Strange Issue with My New Olympus EZ 14-42mm lens

billbooz

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William H. Booz
I used - or, rather, tried to use - my new Olympus EZ 14-42mm lens extensively for the first time yesterday and encountered an issue that really worries me. I was at a 10K race in Richmond, VA (USA) and it was drizzling, though, initially, it was really only just very damp and misting. I was standing along the street waiting to take shots of family members as they passed. After about a half hour - and the lens barrel and camera had some water drops but they were by no means wet! - when I went to take a shot, the LCD went black and displayed this message: "Please check the status of a lens." I looked at my lens and it was extended, so I tried zooming it. Nothing. Frozen. I turned the camera (OM-D E-M10) off, but the lens remained extended. Obviously, I missed the shot of my daughter and granddaughter. I'm not happy!

In a minute or two, after shutting the camera back on and off, the lens came alive. Hmmm, I thought? A quirk. Is it just generally too moist in the air? And, if so, this lens is useless! However, I left the lens in place and made sure this time that it wasn't getting wet at all. Another fifteen minutes or so and another family member approaches. And the lens is frozen again!! $&%^#?! Now I'm really getting ticked. Removed the lens. Packed it away and mounted my 40-150mm for rest of the race.

Back in the complete dryness of a house, I put the lens back on and took a dozen or more shots then, BAM! Lens frozen with same message. It eventually, as before, unfroze and worked fine. Don't think it froze again for rest of the day and evening, but it has made wary of the lens and, since I've only owned it for three days, whether I even want to keep it!

Has anyone else had such an experience with this relatively new lens?
 

madogvelkor

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Sounds like the lens might be defective, or there is a problem with the electrical contacts. I haven't heard of similar issues with it.
 

rfortson

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Shame that this happened. When you send it back I wouldn't mention the rain, though if it got water damage they will probably be able to tell. Good luck.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk
 

billbooz

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Thanks, madogveikor and rfortson, and good suggestions. Someone on G+ just responds too and said it had happened to him and he returned lens for warranty repair. Good thought, rfortson!
 

billbooz

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William H. Booz
Well, haven't contacted Olympus yet but haven't had any further reoccurrences of the lens freeze up, so going to hang on. We're supposed to get some rain today, so I plan to go out in the dampness (not all the way into the rain!) and see if, perhaps, there was just too much moisture in the air last Saturday and it interfered with the electronics, the contacts. Still, that's a worry, though, too!
 

rfortson

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Well, haven't contacted Olympus yet but haven't had any further reoccurrences of the lens freeze up, so going to hang on. We're supposed to get some rain today, so I plan to go out in the dampness (not all the way into the rain!) and see if, perhaps, there was just too much moisture in the air last Saturday and it interfered with the electronics, the contacts. Still, that's a worry, though, too!
You might check the contacts and see if they got something on them. You can clean them with a pencil eraser.
 

billbooz

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Good idea, rfortson. Thanks. Have been using the lens off and on this past week with no recurrence of the freeze up issue.
 

Bif

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Bear in mind that that lens is NOT weather sealed, and neither is the E-M10. It doesn't take much in the way of moisture (even a bit of condensation can be bad) to cause problems or even damage. If you had a few drops accumulate on the lens barrel there is no way of being sure a small amount didn't "seep" in through a ring, switch, or other opening.

If you're going to be shooting in damp weather, pick up a used OMD E-M5 and a used 12-50mm lens. Both are weather sealed and need only a properly fitting UV filter on the lens to complete the weather sealing for the whole setup.

Next time you use that camera and lens combo under "wet" conditions you may wind up with a non functioning lens. Permanent. Moisture is "death" to most digital cameras. And to some film gear too.
 
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