I purchased a EX1 about a week ago. After noticing on a few paid shoots that some wide shots were looking soft I checked my backfocus on a Siemens star chart and low and behold my camera with the ND filters on, backfocuses extremely bad.
Though I understand this is a known issue. B&H said they don't know about the problem and Sony's support line isn't telling me much more than there is a memo.
Is the problem fixed with newer serial numbers? Should I swap out for a newer one, or send my unit in to get repaired?
[Jonathan Bryant]"s the problem fixed with newer serial numbers? Should I swap out for a newer one, or send my unit in to get repaired?"
From what I can gather from scouring the 'net even cameras with the most recent serial numbers are exhibiting the issue. I'd suggest phoning your broadcast supplier and asking their advice. You can, of course, phone Sony directly and they'll also advise you on what your options are.
I don't know about the success rate with regard to the BF issue being fixed properly by Sony the first time around but I do know of several EX owners who sent their cameras in for the vignetting issue and it came back to them in worse shape than it was when they sent it in. This isn't the case with all vignetting adjustments of course, but there are some.
So right now it seems to be a crap shoot. You can ask for a replacement camera and it may or may not be better than what you have now. If I was in your shoes I'd be phoning Sony and asking them some questions.
Apparently it is a problem in the firmware. The camera isn't properly compensating for the thickness of the ND's. According to at least one person on DVINFO, the 1.05 firmware solves this. Unfortunately sony is requiring cameras to be sent to them for a FW update. Please sony, I shouldn't have to lose my camera for 10 days for you to do a firmware update I am more than capable of.