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Monday, May 14, 2012

My Olympus ZD ED 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 SWD is dead!

Olympus - Sunrise through the ZD ED 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 SWD (equiv. 24-120mm in 35mm) - Evolving Lights

The lens is finally dead. However if the SWD (Supersonic Wave Drive) motor is replaced, then it will be back but the cost to replace the SWD is RM900++. I'm still thinking if I want to proceed the SWD replacement or just get another lens. decision.. decision..

Supersonic Wave Drive in 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0I bought the lens in 2005 together with the Olympus E-3 camera. The lens was used almost 99% of the time and works perfectly until the aperture stuck problem in 2009. After serviced by Olympus Malaysia, the lens back to normal again. Then, the lens was used mainly for 4x4 challenges photography works with dust, rain and mud during the event. I think more than 20 4x4 challenges where the lens keep working until  the last 4x4 event that the lens served, the wet and muddy 8-day Borneo Safari 2011. After that, multiple problems started to show. First, the lens hesitate to or totally cannot focus from 12 to18mm and hunting focus after 18mm. Then I realized that every photos taken with the lens will have smearing color effect and very soft corners. 

The lens served me pretty well for its coverage (24mm wide and 120mm tele in 35mm equivalence). The macro capability of the lens is also one of the main points why I like the lens, in addition to the weather shield construction and SWD (but now dead). I'm still deciding whether to proceed with the replacement or just buy another lenses. The 14-35mm f/2.0 is the ultimate dream lens but it is way too expensive, thus I might settle for Olympus ZD 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 and 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6. If the 4/3 system still alive, I will consider the pro grade Olympus lenses in future. 

Olympus E1 + ZD ED 12-60mm SWD
Borneo Safari 2011 - Day 4 - Olympus E-1 + 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0Borneo Safari 2011 - Day 4 - Olympus E-1 + 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0
Borneo Safari 2011 - Day 4 - Olympus E-1 + 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0


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