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Old June 22nd, 2011, 03:40 PM   #1
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Reports of broken pins on F3 PL adapters

Hey guys,

I got a report today from a local shooter in the area here asking about if all the pins were OK on the PL mount. Things are OK on mine since I don't use it.

Anyway, They have the F3K package and started getting lens communication errors. A quick troubleshooting session determined the problem to be a broken pin on the PL mount. There was a second pin that was slightly bent and when straightened it also broke off. Only the Sony PL lenses have been used with the camera.

I've not seen the mount in person yet but if I can get my hands on it I'll post some pictures of it. They were going to call Sony to see what to do about it.

Everyone keep an eye on your mount and make sure nothing is going wrong.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 07:58 PM   #2
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Re: Reports of broken pins on F3 PL adapters

Sounds very strange as the mount should never rotate or twist so there is nothing in the way the mount is fitted or removed to cause a bent pin other than operator error.
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Old July 11th, 2011, 02:31 AM   #3
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Re: Reports of broken pins on F3 PL adapters

Hello. I had the same thing happen to my F3. At least one or two pins (out of the set of four) have slightly bent. I managed to straighten them, however it didn't matter how 'careful' or how 'clinical' I was, the same pins bent again days later. So I didn't take it any further. Just as I also gave up with the issue of dust finding its way behind the blue optical port.

It's a great camera but it has some shortcomings.
(1.) View finder is flimsy. I have already read of one which has broke.
(2.) Optical port should be sealed. It's just a cheap, plastic frame held by four small screws.
(3.) The outward pins on the PL mount are easily bent.
(4.) Attachment of a lens is very awkward. (The safest method is sitting the camera face up first.)
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Old July 11th, 2011, 05:02 AM   #4
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Re: Reports of broken pins on F3 PL adapters

PL mounts are usually stainless steel (the RED Epic M uses titanium), are they using a "softer" metal on the F3 PL mount?
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Old July 11th, 2011, 12:07 PM   #5
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Re: Reports of broken pins on F3 PL adapters

Peter, could you possibly take a photo of the problem and post it for us to check out. I wasn't able to get any images of the local guy here that had the problem. I've not had the problem because I'm not using PL lenses at the moment.

If you can't post them on the forum you can email them to me and I'll be glad to post them for you. trackgeeks at gmail.
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Old July 11th, 2011, 01:39 PM   #6
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Re: Reports of broken pins on F3 PL adapters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter G. Johnson View Post
(3.) The outward pins on the PL mount are easily bent.
(4.) Attachment of a lens is very awkward. (The safest method is sitting the camera face up first.)
I don't mean to be argumentative, but PL mounts have been in use for a long time (25 years or so), and they've stood the test of time.

It's possible to get very fast with lens changes and not muck anything up. You should watch an experienced 1st AC on a movie change primes at sunset. Like a zillion other things, it just takes practice.
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Old July 11th, 2011, 08:31 PM   #7
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Re: Reports of broken pins on F3 PL adapters

Here is a picture as close as possible. You can see that the third pin is bent and therefore stuck. (This is the one which takes the Arri style lenses?) I mean I'm not really worried anymore. I wouldn't even entertain the idea of purchasing an expensive lens (ie) Cooke, Zeiss. I bought the PMW-F3K, so the lens are fine.
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Old July 12th, 2011, 01:49 AM   #8
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Re: Reports of broken pins on F3 PL adapters

Regardless of the the broken electronic data pin, you seem to have a lot of wear on the PL mount retaining/locking ring. It's what you'd expect to see on an older camera rather than one that's nearly new.

I'd assume those contacts are for Cooke/i and ARRI LDS, so unless you're going to be use those features.it may not even affect you in practise, however, it shouldn't break in such a short time.

I'd get in touch with your dealer, and try to get a replacement PL mount, (as Nate mentioned) it should be very easy to change lenses with a PL mount. You may have a machining flaw on yours.

Last edited by Brian Drysdale; July 12th, 2011 at 04:51 AM.
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Old July 12th, 2011, 01:49 AM   #9
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Re: Reports of broken pins on F3 PL adapters

Looking at the scrapes in the anodising on the outside of the locking ring, I would say that someone is less than careful when swapping lenses.

The Sony lenses use the cooke interface for iris and focus information in the LCD.
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Old July 12th, 2011, 03:59 AM   #10
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Re: Reports of broken pins on F3 PL adapters

Thank you gentlemen for the 'alluding' comments.

As I have already strenuously enunciated, I do look after my gear, short of wrapping it in cotton wool. I change the lens frequently depending upon what sort of scene I'm trying to represent and I do it in a very clinical way.

