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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old April 9th, 2006, 01:03 PM   #1
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Emergency help needed!

For anyone who has a Sony DSR-PD150...

I recently bought a WA adapter and used in on my PD150, and it worked okay. Ater removing the WA adapter, my camera will no longer focus, either in manual OR autofocus. This is driving me crazy. I decided to put the WA adapter back on, and it worked the same as before. I don't believe the WA is zoom through, because the focus gets blurry when I attempt to zoom all the way in close to a subject.

Has anyone had this problems before? Could the WA adapter somehow have caused the internal lenses to lock up or something?

I could not find anything relating to this problem in the manual, and the camera is not blinking any error codes. There does not seem to be any "reset" button, either. I hope someone on here has a simple solution for me. Thanks!
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Old April 9th, 2006, 02:37 PM   #2
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So, nobody has ever had this experience before? :o(
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Old April 9th, 2006, 03:12 PM   #3
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Never hear of that one. The reset button is near the rear of the control panel that is revealed when you open the LCD door. It is just a hole in the panel identified with small letters.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 03:28 PM   #4
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ARGHHH! That didn't help, but thanks Mike. :o(
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Old April 9th, 2006, 06:51 PM   #5
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Tom
Have you checked to see if the diopter on the viewfinder is out of focus?
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Old April 9th, 2006, 08:01 PM   #6
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Maybe this is too obvious to be the problem, but it's the first thing which crosses my mind....

Some wide angle adaptors can also be used as macro lenses by unscrewing the front element, which leaves a thin lens in place. Is it possible that this is what's happening? Are you sure that you're looking at the naked, original Sony lens and not a thin adaptor lens still screwed into the filter threads? That would cause this problem, and in fact it was the solution for a similar problem posted in the PDX-10 group...
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Old April 9th, 2006, 08:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Maybe this is too obvious to be the problem, but it's the first thing which crosses my mind....

Some wide angle adaptors can also be used as macro lenses by unscrewing the front element, which leaves a thin lens in place. Is it possible that this is what's happening? Are you sure that you're looking at the naked, original Sony lens and not a thin adaptor lens still screwed into the filter threads? That would cause this problem, and in fact it was the solution for a similar problem posted in the PDX-10 group...

Yeah, Boyd probably remembers a thread a couple of months back where someone bought a used 150 and it came with the rear diopter len from a wide angle. Eventually, the new owner figured out that there had been a lens left on it.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 08:58 PM   #8
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Ah, you're right... it was a 150 and not an X10! I used to have a WA adaptor like this for my PDX-10. One day I was on a shoot and unscrewed the adaptor. Suddenly nothing would focus and I got very worried for a couple minutes until I realized what had happened...
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Old April 9th, 2006, 10:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Maybe this is too obvious to be the problem, but it's the first thing which crosses my mind....

Some wide angle adaptors can also be used as macro lenses by unscrewing the front element, which leaves a thin lens in place. Is it possible that this is what's happening? Are you sure that you're looking at the naked, original Sony lens and not a thin adaptor lens still screwed into the filter threads? That would cause this problem, and in fact it was the solution for a similar problem posted in the PDX-10 group...
OMG... I am such a lame brain. You were absolutely correct. It still had the macro on there, and all I unscrewed was the WA lens. Geez. They were together when I first put it on, so I didn't even realize that there were two separate parts. Thanks for the help all! I am sooo relieved I do not have to take my camera in for repairs.

