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  #1  
Old 11th May 2018
RobEW RobEW is offline
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Replacement for my FT 12-60 SWD

My lovely old walkabout 12-60 SWD seems to have developed an aperture fault and I've had a repair estimate of about 180 from Luton Camera Repairs. As it cost only 250 used from Wex (just over a year ago, so out of warranty) I'm considering replacing it. Anyone have one in good condition and with some provenance for sale?

(I use it on E-M1, so I could also consider an affordable M.Zuiko 12-40 but they seem to sell for a lot more ...)
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Old 11th May 2018
griffljg griffljg is offline
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Re: Replacement for my FT 12-60 SWD

When my old 12-60 SWD developed the same aperture fault, I also looked at alternatives, but they were either too pricey or not of a decent enough standard. So I bit the bullet and had the lens repaired for AUD350.00, which is just a bit pricier than your quote.

It is still working well about 5 years or so down the track.

My advice is that if you can get a 12-40 f/2.8 PRO second hand for anything like 180, take a good look at it and consider whether you can live with the loss of 20mm at the top end.

If not, then get your 12-60 SWD repaired. - Once you have worked with such a brilliant, sharp and versatile lens, it is terribly difficult to go backwards.
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Cameras: Olympus OM-D E-M1 II, Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus XZ-2 | Flash: Olympus FL-50R
Lenses: Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-100mm f/4.0 IS PRO, Olympus MMF-3 adaptor, Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 SWD, Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-45mm 1:3.5-5.6, Olympus Zuiko Digital 40-150mm 1:3.5-4.5, Olympus Zuiko Digital 70-300mm 1:4-5.6, Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f4.0-6.3 ASPH
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Old 11th May 2018
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Ross the fiddler Ross the fiddler is offline
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Re: Replacement for my FT 12-60 SWD

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Originally Posted by RobEW View Post
My lovely old walkabout 12-60 SWD seems to have developed an aperture fault and I've had a repair estimate of about 180 from Luton Camera Repairs. As it cost only 250 used from Wex (just over a year ago, so out of warranty) I'm considering replacing it. Anyone have one in good condition and with some provenance for sale?

(I use it on E-M1, so I could also consider an affordable M.Zuiko 12-40 but they seem to sell for a lot more ...)
I had the same problem last year too & just had to use the 14-54 II instead (or 12-50EZ lens) until I had decided what direction to take. I went for the 12-40 Pro on New Years sale (end of December) as Olympus Australia (Sydney) told me they won't repair it anymore. I had bought my 12-60 SWD lens used a year before at a cheap price. Olympus did suggest a lens repairer in Sydney, but ......
If money wasn't the issue then the 12-40 f2.8 Pro is ideal for indoors (along with the 40-150 f2.8 Pro) but for outdoor work the 12-100 f4 lens would be even better (but obviously costs more).
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Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ross-the-fiddler/
Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
Lenses: M.ZD12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens with MC-14, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
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Old 11th May 2018
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Re: Replacement for my FT 12-60 SWD

Thanks for comments. I have only modest finances and am merely a hobby photographer, so I can't sensibly afford 12-100 nor new versions of the M43 Pro lenses. And (judging from EBay sales) I doubt if I'd get an undamaged used 12-40 Pro for anything like the 180 estimated repair cost. I could get one for double that, whereas used 12-60 SWDs sometimes go for under 200 and often for under 250.
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Old 11th May 2018
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Re: Replacement for my FT 12-60 SWD

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Originally Posted by RobEW View Post
Thanks for comments. I have only modest finances and am merely a hobby photographer, so I can't sensibly afford 12-100 nor new versions of the M43 Pro lenses. And (judging from EBay sales) I doubt if I'd get an undamaged used 12-40 Pro for anything like the 180 estimated repair cost. I could get one for double that, whereas used 12-60 SWDs sometimes go for under 200 and often for under 250.
Then either repair or another 12-60 sounds like the way to go then.

BTW, I'm only a mere hobby photographer (if that) too.

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I fiddle with violins (when I'm not fiddling with a camera).
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ross-the-fiddler/
Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
Lenses: M.ZD12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens with MC-14, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
Flashes: FL36R X2, FL50R, FL50.
Software: Capture One Pro 10 (& Olympus Viewer 3).
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Old 11th May 2018
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Re: Replacement for my FT 12-60 SWD

Have you tried Olympus for the repair? I paid them 111 to fix the same fault but that was in November 2015. I opted for the repair because there was no chance of getting any lens anywhere near that good for anywhere near that price!

The risk with buying a replacement S/H is that, given that this a known fault with this lens, how long will the S/H replacement last before it goes the same way?

I mentioned this in another thread - the fault is usually caused by a broken flexi-strip cable. You used to be able to buy these off Ebay. If the lens is only destined for the skip anyway, it might be worth trying to fix it. I have to confess that I have not attempted this so I have no idea whether this is easy, difficult or impossible and it's only something I would ever consider once the lens was effectively beyond economical repair.