As I have also stated previously the kit lens don't go on all that easily and no matter how careful I've been there is one pin out of line. If I had been somehow heavy handed with the mount, then wouldn't all of the pins have been bent?

I'd better stop here before I start making alluding comments myself!
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Old July 12th, 2011, 04:22 AM   #11
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Re: Reports of broken pins on F3 PL adapters

The lenses should go on easily. The PL mount is designed to take heavy 35mm cine zoom lens without any problems, during filming this is usually done with the camera mounted on the tripod head. However, if you're finding it "sticky" in operation, I'd get your mount checked out in case it's a bit out of tolerance.

Another thought: it could be that the PL locking ring end stop isn't allowing the ring to rotate open enough, so fitting the lens becomes difficult and it binds as you put it on.
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Old July 12th, 2011, 05:20 AM   #12
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Re: Reports of broken pins on F3 PL adapters

I'm using any one of the three kit lenses which came with the camera (ie) 35mm, 50mm and 85mm. They are extraordinarily large and bulky but not very heavy. My common practice is, if something isn't fitting correctly, then stop and reassess.

I read the manual from cover to cover before attempting anything, including months and months of reading forums before deciding to purchase the F3. I've owned several cameras previously, including most recently a Canon XHA1 with a Letus Extreme, which served as an excellent learning tool for a more high end camera. By the way, all of this equipment is in pristine condition.

My apologies, but I was sensing some arrogance and a 'cheap shot' in another comment.

Anyway, aside from the issue with the pins, the camera is working fine. I'm perhaps too over critical with what I expect from an expensive piece of technology. Thanks for your suggestion.
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Old July 12th, 2011, 06:02 AM   #13
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Re: Reports of broken pins on F3 PL adapters

These connectors and PL mounts should last for years in regular use on a professional set. If they're tending to break and have lens mounting problems with careful use I'd have them checked out under your warranty.
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Old July 12th, 2011, 08:37 PM   #14
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Re: Reports of broken pins on F3 PL adapters

If you have a look at the mount on any of your lenses you will see there are 8 small recessed screws to hold the mount to the lens. They almost line up with the pins. It might have been possible to try to mount the lens in an incorrect position and rotate it to line it up and have one pin catch in the screw recess and get bent. Which would explain why one and not all got bent.

Just a thought from some one who was a mechanic in a previous life.

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Old July 13th, 2011, 08:37 AM   #15
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Re: Reports of broken pins on F3 PL adapters

I'm sorry if you found my remark as condescending, but there shouldn't be gouges in the anodising on the outside face of the PL locking ring. This suggests that a lens has been sitting on top of the locking ring and rotated or twisted into place, the lugs on the lens gouging the face of the locking ring in the process. The position of the gouge/scrape in your picture is exactly where the lens lugs would hit the face of the ring. Rotating or twisting the lens round into place like this can damage the pins as both the lens and locking ring may move together and then when the lens "drops" into the mount it may still be rotating and as the locking ring may be in the "closed" position as opposed to "open" the lugs may fall on the connector pins and bend them. The outer face of the locking ring shouldn't be making contact with anything and receiving such damage. I've had my F3 since Feb and my locking ring looks nothing like that, there are no marks on the outside of the ring. The locking ring should be turned fully counter clockwise and the lens lugs visually lined with the locating pin in the mount and the lens inserted straight in. There should be no need to rotate the lens by more than the tiniest amount just to get the lug to engage with the locating pin, then the locking ring is turned clockwise to close and secure. At no point should the lens lugs be hitting the outer face of the locking rig. If they are your doing something wrong or your PL adapter has a serious problem.

The only other way that I can see that these pins may be bent is if the PL mount locking ring is the "closed" clockwise position when an attempt to insert a lens (or the dust cap) is made and then both the lens and locking ring are rotated anti-clockwise together. The Sony lenses (and other LDS equipped lenses) and dust cap have a cut-away for the pins, if this is dragged over the top of the pins by twisting both the PL locking ring and lens/cap together, this could damage the pins. But frankly this is not a "fault" with the adapter, but operator error, plain and simple, the user should not be rotating the lens relative to the mount, it should be guided directly into place.

I expect many people coming from B4 2/3" broadcast lenses to PL mount will find it tricky. A B4 lens just sits on the mount until the locking ring is tightened, The design of a broadcast zoom makes it pretty obvious which way up it goes. PL on the other hand is quite different, for a start there are several possible lens orientations and very often the end of the lens is a snug fit into the the mount requiring precise alignment before it will slip into the mount and locate correctly.
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