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Old June 7th, 2017, 03:01 AM   #1
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New X70, new lens problems

Bought a brand new PXW-X70...noticing everything I shoot wide angle is soft, out of focus. So I kick in digital extender and use the focus magnifier and point the camera at Mexico (I am in San Diego) wide angle, about 20 miles away, hills, lots of pinpoint lights. So, when you put it on infinity, the whole image racks out of focus, same issue I had with my old X180. I turn the focus ring ever so gently to bring it back into focus, only to see the camera indicator says that Mexico, 20 miles away, is actually only 19 feet away...maybe the feet indicator is calibrated in miles? :-\

So, now to haggle with Adorama to take this turd back...I am so over Sony and every damn camera I buy from them having a backfocus issue. Out of focus wide angle at infinity is unacceptable, especially on a camera with a free spinning variable focus ring. SOOOOOO over Sony camera....seriously.

Paul
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Old June 7th, 2017, 12:07 PM   #2
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Re: New X70, new lens problems

Paul, I think you are jinxed because you always seem to get the lemons. I'm just the opposite. Although I do not own an X70, I've never bought a Sony camera that didn't work perfectly right out of the box. Nor have I ever had to send one in for repair. It is unfortunate that your experience has been just the opposite.
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Old June 7th, 2017, 08:17 PM   #3
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Re: New X70, new lens problems

It may be I am just extra critical of Sony now due to some pretty major lens issues previously. I just tested my OLD trusty X70 bought in 2014, and it exhibits the same condition.

You can test this yourselves. Set a custom button for DIGITAL EXTENDER and another for FOCUS MAGNIFIER. Go to wide angle and point at anything in the distance, from 20 meters to infinity, doesn't matter. Now engage both dig extender and focus magnifier and set the camera manually to infinity. Now ever so gently turn the focus ring, and it will display 19ft (if you have it set to display feet!) as everything comes into proper focus. This is repeatable...as long as you know about this wide angle anomaly, you can adjust for it with the distance display.

So basically, anytime you shoot wide angle on the PXW-X70, especially in 4K mode, you MUST set the focus to display 19ft (or whatever it says in meters, Doug?) in the viewfinder, or your distant objects will be out of focus, that means mountains, clouds buildings, anything. There is absolutely nothing that will be in proper focus at infinity, not even the moon...this is a lens condition I believe that is called overshoot, where the lens passes infinity. I think that I noticed this on the new camera because I was specifically looking for any improvements in quality over my old X70, and reflective letters on firefighters jackets being slightly out of focus at infinity really began to catch my attention.

This issue only affects WIDE ANGLE, once you zoom in the backfocus seems to not be an issue anymore.

Paul
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Old June 8th, 2017, 04:34 AM   #4
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Re: New X70, new lens problems

Thanks for the info, but I don't need to go back and test it. If any of the Sony cameras with fixed lenses that I own, or have owned, had this problem I would have seen it during the course of normal shooting. I never have. That includes my: Z1U, HC1, EX1, EX1R, Z7U, PMW-200, PMW-160, and Z150. All good.
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Old June 8th, 2017, 09:24 AM   #5
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Re: New X70, new lens problems

Regarding the 19ft "bounce" I can verify it under a slightly different set of steps. It happened to me several times during a shoot on Sunday.

This is from memory but when I get a chance I'll verify.
Camera set to UHD and Clear Zoom enabled.
Focus to infinity on the wide side.
Zoom all the way in.
Move the focus ring slightly and the distance reading jumps to 19ft.

I'm hectic busy but when I get the chance I'll verify. FWIW I don't think this is a "defect" so much as within the normal operation of the camera.

