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View Full Version : HELP! 50-200mm oddity


peak4
2nd September 2012, 08:41 PM
I'm wondering if anyone else has had this problem.
I wandered down to Newport Wetlands last week, taking the 50-200mm non -SWD + EC-20 as my only long lens combination.

When I eventually found a bird to point it at, the cursed thing wouldn't focus at or near infinity. :(

I've now been playing with it at home and found that the same problem occurs on 3 different bodies, all of which work fine with other lenses.
It's not just AutoFocus which doesn't work, I can't go as far as infinity in manual either. Tried it with and without a filter and with both teleconverters, (and both directions of focus ring); still the same problem, even after cleaning the contacts.
I also set up my test target with sloping ruler at about 20' but it performed fine at these shorter distances, giving pretty accurate focussing and a nice sharp image.

It did go back to Olympus in 2009 when the two halved decided to part company with each other. It want back again in June last year with a regular and repeatable, but intermittent front focus issue.
On both occasions Olympus repaired it FOC, even though it was out of warranty.

I'm cussing at myself now as I suspect that it might have been like this since last June, without me realising. I've probably only used it as a mid range / close up lens since then, for butterflies and such like.

Could I be missing anything blindingly obvious? Annoying really as I'm about to go on holiday in just under 3 weeks.

andym
3rd September 2012, 07:52 AM
Yep my Mk1 version does this.My cameras are always in manual focus mode 3 so I can manual focus but auto focus at any time with the AEL/FN button depending what camera.
The only way I get round this rather than powering the camera down is a quick tweek of the focus ring,this seems to bring the focus back to life.

theMusicMan
3rd September 2012, 08:25 AM
Wow Bill... that's a long way to 'wander' from Sheffield!!! You should have given me a shout, I might have been able to join you. Newport is my home town.

ringneck
3rd September 2012, 09:33 AM
My Sigma 135-400 does not focus on infinity ....also depending on the focal length I am using it struggles at other distances as well.
I have put it down to getting a soaking last summer ...even though after drying it out it still worked.
It had a jamming problem - would not travel along the full length - and it was repaired a few years back under warranty....this included a "screw loose" that scratched the barrel.
Aside from the non focus issue it has the other problems back now as well but when I do get it to move in and out it takes good images ...but I bought a Bigma to get a some more reliable usage.

So what I am saying is that maybe yours is "damaged" in some way....

Keith

peak4
3rd September 2012, 05:09 PM
Yep my Mk1 version does this.My cameras are always in manual focus mode 3 so I can manual focus but auto focus at any time with the AEL/FN button depending what camera.
The only way I get round this rather than powering the camera down is a quick tweek of the focus ring,this seems to bring the focus back to life.

Not quite the same symptoms Andy, in this case I can't focus manually beyond a certain distance either. It's as though the lens runs out of travel before it gets to infinity; almost as though it has a very short extension tube fitted. The strange thing is, that even though the image is clearly out of focus, the focus confirm led illuminates and the camera triggers the shutter; odd considering I've got it set to only fire when in focus.

Wow Bill... that's a long way to 'wander' from Sheffield!!! You should have given me a shout, I might have been able to join you. Newport is my home town.

If I'd realised you lived there, I certainly would have done. It was a short notice 2 day training event I was delivering for work. In theory I should have travelled home on the third day in the firm's time, but I elected to go for a wander and explore somewhere new, heading for home in my own time.
I was fortunate to meet one of the volunteer wardens on the bus on my way out there who told me about the pools and hides at Goldcliffe. I got off the bus at the visitors centre and walked down the coast, with the intention of picking up the later bus at Goldcliffe. I met up with a generous local who offered me a lift back to the visitors centre, so I could treat myself to an ice cream whilst waiting for the return bus. :)

If I do get sent back down there I'll be seeking advice on a decent pub to eat at; the one nearest my guesthouse could do with a bit of improvement to both its beer and kitchen. :(

If anyone's looking for a good old fashioned guesthouse, The Knoll (http://www.theknoll.eu/) is worth looking into, just up from the cathedral.
If you know the area, you can probably tell which pub to avoid. :rolleyes: