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Old Apr 20, 2008, 10:50 PM   #1
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Howdy! I've been gone for a while for work, but while on my trip my E500 went from taking good shots to taking out of focus shots. I reset to factory settings, shot in full auto mode, kit lens with no filters, and everything else I could think of to no avail. Thoughts? Does the auto-focus part need cleaning, tuning, something? Is a contact bad? Do I need a new camera :-)

Tommy O
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Old Apr 20, 2008, 11:48 PM   #2
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I am no expert,but I would first try it with another lens,or not having one, I would clean the contacts with an eraser. I would then raise the mirror and gently blow any dust/dirt from behind the sensor. Also,be sure when removing the lens, they say to turn off the camera before doing so.
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Old Apr 20, 2008, 11:55 PM   #3
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Is your lens moving or not moving when you half-press the shutter release? Do you have the camera set to manual focus?

If your lens is NOT moving and you have it set to autofocus:
- I assume you made sure your lens and body electrical contacts were clean, and you aren't touching the "lens release" button when using the camera.

- Does your f/stop number actually show a number or does it show "- - -"...try turning the lens (the entire lens, not just the zoom or focus ring) WITHOUT pressing the "lens release" button, and see if that locks the lens into position...the lens won't work if it's not locked in place.

- Do you have another lens you can try...maybe it's the lens that's bad.

- If you passed all of that and if your lens is still not moving then it's time for a trip to the repair outlet.


If your lens is moving, but it can't get a focus lock:
the focus sensor is at the bottom of the mirror box and is prone to collecting dust (especially since the SSWF is kicking dust off it, and some of those vibrations may be transfered to the shutter and kicked off it, falling onto the focus sensor, not to mention dust falling from the mirror slap). Here's a cutaway of an E-400 showing the location of the focus sensor:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/08...Elightpath.jpg

Here's how to do it, although if you do follow these instructions and wreck your camera I'm NOT RESPONSIBLE!!! Using something like the Giottos Rocket Air Blower (DO NOT USE CANNED AIR), remove the lens, point the lens opening downward, put the nozzle in the mirror box towards the bottom of the camera (where the focus sensor is located), and squeeze the blower...give a few seconds for the dust to fall out of the mirror box, and see if it improves things.
Again if you're not comfortable with this, a professional photo dealer that knows Olympus should be able to do it for you for little or no cost.
Some people have solved their focus problems by following this, but again you follow these instructions at your own risk.

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Old Apr 21, 2008, 8:23 PM   #4
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Wow - thanks for all the information! The focus does adjust when I depress the shutter release, and it is bad with both kit lenses I own. I'll probably stop by my dealer and ask if they can clean the focus sensor for me - if they mess it up they can fix it :-)

Tommy O
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Old Apr 21, 2008, 8:50 PM   #5
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OK, I couldn't wait to let someone else do it ... ;-) I took off the lens, set the camera to cleaning mode to open the mirror, turned the camera upside down & inverted and then .... I foofed. that's right, I foofed! I powered off, put on the lens, turned it on and took a nice crisp picture. Who knew! Thanks for the help!!

Tommy O
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Old Apr 22, 2008, 3:13 AM   #6
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Actually, you SHOULDN'T have engaged the cleaning mode...because that exposes the CCD sensor to the dust you blow off the focusing sensor (that's why I never mentioned using the cleaning mode; in future I'll have to add you DON'T want to engage the cleaning mode for this type of cleaning.

Well, what's done is done, and at least the focusing issue is fixed now.

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Old Jul 12, 2008, 7:48 PM   #7
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I have a very similar problem on my C720. I am unable to focus at full zoom (8x). When i reduce the zoom, it works fine. Any idea if the problem is the same? Where would the focus sensor be for my camera.

PS: Sorry for posting in this thread related to E500, but since the problem is similar thought of posting it here.
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Old Jul 12, 2008, 8:31 PM   #8
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deep_bang wrote:
Quote:
I have a very similar problem on my C720. I am unable to focus at full zoom (8x). When i reduce the zoom, it works fine. Any idea if the problem is the same? Where would the focus sensor be for my camera.

PS: Sorry for posting in this thread related to E500, but since the problem is similar thought of posting it here.
First of suggest you ask in the Oly forum here rather than the Oly dSLR forum.

But just a quick response since I used to be a C-7xx user, the problem you described ISN'T the same...with the problem the others describe they can't focus at any focal length (zoom).

Your problem only happens when you get to the end of the zoom...it could either be a mechanical problem (not worth the expense of getting it fixed), or user error, not holding the camera still enough or not selecting a good subject to focus on; the camera uses contrast (difference between light and dark) to judge focus...if there's no contrast, or very low light, the camera won't be able to focus.

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