spots inside E- M1 viewfinder....isolated problem?

Started Apr 2, 2014 | Discussions
MOSSYLENZ33 New Member • Posts: 3
spots inside E- M1 viewfinder....isolated problem?
1

The Olympus E- M1 hasn't been on the market for very long so maybe this issue is yet to arise on other M1's or maybe this is just a freak problem with my viewfinder. I had to send the camera back to Olympus because about a month or so ago random yellow spots appeared around the outer edges inside the viewfinder. Don't remember them being there when I first started using the camera. One can still see through the viewfinder, but the spots interfere with what one is looking at. No spots appear on LCD screen or in printed photos. Can't imagine what caused this and wonder if anyone else has had the same thing happen.

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aventine Forum Member • Posts: 51
Re: spots inside E- M1 viewfinder....isolated problem?

Hi,

I am new to this forum and have had the same problem as Mossylen with the EM1 viewfinder. What has happened is sunlight has shone in through the VF eyepiece and damaged the EVF. If the spots you see are a ghost like green colour than this is what has happened. This has happened to me twice now and the first time it was fixed under warranty with a notation stating that it is not a manufacturing fault and if it happens again that i would pay costs. Coming from an E5 and not knowing about EVF's it surprised me that it could happen so easily. So after i got it back from repair I was paranoid about it happening again, so i would cover it with my hand or a cleaning cloth to protect it as there is no blind to close it when not in use as with the E5. Well being paranoid was not enough as it happened again. But this time i was at a loss to how it happened when taking Macro photos of flowers in a dark rainforest section of some public gardens, there were some stray shafts of light filtering through but i was conscious of this and it still happened. I returned the camera to where i purchased it with a 2page letter stating exactly what had happened and how and mentioned that i could not find warnings about the EVF and sunlight in any of the manuals that came with the camera, only warnings about pointing the lens at the sun etc. I believe the Manager of the store i purchased my camera from went out of his way to get my camera fixed, which was brilliant to say the least. I did also ask questions about how this could happen and what could i do about it and if having the diopter setting turned up would have made things worse, but Olympus never gave me any answers. I googled this when it happened and found that similar problems happened with a Canon camera a few years ago and Canon took responsibility for the issue and even sent a capping device i believe with it. I am not sure if others have had this issue as well. Having said all this you should be able to get it repaired under warranty. Good luck with this.

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DanCLicks New Member • Posts: 21
Re: spots inside E- M1 viewfinder....isolated problem?

Did it look anything like this? Just showed up on my E-M1 today. I was just out in the garden taking pictures when suddenly I noticed it. Wasn't doing anything unusual. No idea how or why it showed up. It seems to me to be slightly in front of the display, about 5 clicks of the wheel less than focus on the display.

rscott New Member • Posts: 21
Re: spots inside E- M1 viewfinder....isolated problem?
Alashi
Alashi Contributing Member • Posts: 569
Re: spots inside E- M1 viewfinder....isolated problem?

DanCLicks wrote:

Did it look anything like this? Just showed up on my E-M1 today. I was just out in the garden taking pictures when suddenly I noticed it. Wasn't doing anything unusual. No idea how or why it showed up. It seems to me to be slightly in front of the display, about 5 clicks of the wheel less than focus on the display.

Same here--yellow splotches all over; appeared all of a sudden with several of them being apparent. It had been fine for many weeks of use outside in the sun, then it simply happened all at once.

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luisflorit
luisflorit Veteran Member • Posts: 8,478
Re: spots inside E- M1 viewfinder....isolated problem?

Same problem here.

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jon barnard New Member • Posts: 4
Re: spots inside E- M1 viewfinder....isolated problem?

Not isolated it would appear.  I have the same problem now.  Camera is almost brand new!!!!  I used the EM5 for years with no problem.

dapaul New Member • Posts: 9
Re: spots inside E- M1 viewfinder....isolated problem?

I also have had this problem.  I was in Mexico shooting as normal when the blotch appeared (not small).  After a long delay (I won't bore you with the problems with Ritz camera), it was fixed and returned to me.  Olympus never did give me an answer to the cause.

I remain very annoyed by this.  The fun and glow and excitement of having a new highly rated camera has now faded and left me feeling that the camera is a flawed one and that the same problem could happen at any time.

What about a recall from Olympus and/or an explanation/update to owners?