BTW when I first bought my EX1 (very low serial number as I was on a preorder list) I had a number of lens problems, vignetting and low zoom speed settings stutter. Sony replaced the camera and all was well. Sometime later I believe they revised the specs to ward off using the low zoom speeds.
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Old June 9th, 2017, 10:56 AM   #6
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Re: New X70, new lens problems

It's an "oddity" of the X70 apparently...it is important to note that the higher the resolution, the more pronounced this effect will be at wide angle. most of the 4K stuff I have shot has been of the "zoom in, find focus, zoom out, hit record", by which this issue is not evident. My run and gun ENG work though, the slight out of focus at wide angle is apparent, even at my 720p60 settings. My new X70 has a very tight focus ring, so to hit that "magic" 19 feet indicator it takes 3-4 seconds...not the best thing when shots are coming and going.

And Doug, didn't man for you specifically to try it, just to anyone that needed to confirm this "oddity". It's always been hard to see this for me in the past, because the X70 LCD doesn't have a peaking control, so the screen always looks very soft and smooth. I do a lot of wide shots in ENG, so this ticks me off a bit, but my station shoots on JVC equipment, so it's not like anyone would notice...heh.

Paul
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Old June 9th, 2017, 01:07 PM   #7
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Re: New X70, new lens problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Anderegg View Post
It's always been hard to see this for me in the past, because the X70 LCD doesn't have a peaking control, so the screen always looks very soft and smooth.l
I don't own an X70, but I think that is incorrect. I'm pretty sure that X70's LCD does have Peaking.
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Old June 9th, 2017, 02:18 PM   #8
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Re: New X70, new lens problems

Doug, I am referring to TRADITIONAL PEAKING, like on the X180, where detail and edge sharpening is added to the LCD, not the stupid colored overlay "peaking" crap they try to pass off as useful.

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Old June 9th, 2017, 03:17 PM   #9
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Re: New X70, new lens problems

I agree with you that the traditional style of peaking is superior to colored peaking, but a lot of cameras, including my Z150, only have colored peaking and I still find it very helpful. Anyone who is not using peaking is immediately putting themselves at risk of having serious focusing problems. And I think your statement that the X70 doesn't have peaking, just because it doesn't have the peaking you'd prefer, is very misleading. We might as well say it doesn't have zebras, audio, 4K codecs, or many other functions that aren't as good as those found on other cameras.
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Old June 9th, 2017, 03:28 PM   #10
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Re: New X70, new lens problems

Paul, I do have a question about the X70 that you might be able to answer for me. In the operation manual it says this about peaking: "You can display an image on the LCD screen with its outlines enhanced." So does peaking also appear in the viewfinder or only on the LCD screen? Seems an odd way to phrase it if peaking appears at both places.
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Old June 11th, 2017, 02:07 PM   #11
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Re: New X70, new lens problems

I own the X70 as well as MANY other fixed lens Sony cameras (past and present), Z150, EX1r, FX1, NX5, PD170, NX70, AX100, RX10-II and RX10-III and about 5 other small Handycam's and I have NEVER once had a lens problem.

Well, I sorta take that back, my NX70 (weatherproof NXCAM) was very very slightly soft on the lower right side but not enough for me to really complain about.

I have had excellent luck with all of my Sony's in the past 20 years. My Sony NXCAM, XDCAM and Alpha interchangeable lens cameras have all been perfectly bulletproof too.

CT
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Old June 12th, 2017, 12:07 AM   #12
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Re: New X70, new lens problems

Doug, the "peaking" on the X70 is viewfinder and LCD...the X200 is similarly crippled with only this "colored peaking"...not sure why the X180 got the cool normal peaking. Focus magnification "punch in" is my go-to for focusing, only it doesn't function when live streaming

And for the record, the colored edge "peaking" is typically referred to as "focus assist". My JVC has both, and calls peaking peaking and colored edge crap focus assist. Focus assist is not really usable in low light. I refuse to call Trump my president, and refuse to call colored focus assist peaking...we must al draw the line somewhere. :-)
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Old June 12th, 2017, 06:49 AM   #13
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Re: New X70, new lens problems

Oops, Paul you just opened a big ol' can of worms!
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Old June 12th, 2017, 06:52 AM   #14
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Re: New X70, new lens problems

Let me rephrase...I share the same respect for Trump as I do for colored focus assist. :-P

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