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Olympus EPL-5 Lens Compatibility (also Lumix GX85)

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  • HELP! Olympus EPL-5 Lens Compatibility (also Lumix GX85)

    Hi - First time poster here, hoping to pick this community's collective brain on a baffling issue that I haven't been able to find anywhere else with some rudimentary Google-fu.

    I have an Olympus E-PL5 body which I purchased in very good condition last year to match with existing lenses I had bought for an older PEN model. Those lenses are:

    -Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6
    -Olympus M.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6

    I experienced an odd issue which left me baffled at the time, where I had initial success in mounting the lenses and having the camera recognize/work with them, but after the first test fitting out of the box with the new body, they would not work at all or be recognized by the camera body as being mounted, displaying a black screen even though lens was extended/uncapped.

    Specifically, I would mount either lens (attempted in multiple ways, with body powered off, hot-swapped while on, etc). Interestingly, an unfocused image from the exposed sensor would show when the lenses were detached/hot-swapped, giving me the impression that it was not a camera body issue, but a problem with the lenses. They were relatively inexpensive eBay purchases, so I chalked it up to bad luck with Caveat Emptor, and put the E-PL5 and the two lenses aside in disappointment.

    A few days ago I had the opportunity to buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 w/12-32mm & 45-150mm lenses, which I just received yesterday. I bought this kit because of the well-established reputation, and the assumption that the E-PL5 and related Olympus lenses were a wash/lost cause.

    Given that it had been a few months since I had last tried/failed with the Olympus lenses on the E-PL5, I tested them together again, and still no luck with the Olympus body recognizing the Olympus lenses... However, out of curiosity, I tested the GX85's lenses with the E-PL5, and vice versa, and to my chagrin the Olympus lenses worked perfectly fine with the GX85, and the Lumix lenses worked perfectly fine with the E-PL5!

    Can anyone offer any insight or explanation into why and/or how to fix the issue with the Olympus to Olympus issue, or why the swap worked with the E-PL5 to Lumix lenses, and GX85 to Olympus lenses?? I had always understood that all M43 lenses were basically universally compatible/interchangeable.

    I'm a bit frustrated now, since I now have two functioning M43 camera bodies with 2 pairs of roughly equivalent lenses, but the Olympus body only works with the newer Lumix lenses, which is a waste for my intended uses in my opinion.

    Any advice, insight, or opinions? Thanks in advance.