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Old November 23rd, 2011, 02:47 PM   #1
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Can no longer focus distance on Full zoom

Hi,

I have just received my camera back from Sony after it broke down with a power fault. Prime support replace a main board and got it back to me within a week (great service) but it has no developed a new fault in that it can focus on full zoom past about 50 metres. I have a job next week filming reindeer racing (I know, I know) and the distance is 400m so I have a problem. I think it might be that although the viewfinder says it's focusing to infinity maybe the calibration is off and it's not moving the focus element enough. Obviously I am doing this with manual focus and with sufficient light (F4.0 on ND1). Is this a fault with firmware or has someone got another idea becuase it's needed for next Tuesday so it won't be fixed in time by Sony.

I updated the firmware soon after I got it last April to version 2 (I didn't experience any back focus issues) and I just checked it and it is still version 2.

Any thoughts welcome
Frank
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Old November 23rd, 2011, 03:22 PM   #2
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Re: Can no longer focus distance on Full zoom

Backfocus needs to be set on your camera/lens combo. Hopfully you can find the instructions around otherwise it will be another trip to Sony Service.
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Old November 23rd, 2011, 03:30 PM   #3
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Re: Can no longer focus distance on Full zoom

The backfocus is working fine it's when I zoom in that I can't focus into infinity. When I zoom back a bit I can get infinity back in focus and fully wide I have the entire scene in focus.

Frank
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Old November 23rd, 2011, 03:32 PM   #4
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Re: Can no longer focus distance on Full zoom

Make sure Flicker reduction is off, Macro focus Off and digital extender Off. Then see if you still have the problem.

Ron Evans
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Old November 23rd, 2011, 03:45 PM   #5
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Re: Can no longer focus distance on Full zoom

I checked with macro off, flicker off, extender off and even the steadyshot off and it was still only focus on full zoom to about 50m. I have used the digital extender before the repair and it still provided a sharper picture then it does now. I still think it might be a lens issue. I'm not sure how the camera adjusts the lens focus because there is no true manual focus ring it just rotates round and round but stops focusing at an infinity setting but I don't believe it is infinity. I have just tested it in my kitchen and it gives credible readings for focus distance but it's dark outside so I can do any tests over about 5m.
I have just done a test outside in the street and tried to focus on a bush under a lamp post about 25m away, pushing the autofocus came up with a reading of infinity and even doing it manually it was reading over 90m before it came into focus.
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Old November 23rd, 2011, 03:58 PM   #6
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Re: Can no longer focus distance on Full zoom

Even in the house my NX5U shows distances like 600M before it gets to infinity. Are you saying it goes directly from 50M to infinity on the indicator ? Or whatever the indicator you can not get far objects in focus. What happens with autofocus? My NX5U is an early one that had the lens/backfocus issue and Sony changed the whole lens system.

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Old November 23rd, 2011, 04:04 PM   #7
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Re: Can no longer focus distance on Full zoom

Inside the house it is coming up with credible reading for focusing i.e. 2.5m for the cooker but when I went outside I tried to focus on a bush 25m away and it only came into focus at infinity not before today in daylight it would only focus in to objects no more then 50m away any further and it was impossible to focus into to them on full zoom. I believe the focus is moving to it's full extent but the camera says it is. Sony were supposed to ring me back today but they didn't I will ring them again tomorrow where I'm doing a job but fortunately it's for a range no more then 30m so I should get away with it.
Here is some footage on vimeo demonstrating the focus issue.


Last edited by Frank Leggett; November 23rd, 2011 at 05:02 PM.
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Old November 23rd, 2011, 05:51 PM   #8
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Re: Can no longer focus distance on Full zoom

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Leggett View Post
The backfocus is working fine it's when I zoom in that I can't focus into infinity. When I zoom back a bit I can get infinity back in focus and fully wide I have the entire scene in focus.

Frank
Backfocus is the problem. The servo lens adjusts its rear focus element when it zooms. If its not calibrated properly you can run out of focus on the long end. Also if the focal distance reading is way off. Backfocus.

Had the same problem on my V1u. on the V1 it wasn't a user adjustment and had to go back to Sony to get straightened out.
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Old November 24th, 2011, 01:41 AM   #9
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Re: Can no longer focus distance on Full zoom

Thanks Chris, sounds like I'm going to have to send it back to Sony, hopefully they can send me a replacement for the job next week otherwise I have to hire in a camera.
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Old November 24th, 2011, 06:07 AM   #10
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Re: Can no longer focus distance on Full zoom

Yes, straight back to Sony it goes - with a stiffly worded letter saying this fault was not present before you had the power fault repaired and please test it out before next sending it back. I'd also suggest that Prime Support should either replace your camera for the next shoot or simply refund the hire costs. Good luck.

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Old November 24th, 2011, 08:54 AM   #11
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Re: Can no longer focus distance on Full zoom

It's going back to Sony Monday and I will update the thread with the results for reference. Prime support say they won't lend me a camera as this is a second fault even though they caused it. Instead I am having to hire a camera which will cost me 180 for the nearest model to do the job. I will include a letter along with the invoice for the hire and see if they can do something.
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 08:58 AM   #12
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Re: Can no longer focus distance on Full zoom

I have finally been able to speak to and engineer and he says it's focusing fine and he has taken it outside and filmed the mountains which are 1 mile away and checked the footage on a 42" Plasma back in the office. He's going put it back in the calibration jig again on Monday but he says they haven't found any problems. I did leave some footage on a card in the camera so they can see the problem.
I will update again next week.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 01:44 PM   #13
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Re: Can no longer focus distance on Full zoom

It has come back from Sony (I did ask them to send it to my next job but they sent it to my home instead). Unfortunately the VF now looks blown as the picture is very dark compared to the viewfinder even with the VF set to bright it is still a lot darker then the LCD on regular settings. I can't afford to send it back to Sony again as I have already had to cover for a couple of jobs.

I will try it out tomorrow in the daylight to see if the focus issue is solved. Fingers crossed.
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