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Old March 19th, 2008, 03:37 AM   #1
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Sony confirms backfocus problem

Sony has confirmed that the backfocus problem with ND filters engaged is real and supposedly they have a fix. My camera just went in so I have my fingers crossed.

Recent cameras should already be fixed. software v1.05 is supposedly the fix. Sony repair in San Jose by the way has been very nice about dealing with this.

here is how to check it:

How to check Back Focus ( check this on a large monitor):

1. To allow for distant infinity focus, it is best to setup the camera outdoors ( this is not neccessary for a video camera but is for film or still lenses)

2. With ND filters off, zoom in ALL the way and focus on a distant object over 25 feet away (if you are indoors try it at closer distances at least 10').
KEEP YOUR APERTURE WIDE OPEN @ f1.9 THIS IS CRITICAL.
Depending on the available light, you may need to increase your shutter speed to not over expose, or perhaps even engage extra Gain as you change filter wheels.

3. Once you've focused on your distant object, zoom out full wide.
The wideangle is what we are most concerned about. That's where it will go off and you won't see it while shooting.
The wide image should still remain in focus.

4. Repeat this test with each ND setting. The camera should remain in focus regardless of the ND setting.

5. At both telephoto and full wide while keeping the aperture @ f1.9, flip through no filter then with ND filters.
The camera should remain in focus regardless of the ND setting.

Hope I explained this right its late.

Lenny Levy
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Old March 19th, 2008, 04:52 AM   #2
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So if anyone has this problem,then software v1.05 will fix it,so no need to send the cam back to Sony ? Just wait for the software to be released then download and install ourselves ?
That sounds like good news.

Paul.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 06:27 AM   #3
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My camera came back from repair two days ago and it still has the backfocus issue. The new firmware V1.05 was installed and the backfocus is worse than it ever was before... So this did not fix the problem for me - I hope it will for others.
They will hopefully send me a new camera now, we are working on a solution.

cu,
Gerald
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Old March 19th, 2008, 07:41 AM   #4
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can't see a difference

I ran the test using a test chart at 20 feet indoors f1.9 manual focus. The camera holds focus in all cases viewing on a 46" Bravia. I can't see any difference.
But here's the strange part, when fully wide the difference when the focus is adjusted is extremely minimal as you would expect.
Are you suggesting that the focus issue you are speaking about is an extreme change in focus that is noticable? BTW. my EX1 is less than a month old.
Best, Craig
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Old March 19th, 2008, 07:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Hollenback View Post
I ran the test using a test chart at 20 feet indoors f1.9 manual focus. The camera holds focus in all cases viewing on a 46" Bravia. I can't see any difference.
But here's the strange part, when fully wide the difference when the focus is adjusted is extremely minimal as you would expect.
Are you suggesting that the focus issue you are speaking about is an extreme change in focus that is noticable? BTW. my EX1 is less than a month old.
Best, Craig
can we confirm that you can download and install the update ourselves, no one has confirmed that. if so how exactly step by step?

is there a way to see what version is in the camera now?

are they still making cameras with the problem or did they fix it and if so is there a certain number of serial numbers to look for?

can you see it while filming, or only when you watch it back
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Old March 19th, 2008, 08:57 AM   #6
 
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to see your firmware version, you need to access the service menu by holding down the "cancel", "select/set" and "menu" buttons simultaneously
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Old March 19th, 2008, 09:47 AM   #7
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Here's what sucks big time - You can't put in the firmware yourself like with an HVX - has to go back to Sony. Is that stupid or what!.

lenny
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Old March 19th, 2008, 09:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Hollenback View Post
I ran the test using a test chart at 20 feet indoors f1.9 manual focus. The camera holds focus in all cases viewing on a 46" Bravia. I can't see any difference.
But here's the strange part, when fully wide the difference when the focus is adjusted is extremely minimal as you would expect.
Are you suggesting that the focus issue you are speaking about is an extreme change in focus that is noticable? BTW. my EX1 is less than a month old.
Best, Craig
Craig,
did you also test it with ND on?
There is a pretty long thread going on where you can read everything about the backfocus problem and also see some pictures:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...108433&page=37

Not all cameras do have this problem but a lot EX1īs seem to be be affected.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 10:09 AM   #9
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You might double check the backfocus by doing it outside where the distance to infinity is greater to confirm no problem - but yes you should see the wide angle go out. For me I noticed that with ND in the wide angle focus of trees at a distance only got sharp if I focused close to around three feet while at telephoto I was around 30'. With ND out I was smack on infinity for both.

