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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old March 4th, 2012, 07:40 AM   #1
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Creeping Macro Focus

Last couple of times out with the EX-3, I've had an odd issue.

I need to do a slider shot with the entire picture moderately out of focus. Generally a fairly wide shot, and on the slider, so just racking to close focus doesn't do it. So, I engage the macro, pop the lens ring forward, rack the image out of focus. Then, within a few seconds, the image slowly brings itself back into focus with me touching nothing on the camera. This happens whether I have it in auto or manual focus.

If I keep rotating the focus ring a bit as I make the move immediately after softening the image, I can keep it out...but I'm wondering why the camera is trying to outsmart me. Not that it takes that much...
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Old March 4th, 2012, 07:53 AM   #2
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Re: Creeping Macro Focus

Macro only works when the camera is in full auto focus mode, so if you are in any other focus mode, the camera is always going to attempt to override whatever setting you choose. There's nothing you can do about it except to set up your shot (if possible) so it works with the camera instead of against it.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 09:06 AM   #3
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Re: Creeping Macro Focus

I just ran into this situation and here's my workaround.
If you have a +2 or +3 close up filter available and keep your lens on manual it should keep the image soft enough for your purposes.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 07:50 PM   #4
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Re: Creeping Macro Focus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
Macro only works when the camera is in full auto focus mode, so if you are in any other focus mode, the camera is always going to attempt to override whatever setting you choose. There's nothing you can do about it except to set up your shot (if possible) so it works with the camera instead of against it.
My EX1 doesn't do that Doug, if it's in manual and with macro engaged, it will stay at whatever I set the focus at and won't move a bit.


Bill, If I'd have to take a guess, I would point my finger to that focus assist (or whatever it is called) option in the menu where the auto focus kicks in to "assist you" after you set the manual focus yourself.

I turned that off when I bought the camera and it's been off ever since.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 08:24 PM   #5
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Re: Creeping Macro Focus

Zoran, you are right that it is supposed to work in manual focus mode.
But it will NOT work at all in Full Manual Focus mode. I only use full manual focus, so sometimes I forget there is that difference. Thanks for clarifying.
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Old March 5th, 2012, 07:38 AM   #6
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Re: Creeping Macro Focus

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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
Macro only works when the camera is in full auto focus mode, so if you are in any other focus mode, the camera is always going to attempt to override whatever setting you choose. .
OK...my camera must be special, then. ;}

I went into the menu, and the MF assist was indeed on. I took it off.

Then, re-did my test. Turned macro on, turned autofocus on, popped the lens ring forward. Racked it out, camera brought it right back in. Switched the autofocus button back to manual, and it not only macrofocuses just fine, it is now holding it.

Go figure.
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Old March 5th, 2012, 07:49 AM   #7
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Re: Creeping Macro Focus

That's interesting. My EX3 has always behaved exactly as Doug outlined. I wonder if the Macro function behaves differently now? (i.e. with more recent EX3 firmware versions).

Do you know what firmware version your EX3 is Bill?
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Old March 5th, 2012, 10:39 AM   #8
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Re: Creeping Macro Focus

If the entire picture should be defocus - why not record fully sharp and apply blur in post ?
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Old March 6th, 2012, 09:01 AM   #9
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Re: Creeping Macro Focus

Andy: it's old firmware. It needs to be updated, if I can ever get money (and a couple week's hole in the schedule) simultaneously to send it in to Sony.

Bo: That's the end backup--applying a little Gaussian blur to the video. But the creeping focus issue makes me want to make the camera do what I want it to do...even if there is a fix in post. I'd rather get it the way I want in the field. But it is nice to know I have another option.
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Old March 6th, 2012, 12:07 PM   #10
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Re: Creeping Macro Focus

Mine was one of the first sold and is still on the launch firmware. Never needed a reason to upgrade it (it works and works well) and like you I've never had a big hole in my schedule either! (I'm not complaining!)
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