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Zuiko OM 35-70 f3.6 - zoom ring is quite stiff

John Slevin , Feb 02, 2009; 09:38 a.m.

Hi .
I've just bought a used Zuiko OM 35-70mm f3.6 lens on eBay.
It seems in pretty good condition throughout except the zoom ring which is quite stiff, especially towards the wide-angle setting end.
Is this likely to be an expensive repair, or just something like lubrication of bearings?
The seller said all the mechanisms were smooth and free.
Seller has 100% pos. feedback so maybe they weren't fully aware of this issue?
Thanks for any advice.



John Hermanson , Feb 02, 2009; 11:52 a.m.

This lens can be a pain to work on. Focus mechanism has 370 - 1mm ball bearings in it (2 races of 185 ea.) . This ball bearing setup not found in other 35-70 Olympus OM lenses (thank god). Could be impact or just tight from non use or thickened lube. John, www.zuiko.com

John Slevin , Feb 02, 2009; 12:14 p.m.

Thanks very much for the info, John.

Patrick Dempsey , Feb 02, 2009; 04:30 p.m.

I recommend looking around for a 35-70 f/3.5-4.5... it's a great little lens... looks and feels cheap when you hold it, but it seems to be pretty durable and is a great performer. It's also quite a bit smaller and lighter than the f/3.6 I think.

Stefan T. , Feb 03, 2009; 03:48 a.m.

I have the same lens and it behaves just the same. I got used to it and the optical performance is excellent.

Philippe Zilliox , Feb 28, 2009; 11:31 a.m.

I have both lenses and no problem with the zooming of the 3,6. Please note that according to several tests this lens is an excellent performer which is likely to be better than the 35-70 / 3,5-4,5 even if in normal photography the difference could be hard to notice. If you use pol-filters, note that the front end of the 3,6 (55mm) doesn't turn while focusing whereas the 3,5-4,5 does (49mm). The sunshade of the 3,6 is excellent. On the other end, the 3,5-4,5 is much lighter.

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