Monday, November 30, 2015

MY GM1 12-32 Kit Lens BROKE!!

If you are following my photo blog, you will know that I just ADORE my little LUMIX GM1 and it's tiny Lumix G 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens!

For the last two years, I have been using this set up for everything from food to line dancing.

I love this little lens for its compactness and good sharpness, so what if it is not very "bright" at F3.5 but I can live with that!

To maintain the compactness of this little lens, you need to twist the lens barrel to extend the lens and make the GM1 active. The camera WILL NOT WORK if the lens is not extended.

Now I suppose you realised that, if you switch on your camera thousands of time to take pictures, you will have also twist and extend the little lens thousands of time!

I remember long time ago I was telling myself that I hope Panasonic got the design right, that constant twisting and extending and retracting can create a lot of WEAR and TEAR; how long will the little lens last?

Three weeks ago, the inevitable happened, when I try and extend the lens the "turn" overshot where the twisting suppose to stop.

Notice the lens overshot the 32 mark.
 A few more turn and I was HORRIFIED that the whole zoom ring just DETACHED itself from the lens barrel!  BUGGER!!

I contacted Panasonic New Zealand in Auckland and was told that if I can support my purchase with an invoice and the crook lens, they will replace the lens for me!

I did and the next day I received a BRAND NEW 12-32 in a plain cardboard box.

Much appreciated, Panasonic NZ :)

But the story did not end there, when I post my experience in Facebook, I received many bombardment from my friends who also own the same lens.  Only different was, they bought their lens from an on-line store in Australian e-Bay.

Panasonic said they will not honour "GREY" purchases from an unauthorised dealers, I don't expect they will either.  It is an understanding that if you want to save some money and buy from a parallel importer, you will not expect to get a guarantee from the local Panasonic importer. Anything go wrong, you will have to go back to the parallel shop, which, a lot of them WILL NOT honour the purchases.

One of my NZ friend DISAGREE... he fumed...

"My answer to Panasonic NZ .... we bought a PANASONIC and if there are issues with Panasonic products then they should put right the issues that arises no matter which country and the retailer that dealt with it should claimed from the parent company for the cost incurred. This is the same scenario with cars parallel imported .... in this case Japanese car imports and the local authorised dealer wouldn't have a bar of it but succumbed due to consumer pressure. My next purchase wouldn't be a PANASONIC for sure ... fair if I damaged it due to careless handling but manufacturing defects/problems that is beyond my control ..... after all Panasonic is not the only camera manufacturer!"

One reader reckoned...

"The zoom ring on mine has come off as it's only glued onto the lens body without any mechanical fixture. The locking mechanism on the zoom requires some force to unlock the lens so I can see such issues being common. For such a moving part to be relying on glue only is a significant design fault!"

As far as I know, Panasonic DID NOT admit that the issue is "a significant design fault"; if they do, it is another story, like my experience with an APPLE MAC BOOK PRO that have a faulty graphics chip.

Anyway, there are too many response to this issue that I will just leave it at that, below is Panasonic NZ's response...

"We don’t support Parallel product for several reasons so if the seller on ebay was a parallel importer they will need to discuss their issue with them.

If the ebay seller was an authorised Lumix retailer and is unwilling to support their camera and your friend is still based in Australia then they will need to contact Panasonic Australia however if they are in NZ and have purchased the camera from a legitimate authorised dealer of Panasonic Australia then it will have a limited worldwide warranty and we will look at the camera and negotiate the warranty support repair on with Panasonic Australia on their behalf.

We happily support and take responsibility for the products that we bring into the country and allocate resources based on what we bring in so we can provide this support as any responsible importer should.  It is unfair on our customers if we were to allocate any of those  resources to supporting parallel product as they would receive a lower level of service.
If a company is happy to import product into a market and sell it then they also need to take responsibility to support it and it is not appropriate for them to expect another importer of the same product to be left to look after their issues.

I hope this makes sense and helps your friend.


I think that is fair enough :)

As for my good friend in Australia..

"I had to send the camera and lens back for them to be assessed. The verdict it out - they are unable to give any assistance because it is a grey product and want to charge me $70 assessment fee plus $30+ to despatch the camera back to me. But if I paid $150+ for a new kit lens, the fees and despatch cost would be waived. It made more sense to purchase the lens so I did."

A sort of semi compensation from Panasonic Australia, I told her it is not so bad.

She laughed and replied..  "Lesson learnt, ha ha"

How was my new replacement lens?

I did a quick test...



cy.leow said...

Receive this response from Panasonic New Zealand...

"Hi Cy
Thank you for the fair coverage.
Panasonic has taken steps at a manufacturing level to ensure this is not a ongoing fault for this lens.

Anonymous said...

my 12-32 had the same issue today.
is there somebody have glued himself for repair ?
How clean the barrel before gluing ?

= il est arrivé la même chose à mon 12-32 aujourd'hui.
Quelqu'un a-t-il recollé lui-même ?
Comment nettoyer cette sorte de graisse noire (sans risque pour l'objectif) ?