I hope Gerald's experience will not be mine when I get my camera back.

lenny
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Old March 19th, 2008, 10:19 AM   #10
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Gerald, it makes me wonder if they installed the new firmware, but did not run the backfocus setup procedure correctly.

I wonder if you need to run it in all three conditions, ND OFF, ND1 ON, and ND2 ON?

Just a guess...
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Old March 19th, 2008, 10:25 AM   #11
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Steven,
I´m sure they did not do the set up correctly.
I have tried it for myself with ND on/off and both ND filters to no avail.
I think my camera has some more serious problem.
I´m waiting for their decision now on how to continue. Yesterday they said that I might get a new camera which they just got in as a loaner camera for their service department in the Netherlands. They just have to find out if they are capable to install the new firmware there before they can send it to me.
Let´s see...
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Old March 19th, 2008, 11:22 AM   #12
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Sending back to Sony for Firmware is crazy, Imagine when they need to upgrade the Firmware for the Camera to be able to except the cheaper SxS cards...Every owner will need to ship there camera back to have this done???
I think right now the only way to get the firmware updated is by sending it in because they do not have a public realease that is available for download yet.
Once they release a version for download we should be able to perform this ourselves by way of USB...only reason that we would have to ship back to them would be is if they went back to the stone age and have to replace an actual chip each time to upgrade the firmware...Knowing Sony this is not the case..It will probably be similar to PSP and PS3 updates.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 02:09 PM   #13
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I was able to fix mine.

Leonard, I followed your sequence at first indoors and did not notice anything unusual. Then, I brought the camera outside, shot the trunk of a palm tree which and hoirizontal lines at f1.9 ND on at 250sec., and when I put racked the focus from distant to close, the image became sharper instead of more blurry as would have been expected. I performed the test several times and I was surprised that it was the same each time.
I then called Sony and was talked through how to have the camera perform an automaitic Flange Back adjustment.
I repeated the testing process and the image is sharp as a tack through the zoom and goes out of focus as expected when the focus is readjusted to close.
Hope this encouraging news. I am somewhat concerned about talking about the sequence because I would not want anyone to make matters worse if the procedure was done incorrectly.
Sony can talk you though it over the phone though.
Best, Craig
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Old March 19th, 2008, 04:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Hollenback View Post
Leonard, I followed your sequence at first indoors and did not notice anything unusual. Then, I brought the camera outside, shot the trunk of a palm tree which and hoirizontal lines at f1.9 ND on at 250sec., and when I put racked the focus from distant to close, the image became sharper instead of more blurry as would have been expected. I performed the test several times and I was surprised that it was the same each time.
I then called Sony and was talked through how to have the camera perform an automaitic Flange Back adjustment.
I repeated the testing process and the image is sharp as a tack through the zoom and goes out of focus as expected when the focus is readjusted to close.
Hope this encouraging news. I am somewhat concerned about talking about the sequence because I would not want anyone to make matters worse if the procedure was done incorrectly.
Sony can talk you though it over the phone though.
Best, Craig
Craig,
I understand your concerns about users making matters worse instead of better. However the procedure has been posted here and not all of us can talk to Sony over the phone. So please if you could describe the procedure you were told to use it could be very beneficial, possibly the procedure many have been trying to use is missing some vital piece of information,
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Old March 19th, 2008, 08:09 PM   #15
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Craig,

Thanks, I thought maybe I should more stronglty suggest doing it outside because the added distance makes the misadjustment more obvious.

Was the process Sony explained the same one that has been posted here - to run the Back focus adjustment in the maintenance menus?
I did mine both with and without ND filters and it still was not right for the ND.

Did you try it with and without ND to make sure you got the same results?

- Lenny
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