XL2 20x lens won't keep backfocus and clunks! at DVinfo.net

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Old April 23rd, 2007, 08:51 AM   #1
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XL2 20x lens won't keep backfocus and clunks!

I recently purchased two new XL2's with 20x lenses. Bought from
different vendors at different times. Both act the same. When I power
up, lens makes a clunking sound. When in Manual Focus, I zoom in, get
critical focus, then zoom out wide. The wide shot is out of focus. I
focus wide, but then my telephoto focus is off. I'm shooting in 60i/4x3. I placed a 16x lens from my XL1 on my XL2 and it worked fine. Like any professional lens, it will keep focus when zooming in all the way, focusing and zooming out. Why am I losing back focus? How can I fix it, short of using Auto Focus? Thanks in advance from this newbie.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 09:37 AM   #2
 
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Two answers
1-the clunking is normal. that's the autofocus prism rotating into position as commanded by the rangefinder.

2-your lens needs to have the backfocus calibrated against your camera body. Most professional lenses provide a user accessible adjustment for this, the Canon 20x does not. Send the body and the lens in to Canon for adjustment.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 09:46 AM   #3
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Hi Mike,

First register your XL2s for XL owner club membership if you haven't already. Then call Canon and let them know that you have two lenses that you need to send in for warranty repairs. They will send you boxes, for free, to ship them, but you will have to pay the shipping to send them into Canon.

They require you to send the camera bodies in with the lenses, and from what I have experienced, they do need the bodies to adjust the lenses properly. They will then send the cameras back to you and the critical focus will then hold, mine works perfect now.

Canon Service Center completes these adjustments extremely fast for XL club owner members, 5 days max from the time they receive it till the time it shows up at your door. Just keep in mind that it might be useful to purchase an extended warranty with these cameras/lenses since every time the backfocus is off we will need to send the camera into Canon due to the lack of backfocus adjustment.

Hope this helps,
RPM
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 10:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ravens View Post
Two answers
1-the clunking is normal. that's the autofocus prism rotating into position as commanded by the rangefinder.
Close Bill, but no cigar(grin). It is the variable angle prism being initialized, but its function is optical image stabilization, not autofocus.

-gb-
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 12:34 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info. I did join the XL club and I did call Canon. Here is the XL club response:

Dear Mr. Greif:

Thank you for your inquiry. We value you as a Canon customer and appreciate the opportunity to assist you with the XL2 camcorders that you own.

What you have described is a normal occurrence with any telephoto lens system. To avoid constant focusing, you would indeed be able to enable the Auto Focusing feature.

We hope this information is helpful to you. Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance with the XL2 camcorders.

The guy I called at Canon basically said the same thing, that I have to "live with it". After that, I'm not too excited about sending my gear off to them. It's odd that two vendors at two different times sent me defective equipment.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 10:29 PM   #6
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I'm not quite sure exactly what you asked for them to be reffering you to autofocusing, but it sounds almost as if you've talked to inexperienced rep or something. The critical focus should be maintained no matter what lens you are using.

Sure the focus may not be exact during a couple of spots in between the zoom range, but full tight and full wide definitely should keep your critical focal point.

If your camera's backfocus problem is anything like mine was, your autofocus won't work right when you're full wide either (even though I try not to use autofocus). At first I thought I would just live with it too, but after a couple of shoots, I was on the phone with Canon very quickly.

From what I've heard this is not an uncommon problem with the 20X lens. I know of a couple of people personally that have had this problem while others have not experienced the problem at all. As far as Canon is concerned, I would call back up there and just tell them you have XL2s with a backfocus problem that you will be sending in for repairs, assuming that your cameras are still under warranty. The lady that I talked to at Canon was extremely helpful and sweet as pie.

Just my suggestion, for what it's worth.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 10:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Greif View Post
To avoid constant focusing, you would indeed be able to enable the Auto Focusing feature.
Basically, this is backwards. Disable auto focus then zoom in and focus. If you are focused properly and back out and it is not maintained, then the back focus adjustment is out of wack.

You should not be letting the auto focus work this for you. This is a manual focus time!

Mike
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 11:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch View Post
Basically, this is backwards. Disable auto focus then zoom in and focus. If you are focused properly and back out and it is not maintained, then the back focus adjustment is out of wack.

You should not be letting the auto focus work this for you. This is a manual focus time!

Mike
He did say in the original post that he was manually focusing. Going full tele for critical focus then finding the lens is not holding focus at wide angle. I believe he has a legitimate complaint. The part about autofocus is what the Canon folks replied with in a more or less generic email.

-gb-

p.s. It was good to see you at NAB again this year! Hope you're enjoying that little HV20.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 11:24 PM   #9
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Tech support by phone is a different thing from the factory service center -- in fact they are two completely separate departments. Don't let your experience with one affect your decision to utilize the other. Sending the cameras and lenses into service is the *only* possible resolution to this issue.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 07:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston View Post
He did say in the original post that he was manually focusing. Going full tele for critical focus then finding the lens is not holding focus at wide angle. I believe he has a legitimate complaint. The part about autofocus is what the Canon folks replied with in a more or less generic email.

-gb-

p.s. It was good to see you at NAB again this year! Hope you're enjoying that little HV20.
Greg,

Exactly, I was agreeing with him and not Canon. They were basically telling him to just leave it in auto so he wouldn't have to bother with that nasty focusing stuff!!!! :)

It was great to see you again at NAB too Greg! Love your camera, I'll trade even up!?!?!?!?

Mike
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Old April 24th, 2007, 11:00 AM   #11
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Thanks guys for the replies. I'll give Canon another shot. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one with this problem. Yes, I do critical focus then zoom out. I have been doing a work around by shooting in 30p with shutter at 1/30. It seems to mask the focus problem for now.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 11:34 AM   #12
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I'm a little ticked off right now! Just bought a second XL2 and it has the same backfocus issue as my first. That means I'll have to shell out another $70 to have it shipped into Canon so they can fix a problem that the camera was sold with. This will be $140 now that I have spent because of backfocus issues with the 20X lens out of the box.

Don't get me wrong, I love the XL2 and the stock 20X, but it is ridiculous that I have to shell out an extra $70 and be without the cam for a week or more every time I buy one of these cameras.

Sorry if this sounds whiney, but am a little ticked!

Just venting,
Ryan
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Old May 21st, 2008, 02:05 PM   #13
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Ryan,

That sucks about the 2nd lens. I'm waiting for a break from projects to be able to RESEND my xl2 to canon to REFIX the backfocus issue they said they fixed before. Yeesh.

Jonathan
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Old May 21st, 2008, 03:34 PM   #14
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I feel your pain. I have multiple projects that I am working on that I need both cameras for. For now the second is a static shot using the 3x, but I am going to Japan this summer on a project that will be shot mostly cinema verite. My second photog will probably not like it if I give him a cam that has a backfocus issue.

I am going to have to bite the bullet, suspend my shoot dates and send it in so I can have it back before the middle of June.

Sorry to hear that your camera is still having issues, it's not very reassuring that my camera will be fixed when it comes back. They did an excellent job on adjusting my first cam.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 12:16 PM   #15
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Have a safe trip to Japan...haven't shot there yet (though I hope to by the end of the year for work if all goes well.) Should be a good experience.

I'm sure you will, but post back later and let us know what happens after you send the lens in.

Jonathan
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