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Old Feb 14, 2008, 2:22 AM   #1
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For anybody blaming their E3 for focus problems, you may want to think again because it 'could' have been your 12-60mm lens all along.

Already mentioned in another thread in this forum my lens has exhibited the same problems the recall is addressing, randomdead lens syndrome on startup, sometimes random shutting down during shooting, and random failure to find focus.

http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/cda/le...2/14/7954.html

http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=21742

http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=21224


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Old Feb 14, 2008, 2:37 AM   #2
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Update



The lenses affected are 'some' between the serial numbers

230005416 and 230010688
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Old Feb 14, 2008, 8:24 AM   #3
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So far the recall has been announced by Olympus in Japan and Europe. Has anyone seen yet a USA recall?

http://www.olympus.co.uk/consumer/208_18859.htm
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Old Feb 14, 2008, 8:52 AM   #4
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This is what is posted on Olympus USA:



http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_se...pport_1260.asp


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Old Feb 15, 2008, 5:40 AM   #5
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The Australian site has a similar page too: http://www.olympus.com.au/content/view/174/51

I happened to call them today to talk about it since my 12-60 is in the recall range. They seem to think that actual failures are rare even within the nominated range, with no known occurances in Australia though lenses in that number range were sold here (clearly, since I have one).

They recommended that if my gear does not seem to be malfunctioning I shouldn't be in any hurry to send it in for inspection. They say that even after the warranty period expires, I'll be covered for faults due to this (possible) defect, and hence I could, at my option, ignore the recall.

They also said the failure mode is that the lens stops autofocusing, not that it misses a shot here and there. I guess it just jams somehow. Anyway, it seems that this is not consistent with the Dreaded Focus Problem that some people report. This knowledge hasn't made me entirely happy since I was hoping that it would explain my first really bizarre autofocus event, where my E3 +12-60 wouldn't focus on a highrise building (it refused point blank!) and I had to try several times to get any shot at all. Maybe it's time for a Newbie's Guide to Phase Detect Autofocus so I can know what causes this peculiar behaviour.

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Old Feb 15, 2008, 9:58 AM   #6
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Maybe it's time for a Newbie's Guide to Phase Detect Autofocus so I can know what causes this peculiar behaviour.

Its because AF cameras find it difficult to focus on repeating patterns, the Nikon D3 manual warns of focus problems on skyscrapers for instance, while the E3 manual describes the phenomenon with venetian blinds (page 122 English manual). All makes of camera do it. It happens because you are not giving it just one primary edge or detail to focus on, so the camera doesn't know whether to focus either past the repeating pattern, in front of it, or which segement of the repeat pattern is the correct one.

I think the genuine 'Dreaded Focus Problem' is that a very few camera bodieshave a backfocus problem. But the behaviour of the 12-60mm would cover an awful lot of the other reported problems. It does miss shots here and there exactly because itsticks and stops focusing. It could do this when very close to being in focus, it is like the lens motor can't refine the last fraction of the focus and gives up. If you are attentive you see it happen and try again.


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Old Feb 16, 2008, 10:02 AM   #7
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OCD wrote:
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Its because AF cameras find it difficult to focus on repeating patterns, the Nikon D3 manual warns of focus problems on skyscrapers for instance, while the E3 manual describes the phenomenon with venetian blinds (page 122 English manual). All makes of camera do it. It happens because you are not giving it just one primary edge or detail to focus on, so the camera doesn't know whether to focus either past the repeating pattern, in front of it, or which segement of the repeat pattern is the correct one.
To me, disclaimer like these made by the manufacturers (whether it's Nikon, Oly, Canon, etc.) is a bunch of BS. It's a way to get away with an issue w/o truly resolving it. Can you believe it? You pay all that money for a D3, which BTWmay have focus problems depending on the pattern of the image being photographed??? This is an outrage, ludicrous to say the least. What happens to the 43+ focus points? Some vertical, some horizontal, some both??? C'mon, I have a Sony H1 P&S, old technology, one focus point and guess what...it never misses. Whether I'm shooting Venetian blinds, trees, clouds, water, flat walls, etc, etc, etc. As long as we, consumers keep accepting the disclaimer assuming that nothing can be done and it's just the way it is, as opposed to fighting for fixes, these companies will not invest the extra $$$. I'd say, contact the vendor, get a replacement, and another and another until you find one that works. Contact the manufacturer, open problem reports, send the camera in, change brands or models if the problem is related to a particular model. I think we have the power. I bought the E510 just before Xmas last year. Three weeks ago a got a replacement kit from Amazon because I noticed the camera was not focus consistently (the problembecame evident when I got the 35mm macro lens). Even though it was over the 30-day period, Amazon sent me another kit. Bingo! The new body works like a charm!
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Old Feb 16, 2008, 3:53 PM   #8
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As long as we, consumers keep accepting the disclaimer assuming that nothing can be done and it's just the way it is, as opposed to fighting for fixes, these companies will not invest the extra $$$. I'd say, contact the vendor, get a replacement, and another and another until you find one that works. Contact the manufacturer, open problem reports, send the camera in, change brands or models if the problem is related to a particular model.

