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Olympus / OM System,  Photo Gear

Quick Fix for Olympus M.Zuiko Lenses that Won’t Autofocus

I went out at sunrise for a bird photography hike at a local park.  When adjusting the settings on my Olympus OM-D E-M1X for the lighting conditions, I noticed that the camera stayed in manual focus mode.  I tried to change the settings in the Super Control Panel and checked the Manual Focus Clutch on the Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm f/4 lens, but the camera remained in Manual Focus mode.

I returned to the car, took off the lens and wiped the connectors with a micro fiber cloth. The camera then flickered between autofocus and manual focus.  So I figured that the culprit was dirty contacts on the lens.

When I returned home, I used the following steps to clean the contacts and the lens now works for autofocus in all the different focusing modes.

Lens Contact Cleaning Kit
Lens Contact Cleaning Kit

Steps to Clean Contacts on Olympus M.Zuiko Lenses

  • First wipe the lens contacts with a clean micro fiber cloth.  Also, wipe around the lens mount while you are cleaning this area.
  • If the micro fiber cloth doesn’t work, use a pencil eraser to gently clean the contacts.  I think I will begin keeping a pencil in my photography bag just in case.
  • Use a Rocket Blower and a Micro Fiber Cloth to remove any eraser bits left on the lens. 
  • If this doesn’t work, use a small amount of Isopropyl alcohol on a cotton swab to clean the contacts.

Try this method to clean the contacts first before sending your lens in to OM Digital Solutions for repair.

Written by Martin Belan

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  • Carbonman

    Hi Martin, your point to use a pencil eraser is very important; an abrasive ink eraser will damage the finish on the contacts and encourage corrosion. I had a similar problem with my E-M1 III and the 300mm f4 + MC-14 sometimes when I turned the camera to vertical orientation (handgrip up). I cleaned every exposed contact on the lens and TC with 99% alcohol and the problem didn’t completely disappear. I then used a small amount of the alcohol on a Q-tip to depress each contact pin in the lens mount of the camera body – problem solved! I’ve not had the issue reoccur in the 2 years since the cleaning.

  • Walter I.

    Hi Martin,

    Yes, dirty contacts can mess us up. Instead of using a pencil eraser to remove oxidation from the contacts, I recommend DeOXIT from Caig Laboratories.

    I’ve been using this for decades for cleaning contacts, first from audio equipment, then anything electronic, including camera contacts. It’s wonderful stuff, and cleans, lubricates, and preserves contacts. It’s non-abrasive and won’t leave eraser crumbs that you have to keep out of lenses and sensors, like pencil erasers do. Eventually, the eraser will wear off the thin gold plating on the contact. I usually get a spray can (from the local electronics store) and spritz a tiny bit onto a q-tip and use that to clean the contacts. Never spray it into a camera or lens.

    I even use DeOXIT on AC plugs. And, it even made audio equipment sound better.

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