Z7 Lens Was Toast... I Thought at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-Z7 / HVR-S270
Handheld and shoulder mount versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.

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Old August 29th, 2012, 02:02 PM   #1
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Z7 Lens Was Toast... I Thought

I inadvertently obstructed movement of the zoom ring under servo control which resulted in a “stripped tooth” effect. With a stripped tooth effect the lens would then lurch when it crossed that point while unobstructed under servo control creating a jump-like effect on the video. Switching to manual mode was a little help but still the lens tended to hang at that point resisting movement which then would result in the jump effect even then. With careful technique, though, I could make it smooth but only with a little practice.

I thought my Z7 lens was toast and I was sick.

What happened was I was capturing some b-roll holding the camcorder in an awkward position so as to get the position I was looking for. In so doing, without realizing it, one of my fingers came to block the zoom ring pin as it attempted to travel past my finger. I did not realize it was happening only knowing that the zoom was acting “kooky.” I finally looked to see what the problem was only to be horrified that I had stupidly allowed my finger to block the zoom travel under servo control. From that point the lens zoom would lurch when it came to that point as if teeth had been stripped from gears.

I finished out the night having developed a careful technique whereby I would zoom under manual control using a finger with another finger from that hand also resting elsewhere on the camcorder giving the movement finger more of an ability to power past the hang spot and avoid the jump effect.

Over the next couple of weeks I was weighing my options on what could be done. Sony does not fix lenses. It is a remove-and-replace item. Checking on eBay for used lenses I could see I was not going to get by for less than maybe twelve hundred bucks. I thought about other lenses but then you lose some of the conveniences of the original that I have come to depend upon.

But to my amazement, a few weeks later when I went to use the camcorder again the problem had vanished! Wonder of wonders! What a relief.
Wesley Cardone
www.WCardoneProductions.com, Detroit and Lansing, Michigan
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Old August 29th, 2012, 02:21 PM   #2
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Re: Z7 Lens Was Toast... I Thought

Sometimes you eat the bear...sometimes the bear eats you. You ate the bear. Glad it sorted itself out.
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
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Old August 31st, 2012, 08:44 PM   #3
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Re: Z7 Lens Was Toast... I Thought

Some people have the luck. Others buy the farm.

I would go buy a lotto ticket whilst the trend remains improved.

Speculatively, my imagining thinks that maybe the electronics managing the zoom movement interpreted the obstruction as an end-travel point and implemented a soft stop which was over-ridden by your continued input, hence the hesitation. Powering off the camera and then powering on again would have prompted the camera lens controller to reset its end-travel points.

My wish-list imagining is that maybe Sony at some future stage will enable a potentially inbuilt function where indexes in the zoom movement and focus movement may be set for accurate repeatability across several takes.

Last edited by Bob Hart; August 31st, 2012 at 08:45 PM. Reason: error
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