Olympus 12-40mm not fragile by the industry standards

dougjgreen

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How many of these $1000 lenses that have been shipping for less than 3 months do people think are actually out there in the field? I'd be stunned if it were more than a few thousand units worldwide at this point. And yet, we have already gotten several reports of failures by the same failure mechanism. To claim that there is not SOME type of QA issue with this lens at this point is whistling past the graveyard. We don't know if it's a design issue, or if it's a broad-based manufacturing issue, or if it's a defect with a single manufacturing lot of these lenses - but I can absolutely guarantee that there is SOME issue causing this, well beyond that of mere random coincidence. Even three similar mount failures in the field at this early point in the life of this lens would be at least a couple of sigma outside the predicted failure rate at the lens mount for a brand new high-end product. It's appropriate to say that there isn't any reason to blame the fact that the lens mount is plastic, but it is most assuredly NOT appropriate to say that no bona-fide QA issue exists at this point. There is enough failure data to say with extreme confidence that an actual defect does exist - whether it is a design defect, or a manufacturing defect is unknown, and if it is a manufacturing defect - we don't know if it's a systemic problem or one bad manufacturing lot. But we can for sure know that an actual issue exists by three in-field failures of brand new product that has only shipped a few thousand units.
 

Ricoh

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I really don't want to say much more, but @WasOM3user, I suggest any stressed plastic should have a metal insert. It's not my area of knowledge but the insert could be added (possibly) during the moulding process. The resulting increase in surface area - insert to plastic - would take a greater loading.
 

Amin Sabet

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I think you misread him. "No more likely" is not saying "no incidents".
I don't think I misread him. If he had even a single incident (of the lens breaking in the manner our members described), I don't think he could say that the lens seems no more likely to break than any other lens they currently ship.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Mu-43 mobile app
 

WasOM3user

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@Ricoh re "I really don't want to say much more, but @WasOM3user, I suggest any stressed plastic should have a metal insert. It's not my area of knowledge but the insert could be added (possibly) during the moulding process. The resulting increase in surface area - insert to plastic - would take a greater loading."

Depends on the material used - some plastics work well with inserts some do not and thats before we start talking about the inserts being moulded in or heat staked or inserted using ultrasonics each of which gives different properties and can be more or less suitable for different grades or mixes of plastics. It can also make parts/units bigger and give problems with distortion from the thicker sections needed as well.

Having re-checked all the pictures in the lens rental blog none of the Nikon, Canon, Sony or Tamron lenses have inserts for the mount screws either.
 

jnewell

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It is reassuring that Lensrentals has been sending copies of this lens all over the place without incident to date:
What will be interesting and informative is the condition in which they come back to him. (I'm not being facetious - if equipment has weaknesses, Lensrentals will be on the receiving end of the problems.)
 

jnewell

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I would guess a few thousand world-wide is right, and most of those would be sold in Asia, and most members here are from the Americas and western Europe.

How many of these $1000 lenses that have been shipping for less than 3 months do people think are actually out there in the field? I'd be stunned if it were more than a few thousand units worldwide at this point. And yet, we have already gotten several reports of failures by the same failure mechanism. To claim that there is not SOME type of QA issue with this lens at this point is whistling past the graveyard. We don't know if it's a design issue, or if it's a broad-based manufacturing issue, or if it's a defect with a single manufacturing lot of these lenses - but I can absolutely guarantee that there is SOME issue causing this, well beyond that of mere random coincidence. Even three similar mount failures in the field at this early point in the life of this lens would be at least a couple of sigma outside the predicted failure rate at the lens mount for a brand new high-end product. It's appropriate to say that there isn't any reason to blame the fact that the lens mount is plastic, but it is most assuredly NOT appropriate to say that no bona-fide QA issue exists at this point. There is enough failure data to say with extreme confidence that an actual defect does exist - whether it is a design defect, or a manufacturing defect is unknown, and if it is a manufacturing defect - we don't know if it's a systemic problem or one bad manufacturing lot. But we can for sure know that an actual issue exists by three in-field failures of brand new product that has only shipped a few thousand units.
 

gr8Shot

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http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/12/assumptions-expectations-and-plastic-mounts
What amused me was the absolute fury expressed by numerous photographers that a “professional quality” lens might have a plastic mount. I’ve looked up the term ‘professional quality’ everywhere and nowhere have I found it defined as ‘having an all-metal mount’. But some people are livid that it isn’t so. If you’ve read one of these posts on the internet lately, you’ve learned all kinds of things. . . none of which are true....

I take apart lenses all day every day, so I was rather amazed to find all these facts spoken so dogmatically by people who claimed them to be absolutely true. I make it a rule never to argue with people who claim absolute knowledge, no matter how wrong they are. But I will occasionally show them pictures. So here are some pictures of the mounts of lenses that Aaron and I took apart for various reasons this morning.
It is not the plastic. It is the design.

ROTFL. What amuses me is people who look at images of the 12-40 and think it is well built. There are many finely constructed plastics lenses. But the assertion that all plastic lenses are well built is laughable. I think everyone agrees, plastic lenses can be made to last.

If you have worked on automobiles, appliances, electric devices or simply have an interest in manufacturing, you can distinguish good from bad. Each of the statements quoted above are generally true. But specific photos - and NOT failure statistics - show the 12-40 has poorly designed screw sockets. If the author of the article thinks the 12-40 is up to industry standards, let's hear it. All he said was 'the 12-40 may be defective'. That's not exactly a glowing enforcement. And it certainly does not imply that the 12-40 is even average.
 
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