marketing and that the lens is just an optically superior enthusiast grade lens? Is Roger saying that the 12-40 PRO is really just the best kit lens ever, and its unreasonable to expect durability for your $1099 investment? Should professionals use the Lumix lenses with their proven durability and leave the Olympus variant to the enthusiasts? Maybe... but to have as a premise that Olympus puts PRO in all caps on the side of their lens as a marketing ploy seems ridiculous to me. I don't buy it. I think that Olympus intends this to be a PRO level lens with all that the phrase implies. Also, I think "professional grade" is a more actionable term than "innovative styling". There are reasonable expectations and assumptions (based on industry norms and past history) that a consumer has when buying equipment advertised as having professional grade construction that isn't there when something is said to have innovative styling. And as far as "weather resistance" goes, a couple of rubber gaskets can make all the difference, and Roger should know that.

    I do agree with Rogers assertion that we seem to be missing the forest for the trees. He sums it up here:

    "Obviously a few Olympus 12-40mm lenses have broken at the mount. It may be there was a batch of badly molded mounts. It may be a design flaw. It may just be random chance – a few of everything break. But it’s not just because the mount is plastic."

    Thanks to the miracle of laptop technology, I can do my engineering work right here in my armchair, and as far as I can tell, Roger is correct. My guess is that there were a batch of lenses with bad materials. A recall would be costly so Olympus will fix them as they break. I do think Olympus intends this lens to be "professional grade" with everything that entails, and its certainly my hope that in the long run this lens will prove to have greater durability than its Lumix counterpart, but only time will tell.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Mike Ronesia

    Mike Ronesia Mu-43 Regular

    94
    Sep 16, 2013
    Saipan
    Mark James
    Why do you need to qualify it like this? Do you have a bet with someone that the Oly is better built? Do you loose sleep if you think others think less of Oly then you do? Did you buy one and now the only thing that matters is you don't have an asterisks next to one of your pieces of gear? To late for that by the way. Short of Oly coming out with a version II that addresses this issue I can't see me ever buying one. If the plastic posts are weak, it's only a matter of time before more start to pop up with the problem. I've seen this sort of thing happen before and the plastic will only get more brittle over the years and there will be more failures is my guess.

    Why wouldn't it be OK if they both have equally great build quality in the end? I for one don't wish other peoples equipment to fail faster then mine does, and I'm not sure why any moral person would.
     
  19. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    I'm sorry in a friendly forum, but unless you have evidence of flaws in the Panasonic build, you should never have written that.
     
  20. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    This is not true.
     
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