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Sony HVR-Z5 / HDR-FX1000
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old March 9th, 2014, 03:09 AM   #1
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FX1000: Stiff/gritty zoom ring

Hi there

I am looking to purchase a second hand cam to shoot sport.
Today I checked out a second hand FX1000.
My only concern with the camera was the stiffness of the zoom ring. Obviously one of my key requirements is a well functioning zoom ring.

The zoom ring on this cam felt dry and gritty. The film student seller did mention shooting a bit of surfing video. Otherwise the camera looked well maintained.

Has anyone had problems with the zoom ring? Is it an easy fix to get it functioning smoothly? Too costly to change? Any thoughts/advice/ info most welcome and appreciated.
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Old March 9th, 2014, 04:03 AM   #2
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Re: FX1000: Stiff/gritty zoom ring

I still have a Sony fx1000 that belonged to my father and that also has a zoomring that is a bit gritty, as if there is dirt inside the ring, it turns very smooth but at certain points it "grinds" making smooth manual zooms difficult. The focus ring however seems unaffected and is very smooth all around. If I zoom in using the zoom button on the camera that ofcourse works as it should.

This won't help you a lot but it seems to show the fx1000 camera's do have this issue.
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Old March 9th, 2014, 04:56 AM   #3
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Re: FX1000: Stiff/gritty zoom ring

Cheers Noa.

Your description of the zoom ring grinding at certain points better describes what I felt today.

I would also stress that if felt very dry.
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Old March 9th, 2014, 12:49 PM   #4
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Re: FX1000: Stiff/gritty zoom ring

Run away. As fast as you can.

Lens disassembly, repairing, cleaning and reassembly is a dirty expensive business. And at some point it will require this.

This is of course assuming you can find an authorized Sony repair center or someone else you knows how to do this near you, and they don't just insist on replacing the entire lens assembly.

Sand is the worst thing ever, and this should make you wonder how else the poor cam was abused.

Run away.

The phrases "film student" and "surfing video" should be enough red flags to make you move on to the next one. No cam is cheap enough to be a bargain if it dies on you.
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Old March 9th, 2014, 06:32 PM   #5
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Re: FX1000: Stiff/gritty zoom ring

Cheers AG.

Move on I will. I did inform the seller that I'd be doing my homework/research with some of the best in the business right here.

Just to clarify: In your estimation, it is highly probable that sand has caused the grittiness? That is, it is much less probable that it is an issue with the camera manufacture?

Again, thanks.
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Old March 9th, 2014, 09:36 PM   #6
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Re: FX1000: Stiff/gritty zoom ring

Just a total guess on my part, but I think the logical assumption is it's the sand.

I would never even take my cam to the beach or any sandy environment without an underwater (i.e. airtight) housing.

I've now owned somewhere around 30 of these Sony buggers with the external Zoom rings, from my first 4 Hi8 V5000s to my fifth Z5, hung up at the distribution center due to weather issues here in the States and set to arrive this week. If it shows up with a Zoom ring defect, it'll be my first ever to show this.

But when we went to Greece to shoot a docu with 19 UW film students a while ago and I brought my own gear along for them to use, you would not believe the condition my precious FX1s returned home in. I wept openly. It cost a fortune to bring them back up to specs. And that doesn't include the time they left an HD1000 on the kitchen table in an unlocked house, with the door wide open, after we vacated and moved on to another town.

Students.

Yes, it's funny now.
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Old March 9th, 2014, 11:18 PM   #7
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Re: FX1000: Stiff/gritty zoom ring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post

I think the logical assumption is it's the sand.

If it [fifth Z5] shows up with a Zoom ring defect, it'll be my first ever to show this.
All bets are off: it's the sand.

On the Z5, I was looking at a 2nd hand offer here:

Sony z5 camcorder | Video Cameras | Gumtree Australia Gold Coast City - Broadbeach Waters | 1039750831

Any tips and advice as I look into this one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
I wept openly...
That's kind of funny :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
They left an HD1000 on the kitchen table in an unlocked house, with the door wide open, after we vacated and moved on to another town.
Definitely not funny...

Cheers!
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Old March 10th, 2014, 12:54 AM   #8
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Re: FX1000: Stiff/gritty zoom ring

You'll definitely want to see the hours readout. Obviously I am a huge Z5 fan so I think they may be the best HDV cam Sony ever made. But if you can find a used MRC1k Card Recorder you can say goodbye to tapes forever -- unless you want to use them.

That's the advantage of the Z5 -- dual capability (and a few features they dropped for the NX5).
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Old March 10th, 2014, 06:33 AM   #9
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Re: FX1000: Stiff/gritty zoom ring

AG, the figures:

Operation @ 3510
DrumRun @ 2110
Tape Run @ 1510
Threading @2610

Mate any analysis/thoughts much appreciated and eagerly anticipated especially in light of the price they are asking: $2700 Aus/$2400-ish US (let's say).It does include a Sony charger and a fairly standard Pelican case.

I wanted to get the numbers down and analysed before proceeding with some test footage.
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Old March 10th, 2014, 11:31 AM   #10
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Re: FX1000: Stiff/gritty zoom ring

Price looks pretty good. Charger is included standard. Make sure you have all cables as indicated on Sony website and the Large eyecup too.

Hours look fine.

The thing most likely to fail is the tape deck. Load and unload several tapes while testing. Make sure all tape controls work in both cam and deck modes.

If all checks out, I'd buy at that price.

Then get an MRC and never use tapes again. Also buy two new NPF970 batts (genuine Sony).

As you are a user with Sony history, I think you will fall madly in love with this cam after a short courtship.
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Old March 10th, 2014, 05:47 PM   #11
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Re: FX1000: Stiff/gritty zoom ring

+ 1 all adam's thoughts and comments
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Old March 11th, 2014, 03:47 AM   #12
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Re: FX1000: Stiff/gritty zoom ring

My thinking is that the gritty zoom ring may be the least of your potential problems. The tape transport may have more serious issues if wind driven fine sand and salt have gone in. If you can talk the price down on the camera, it might be worth taking but do not expect a free ride with the tape transport for much longer. It is due for service regardless of conditions of use due to passage of time since new.

A cheap trick to unbind a zoom ring is to find a piece of firm A4 printer paper and cut up 1cm wide strips with the ends trimmed to 45 degrees give or take. Soak the strips with a few drops of light machine oil. They should be grey-damp but not sloppy-damp. Another trick is to melt some candle-wax and soak the paper strips in that. The objective is to capture the fine grit without pushing it further in. Too much oil in the paper and it may wick in onto the optics.

Ease the pointed end under the zoom ring in the tiny gap and with the uncut end canted back slightly, rotate the zoom ring through several cycles slowly. The leading ( straight not angled ) paper edge will hopefully pick up grit off the inner surface of the ring. Change the paper strips often otherwise all you will achieve is to move dirt about.

Once your paper strips come out fairly clean, then insert a new strip for a new operation. As you turn the zoom ring, follow it around with the paper strip very slowly. Ease the paper round in very small hooking motions. Be sensitive to any jams or binding of the paper strip. Don't perservere if it jams as that may make things worse. A piece of grit may have turned on edge, become fixed into the plastic and will just tear the paper.

You can try dislodging it with a strip of lighting gel or shirtcollar plastic, then if successful, complete the operation with the paper. Finish off by using dry strips in the same hooking routine to wick out any remaining oil which may have come off the oiled paper strips.

Finally - this suggestion of mine will make proper lens-smiths cringe in horror. Heed their advice over mine if any chime in with another solution.

Last edited by Bob Hart; March 11th, 2014 at 03:49 AM. Reason: error
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