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Old July 11th, 2009, 01:04 AM   #1
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EX1 lens soft edges

Hey all

I know its not a good idea to shoot right at the end of your lens on the EX camera's (or any fixed camera lens for that matter) but does anyone else get soft edges when there zoomed right in? Im only finding it more unusual because it tends to be more soft on the right hand side of frame with my camera... For instance I could have two people standing on the same plane out in the distance but on separate sides of the frame and the one on the right will always be more softer/smeared then the one on the left.

This sound strange to anyone?
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Old July 11th, 2009, 04:19 AM   #2
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That doesn't sound right.

It should be sharp edge-to-edge. What f-stop are you shooting at? Stay away from anything smaller than F8. F16 can look almost as soft as standard definition.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 07:05 AM   #3
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Ideally shoot everything at no more than F4.8. You will need an additional ND .6 or .9 filter. for very bright days.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 07:07 AM   #4
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I found that any f-stop smaller than 5.6 gets soft on my EX3, it is sharpest at f2.8.

This is most notable in tele mode.

However it is an even softness. If one side is much softer, I would send it in to Sony.

Can you post an example?
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Old July 11th, 2009, 05:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Olof Ekbergh View Post

Can you post an example?
I'll try to post an example up tonight Olof

@Dean
the examples I'll post up are shot around f4 - f4.8
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Old July 11th, 2009, 07:59 PM   #6
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Gavin

I have same issues. When I'm zoomed in all the way there is a soft vignette, and the right side is softer then the left. It's not consistent, the softness varies with the lighting conditions and aperture. As I'm at full zoom for many of my shots (birds, animals...) I have to try to keep the subject right in the center. Because of this I'm thinking of trading up to an EX 3 and a Nikon lens adaptor, or maybe a Scarlet.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 10:34 PM   #7
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Gavin,

A while back I was doing some testing for back focus for the EX1 as well as a Letus Extreme, and in order to see if the backfocus was out I zoomed all the way in with the aperture all the way open.

I did indeed see there was more CA/distortion, softness on the right side.

It's in this thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-xdca...tml#post857169

and specifically in this post where I mention it and put up a screengrab:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/857169-post30.html

In addition the ground glass on my letus doesn't appear centered with the EX1. I attribute both these problems to that the sensor isn't quite centered and/or parallel to the lens and I think it might be an inherent design/manufacturing issue.

I don't like it but I kind of accepted it. I think when the aperture is stopped down it goes away a bit for me and though I notice it when I'm scrutinizing it, most people wouldn't.

At some point if I did a lot of telephoto I'd go for the EX3 and a Nikon tele like Olof has done (and gotten some superb images.)
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Old July 12th, 2009, 04:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mark OConnell View Post

I have same issues. When I'm zoomed in all the way there is a soft vignette, and the right side is softer then the left. It's not consistent, the softness varies with the lighting conditions and aperture.
Thats the same with me Mark. It's not consistent and it does vary with lens settings...

@Keith
your picture is pretty much exactly what I see when I have the problem. See my attached frame and you will notice the edge softness around most of the image but more noticeable on the right hand side...

Just on another note does anybody seem to notice the "Haloing" being worse when zoomed in full as you can see in my posted frame? I was just playing around with different detail settings and it seemed to be particularly worse at the long focal lengths.

This image was shot at f4
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EX1 lens soft edges-example-smear.jpg  
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Old July 12th, 2009, 05:50 AM   #9
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The RH side of the image looks out of focus to me. On the LH side the white van and the pole exhibit as much CA as there is on the RH side but they're certainly sharper. I also notice both the elder gent and the girl are wearing maroon coats so I'd guess no 486 filter. That could also contribute to the problem.
Not saying there isn't a problem, just that from an image such as that I'd suggest it's hard to say for sure.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 05:29 PM   #10
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I also notice both the elder gent and the girl are wearing maroon coats so I'd guess no 486 filter
Thats correct Bob. No 486 filter on. Was just a quick detail setting test so I did not bother. Interesting that you think this could contribute to the problem?

How about this attached image. The focal point is the man sitting on the log. If you look at the background in the centre of the image there seems to be a small semi circle that is sharper then the middle to top edges on both sides. To me the smear seems to be worse on the RH side where the gentleman is walking his dog compared to the left. These are either really unusual Depth of Field characteristics or there seems to be a problem...

This was zoomed right in and shot at F3.4 using ND2. Aperture is a bit more open then I would usually shoot (Especially on the end of my lens) but do you think that could contribute this much to the smearing I seem to be getting?
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EX1 lens soft edges-example-smear-two.jpg  
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Old July 12th, 2009, 06:01 PM   #11
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Gavin...

These examples have lots of planes of focus making it hard to tell what would and wouldn't be sharp.

You should try shooting at a detailed target that's on a single plane. Like a brick wall or something. Otherwise it's difficult to tell if an object is soft because it's out of the plane of focus or if your lens has a problem.

Some of the issues look like chromatic aberration.

If you camera has a consistent problem then you should take careful notes, get good examples showing the problem, and get it to Sony's service center where they can make the necessary adjustments to ensure a clean image.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 06:37 PM   #12
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I'll give that a go then Dean and post results if anything looks wrong

Cheers
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Old July 12th, 2009, 10:20 PM   #13
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I think I noticed the same you did and since I don't own an EX1 I can only suspect the following:

- There is some degree of optical mis-alignment in your camera's lens unit.
-The plane of the sensors is off from where it should be with respect to the image projected from the lens/prisms.
-The position of the ND filters alters the back focus when they are in use (This is unlikely, as the blurring of the images shown was clearly not symmetrical, but could contribute to the problems.)

The CA on the other hand was more or less symmetrical and more noticeable around the edges of the frame than it was on the central part. Could this be considered normal at this zoom setting on the EX1? Other owners will have a better answer.

Though the problems you have pointed out are obvious to me it's still a good idea to shoot objects like brick walls as Dean has suggested to show the Sony service center your camera really has problems.
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Old July 13th, 2009, 03:05 AM   #14
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The second frame grab does seem to show something wrong. The point of focus seems further from the camera on the LS side than the RH side judging by the sharpness of the sand. Certainly shooting a rough textured brick wall with the camera square to the wall would be the best test. I'd suggest racking focus in and out and seeing what happens. Depending on the DOF you may well find a point where all the wall is in focus however what you should not see is one side of the wall appear to come into / out of focus before the other. If it does I'd suspect the block is out of alignment with the lens.
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Old August 25th, 2009, 08:40 PM   #15
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Just an update...

I sent these pics off to the Sony repair centre along with some chart shots and they ordered me a new lens that day. When the lens turned up I took my camera down and they replaced it and updated firmware within a couple of hours. Was very impressed with the service!

New lens is great. No more smearing issues. Replaced under warranty..
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