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Old January 31st, 2010, 08:58 AM   #1
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Lack of back focus adjustment on PMW350 Fujinon lens

Just seen Andy's review of the new PMW350 Fujinon lens at the Abel blog.
Turns out it'll only work with the 350 due to not having a back focus adjustment on the lens!
Can anyone convince me there is a genuine reason for this other than the fact that people would buy it and put it on Varicams and F900s as it only costs about 1500 instead of buying a 10,000 Fujinon?
Steve
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Old January 31st, 2010, 10:57 AM   #2
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I've been told that there will be a firmware update and software routine to allow manual backfocus adjustment of the lens making it possible to use it on other cameras. Hmmm we'll see.

Being honest I'm not sure how this would work and I'm not convinced it will happen. If your very lucky you might find the settings for 350 will work on another camera. I've been playing with it on my PDW-700 and the backfocus appears OK.
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Old January 31st, 2010, 11:15 AM   #3
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"Lack of back focus adjustment on PMW350 Fujinon lens"

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Old January 31st, 2010, 11:30 AM   #4
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Steve, I think it is more to do with the design of the lens and how it focuses.

If I understand it right, the lens is able to perform so well partly because it focuses using elements at the rear rather than the front. Correct me if I'm wrong but the focus is not mechanically attached the the lens elements and these are driven by a servo. This makes the design simpler and able to outperform the price point. It also explains how the lens hardly breaths at all when pulling focus.

That is how I understand it anyway, I may be wrong.
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Old January 31st, 2010, 01:04 PM   #5
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Yes Mike the rear elements are moved to focus the lens. It is a varifocal lens, so as you zoom the focus of the lens changes. By using a look-up table the lens is able to adjust the focus to compensate and thus hold focus as you zoom. The optical design of a varifocal is simpler than a regular zoom lens. This makes it cheaper but also offers some advantages as with fewer elements there should also be less CA.
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Old January 31st, 2010, 04:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Marriage View Post
Steve, I think it is more to do with the design of the lens and how it focuses.
You may well be right Mike. I still don't think that's any reason why it couldn't have back focus too, but if you're right maybe my cynicism is misplaced after all!
Steve
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 06:08 PM   #7
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My guess is Sony wants people to use the electronic back focus method not a manual back focus method for this lens. Cost savings are an important consideration at the price they are trying to hit.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 08:31 PM   #8
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No cynicism about the appeal of the kit lens for me. Quite simply it brought the package within reach for me, has the CA correction and auto focus. Without the kit lens, I would not have afforded the camera. So to me, it was a shrewd move by Sony to bring people like me on the fringes into the fold. I expected it to work reasonably well, on par with EX1/3 lens, and it does. If it was utter junk, it would do more harm to Sony's reputation, and Alister and others had already given favorable reviews of it so I felt comfortable. Obviously, you can spend more and get more, but it is still sharp and contrasty, with a useful focal range, doesn't breathe due to the varifocal back focus design. So it works and is a solid entry level value.
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