I think you must misunderstand, you seem to imagine manufacturers can't be bothered or some such thing? It is not a disclaimer to start with, sometimes cameras have no problem at all focusing on repeating patterns depending on the quality of the contrast and light, but putting a warning in a manual just alerts people to when problems 'may' occur.

A car manufacturer would do a similar thing warning you not to exceed the recommended speed on a replacement space saver wheel. They don't mean the wheel isn't fit for purpose, but itsdesign is not suitable to run above a certain speed limit. Likewise with a cameras focus system, the more versatile it gets the more likely you are to highlight one or two small problems that are the resultant compromise of the design (like the compromise of the space saver wheel) these can be blown out of all proportion compared to the other gains in the focus system. But you will always get some Luddite wanting a full size wheel instead, andwho ignores the benefits ofthe extra space, the weight saving, the extra fuel economy. So while your Sony H1 can focus on a venetian blind, does it have 43 focus points and the adaptability of those points like the D3? And coming froma world some would think is the 'real' one, how often do you need to focus on a venetian blind, and if you do what is it that you don't understand about focus systems in DSLR's that paralyse you from adapting your technique?
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Old Feb 17, 2008, 2:12 AM   #9
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You are in many ways right, Tullio. However, since you cannot calculate directly where focus is, it has to iterate, i.e. repeatedly try in different directions until focus is achievet. When you design the focus algorithm, you will have to choose whether you want speed or reliability. For sports photo, you need speed, i.e. the algorithm will have to give up faster when it comes to difficult patterns.

And, OCD, you are wrong regarding the random focus problems: most of the users, who dared to speak up, are very experienced users. For most of them, the focus problems occurs with any lens, not just the 12-60mm.

Olympus has undoubtedly production problems of a kind with the e-3. Since the e-510 and e-410 are not affected, the problems are most likely startup problems rather than quality issues like those Minolta ran into. Olympus will resolve them and hopefully soon, but until they do, I am in absolutely no haste to look at an e-3.

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Old Feb 17, 2008, 4:26 AM   #10
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And, OCD, you are wrong regarding the random focus problems: most of the users, who dared to speak up, are very experienced users. For most of them, the focus problems occurs with any lens, not just the 12-60mm.

Jorgen, I don't recall saying the focus problem was only confined to one lens on the faulty cameras.

But it is important not tothink it is one overall problemwhen itin fact occurs by two different means, the first a faulty lens, the second a faulty body.

One way to get random or back focus problemsis to use a faulty 12-60 on a good camera body, another way was to use a good 12-60 on afaulty camera body, and the third way was to use a faulty 12-60 on a faulty camera body, and the final way is to use any other lens on a faulty body. Now thats not difficult to understand.

And as regards 'most' of the users who have rightly said they can detect the source of a problem on the body (not sure why they need worry about 'daring to speak up'?) being experienced, then yes they probably are. But using the word 'most' sort of misrepresents the size of the body focus problem, because once all the inexperienced users have been eliminatedthrough not understanding DSLR's and conflating their bogus focus problems with the real ones, then there aren't many left who have a genuine problem with the body.
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