EX1 Front Element replacement tips at DVinfo.net

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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old January 31st, 2012, 05:50 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Rochester NY
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EX1 Front Element replacement tips

I have a PMW-EX1 with a decent scratch on the front element. I read that the
front element can come loose and it sounds like I might be able to replace it with
a bit of work.

Does anyone know where to find a new lens element? I want to avoid having
sony bill me for an entire new front element.

Many Thanks...
Dustin Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 1st, 2012, 08:43 PM   #2
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Re: EX1 Front Element replacement tips

Answering my own question: A few independent service shops have a spare front elements
laying around. Costs range from $700 to $2200 depending on what the shop has on hand
in terms of alignment jigs and whether they are just going to replace the whole lens block.

Moral: Make sure the seller of the item has checked for scratches before buying item. My
scratch just barely shows up in the video but if you look at the element it stands out.
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 05:54 AM   #3
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Re: EX1 Front Element replacement tips

Hi Justin,

Did you read the post by Jeff Zimmerman on the next page? His story sounds much the same as yours but seemed to be heading to a happier ending. However he has left us in suspense.

As a matter interest how does the scratch show its effect on the image?
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 06:31 AM   #4
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Re: EX1 Front Element replacement tips

At close focus the scratch manifests itself as the hint of a defocused blob that
covers about 1/10th of the picture width in the mid-lower right. It is harder to notice at wide
angle and a bit easier to notice zoomed in, especially if there are any bright objects
(e.g. fireworks) moving through the blob. I record fireworks displays which are basically
test targets for lens cleanliness so I spend a lot of time staring at front elements
with lens pens.

It sort of looks like a grease-sleak but its worse. The scratch itself is a bit white and
refractive so it seems to be able to bend light into the lens which a grease sleak
or fingerprint wouldn't not be able to do. That is, if I have a bright source just outside
of the field of view, it can illuminate the scratch and bounce some light into the lens
that shows up as a blob.

I have to avoid using this lens at close focus (no wide angle adapters) and at telephoto
unless I'm sure the subject matter is going to be lower contrast. I think I can tolerate
this because I have some other EX1's that are clean and as long as I allocate the
angles right no one will notice. Worst case I can get the unit repaired. I just got this
camera for a really competitive price so it is my fault for not vetting the lens pre-purchase.
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