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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old April 17th, 2006, 02:45 AM   #1
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HELP!!! VX2100 down!

Hi, I have had my VX2100 for around a year now, and three days ago it stopped working correctly. I took it on a night shoot but even though the area was well lit i could not see anything. So I pointed at the nearest bright light and it could only just be seen..

When I got home i took it out and tried filming in my well lit living room with the same result.. the only thing that could be seen was light bulbs.. in bright daylight i can see everything but its very dull and grainy. I have tried playing with all the settings and reset the camera a few times with no result.

There are no error codes showing and i have left the camera out with the tape door open for a day and placed it overnight in a bag with some silica gel packs in case it was a moisture problem. No change.

Footage played back through a tv looks the same as through the viewfinder/screen.

Any ideas, maybe its those cheap CCD's ive been reading about.

Thanks
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Old April 17th, 2006, 05:20 AM   #2
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Please don't be mad if this sounds like I am treating you like a moron. Even smart people have brain lapses, so I am going to suggest the obvious:

Do you have the ND filters on? Did you leave a polarizer on the lens? Have you somehow changed the shutter speed?

I mention these things because you say there is some image and it is grainy. The grain is the gain coming up to compensate for underexposure. This leads me to believe that the camera knows there is an exposure issue.
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Old April 17th, 2006, 07:55 AM   #3
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Hi, yep ive tried everything, and the only filter i have is a uv one as i film in the snow a lot. I have tried it on auto lock and all other combinations of shutter, exposure etc.

The only setting i can film indoors on is night!! When you would usually be able to film without any settings (on auto lock).

I am in france and only have two weeks of filming left before returning to england where i will be able to take it to Sony or a guy i know at Visual Impact (camera hire and fixing place).

HELP!!!! AAAGH the only other camera we have is worse than useless...
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Old April 17th, 2006, 08:42 AM   #4
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Have you tried playing back anything recorded to tape with data code turned on? It might tell you something interesting which could help troubleshoot....
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Old April 17th, 2006, 09:59 AM   #5
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Somewhere on the camera there should be a very small reset button or "pin hole." Check the manual carefully. The cameras are software driven and sometime a reset will fix a strange issue. Seems you've tried that. Alas it may be time for service. Yuck, I know that hurts but beter to pay a few hundred Euro and have a working camera than not.
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Old April 17th, 2006, 11:32 AM   #6
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It sounds as if your aperture blades could be stuck at a very small aperture. The're mechanical stepper motor driven and they go down to f/32 before they close completely, so zoom to telephoto and look down into that lens with a maglight.

Reset button as suggested by Craig.

tom.
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Old April 17th, 2006, 01:38 PM   #7
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So, tom goes to the top of the class, well done the essex boy... looked down there on telephoto and opened and closed the aperture manually.... only one of the blades moves and only by the smallest amount... bugger. Is there anyway to rectify this, or is it a painful service issue?

I'm guessing the latter, but thanks for your help guys.. im off to cry in a dark corner.

Paul
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Old April 17th, 2006, 04:15 PM   #8
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This one will probably have to go back to Sony. They'll probably swap out the lens as it is normally hard to disassemble the lens and then get everything centered correctly without a fair number of jigs and a test with an auto-collumator.

You could try Armato's but I'd bet they don't have the tools either.

You might ask Sony to comp this one as that is a rare problem and normally only happens with a lens that is quite old.
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Old April 17th, 2006, 07:28 PM   #9
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Years ago, I had a camcorder (Canon A-1) that had its iris blades stuck in an open position. I got out the service manual (which I always buy for every camcorder) and determined the exact location of the drive-motor and wheel that contacts the iris assembly. I gave it a sharp little whack with a jeweler's hammer in what was apparently the right place, as it started working perfectly again. This sort of remedy is known generally as a "Westinghouse Kick". Every few weeks, I had to repeat this. I did it a dozen times, before the camera broke down completely. At least I didn't have to worry about the iris problem anymore, as my expensive new camcorder had no such problem. Incidentally, my technique was mentioned nowhere in the service manual. I did a post-mortem on the A-1 and found that the problem was nothing more than a sticky drive shaft in the little motor. If I hadn't been so lazy, I could have popped-off the housing and replaced it with a new $15. motor and saved the cost of a new camera. I had the manual and the ability, but not the will to do it properly. Any local repair shop could have done the same thing. The lesson learned is that there's always a correct and finessed way of fixing things and you often pay a price for handling it in a quicker and cruder fashion.

As I often do, I recommend taking a camcorder with this sort of problem to a trustworthy local shop that is authorized by its manufacturer. It's possible that it's nothing more than a minor mechanical problem. If the fault is in the iris motor or its drive mechanism, it might be corrected without disturbing the lens itself and making a re-alignment necessary. The cost and waiting time might be much less than sending it to a Sony service center. It would help if you're completely fluent in French. They'll send it off to the service center if they can't handle it.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 02:20 AM   #10
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I'm with Steve on this - it sounds like a failure of the stepper motor rather than oil finding its way onto the tiny aperture leaves and causing them to stick- as I've had with Vivitar, Rokkor and Canon lenses over the years.

So Paul - come out of the dark corner, dry those eyes and write a letter with the authority of conviction by your side. Remember the Sony technician who's going to service the camera will be playing detective just like the rest of us here, and you want to take him and point his nose directly at the problem. This will save time and money, in as much as you won't be seen as someone who can be taken for a ride and fed mumbo-jumbo on the invoice.

Must say I've never seen it mentioned before, but you never know - this may well be a known Sony fault and there may well be a quick and easy (motor swap-out) repair. While he's in tear-down mode, ask if he can't change the iris control wheel for the PD170 one - that way you'll get invisible aperture changes instead of the lumpy-bumpy ones the VX2100 supplies.

Good luck. The 2100 is worth the cost of repair.

tom.
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Old April 21st, 2006, 10:18 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=J. I gave it a sharp little whack with a jeweler's hammer in what was apparently the right place, as it started working perfectly again. This sort of remedy is known generally as a "Westinghouse Kick". [/QUOTE]

Some of us refer to it as "Percussive Maintenance"...and we LOVE when it works!
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 12:11 PM   #12
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check your model here for a free ccd fix from Sony by Oct 2 2007

My friends 2100 went down last night and really freaked me out. It does have a very far out color shift that adds an old looking super 8 film look cause of the red streaks in the frame...I was thinking wow what kind of digital effect is this...lol
Did a google search today and found some great help on the problem.

First I went here -

http://www.fixya.com/support/p397784...ini_dv_digital

and then here-

http://www.imaging-resource.com/badccds.html#cause

hats off to these sites for the help on camera repair ...it sure beats paying a diagnostic fee at the shop.....

update*
you have until Oct 2 2007 to get your camera in .If you have a product that displays the problem described here, you must contact the manufacturer to arrange for the repair. This is important. -- None of the manufacturers involved are contacting consumers to announce a blanket....

Last edited by Roy Beazley; August 22nd, 2007 at 12:29 PM. Reason: update notice
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