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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old June 25th, 2005, 01:20 AM   #1
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Check the Lens message

Hi folks

I was doing a commercial shoot yesterday from 6:30 AM to to about 1:00 PM using the XLI with the standard 16X lens. Towards the end of the shoot I got a "check the lens" red message flashing. I powered off the camera, removed the lens, checked the contacts and remounted it and the message came back on again when I turned the power back on. I then replaced the 2 batteries (both BP-945s) on the Dual Battery hold (CH910) with freshly recharged ones and everything was working fine.

Could it be that the low battery (I was shooting with the same 2 batteries since 6:30 AM and around 1:00 PM is when I got the "checked the lens" message) that may have caused this message?

It's the first time I have seem this message. Anyone else has seen this and what could be the cause of this?

Thanks
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Old June 25th, 2005, 11:23 AM   #2
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I'm going to take a long shot guess at this one, based upon an experience I had years ago.
I was setting up to shoot a keynote address with a Panasonic D-5000 S-video camera configured for studio work. When I powered up the camera the entire image on the monitor was green. A couple hours of checking and re-checking all of my video connections and camera settings made no difference. Desparate, I called Panasonic tech support (you could do that for free then), and was immediately connected to a factory technician.
He told me to remove the lens and clean the mounting plates on both camera and lens with denatured alcohol. Over time and normal handling, he said, a thin film of dust and oils had altered the electrical resistance of the camera's electrical system. The metal body of the camera is used to carry the negative signal of electrical connections in much the same way the metal body of an automobile carries the negative electrical signal of its electrical system. Because video cameras operate on such low voltages and the control systems are so sensitive, a slight change in electrical resistance can exhibit odd behavior. He went on to add that he had encuntered the same problem a few months earlier and it had taken him two weeks to figure out the solution.
I think a combination of low battery voltage and a dirty lens mount caused the "check lens" display. Removing the lens and chcking the contacts probably eliminated the communication breakdown between camera and lens. Replacing the bateries allowed the camera to be powered down long enough for it to reset its internal monitoring system.
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Old June 25th, 2005, 03:24 PM   #3
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Hi

Yes I had this problem with my new XL1s a few weeks ago, when the 16x standard lens was connected to the camera all that came up in the finder was check lens flashing in red, the lens would not focus or zoom, had to send it canon for repair, a faulty ribbon they said its ok now.
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Thomas Video Productions
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Old June 25th, 2005, 04:23 PM   #4
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I had exactly the same on one of my XL1s' the second time it was used, I also had to send mine back to Canon. I was given a replacement however from the shop as I needed it for a job.
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Old June 27th, 2005, 12:06 AM   #5
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Hi folks

One thing I noticed is that when I get the last quarter bar on the battery indicator, that's when I get the "check the lens" message. I did a wedding today with 5 fully charged BP945s. As soon as the battery indicator gets down to the last quarter bar, the message kicks in. Changing to a fresh new set of batteries was fine until I get to the last quarter bar.

Something is definitely not right here. I followed the suggestion of cleaning the contacts with an eraser and that did not seem to help.

Regards
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Old June 27th, 2005, 12:31 AM   #6
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Norman,

You are likely the victim of Ohm's law here. You need to very carefully clean the lens contacts on camera body and lens with a CLEAN pencil eraser. Rub very gently and lightly. Gold plated contacts can oxidize over time and it's not a visible oxide like it is with iron (brown rust). The gold plating is very thin and you don't want to rub through it, just remove the surface oxide. Follow this with a cotton swab moistened with rubbing alcohol and allow the alcohol to evaorate. There are contact cleaner sprays you can buy at electronics stores also. If this does not resolve the issue, you may have a high resistance contact somewhere else in the circuit either in the lens or body. A trip to Canon service would be the next step.

Be careful and good luck,

=gb=
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Old July 20th, 2005, 10:23 AM   #7
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Fault in XL!s lens

I was reading the above posts regarding a fault in the XL1s lens.
I had exactly the same problem on Saturday past on my XL1s while recording a wedding.
As the bridesmaids were getting out of the Limo I got the "Check lens" message in the viewfinder, the camera would not zoom or autofocus and the picture eventually went black. I quickly got my XM2 backup camera to continue recording when I got the " Eject tape" message on it.
Luckily I had another spare XM2 and was able to use it the rest of the day.
I have a Panasonic DVC15e which I have had for about 4 years and am now using it till I get the other two repaired.
It has put me off buying anything " Canon" for the future.
I was told by the shop assistant that the repair of the XL1i lens could cost 200 or 800 to replace.
Could anyone confirm the cost of this repair.

Thanks in advance
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Old July 21st, 2005, 05:10 AM   #8
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Hi David

The repair price the shop gave you seems a bit steep to me, The problem with mine was a faulty ribbon but as it is under guarantee I did not find out what it cost, It might be worth contacting your local Canon repair depot and have a word with them

As for Canon in general I have a friend who has had a XL1 since new and has worked it hard with no problems at all and as for mine it has worked flawlessly since its repair

Good luck
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Old July 21st, 2005, 02:48 PM   #9
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Thanks for your reply Ian, I'll just have to wait for the bad news.
I hope it is just a faulty ribbon, that shouldn't cost too much.

Regards,
David
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