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Olympus OM-D E-M5 The first Micro Four Thirds camera from Olympus with an integrated Electronic Viewfinder

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Old 28th May 2013
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SOLVED: 4/3 lenses no longer working

I think I cracked the code.

The issue is not due to the adapter, but due to the camera, or rather some flaw/imperfection in the design or implementation of the interface between 4/3 lens and m 4/3 body.

It's kind of strange and a bit long explanation, but here is the story, reconstructed from memory and behavior possible to reproduce.

Background: With my E620 I often use a programmable AF confirm chip (also known as dandelion chip) with my legacy lenses. The chip populates the EXIF with lens data, which is programmed into the chip by a rather archaic interface using camera controls and buttons. It also helps in assessing correct focus.

When mounting my legacy lens I used a chipped adapter ring that I had not used before on EM5. Next I attached the lens and EC14 to the body, turned power on in anticipation of a situation, but never took any picture that day.

On next photo session I used a non-chipped adapter ring. Taking pictures without EC14 works fine but as soon as mounted the EC14 I got a black screen and could not fire the shutter. I checked camera body and 12-50 micro 4/3 lens combination - camera works. Tested with a 4/3 lens I had in my bag - black screen. Back home I tested my 4/3 lens collection and got the same behavior for all 4/3 optics.

With this as background it is easy to draw conclusion that the m4/3 - 4/3 adapter is broken somehow, causing some bad electrical signal that would disable the image from being displayed on camera EVF/LCD. This is the point when I wrote this post. Several here recommended me inspection and cleaning of pins, however this did not help.

What I did next was to dig deeper. Full reset of camera, did not help. Next I picked a lens mounted on a chipped adapter of a different make that I have never used with this camera. I mounted the lens and the camera came to life!

This is when I rewinded the tape, replaying the scenes. I was able to reproduce the sequence of events.

The strange thing is that the chip I used in the first place somehow managed to put a brand new m 4/3 camera in a state where a connection to a full working 4/3 lens would be detected as a faulty connection, without any recovery possible.

You may raise the opinion that the fault is mine, that I should never have used a third part electronics - but based on previous experience on 4/3 body there was not a strong reason to suspect this weird behavior was going to happen. Even more strange is that use of another third part electronics did fix the issue.

One would have expected the design of the lens-body interface to be more robust than this.

Had I sent in the m4/3 - 4/3 adapter to Olympus it would have come back reported as "no fault".

Sorry for long post, thought some of you may be interested.


/Tord
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Old 28th May 2013
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Re: 4/3 lenses no longer working

So attaching a "dodgy" chipped adapter + legacy lens stops 4/3rds lens + EC14 +MMF3 adapter working, and then attaching a "working" chipped adapter + legacy lens makes the 4/3rds lens + EC14 +MMF3 work again. Have I got this right?

It sounds like a nightmare. Well done for figuring it out.
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Old 28th May 2013
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Re: 4/3 lenses no longer working

Almost. The dodgy chip caused the camera to stop working with any 4/3 lens.
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Old 28th May 2013
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Re: SOLVED: 4/3 lenses no longer working

I have followed this interesting story along and am really happy for you Tord, that you came out okay!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tordan58 View Post
One would have expected the design of the lens-body interface to be more robust than this.
Yes, I would definately say so.
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Old 28th May 2013
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Re: 4/3 lenses no longer working

I don't think Olympus can be expected to test their cameras with all the various dandelion chips out there.
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Old 29th May 2013
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Re: 4/3 lenses no longer working

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
I don't think Olympus can be expected to test their cameras with all the various dandelion chips out there.
On that I agree, and I am not blaming Olympus for that. In this case the dandelion chip generated a signal/output that somehow was detected by the camera body in a way that put it in an error state, and that is fine.

What surprises me is the design or implementation of the camera-body interface not able to recover from the error state, or produce adequate error messages guiding user what to do.

The proper way to handle the situation would have been to design the error handler in the following:
  • As the dodgy chip was used, issue a useful error message that user needs to acknowledge. "Unknown lens/faulty lens" or something like that.
  • After the camera-lens connection was found to be working, have the camera SW reset the error handler, and next time a 4/3 optics was used check if it was working and not assume it was broken by default.
  • Alternatively, offer a way to proceed with a coldstart (complete reset) of the camera SW, which would reset the interface as well. There is probably a way to do so by activating controls/buttons at power on but it is not documented to my knowledge.
I was real lucky to have another dandelion chip that by accident issued the signal/s that unlocked the camera...
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Old 29th May 2013
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Re: 4/3 lenses no longer working

It's probably worth telling Olympus all about this so that they can fix the bug in a future firmware update. I use an unchipped adapter, and given your experience I'd be reluctant to swap to a chipped one! Anyway, I'm glad you got it sorted .
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Re: 4/3 lenses no longer working

Leaving the battery out for a few days may have reset the camera sufficiently by clearing whatever the reset didn't.
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Re: 4/3 lenses no longer working

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto View Post
It's probably worth telling Olympus all about this so that they can fix the bug in a future firmware update. I use an unchipped adapter, and given your experience I'd be reluctant to swap to a chipped one! Anyway, I'm glad you got it sorted .
Thanks,
The advantages with an AF on the EM5 are to large extent gone since the EVF/LCD magnification feature does the job, and better. Only missing is the focal length and F number in EXIF but these can patched afterwards so it is not a big issue.

I plan to contact Olympus and report the incident as you are suggesting. Possibly it is related to the AF interface being different between m 4/3 and 4/3?

/Tord
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Old 4th June 2013
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Re: 4/3 lenses no longer working

Hi everyone!

I'm sorry I'm a little late posting this, but I'm sure that I have read somewhere that you shouldn't have more than one adapter on a lens at a time - I think due to communication issues. Therefore the MMF and the EC-14 together may have caused an issue without the involvement of the dandelion chip. Did you try the 4/3 lenses without the EC-14 on the MMF?

Cheers,

Ralph.
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Old 4th June 2013
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Re: 4/3 lenses no longer working

Hi everyone!

Here it is :- http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3274198

Second comment down, being a quote from olympus saying 2 adapters "isn't recommended". Lots of comments further down as to why this might be, no one thought it might lock up the camera though.

Cheers,

Ralph.
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Old 4th June 2013
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Re: 4/3 lenses no longer working

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Harwood View Post
Hi everyone!

I'm sorry I'm a little late posting this, but I'm sure that I have read somewhere that you shouldn't have more than one adapter on a lens at a time - I think due to communication issues. Therefore the MMF and the EC-14 together may have caused an issue without the involvement of the dandelion chip. Did you try the 4/3 lenses without the EC-14 on the MMF?

Cheers,

Ralph.
I had problems using the EC14 together the MMF3 with my ED 300mm f2.8 but it was only a strange rattling noise from inside the lens and didn't affect the camera, wasn't there when only the MMF3 was used.

David
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Old 4th June 2013
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Re: 4/3 lenses no longer working

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Harwood View Post
Hi everyone!

Here it is :- http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3274198

Second comment down, being a quote from olympus saying 2 adapters "isn't recommended". Lots of comments further down as to why this might be, no one thought it might lock up the camera though.

Cheers,

Ralph.
Ralph,

Thanks for the comment but the issue has nothing to do with stacking adapters. If you check the thread again the issue appears whenever I use that chipped adapter and is due to that particular AF confirm chip putting the camera in a non-functional state.

Cheers
Tord
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Old 17th June 2013
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Re: 4/3 lenses no longer working

Fit the MM-F adapter onto another lens, (using your body) and see if you get the same fault. If you do, the odds are that the adapter has a fault.
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