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mr.sneezy Oct 29, 2016 9:12 PM

Oly 4/3 lens teardowns ?
Hi guys,
Have any of you seen any blogs or web sites with any disassembly images or similar info for obsolete Oly 4/3 system lenses ?

Looks like I may have to repair one of mine soon and so far it looks like images or info about the internals of any Oly lenses are a well kept cult secret.

(I'm happy to going the 'repair cult' if that's whats needed. :D )


Steven R Oct 30, 2016 8:57 PM

You might want to get a price from Olympus repair service. They usually charge a reasonable flat rate and did a good job when I needed a lens repaired.

Go to: and see if your lens is listed in the drop down list. If not, go to the "Contact us" page and get email instructions so you can ask them the specifics for your lens. Good luck.

mr.sneezy Oct 31, 2016 6:13 AM

Thanks Steve,
I'm in Australia where everything involving labour charges get stupidly expensive though. Postage back and forth to the USA is also very expensive from Australia.You guys are lucky to get that flate rate repair deal in the US, not many companies do that here.

The repair part looks to be about $10 online, and I have skills and the lens tools, I just don't have any info on the teardown sequence.

If it fails I'd rather put the money on a 12-40mm F2.8 Pro u4/3 lens, and get faster focussing speed.

The actual lens is a 12-60mm SWD, which seems to have a bit of a failure history...

Steven R Oct 31, 2016 6:40 PM

My bad, I had completely forgot that you lived in Australia.

For what it is worth, the Oly repair site for you would be:

And it looks like there is a big independent repair site at:

I couldn't find exploded views of that lens. Good luck, I hope you can get it fixed cheaply.

BBbuilder467 Nov 1, 2016 9:46 PM

It might help if you mention which specific lens it is.

Someone might have a link to a breakdown and repair of that particular lens.

mr.sneezy Nov 2, 2016 4:43 AM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by BBbuilder467 (Post 1408839)
It might help if you mention which specific lens it is.

Someone might have a link to a breakdown and repair of that particular lens.

Yes true, I was not very specific above. It's Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm F2.8-4 ED SWD.

I found this image of the rear ring removed exposing the set of flex cables. I suspect strongly that the aperture flex cable is cracked and that's why the aperture only works between 12mm and 18mm of focal length. Above that it stops responding, below it's fine.

mr.sneezy Nov 2, 2016 5:05 AM

Here's a video of the same job on a Canon lens. I'd do it in a clean room if I can get into the one at work (with my 'dirty' lens)...

mr.sneezy Sep 15, 2017 8:44 AM

Follow up on thread, my Oly ZD 12-60mm F2.8 teardown and repair.
5 Attachment(s)
Thought I'd post back here to finish the thread off better.
After finding out as much info from the WWW on the insides of an Oly ZD 12-60mm F2.8 lens (which was nearly zero...) I pulled mine down recently and found and fixed the aperture control issue.

That description sounds quite trivial, well the truth is that it's FAR FAR FAR away from a being a trivial repair task!
The pictures will tell the story best I think, but in brief it's a very complex and in some parts a very delicate lens assembly. On a number of occasions things could have gone very wrong, and as I got deeper into it I realised what the hell I'd got myself into...

So, this is not a DIY blog post, this is a warning to never try this if you value your time and sanity :)
(Perhaps this post should be a whole new thread).

In my defence, I've done this sort of repair on numerous hi-tech items I have no right to be able to fix, and have got away with it most of those numerous times. So digging myself a repair job hole is not unusual. I usually go into these things with a 'Fix it, or F#ck it' attitude. In this case if the later happened it was the trigger to get myself a m.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 PRO lens for the OM-D E-M1 (of which I have tried out and really like)...

So, the lens I was looking for a teardown or repair guide was actually the old ZD 12-60mm F2.8-4 ED SWD, which had a hugely disappointing and very suddenly occurring aperture control failure late last year.
So I got it pulled apart some months later, in sections, and bagged up each logical set of parts into numbered ziploc bags. I carefully photo documented as I removed parts. Once I got a the back plate assembly parts off I very quickly found a cracked ribbon flex cable to the aperture stepper motor. I repaired the aperture stepper motor cable by replacing it with a new one (about $5 from AliExpress !), this entailed desoldering and resoldering the stepper motor and the tiny surface mounted home position sensor to the new flex ribbon cable (and that's a story on it's own).
After that was complete and tested (motor continuity etc) it was reassembly time. And THAT was a much longer grind than I expected. Firstly I found that even with numerous photos, I'd not got quite enough detail for some sections, mainly for what I call the 'inner mechanism'. So I did much more trial fitting and irritated head scratching than I should have, in fact I walked away from it for up to a week between re-assembly sessions to calm down and have a think about it. In all I think it took me three months from pull down to fully reassembled, about 10 sessions of a few hours each time during that period. However, eventually I worked it all out...

I've shot some images since the repair and compared to shots I took in the same location a few years ago, and the results are fine, no difference in IQ.
Luckily the lens comes apart in sections that do NOT require the individual lens elements to be removed from their carriers, so lens orientation is just a matter of carefully marking those sub-sections for realignment later.

I've put nearly 70 teardown and repair images on to my Flickr account if anybody else is at all interested in this stuff, or is barking mad enough to follow and try this repair (don't, really I mean it, don't).

What might just be useful though, it's not very hard to remove the front element tube I discovered, so if you have dust or fungus behind it you might consider that part. Mostly it's about removing the back plate, zoom ring and zoom ring stop, then rotating the front element past the stop position, and it falls out...
Anyway, enough monologuing.

mr.sneezy Sep 15, 2017 9:59 PM

A couple more interesting pics
3 Attachment(s)
Some additional interesting pics. On the full Flickr album I've added notes to some photos that show critical reassembly points.

mr.sneezy Sep 15, 2017 11:24 PM

The joy of a good lens
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Sample taken in the yard today with the ZD 12-60mm at 60mm F8 1/500th.

HarjTT Sep 17, 2017 11:21 AM

Sneezy .. nows thats awesome.. not for the faint hearted or anyone with stubby fingers. Glad you managed to get it fixed and do it yourself, well done mate and truley impressed!




mr.sneezy Sep 19, 2017 8:14 AM


Originally Posted by HarjTT (Post 1412444)
Sneezy .. nows thats awesome.. not for the faint hearted or anyone with stubby fingers. Glad you managed to get it fixed and do it yourself, well done mate and truley impressed!




Yep thanks, I was quite happy to finish that repair. So many points along the way it could have got binned by a simple slip up.
Anyway, gained a lot of knowledge of how that series lens ticks inside that may be useful again one day.
I have more time to save up for a m.zuiko 12-40 F2.8 Pro now too, as I like my macro tinkering, and the newer lenses support 'focus stacking' that the old lenses don't. Almost enough reason for an upgrade by itself really :)

Steven R Oct 13, 2017 9:01 PM

That is a lot of delicate work. So glad to hear that you had successful results.

David the noob Jan 15, 2018 9:20 PM

I know this is kind of an old thread but I'm trying to find info on what I need to do to tighten the lens barrel on one of these oly lenses, it is very wobbly , not sure if it needs a complete teardown or if like Canon it can be tightend from the outside

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