*On a side note... this WA acts more like a fish eye with that much curvature and distortion. And is it normal for either the WA or TELE adapter to show through the viewfinder/lcd screen? The WA has the corners curved off (blackened), and the TELE is like looking through a tube. Are these what are considered as not "zoom through" adapters?
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Old April 9th, 2006, 10:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Robert Ballew
Tom
Have you checked to see if the diopter on the viewfinder is out of focus?
Robert, I am not sure how I would do that. Although my problem has been corrected from the help of Boyd, would you mind telling me what to do or what to look for in case I ever have a similar problem in the future and it is NOT the macro lens? Thanks.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 11:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tom Bolia
Robert, I am not sure how I would do that. Although my problem has been corrected from the help of Boyd, would you mind telling me what to do or what to look for in case I ever have a similar problem in the future and it is NOT the macro lens? Thanks.
This is a question that could have 100 answers and yet not a one would be right. But, you can adjust the viewfinder diopter on a lever on the underside of the VF. It is easily knocked out of adjustment, so you want to check it before each use. Find something that has fine detail in it, to target for the adjustment. A sign with small lettering is ideal.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 11:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by J. Stephen McDonald
This is a question that could have 100 answers and yet not a one would be right. But, you can adjust the viewfinder diopter on a lever on the underside of the VF. It is easily knocked out of adjustment, so you want to check it before each use. Find something that has fine detail in it, to target for the adjustment. A sign with small lettering is ideal.
Oh, THAT thing? No, that wasn't the problem, and I already knew about that. I have to adjust that simply because I wear glasses. The problem was not only visible in the viewfinder, but it was "clearly" visible on the LCD. I could not use either manual or auto focus. As posted below, the problem has been solved, and I greatly appreciate it. :o)
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Old April 9th, 2006, 11:46 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by J. Stephen McDonald
This is a question that could have 100 answers and yet not a one would be right. But, you can adjust the viewfinder diopter on a lever on the underside of the VF. It is easily knocked out of adjustment, so you want to check it before each use. Find something that has fine detail in it, to target for the adjustment. A sign with small lettering is ideal.
That is not the best way to do it as you don't know that the viewfinder is properly set up when you focus on something in the camera's field of view.

What you want to do is focus the viewfinder optics on the text the camera places in the viewfinder. You should do this with the lens cap on. Then place a piece of gaffer tape on the adjustment
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Old April 10th, 2006, 12:37 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Mike Rehmus
What you want to do is focus the viewfinder optics on the text the camera places in the viewfinder. You should do this with the lens cap on. Then place a piece of gaffer tape on the adjustment
I find that in different levels of light and also when I'm fresh and rested, as opposed to being tired, that my eyes have their own focusing variations. I have to make slight adjustments in the VF diopter, to accomodate these shifts in my vision, so locking the lever with tape doesn't work for me. The diopter I like best is the one on my Canon L-1, that has a rotating ring for very fine tuning. Perhaps the same type is still used in their XL models?
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Old April 10th, 2006, 08:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bolia
this WA acts more like a fish eye with that much curvature and distortion. And is it normal for either the WA or TELE adapter to show through the viewfinder/lcd screen? The WA has the corners curved off (blackened), and the TELE is like looking through a tube. Are these what are considered as not "zoom through" adapters?
What brand of adaptors are you using and what are their specs? They are identified with a number followed by an "x" which indicates their amount of magnification. For example, a 0.5x wide adaptor would make the field of view twice as wide as normal. In other words (thinking in 35mm still camera terms), it would turn a 50mm lens into a 25mm lens. Same thing with telephoto: a 2x adaptor would turn that 50mm lens into a 100mm lens. If your wide adaptor is more extreme than .7x then very likely it will have some degree of a barrell distortion (the curvature effect) unless very high quality.

The cheap adaptors can be pretty bad and introduce a lot of distortion (the curvature you noted). If they aren't properly designed for your camera you will also get vignetting (dark corners like you saw). Some adaptors are designed such that you can zoom through the full range on the camera and still hold focus, others are not and will go blurry at some point in the zoom.

Telephoto adaptors - even the good ones - are rarely full zoom-through. Since you're magnifying the image you generally reach a point somewhere around the middle of the zoom range where they begin to vignette. Then as you go all the way to full wide you will get the "looking through a tube" effect you mention, where you have a black field with a circle in the middle.

As a basic principle, wide adaptors should only be used at the wide end of the zoom range when you can't get as wide a shot as you'd like. Same thing for telephoto: use it at the telephoto end of the zoom when you need more magnification. Do some tests to see how far you can zoom with each lens before you run into trouble. Also remember that your viewfinder/LCD doesn't show the full image all the way to the edges, and a consumer TV won't either. However if you watch on a computer you'll see everything and you may discover that the corners are cut off when you didn't realize it. Connect the camera to a monitor with underscan or to your computer running your editing software in order to see everything when you do your tests.

Also remember that no matter how good these adaptors are, adding glass in front of the camera's built-in lens is going to lower your quality somewhat. Glad we got your basic problem sorted out though. As I mentioned, this happened to me once and it can be very disturbing!
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