Dave
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Old 11th May 2018
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Re: Replacement for my FT 12-60 SWD

I'm not very good at mending things, but if it's pretty well beyond economical repair I guess I could have a go. In fact at first sight I can't even see how to make a start getting it open. I think this is the connector: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-Lens-...19.m1438.l2649

But it could turn out to be the aperture blades. Judging from discussion in various forums found while googling on the subject, this is sometimes thought to be the case.

Edited to add: looking more closely I can see 4 tiny screws on the metal ring near the rear element, and 3 infinitesimal black screws on the black inner ring - too small even for jewellers' screwdrivers I think. I feel out of my depth already ...

Anyone got a used one for sale?
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Old 11th May 2018
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Re: Replacement for my FT 12-60 SWD

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Originally Posted by daveben View Post
Have you tried Olympus for the repair? I paid them 111 to fix the same fault but that was in November 2015. I opted for the repair because there was no chance of getting any lens anywhere near that good for anywhere near that price!
Dave that was the siruation when I had one repaired too
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Old 11th May 2018
daveben daveben is offline
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Re: Replacement for my FT 12-60 SWD

Hi RobEW,

I just had a quick look at mine - all seven of those screws turned easily enough using a small jewellers screwdriver but as there it nothing wrong with my lens I did them up again very quickly so I can't tell you how easy or difficult a repair it would be.

I do know that when Olympus mended mine (and Luton said they would do the same), they replaced the entire aperture mechanism. That doesn't mean it was faulty, probably more likely that it is a quicker swap out than changing the flexi-strip.

The clue (in my case) that it was the flexi-strip at fault was that the aperture worked correctly at short focal lengths but wouldn't operate at long focal lengths. This is because when the lens is extended, the flexi-strip is straightened out and any breaks in it become non-conductive. When the lens is wound back in, the breaks re-connect and it works again. If you have these symptoms (or indeed it was like this when it first went faulty), then chances are it is a broken strip.

Dave
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Old 11th May 2018
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Re: Replacement for my FT 12-60 SWD

I would suggest if you would still rather buy one only buy one that has had the shutter mechanism repaired.
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Old 12th May 2018
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Re: Replacement for my FT 12-60 SWD

Aperture mechanism you mean. Yes, that's what's making me cautious about getting another used one. It might develop the same fault. But people who sell on here tend to have looked after their equipment. I guess most 12-60s don't get the problem, but we only hear about copies that do.
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Old 12th May 2018
griffljg griffljg is offline
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Re: Replacement for my FT 12-60 SWD

Ross and I have both experienced the aperture problem with the 12-60mm SWD. I would be interested to hear if anybody else has. But from looking at various other Olympus groups on the net, I get the impression that this issue is far from rare. If buying a used 12-60mm SWD, do your due diligence and make certain that the lens has had its flexi-strip replaced.

Caveat emptor!
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Cameras: Olympus OM-D E-M1 II, Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus XZ-2 | Flash: Olympus FL-50R
Lenses: Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-100mm f/4.0 IS PRO, Olympus MMF-3 adaptor, Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 SWD, Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-45mm 1:3.5-5.6, Olympus Zuiko Digital 40-150mm 1:3.5-4.5, Olympus Zuiko Digital 70-300mm 1:4-5.6, Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f4.0-6.3 ASPH
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Old 12th May 2018
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Re: Replacement for my FT 12-60 SWD

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Originally Posted by griffljg View Post
Ross and I have both experienced the aperture problem with the 12-60mm SWD. I would be interested to hear if anybody else has. But from looking at various other Olympus groups on the net, I get the impression that this issue is far from rare. If buying a used 12-60mm SWD, do your due diligence and make certain that the lens has had its flexi-strip replaced.

Caveat emptor!
My lens started off fine & several months later it developed the problem. I think it is an age & use thing & any 'pre-loved' one may possibly develop the same issue in due course. I was prepared to have mine repaired had Olympus done it, but now I have the 12-40 Pro I don't really want to go that way if another repairer could do it anyhow.
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I fiddle with violins (when I'm not fiddling with a camera).
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ross-the-fiddler/
Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
Lenses: M.ZD12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens with MC-14, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
Flashes: FL36R X2, FL50R, FL50.
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Old 12th May 2018
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Re: Replacement for my FT 12-60 SWD

Anyone know: if you have it repaired, is the new cable more durable than original, or could it be a recurrent problem?
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Old 12th May 2018
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Re: Replacement for my FT 12-60 SWD

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Anyone know: if you have it repaired, is the new cable more durable than original, or could it be a recurrent problem?
One hopes you will get the number of year's life out of the lens that it already had, taking into account the amount of zooming it gets.
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I fiddle with violins (when I'm not fiddling with a camera).
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ross-the-fiddler/
Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
Lenses: M.ZD12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens with MC-14, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
Flashes: FL36R X2, FL50R, FL50.
Software: Capture One Pro 10 (& Olympus Viewer 3).
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