So I picked up an Olympus Infinity Stylus Epic point and shoot for cheap. The problem is that none of the photos come out in focus. The guy I bought it from said the same, but I figured I'd give it a go for the price. Everything about the camera seems to work: the lens moves without issue, the shots are properly exposed, the body and lens are pretty clean and free of damage. So my guess was that the autofocus elements were off somehow. If I look closely at the elements while it's focusing, I can sometimes see the infrared lights triggering, so I know it still tries to focus.

The oddest part is that some of the photos don't look like typical "out of focus" shots. Here is one that justseems like the focus was off.

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Pretty typical. And this shot looks like it focused too close (though that grass was closer than the supposed minimum focus distance, I believe. Like less than a foot from the camera).

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Then there's things like this,

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where part of the door is in focus, but everything else, even at the same distance, is out of focus. And this, where there's almost a ghost image of the grass and leaves in focus near the bottom surrounded by blur.

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I've been shooting film for a few years and I'm stumped. I've asked around elsewhere and haven't had much luck. Is the autofocus just going bad? It is a 30 year old plastic camera, after all. Maybe the lens starts retracting while the aperture is still open?

My only other thought is that maybe the film isn't laying flat, like the pressure plate isn't aligned properly. I could only find a few examples of photos where that happened, and it looks a bit similar. But what about the grass and the door? Is only one of the three elements working properly? Is that even possible? It happens both with the spot metering/focus and the standard autofocus.

I have no idea. Any help would be appreciated. I'd like to fix it or get it repaired if possible instead of consigning it to parts. Thank you!


1 Answer 1


My guess is the focus mechanism to n the lens is broken.

A few years ago I bought an old Pentax F 17-28mm fisheye zoom from KEH that arrived unable to focus. From the outside, it made the right motion and sounds when auto focusing. But all the pictures were out of focus.

Autofocus didn’t work. Manual focus didn’t work either.

KEH took it back under warranty and I bought another from Japan. It arrived fully working.

Last year, the focus mechanism on the second one failed on the short end of the zoom. The lens is fragile. In fairness it was an early attempt at something hard…an autofocus fisheye zoom to cover full frame.

It could be a film pane issue. But that’s usually a bit subtle…as in the pictures are not quite as sharp as is reasonable to expect. The pictures will usually have clear differences between areas in focus and out…unless the problem is parts-hanging-off bad.


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