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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 April 4th, 2014, 06:51 AM   #16
Regular Crew
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Miami, Florida USA
Posts: 113
Re: loose EX3 Handle

Any time I take a lens off of a video camera, I double check to make sure the back focus is correct after reattaching it.

I'm probably telling you something you already know but...back focus problems are when you zoom in on something, focus for that subject, then when you zoom back out wide...the image is soft. Not crisp and in focus.

With traditional ENG cameras the process of setting your back focus correctly was a manual procedure. But with the EX3...it's all controlled electronically. Each and every time you remove the lens from the camera there is a risk the back focus setting has been affected. With the EX3...you deal with this through the camera menu.

To adjust/check the back focus on your EX3...set the camera up on a tripod and place some kind of focus card about 12 feet away.

Here is a link to a card you could print out and use.

Make sure the card is nice and flat...in case you printed this focus chart out on flimsy paper.

Set your iris switch to AUTO.

Make sure your zoom servo switch is set to "servo". Not manual.

Place the focus card about 12 feet away from the camera. Then zoom in and focus the image.

Go to the camera menu.

Click down five levels to the LENS menu section.

The sub menu will display and the first thing at the top is "AUTO FB ADJ".

Select it...then "EXECUTE".

The camera will do the rest.

It will automatically refocus the tight shot you have in the viewfinder of the focus chart...then, the EX3 all by itself, will zoom out wide and refocus the wide shot...then, again all by itself, it will zoom back in and focus back up on the focus chart.

The whole process takes about a minute and, again, the camera does it all. Your only responsibility is to have the chart set up nice and flat the correct distance away and have the camera on a nice sturdy tripod.

I'd also advise you do this under normal or slightly lower light levels. If you do it in super bright light...the depth of field is deeper and the lens, in my experience, gets a better setting when the depth of field is more critical.

The only reason I know things like this about the camera is because one of my first purchases after getting my camera was to get Doug Jensen's PMW-EX3 FIELD GUIDE.

Vortex Media's XDCAM Field Guides

It explains all kinds of things that I would never know about this camera.

Not only that...the DVD he produced is worth having right along with the field guide. I can not say enough good things about having BOTH. And you get a slight discount if you buy them as a bundle instead of getting one, then later, the other.

The guide even has a great focus chart right inside which is what I use to set my back focus.

Hope this helps.

By the way...on occasion I get requests for multiple EX3 shoots. If you wouldn't mind, I'd love to have some contact info from you, since you are local, in the event I need a second...or third...EX3 camera and operator for a shoot..
Send it to latincam@gmail.com .
I'm not a bottom-feeder when it comes to rates and I don't put up with "nonsense" clients...if possible. ;)
John DuMontelle - Freelance / Miami, Florida - USA
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