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Olympus E-500 E-500 specific discussion.

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Old 19th October 2012
wmphoto.co.uk wmphoto.co.uk is offline
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After a storm, AF and the Menu Button no longer work

I was out in the rain on Wednesday with my camera, taking photos of used cars, it's a regular job I have and one I use my E-500 for as the photos don't need to be high res and I like to have a camera that is nice and contact out there with me.

It started raining very heavily, I did have a rain cover and it rained so heavily that the rain penetrated it, but it still worked to an extent, as my camera still didn't get any wetter than it might do in a mild shower.

However, since then the autofocus has stopped worked (I know it's the camera not the lens as it will still manual focus perfectly well and I have tried different lenses on the E-500 and the lens I had been using on my E-5), I have tried all the autofocus points and the problem isn't there either, as none of them work.

The menu button has also stopped working, which if anything, is actually a bigger problem as it denies me access to many of the camera's functions.

My camera has been laid on a bed of silica gel on a windowledge above a radiator since then. The info button had stopped working as well but this now seems to be working fine. The autofocus and menu button still don't work at all though.

Any suggestions?
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Old 19th October 2012
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Re: After a storm, AF and the Menu Button no longer work

Try cleaning the lens contacts (on the lens itself and, carefully, on the camera body inside the lens mount).

Ian
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Old 19th October 2012
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Re: After a storm, AF and the Menu Button no longer work

thanks. What do you suggest cleaning them with?
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Old 19th October 2012
Jim Ford Jim Ford is offline
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Re: After a storm, AF and the Menu Button no longer work

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Originally Posted by wmphoto.co.uk View Post
My camera has been laid on a bed of silica gel on a windowledge above a radiator since then.
Silca gel constantly absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and becomes saturated and hence ineffective. It then needs to be reactivated by putting it in an oven for a few hours. There is a recommended temperature which I can't remember, but I'd guess would be boiling+ eg 250 degrees C. You also need a lot of silica gel - not the silly little sachets you get with most camera items.

I suggest you get 500g of silica gel, and after ensuring it's fully activated in an oven, placing it and the camera in an airtight box for a day or two.

Jim
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Re: After a storm, AF and the Menu Button no longer work

A lens cloth or other lint-free cloth. Basically just to get any grease off. If the lens mount contacts are not connecting properly it can cause various random problems.

Ian
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Re: After a storm, AF and the Menu Button no longer work

ah right, I already did that, it was one of the first things I did, I used a dry microfibre cloth to dry off all moisture on the lens and camera body. For the record, when I removed the lens, although I gave the contacts a wipe and placed a large sachet of silica gel over the opening there was no moisture that had visibly penetrated the gap between lens and body, it was just all on the outside and a teensy bit in the battery compartment.

As for the silica gel, it's been a couple of days, so I'm not sure if perhaps any damage caused by water is already done and there's nothing silica gel can do to save me now.

Also it was never particularly wet, as I say although it was heavy rain, thanks to the raincover, the camera wasn't any wetter than it might get if there was a moderate shower, droplets of water on the camera body, but not completely wet, so we're not talking about a waterlogged and sodden camera here... perhaps just the odd droplet getting somewhere it shouldn't be.
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Old 19th October 2012
Ulfric M Douglas Ulfric M Douglas is offline
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Re: After a storm, AF and the Menu Button no longer work

On my e-410 one of the pin contacts in the camera stays stuck in just a tiny bit. (I think its the second from the left looking from the front)
It is hard to see but the one symptom is loss of autofocus.
You could just check that all pins spring freely back up to their top position when pressed down.
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Old 19th October 2012
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Re: After a storm, AF and the Menu Button no longer work

If it's just rainwater that has got in then I would put the camera in the airing cupboard, without a lens on or cap fitted, remove the battery and leave it for a day or so in the warmth. All the water should dry out and hopefully it will function normally again. It's when salt water gets in that real problems begin and corrosion sets in.

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Re: After a storm, AF and the Menu Button no longer work

Something else to use for cleaning contacts is a wedge shaped pencil eraser if you have to get into narrow recesses, such as the camera body. On the lense, I've used the one on the end of a pencil... nice and gentle does it.
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Old 19th October 2012
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Re: After a storm, AF and the Menu Button no longer work

Quote:
Originally Posted by wmphoto.co.uk View Post
As for the silica gel, it's been a couple of days, so I'm not sure if perhaps any damage caused by water is already done and there's nothing silica gel can do to save me now.
As I said earlier, silica gel soon gets exhausted if it's in the open air, so yours was probably inactive. It has to be kept in an airtight container once it's been activated, otherwise it's constantly sucking moisture out of the atmosphere until it's exhausted.

Jim
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Old 20th October 2012
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Re: After a storm, AF and the Menu Button no longer work

Thanks, it's in the airing cupboard now, but I'm not sure how much help that will be as it isn't as warm in there as it was on the windowledge.

I'm resigned to the fact that this is going to require professional repairing.
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Old 20th October 2012
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Re: After a storm, AF and the Menu Button no longer work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Ford View Post
As I said earlier, silica gel soon gets exhausted if it's in the open air, so yours was probably inactive. It has to be kept in an airtight container once it's been activated, otherwise it's constantly sucking moisture out of the atmosphere until it's exhausted.

Jim
I'll look at getting a larger quantity of silica gel and bear your advice in mind for future issues, but when I originally posted, the camera had already been damaged for two days.

I figure that silica gel is something you have to use as soon as you get the camera indoors, not wait two days, then order some, wait another few days and only then put the camera in with it.

I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure, considering the smallish amount of water that had gotten onto it, it was already bone dry before I even posted this thread, and the damage is done.
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