E-500 autofocus doesn't work

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by dan_b.|4, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. The "autofocus" isn't even close to making in-focus images on my E-500. The problem is the same whether I'm using
    the 14-45mm zoom or the 40-150mm zoom. I've tried doing the "reset" to restore the factory default settings on the
    camera but the up/down arrows on the menu won't allow me to select reset -- it just skips right past it. Also, I've tried
    hooking up the camera to Olympus Master 2 on my computer, which tells me that it can't detect the camera.
    Anyone had these problems and can suggest a fix?
  2. Sometimes the answer is simple, turn on the camera and check the info screen, make sure the focus is set to AFor CF not MF. I've made the same with my E-300. Her the link to the E-500 manual if that helps http://www.olympusamerica.com/files/EVOLTE-500BasicManual.pdf
  3. Sorry attached the wrong manual
  4. Daniel, that sounds like a 'sick' camera that needs to go the doctors for some medicine. :)

    If you can't do a 'reset' with buttons, take the battery out for "approximately one day" and that resets the camera [E-3] back to initial 'factory default settings'... which is what you want. This is what my E-3 manual says so I assume the E-500 may be similar? It may help and costs nothing to try, right?

    If it's not that, and the lens are sat in the mount right (should think so if you're swapping lenses, don't press the lens release button when installing them) and it has a battery with power? and it is set for SAF or CAF (if fitted with a sigma 4/3rds lens, make sure the lens AF/MF switch is at AF) and make sure you haven't set the AEL/AFL modes to 'AF with the AEL button' [Yes, I've done that! Next time I used the camera I couldn't work out why a half press of the shutter button wouldn't focus the camera. :)]

    If it just returns incorrect focus, it could be 'Fluff' on the AF sensors. There's a pit in the bottom of the mirror box where these sensors are located and fluff, hairs or debris that covers them will return incorrect focus.

    But if buttons around the arrow pad (4-way buttons) dn't work, that sounds like a hardware fault that a camera doctor has to fix. Hope not for your sake as a fix will probably cost what the body is currently worth. I have a C5050 that is pulling this cxxp and I wouldn't say I've had a 'lifetimes use out of it'. Guys still own/use/sell OMs from the 70's yet here's a camera from this decade that's gone kaput!

    Good luck
  5. Thanks for all the tips. I'll try the easy one first, and work through them all.

    I must say I've been tremendously disappointed in this camera. I have an Olympus Ace, a Pen F, a Pen FT, two OM-1Ns, two OM-2Ns, two OM-2S Programs and an OM-4T, and I've probably had fewer problems with all those cameras combined than I've had with the E-500. Of course, the issues with the latter started well after the warranty was up so Olympus USA isn't going to touch it without, as you say, spending more than it's probably worth. I can't imagine anyone will still be using the E-500 in 50 years or even 25 years as I do all my Olympus film cameras.
  6. If you are mounting the lens while holding down the lens release button, it is possible to rotate the lens past the locking point. Don't do that.
    Try cleaning the lens contacts with a dry cloth such as a microfiber.
    If you are shooting in the AUTO mode, the RESET function will be grayed-out. Use P,A.S, or M to reset. Stop using AUTO and use P--it is AUTO with more control.
    Never use C-AF on stationary objects or slow moving objects--you will get autofocus errors.
    Change the AF Frame selection from AUTO to the center AF frame.
  7. You should NOT be able to rotate the lens beyond the lock point. If it does and you do, that alone can cause defects, one of which may be no auto focus. John, www.zuiko.com
  8. I removed the battery for 24-plus hours and cleaned all contact points on the lenses and camera body. The camera still spends a lot of time focusing in and out trying to "find" focus, but at least it does reach focus most of the time. The exception is with fast-moving subjects, such as people running or bicycles or automobiles, then the photo passes by while the camera tries to focus (usually ending up focusing on nothing in the scene). This problem is apparent on every setting I can think to use, including the "sport" setting. I did on some of those instances turn it to manual focus, and as goofy as that works on this camera, I got more images in focus than the autofocus setting. I guess a man's got to know his (camera's) limitations. :(
  9. I had a e-300, and it wasn't that slow. Wonder if you got a bad battery? Lov voltage or current might cause the slow focus. Tom
  10. Try setting the AF so it uses the center focus spot only. That made focusing faster on my 500. John, www.zuiko.com
  11. I am a newbe in the Olympus world yet. I just bought a second hand E-500 as a replacement for my stolen Nikon D70s, as the Olympus was the most reasonable thing I could find out there ;) (I am studying abroad...). So far I am liking the camera, but I had some problems with AF at first. I set up the camera to have AF-on when pressing the AE-L button, just the way I used it with my previous Nikon, so I decided when to focus. To use this set-up AF-C mode is compulsory, as far as I know. This way, I felt the AF was really slow and it hunted a lot, specially in low light it was nearly impossible to achieve focus. I was a bit disappointed until I tried AF-S (tied to the shutter button), this changed the thing a lot! Now the AF is tack fast and very accurate. If anybody knows how to use AF-S with the AE-L button, I'd appreciate the info! :))

    I have to experiment a lot with it yet, but I think that AF-S is way superior in focusing accurately in this camera than AF-C, specially in low light, as I have mentioned above.
  12. Pail P, you just saved my Olympus E500! It stopped to focus properly actually making things sharp about 3-5 cm behind the intentional focus point . So that when you focus on the eye of a person you getting very sharp ears and blurred eyes. I followed your instructions and also instructions from another forum (www.stevesforums.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=589873&forum_id=36) and I was able to restore the perfect focus back!
    Quote from the site above (user Mikefellh ).
    Here's how to do it, although if you do follow these instructions and wreck your camera I'm NOT RESPONSIBLE!!! Using something like the Giottos Rocket Air Blower (DO NOT USE CANNED AIR), remove the lens, point the lens opening downward, put the nozzle in the mirror box towards the bottom of the camera (where the focus sensor is located), and squeeze the blower...give a few seconds for the dust to fall out of the mirror box, and see if it improves things.
    Again if you're not comfortable with this, a professional photo dealer that knows Olympus should be able to do it for you for little or no cost.
    Some people have solved their focus problems by following this, but again you follow these instructions at your own risk.
    You can see the diagram of the location of the focusing sensors here: img.photobucket.com/albums/0803/Mikefellh/E-300Stuff/Elightpath.jpg
  13. I just had this same problem and it was a combination of an incorrectly installed lens and incorrect ISO and Metering settings. I called the number for support on my user guide 800-260-2625 (toll free). I wasn't even getting the confirmation beep that it was trying to focus. This is what I did.
    1) Remove camera lens by pushing the release button and turning. Then reinstall the lens by lining up the two red dots that match on the lens and the camera. Hold the lens firmly and turn till it CLICKS! That is important.
    2) Turn the camera on and check your ISO setting. Under the OK button is a small button labeled ISO. Press it to see available settings. I have mine on Auto and he explained that it can remain there unless I'm trying to take pictures indoor without the flash and then I might want to set it to 800 or 1000.
    3) Check your meter setting. The meter setting is the button to the left of the OK button. Press it to see your current setting. The settings are just weird little pictures of squares so it's hard to explain which is which so I'll just explain them as first or second choice. Try it with the first setting which is Digital ESP metering. If it doesn't work try changing to the second choice which is for Center weighted average metering.
    adammartin likes this.
  14. I had the same problem as elizabeth_woodland. I tried the metering options. It seems to try to focus more and I can hear some noise from the telephoto lense. I only tried indoors and it's night time. I will try again tomorrow outside with daylight.

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