David

travlinhoosier Regular Member • Posts: 196
I have that also, only bigger and from France. I'd assumed something blew in and got stuck.

That kind of sucks.

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SACRAMENTO E SYSTEM USER New Member • Posts: 4
Re: I have that also, only bigger and from France. I'd assumed something blew in and got stuck.

I have 2 EM-1s that have the SAME problem...my girlfriend also has an EM-1 but NO problems with hers.

I have been fighting this issue for about 2 months now...Olympus has been absolutely fantastic in helping me resolve the problem.

NOW I think I have figured out the problem.

Most times I use a tripod. My diopter setting is set to MAX +. I am often in 85 - 100 degree weather.

When the diopter is set to high +, it acts the same as a magnifying glass.

Sometimes the sun is behind me when shooting...during the photo shot "setup" on the tripod, the rear of the camera is exposed to sunlight.

The sunlight entering the view finder is magnified to an intense level that "BURNS" a film or glue inside the viewfinder.

When "HAND HOLDING" the camera and shooting, your head shields the view finder from the sun?

Unless there is a better theory, I bet THIS is the cause!

My girlfriend doesn't experience the same problem because her diopter is not set to high +.

SACRAMENTO E SYSTEM USER New Member • Posts: 4
Re: spots inside E- M1 viewfinder....isolated problem?

MOSSYLENZ33 wrote:

The Olympus E- M1 hasn't been on the market for very long so maybe this issue is yet to arise on other M1's or maybe this is just a freak problem with my viewfinder. I had to send the camera back to Olympus because about a month or so ago random yellow spots appeared around the outer edges inside the viewfinder. Don't remember them being there when I first started using the camera. One can still see through the viewfinder, but the spots interfere with what one is looking at. No spots appear on LCD screen or in printed photos. Can't imagine what caused this and wonder if anyone else has had the same thing happen.

I also have had the same problem with my two EM-1s..One was totally replaced by Olympus the other was repaired (EVF replaced).

This seems to be the cause: Those of us that have the diopter set to HIGH +, are more subject to seeing this problem...it seems that when sunlight enters the EVF from the rear, the diopter magnifies the sunlight to the point where it "burns" an element or adhesive used in the EVF.

If you use a tripod, the EVF is more likely to be exposed to direct sunlight, that if you were shooting hand held, where your head would shield the EVF from the direct sun.

Olympus has changed the EM-10 "precautions" to include not exposing the EVF to direct sun light. And as I understand it from Olympus, they will be changing the EM-1 manual to read the same.

Since this only seems to affect the HIGH + diopter users, there may not be a permanent solution to this problem...

mhmacdougall Junior Member • Posts: 27
Re: spots inside E- M1 viewfinder....isolated problem?

There are several earlier threads on this problem (which I've had with my E-M1), including those by Babalu, who gave this list of threads:

Sorry to kinda start over about my viewfinder issue: Micro Four Thirds Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

Mac MacDougall (Sacramento)

ketrinz New Member • Posts: 1
Re: spots inside E- M1 viewfinder....isolated problem?

Thank you so much for posting these guys. Same problem just started with mine. Exactly same scenario. Hi zoom on diopter. Camera 3 months old.

SACRAMENTO E SYSTEM USER New Member • Posts: 4
Re: spots inside E- M1 viewfinder....isolated problem?

Well, after having TWO EM-1s repaired, and ONE EM-1 replaced by Olympus, I think I have narrowed down the cause of the problem.

First, it should be noted that the yellow "blotches" do not impact the quality of the image recorded, or appear anywhere in the recorded images. The yellow "blotches" only appear in the EVF, (NOT on the LCD).

The yellow "blotch" condition occurs when 2 conditions are met:

1) The DIOPTER is set VERY high on the "+" setting providing magnification to the view finder image.

2) Direct sunlight is allowed to enter the view finder from the rear of the camera.

It appears, that either a "film" or some glue utilized within the EVF reacts to the magnified sunlight entering the EVF from the rear.

I personally use the diopter set to the extreme high "+" position, and have incurred the "mysterious" yellow blotches on several  occasions now.  I also know several other EM-1 users that have shot under the same bright sunlight conditions and they have NOT incurred the "blotches", however, they have their diopters set for "0", or on the "-" position.

Olympus does not acknowledge any design flaw or defect of materials. Rather, they now indicate that the EVF should be shielded from direct sunlight. They do however seem very willing to repair (replace the EVF) a given camera body at least once if the yellow "blotch" condition occurs.

