Olympus Zuiko 70-300mm focus ring

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Vrooooom, Jun 5, 2015.

  1. Vrooooom

    Vrooooom New to Mu-43

    May 12, 2015
    I got the Olympus 70-300mm lens from ebay a few days ago, and I am evaluating it's condition.

    When I turn the focus ring, there is a scratchy sound. Is it normal for this lens?
  2. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    That would not be normal for any lens.
  3. Vrooooom

    Vrooooom New to Mu-43

    May 12, 2015
    I have an old Canon EF lens (28-70 3.5-4.5) that does the same thing when I turn the focus ring. That lens is loud and noisy when it autofocuses. This Olympus is also loud and noisy. I was just wondering if it was normal for this lens.
  4. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Just a little, like the plastic ring was not cut perfectly. But the movement is smooth, I never noticed the sound before this thread.

    EDIT: sorry, I was talking about the 75-300
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2015
  5. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    It is a focus by wire lens & maybe that ring may have become a little deformed perhaps, but the important part is how the lens operates on the camera (powered on). It is important not to twist the end of the lens mechanically as it will strain the AF drive system, since the lens rotates to focus & can cause failure of it & can be a problem when removing the lens hood. You can either zoom out the lens & hold the barrel while remove the hood or press against the lens cap while doing it (best when mounted on the camera) to stop any rotation. It is a fairly noisy lens when focussing though.
  6. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Possible some grit is under the ring. I've cleaned legacy lenses, but I don't think I'd try a modern AF lens. Should be an inexpensive repair if it bugs you.
  7. Vrooooom

    Vrooooom New to Mu-43

    May 12, 2015
    Thanks for the replies, but it seems I didn't describe my problem accurately.

    When the lens is powered off, the focus ring is smooth to turn. There is no deformation to the focus ring.

    When the lens (and camera) is powered on, it makes a scratchy noise while manually focusing. This noise is from the focus motor working. I was wondering if this was normal, because this scratchy noise while manually focusing sounds awful. I suspect it is normal, but was wondering if other 70-300mm owners can confirm.
  8. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    My guess is that the scratchy noise is actually because it's focus-by-wire, so it's actuating the focus motor not moving a greased helicoid, so you're hearing the squeaky / scratchy noise old-school motors used to make.

    While I have no idea if it's the same sound, my 4/3 11-22mm is silent when it's off, but makes squinchy noises when I use the manual focus ring, so I imagine it's a very similar technology involved.

    Let us know what you think about the 70-300 when you've had a chance to play with it a bit. I'm particularly curious about image quality at the long end and focus speed...I'm debating it vs. the Panasonic 100-300mm because it's half the price and has 1:2 magnification. But then again, the Panasonic has OIS which is a big advantage...decisions, decisions.
  9. T. Rithmester

    T. Rithmester New to Mu-43

    Feb 15, 2013
    Struer, Denmark
    When I use manual fokus on my 70-300 it makes the kind of squeaky noise you describe. So I think it's quite normal for the lens.
  10. Vrooooom

    Vrooooom New to Mu-43

    May 12, 2015
    Alright. I'll stop worrying about the scratchy noise and just use it.

    My first impression of the lens is that it is ok. The native primes that I have have gave me a "wow" feeling. This one...not so much. It's ok though.
    You can't shoot this lens wide open like the native primes. It's soft wide open, though the bokeh is nice. I find that sharpness is better if I stop it down. I have been using f8 - f16. I think image stabilization is definitely needed in a lens like this. I haven't tried it with my GX1, but I think I'll get much blurrier photos without stabilization.

    I like that it's a 1:2 macro. I can distance myself when I do insect shots.

    When I got the lens it was on firmware 1.1. Boy was it slow to focus on my em5, and it seemed like it didn't know when to make up it's mind. I updated the lens to firmware 1.4, and it's much much faster. Not fast like the native lenses, but ok.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2015
  11. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yep, that's normal (if adjusting MF) as it is a noisy motor drive.
  12. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    You probably know that you can focus closer with MF than AF, but it is interesting that the latest firmware was released as late as it was for improved MF & I think it allows fine adjustment with slow turning but will advance more with a faster turn (more than normal).

    I believe this lens was actually made by Sigma for Olympus (or some other collaboration) as the Sigma lens (for other mounts) is exactly the same optically (not their cheapest model but the better 70-300mm lens at the time), plus Olympus weren't using AF/MF switches on their other lenses.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2015
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