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Problems with Zuiko MFT 9-18 lens

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I have an Olympus ED 9-18 mft lens which was working fine on my GH4 about a year ago. Since then it's been sitting quietly on a shelf in a sturdy container, no bumps, knocks or falls.

 

But when I attached it to the GH4 yesterday and powered up, the camera emitted three strange sounds and came up with the error message 'Lens attachment failed. Please make sure the lens is attached correctly.'

Detaching and re-attaching the lens gave the same result, as did cleaning contacts on both camera and lens.

My first thoughts are moisture/electrical, but before I rush out and spend who knows how much to have it looked at, has anyone had a similar experience and can possibly offer a solution?

 

Thanks in advance,

John

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I had an issue with Olympus camera the locating pin also functions as a kind of switch and for one particular lens it would not register the lens so the display just went black your Panasonic camera may respond differently?  It worked fine when attaching different lenses - it seems the depth of the locating hole varies slightly among different lenses.  It was called the frame contact mount unit.

Do you have another camera you can try the 9-18 on?  I think you need to check if it is the camera or the lens.  Did you try jiggling the lens a bit.  Assume you have tried other lenses on the body?

I had the camera repaired at Olympus North Ryde, costs were quite reasonable at $115.  Not sure where or how you would get repairs on a Panasonic camera, but if it is the lens Olympus repairs were good to deal with.  I'm in Sydney so I dropped the camera in for repairs at North Ryde.

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Thanks for the speedy response Chris.

I'm pretty sure the pin is being properly seated in the locating hole of the lens.  I'd already checked the hole to make sure there was no obstruction, and that it appeared deep enough to take the length of the pin.  Also I can hear the pin click into place when the lens is attached.

I have two other lenses (both Lumix) that work fine with the camera, as this one has done up until now, but it would certainly be worth trying the lens on another m43 camera and I'll do that when I get the chance. Other than that I might just have to bite the bullet and have it repaired.

Thanks again,

John

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Yeah the issue I described had the pin click into place, seemingly like it should, but the fault seemed to be that on the one lens that gave problems it didn't go in quite as far - like a fraction of a mm less - the switch should have responded but because it was faulty it didn't.   

Because it's an olympus lens on a Panasonic body you probably need to work out who to send what to - if they were both olympus you could take/send them both to the same place to work it out.  I'm assuming the panasonic would have similar functionality with the pin.

I'm not sure where in Oz you live, but I found it useful to take the body, the lens and another lens that worked in to compare.  They also tried the lens on a body they had and confirmed where the issue lay and they just kept the body to repair. 

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Interestingly I've checked the locating holes in the Lumix lenses and the Zuiko.  The bottom  of the holes in both Lumix lenses I have is bare metal, while the bottom of the hole in the Zuiko lens appears to have some sort of thin foam covering it. It doesn't appear to be foreign material and why this would suddenly present a problem is a mystery.

I'm in Tassie and a long way from any camera repair specialist, so my first step will probably be to try the 9-18 lens on someone else's mft, Olympus and/or Panasonic, and take it from there.

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I have the same lens. If it has set up for a long period, it could be contacts. I use a simple alcohol (91%) with a Q tip to swap the connectors until they are bright and shiny. Examine the camera as well. Clean them if the appear the least bit "not shiny". The error you are getting is the Camera is NOT recognizing (reading) the lens information. Olympus cameras will not let you use a lens it cannot "read". 

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Let me know if this works. If not, I can research the issue for you and then send same along to you.

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There is an independent repairer in Adelaide who does both Panasonic and Olympus repairs who might be able to assist if you can't isolate the problem.  If you put it on another camera and it also gives the same message, you are probably fairly safe in saying it's the lens. 

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Thanks Chris, Bill.

I'd already cleaned the contacts on both lens and camera but did so again just to be sure - same result I'm afraid.

As I said I'll try the lens on another m43 when I can get my hands on one and go from there.

Thanks both for your help.

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Checked with Olympus technical. They said if it was not the contacts, it was most likely an "internal ribbon connector". One I would not try to fix myself. UNLESS it works on another 4/3 cam. They suggested you send it in (not anytime soon, right!). 

See the same fault rarely on well-used M. Zuiko 9-18mm with "Check lens status" message.

Olympus will repair (U.S.) charge ~ $168 to fix the problem but a total rebuild/refurbish. Internal/external cleaning and reset to factory specs. The part replaced is listed as "FRAME 22, UNIT 2". They do not replace individual ribbons but the whole board (a good thing). He asked if under warranty.

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Thanks for the follow up Bill, sounds like that might be the problem. 

I'll still wait to see if I can try it on another MFT camera and decide where to go from there.  At least this gives me a ball park figure of possible cost.

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