Can't focus zoomed in with ND filter engaged? at DVinfo.net

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old November 19th, 2008, 03:28 AM   #1
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Can't focus zoomed in with ND filter engaged?

For some reason, I can't focus when I zoom in all the way with the ND filter engaged. The image stays blurry. However, without the ND filter, I can focus fine.

Is this a limitation of the XH-A1's internal ND filter, and if so would an external filter perform better?

Can other XH-A1 owners share their experience with their own camera? Does using the internal ND filter (one or both) affect your ability to focus when fully zoomed-in?

Thank you.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 04:40 AM   #2
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No problems with focussing here. Makes absolutely no difference if the ND's are on or off.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 05:00 AM   #3
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Jaques I think you have a problem with your camera I can focus on every setting with ND filters in or out and zoomed in or out.

Alan
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Old November 19th, 2008, 05:07 AM   #4
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Only one of two possibilities I'm afraid....either user error or camera malfunction. A proper XHA1 does not have focusing issues due to ND's engaged. Is there more to this issue you could relate that might have some bearing on the reason?
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Old November 19th, 2008, 12:03 PM   #5
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Hi Jacques..........

Barring some esoteric fault with your camera (possible but unlikely) I'd say you have AF Mode set to "Normal AF" instead of "Instant AF".

"Normal AF" uses only the TTL (Through The Lens) focusing system, which can be affected by light levels (ND filters?).

"Instant AF" uses both TTL and the externally mounted sensor to achieve focus, and is not so dependant on light levels.

The setting can be changed in the menu in "Camera Setup" - "AF mode" - "Instant AF".

See if that fixes the problem.

[The above assumes, not unreasonably, that you are talking about "auto focus" and not manual. If it won't focus in manual mode with the ND's engaged, that's a whole different ball game.]


CS

PS: As a rider to the above, when zoomed in, the lens speed is reduced by a stop or two. Adding ND's could just be tipping the scales into "can't auto focus" territory with a subject that's at all iffy for auto focus to start with. Then again, if the zoomed in view contains both near and far elements in the frame, it may be the lens IS auto focusing correctly, just not where YOU want it to.

Last edited by Chris Soucy; November 19th, 2008 at 02:02 PM. Reason: +
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Old November 19th, 2008, 02:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
[The above assumes, not unreasonably, that you are talking about "auto focus" and not manual. If it won't focus in manual mode with the ND's engaged, that's a whole different ball game.]
Sorry, should have specified the camera is on manual focus. Pressing the AF button doesn't help.

Guess I'll call Canon while the camera is still under warranty.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 03:01 PM   #7
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Ah...............

I'll be extremely interested in what happens from here - I have an XL1s that has a damnably intermittant habit of doing almost the same thing.

Not associated with the ND's tho', simply takes it into it's tiny mind that it simply won't allow any sort of focus at the long end of the zoom. Turn it off and back on a half dozen times, give it a swift kick (mentally) and hey presto, sometimes it starts to behave.

I say focus but have sneaky suspicion it's sommat else - the picture goes all "lsd trip from hell in triplicate" which, when viewed on a big screen, is quite nauseating.

Unfortunately this happened just as it came up for EOL (end of usefull life) so I never got it seen to, and bought an XH A1 instead.

I've still got it doing run of the mill stuff and it keeps plodding on, doing what XL1s do so well, producing great coloured slighty soft SD video. Just don't touch that zoom!

Do keep us posted.


CS
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Old November 20th, 2008, 05:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
I'll be extremely interested in what happens from here - I have an XL1s that has a damnably intermittant habit of doing almost the same thing.

[...]

Do keep us posted.
Damndest thing, it seems to be intermittent on my end too. I tried it out yesterday and today, and I seemed to be able to focus fine. But three weeks ago I was shooting horses in a field and i couldn't focus. I'd doubt my sanity, but the person who was with me noticed the same thing.

Warranty might be a problem, as I live in Canada and bought the camera in the U.S. I'm worried Canon might require me to ship it to the states to have it fixed, which would cost a pretty penny both ways only to have them tell me "We didn't notice anything wrong with it".

I'll do some more field tests.


J.
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