Olympus Stylus Epic Light Leak from... ?

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by chris_williams|19, Mar 26, 2021.

  1. Hello all,

    First of all, thank you for taking the time to read this thread and adding your thoughts. I have a Olympus Stylus Epic that I like using when I would be a bit fearful of using a full-fledged SLR camera, like sea kayaking or rock climbing. I have noticed that occasionally, say 5-6 times in a roll of 36, there appears to be a light leak on the film. I have taped off the film viewport on the back and it still happens. I assume it must becoming from the lens or barrel based on the shape and the fact that the light stops at the film edge. I have taken a flashlight to the front and can't find anything obvious.

    So I have two questions:
    1. Can someone confirm (or deny) that this leak from the front lens or barrel?
    2. If so, as I assume no one is servicing these cameras any more, can someone offer some guidance on how to fix this issue?

    Thank you very much for your time!

    light_leak.jpg (Note: the photo is oriented as to how I believe it would be in the camera.)
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2021
  2. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    Did you try doing this when the lens is extended? On the fixed-lens Stylus, I believe the lens extends a bit when the shutter is fired and when the flash is used.

    On some cameras there may be a felt or fabric seal around the lens barrel inside the camera.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2021
  3. Hi m42dave,

    Yes, on this camera you slide open the lens cover and the lens comes out of the body a little. I also zoomed out lens (it's a 35-80 zoom), pop the battery out, then open up the back and take a flashlight to the front and nothing seems to get through, at least obviously.

    I don't see anything that looks like felt or fabric inside of this lens barrel either. Though if there is supposed to be, that could be the cause of my problem.

  4. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    Chris, do you recall if this is happening at certain focal lengths (wide or tele)? The lens barrels on many of these compact zoom cameras are not terribly rigid, especially at the tele setting. If it's random, it could also be something like a little piece of grit that is preventing a proper seal when the lens zooms in/out. You might check and carefully clean the lens barrel with a brush (you don't want to blow more grit in, though).
  5. Heya,

    I shot this roll specifically at 35mm only because i wanted to see if zooming was causing the issue. I'll see about taking a brush to the barrel to see if that knocks any dirt or grit loose.

  6. Light leaking through the front a very common problem with the Stylus Epic, also known as the Mju 2. I've seen a number of threads in photo.net and other sites about it, but have never seen anyone come up with a solution. If you google "Olympus Mju 2 light leak" you will see what I mean.
  7. I had this exact problem on what sounds like the same model - Epic Zoom 80?

    Afraid it's a common problem and I never found a solution. If yours is the same model as mine it was designed as a weather proof camera. There's little rubber seals on each lens barrel section to keep the moisture out. What people have speculated is that the rubber dries out / loses flexibility over time so it doesn't alway seal anymore. I tried some rubber renewer on mine but it didn't work.

    It's too bad. Otherwise it's a very nice pocket camera.
  8. Hi John,

    Yes, I did some poking around the interwebs before I posted and didn't find any solutions but also didn't find particular recent posts either. I was hoping someone may have come up with something new; perhaps wishful thinking.

    Hi Tom,

    Yes, indeed it is the Stylus Epic Zoom 80. I bought it new but hadn't used it for at 10-15 years and noticed it had this intermittent problem of light leaks. Then with this last roll I was trying to use some kind of scientific method to figure out if there was a pattern to the seemingly random light leaks that appear and then not.

    I'll definitely try to give it a gentle clean but maybe it's just one of those thing that if I am going to use, know that I'll have light leaks in at least some of the photos. It'll be like a higher end Holga. :)
  9. You have a positive outlook that's for sure. I found in a lot of cases the light leak could be cropped out but in other cases it went right through someone's face. :)

    I sold mine on eBay and made no attempt to hide the issue, - even showed a sample photo with the leak. I think I got about $50 for it which surprised me. So maybe it is just a better Holga to some.
  10. Hi Tom,

    The example I have uploaded for this post from my "test" roll, was the worst of the 6 shots that had light leaks and I could probably salvage the others by cropping and whatnot. And I since the Stylus Epic has never been nor ever will be my primary shooter, I don't mind having a bit of a crap shoot for when I am using it; aside from the usual 36 chances per roll. I have my F2's for what I would consider my normal everyday cameras and wanted to bring the Olympus out of retirement for those times as mentioned above when I would be concerned about damaging the F2's.

    Again, thanks for everyone's thoughts. And who knows, maybe someone will find the magic formula to solving the light leaks!

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