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Sony HVR-Z7 / HVR-S270
Handheld and shoulder mount versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.

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Old September 26th, 2011, 12:10 PM   #31
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Garden City NY
Posts: 1
Re: Z7u Servo/Zoom stopped working.

I realize this is an old thread--hope it's OK to post in response. Also this is my first post and I'm am not a super technical person so please be kind. We own three Z7U cameras for our Junior and Senior students to use(at a Univ). We had to repair/replace a lens this summer for a cost of $2,300 which is a big chunk of our annual repair budget. The symptoms were similar to those discussed in this thread. I called Sony to discuss what handling mistakes might lead to the problem and the guy was nice enough but not particularly helpful. I e-mailed Zeiss because, really, I think this reflects badly on them. Here is the reply I got from hoenlinger@zeiss.de. If those having a problem with this lens contacts Mr. Hoenlinger, he might get a notion of what users are experiencing.

"we regret to hear that a Carl Zeiss/Sony product causes those problems for you.

"Unfortunately, we cannot offer a quick solution for this and cannot service your lens.
Carl Zeiss lenses for Sony camcorders are developed in a cooperation of Carl Zeiss and our partner Sony. Details like the mechanical parts, electronics and the AF system are mainly developed by Sony.
The products are manufactured, serviced and supported exclusively by our partner Sony.

The Sony service partners have all the necessary knowledge and the available spare parts to service those lenses. Carl Zeiss does not have all those details to be able to service them, too.

We did not have any hints so far that the Vario-Sonnar lenses for the Z7U will suffer from mechanical defects during normal use. All typical defects with thoses lenses were caused by improper use, heavy pressure, dropping, impact, dirt/dust or (salt) water.

We will get in dialog with our partner Sony to get more details about the issue you mentioned with this lens type. If there might really be some weaknesses with the mechanical parts of this lens that cannot be repaired by the Sony service partners, we will ask Sony to find a more practical solution to service those lenses."
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Old September 26th, 2011, 11:10 PM   #32
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 15
Re: Z7u Servo/Zoom stopped working.

Thank you for posting, Ann. You reminded me that I hadn't posted the results of my efforts.

Sony's position is "there is no known defect with the lenses for these cameras," but I believe the first generation of stock lenses on the Z7U clearly had a problem that neither Sony nor Zeiss will own up to fearing the necessity for a recall. I talked to a number of Sony engineers in Glendale, CA and Teaneck, NJ--all of whom were very helpful. They checked out the electronics in the camera body that controls the zoom and found those were good. So, as you have all experienced, they recommended changing the entire lens.

However, they decided that the wear on the camera and recording head was not so much that the lens would fail as a result of regular use, and they couldn't find any sign of misuse or damage by user. So, they offered to give me a new lens free of charge even though the camera was out of warranty. I must admit, I'd had the camera serviced by them just before the warranty ran out, which may have prompted Sony's generosity.

For those of you dealing with local repair shops, Sony engineers would only tell me that "rubber level radiation sheet" and "sheet zoom (side) absorbing" were insulation that wear out as a result of heat absorption. The online Sony parts stores had no description--maybe Wikipedia can help.

I've been using the camera for over a month since I got it back, keeping my fingers crossed.

Best to all.
Jayasri Hart
Documentary Producer-editor, Los Angeles
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