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Old May 19th, 2007, 02:24 PM   #1
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dust/dirt under the focus ring

I've been shooting in dusty places lately, always covered camera from dust, but still, I got some of it on HVX. I have some dust under focus ring, when I spin it, I feel it, and hear it. Is there anyway to get rid of it, without going to service?
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 11:02 PM   #2
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Welcome to my hell. I shoot in the cleanest environment half the year and the dirtiest the other half. I shoot snowboarding and dirt biking. The HVX is really bad in the dust. It can not handle it at all. I really hope that the next version of the HVX gets sealed up a little better. I have a camera that is used for dirt and one for snow. As long as it is still working just go with it. If it starts to malfunction it is really expensive to fix. According to Panasonic they can't clean the unit. They just replace the whole lens assembly. The cost from Panasonic is 1800 dollars. Some other 3rd party repair centers are charging around 1200 or 1300 dollars for the same repair. I used my dirt camera for a long time before the zoom starting getting touchy and needed repair. So my advice is to keep shooting untill the camera gets to hard to shoot which may never happen if it lives in cleaner areas for the rest of its life. BTW Panny has been changing a ton of the lens assemblys and hopefully they are getting the picture that it needs to be a better design in the future.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 09:35 AM   #3
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Mine has been holding strong for shooting the very same subject. Motocross.

Either way tho, I have used HVX's with gritty focus and zoom rings. Drives me nuts!
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 01:26 PM   #4
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Unlike pro SLR's that have built-in weather seals video and film cameras do not unfortunately, and I wouldn't expect that to change. The main reason for this is that unlike still cameras, video cameras have a plethora of external connectors going into it, audio, on-camera lighting, power-packs, lens controllers etc and there's almost no way to create enviro-seals for all those connectors - cost effectively. Hence designers don't worry about sealing the rest of the camera body because there would be so many other "holes" for dirt and dust to get into.

When on location in dirty environments we always bag our equipment up once all the connections are made to prevent this very issue, and it's also why many bag makers such a Kata make "wet and dirty" camera bags to prevent dirt, dust and water getting into the camera. In certain situations we've used nothing more than a large heavy-duty trash bag - with vent holes strategically placed to avoid the camera operators hands from getting sweaty - to provide this protection.

The point being, if you're going to use the camera in dirty environments then you need to properly protect it.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 05:22 PM   #5
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Trying to stop dust by using a protective cover is obvious and what we do as well. The problem is that ultra fine dust eventually will get into the zoom and focus assembly when shooting dirt biking or other crazy dusty scenes. You have to be able to access focus assist and the like and at times the camera is partly exposed. The main point I have is that the fix does not have to be a 1800 dollar repair which entails replacing the whole lens, zoom and focus assembies. How about just a cleaning bill. Probably not going to happen but with the images the camera gives and the price of the camera I am willing to sacrafice one to the dust gods every 2 years or so.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 05:50 AM   #6
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Location: Smithsburg, MD
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Dirt in Focus and Zoom Rings

Hello Gentlemen,

We have seen this as a common problem at our Service Center. Sometimes it's repairable by disassembling the front end of the lens, cleaning it thoroughly and then apply new grease. That doesn't work 100% of the time though depending on how long the camera has been used with the dirt grinding away at the lens assembly. So what we do is try the cleaning first, if it still feel rough, we then estimate for lens replacement.

Our clients have found that using the Kata Camwrap or the Kata Rain Slickers has been a great preventative measure to getting dirt in the Focus and Zoom Rings, however, isn't going to remove the fact that camera's eventually need service and preventive maintenance.

Best regards,

Andrew Hoffman
Senior Operations Manager
Specialized Communications Corp.
20940 Twin Springs Dr.
Smithsburg, MD 21783-1510 USA
Fax: 301-790-0173
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Old May 24th, 2007, 10:19 AM   #7
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Thanks for that info Andrew. I sent a camera to the Panasonic Service Center and the said that they do not do that service there. The only option I was given was complete replacement for 1800 dollars. Next time I have the same problem I will contact you to see if it is serviceable.
Best Regards,
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Old May 28th, 2007, 10:33 AM   #8
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Has anyone ever tried this guy...


.. or anything like it - Ill be shooting in windy, desert condition with the HVX...

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