Woodskid New Member • Posts: 2
Re: spots inside E- M1 viewfinder....isolated problem?

February 2015 from Western Canada. I can confirm that the problem with foreign material - yellowish green blotches - inside the Olympus OMD em1 evf still exists. I have a month old em 1, which I recently used to photograph Native American hoop dancing in Arizona. Afterwards, I discovered a a constellation of yellow green spots within the evf in the upper right quadrant. This extends to three tiny splatters in the center. These objects are within the evf. I carefully examined and cleaned the back of the viewfinder glass with Zeiss wipes. These objectional spots appear to be a splatter pattern. The sensor is clean and the spots remain with mounting different lenses. I was shooting in brilliant sunshine, but took pains not to leave my camera with back unduly exposed to the sun, thought I was action shooting and moving about. My viewfinder diopter is set to the maximum. My guess is that under certain circumstances - with maximum viewfinder magnification- even stray solar rays can cause micro boiling of some substance or sealant within the evf assembly - which then splatters and dries on an evf element surface. Someone has postulated that it might be a film melting, but they sure look like droplet splatter. I contacted Olympus help who would offer no comment except to direct me to the page where I could get the form to mail the camera body to a repair center in eastern Canada. Although very worried - this would appear to be a grave defect which seriously limits or irrevocably mars an otherwise superb camera - I am reluctant to send my camera away until Olympus (whom I much admire as a maker of fine optics and equipment) acknowledges the issue and comes up with a remedy. Otherwise, I fear I will go to some expense and delay only to have the evf replaced with a similarly flawed unit, or I could get a refurbished camera to replace my nearly new mode. I am very worried, never having encountered a problem as weird, or troubling, as this.  Frank

Aoresteen Regular Member • Posts: 495
Re: spots inside E- M1 viewfinder....isolated problem?

Yikes!  I *WAS* considering an OM-D E-M1 but with the EVF issue I'm holding off.  ANy update from Olympus on this issue?

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OzRay
OzRay Forum Pro • Posts: 19,428
Re: spots inside E- M1 viewfinder....isolated problem?

Mine has done the same and it is all to do with the dioptre setting and allowing the sun to hit the eyepiece. The high dioptre setting is something that people requiring glasses to read etc will enable. Why it hasn't been a problem with other models is a bit of a mystery.

I decided not to put up with the hassle of not having a camera for whatever time, the cost of sending it to Olympus and likely ending up with the same problem after repair. I just use it as it is and I'm careful in full sunlight.

To me it's not much different to the fluff and rubbish that built up in my film cameras over time and which no one ever seemed to be worried about. I had a look in several of my film SLRs and DSLRs, and the viewfinders are full of junk.

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Woodskid New Member • Posts: 2
Re: spots inside E- M1 viewfinder....isolated problem?

Postscript from Frank  I sent my e-m1 to the Olympus repair center in Toronto. It was returned with in two weeks with a new evf, cleaned, firmware update and checked out. Superb warranty service. My strategy from now on will be to use the diopter dial at mid settings and wear my bifocals - tilting my head up slightly. I respectfully disagree with the poster who said just live with it as it's like normal fluff that accumulates in a viewfinder. The fine camera is expensive and Olympus makes superb optics. I have for example an old Nikon FM2 whose viewfinder is as pristine as when I first got it. I can and have cleaned dust off the mirror. I hope to see an explanation and permanent fix from Olympus but meanwhile you cannot fault their service. I'm glad to have my treasured camera back - the FM2 of digital cameras, well as close as one can get. Frank

Gary from Seattle Veteran Member • Posts: 7,290
Re: spots inside E- M1 viewfinder....isolated problem?

That certainly sounds like a serious problem. My EM-1 is fine and I have engaged the diopter but not to the highest level. I also shoot exclusively with the EVF. It would seem that shooting with the touch screen (at least sometimes) would make this more likely. With the IBIS I really don't see the need for a tripod except in very low light.

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OzRay
OzRay Forum Pro • Posts: 19,428
Re: spots inside E- M1 viewfinder....isolated problem?

Respectfully in return, I will live with it.  It has no bearing on the operation of the camera and has not become worse since understanding the cause. My E-M1 also has paint wearing off, scratches and dust in crevices. It's a camera that gets used, it's not something that sits in a glass cabinet to be admired from a distance.

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