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EX1 Backfocus Issues - I've sent two cameras back now

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Tom David
EX1 Backfocus Issues - I've sent two cameras back now
on May 16, 2008 at 6:52:07 am

Has anyone else with their EX1 cameras come across a problem of slowly noticing your back focus is out, then over time (a day or two), the focus system fails altogether and the camera requires an OFF/ON to regain focus control again - until you change your zoom in which you lose focus again?

Today is the second time I have had to send an EX1 model camera back to the supplier from our production house (http://www.hsquared.tv). We've only owned the cameras for several months (since February)

The supplier claims not to have heard of this problem. Though in the first case, SONY replaced the lens system for us, but still we were down a camera for three weeks.

Be interested to hear responses - we have a third EX1 that has not shown this problem yet, though wondering whether to get it checked out in advance.

Cheers,
Tom

Camera Operator - Editor - Motion Graphics
(http://www.tomdavid.com.au)


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Craig Seeman
Re: EX1 Backfocus Issues - I've sent two cameras back now
on May 16, 2008 at 12:41:13 pm

Some have reported backfocus issue but not of the focus system failing.

There's a backfocus routine in the maintenance menu that Sony is keeping a deep dark secret from the users. Also people have reported that going to firmware 1.05 fixes the backfocus issue but Sony is keeping that a secret too.



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Bob Pierce
Re: EX1 Backfocus Issues - I've sent two cameras back now
on May 16, 2008 at 2:04:02 pm

I bought an EX1 about 2 weeks ago and it was DOA - the focus stopped working completely within using it for about an hour. Rule Broadcast in Boston exchanged it for me, no problem (they even gave me a loaner to get through a shoot). I highly recommend them.

My new one is working fine so far with firmware 1.03.

Bob

Mac Pro 2.66 8GB memory
Mac Book Pro 2.33 Duo
FC Studio
Kona Lhe


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Chris Babbitt
Re: EX1 Backfocus Issues - I've sent two cameras back now
on May 16, 2008 at 3:39:14 pm

Craig, what's the scoop on the firmware update? I haven't heard about this. How is it done?



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Don Greening
Re: EX1 Backfocus Issues - I've sent two cameras back now
on May 16, 2008 at 5:17:40 pm

[Chris Babbitt] "Craig, what's the scoop on the firmware update? I haven't heard about this. How is it done?"

Some users were reporting that when using ND 1 or 2 their back focus went soft. Firmware update v.1.0.5. is supposed to now fix the back focus issue when the ND filters are engaged.

Press and hold the cancel button and menu button at the same time. Continue to hold these buttons and then hit the SEL/SET button. 3 more menus will show up below the regular menu items. Scroll down to the IF icon. Select that and you'll see your serial number and the firmware version number appear. Any firmware upgrade has to be done at an authorized Sony repair facility. The MN menu is where the back focus adjustment is carried out and to do so is at your own risk. Auto FB adjustment stands for "flange back".


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Mickey Houlihan
Re: EX1 Backfocus Issues - I've sent two cameras back now
on May 18, 2008 at 3:37:14 am

Is there any way to know before purchasing which version firmware the camera might have?
Would it be safe to assume that all cameras beyond a certain serial # have the 1.05 version?

Thanks,

Mickey Houlihan



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Don Greening
Re: EX1 Backfocus Issues - I've sent two cameras back now
on May 18, 2008 at 4:53:48 am

[Mickey Houlihan] "Would it be safe to assume that all cameras beyond a certain serial # have the 1.05 version?"

I wouldn't assume that if I was purchasing right now. I've heard reports of other users purchasing recently and discovering earlier firmware versions. If you buy now you can always check the version by having the store access the EX's extra menus.

- Don



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Chris Babbitt
Re: EX1 Backfocus Issues - I've sent two cameras back now
on May 16, 2008 at 3:35:56 pm

It sounds like you have a legitimate problem, but one word of warning....
I've accidently hit my macro button a couple of times while shooting. As you can imagine, this plays havoc with your focusing, until you figure out what's wrong.



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Jim Watt
Re: EX1 Backfocus Issues - I've sent two cameras back now
on May 19, 2008 at 6:44:11 pm

I think there is definitely an endemic problem with back focus on these cameras. I sent the first one I purchased back to Sony and they replaced it.

The replacement had excellent back focus on the clear filter, but filters 1 and 2 were soft. I've read several other posts that have had the same problem. Fortunately I found a post on the DVXuser.com site that at least shows you how to set back focus. This operation fixed or rather set, the back focus on all three settings and it looks great.

Open the maintenance menu, which of course Sony doesn't tell you how to find. Mark & Mary Ann Weiss on the DVXuser.com forum gave me instructions on getting to the menu. You get to it by pressing Menu sel/set and the Cancel buttons simultaneously.
Then using a back focus chart at sbout 9 feet distance zoom in and focus on the chart, then zoom out to wide with the aperture wide open. You can use the shutter to control the f-stop.

In the maintenance menu choose backfocus adjustment (FB).

When it finishes leave the menu, then put in ND 1 and do the same thing and then do it with ND-2.

Worked great on my camera.

jw



Producer/DP, HD series, "Discoveries...America", "Discoveries...Ireland", "Discoveries...Spain",
"Discoveries...Argentina"


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Craig Seeman
Re: EX1 Backfocus Issues - I've sent two cameras back now
on May 19, 2008 at 8:25:05 pm

I've heard to optimal combination is to have firmware 1.05 and the do the backfocus routine in the maintenance menu. It really peeves me that both firmware update and backfocus really can and should be something the end user can do. Looking at the saw in the maintenance menu can also give you much better idea how the settings in the PPs are working.



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Alister Robbie
Re: EX1 Backfocus Issues - I've sent three cameras back now.
on Nov 25, 2009 at 6:53:03 am

Hi Tom,

I know this is a late response, but i have encountered this a few times now. We have sent two of our EX1's back because of the backfocus issue, and in both instances the entire lensing system was replaced. We have also had a rental camera do the same thing, and it's lens was replaced too. The biggest annoyance is the loss of the camera for weeks on end, and having to rent cameras to replace gear that we have bought.

I should point out that this issue seems to be different to the one fixed by the firmware. This has nothing to do with ND filters or vignetting. This is simply that the back focus goes out and there is nothing that can be done to fix it.

This is really really disappointing as we have invested a chunk of money into the Sony cameras, only to have them fail miserably over and over again. Buying cameras from the 'big S' is now not only costing us time, but money and potentially business.


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Davd Keator
Re: EX1 Backfocus Issues - I've sent three cameras back now.
on Nov 24, 2010 at 6:06:20 am

Well, We purchased our EX-1 in 2007... Mid 2009 Our ND selector switch broke, smashed into the lens system. Simply a lousy design I suspect, our selector was always dificult to engage.

After 4 weeks of repair and a $545.00 repair bill. Our Back focus seemed to be off. I complained they said send it back and they will get back to me on how much it will cost!

I decided to live with a softer focus... My last Sony product!

Such is life...


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Matt Orfalea
Re: EX1 Backfocus Issues - I've sent three cameras back now.
on Aug 25, 2012 at 4:07:27 pm

Hi Allister,

I've done the whole back focus procedure a few times now,

and still the back focus is off when there is no ND filter on.

back focus seems fine with ND1 and ND2

I'm curious in your experience did doing the back focus procedure in the camera yourself ever help temporarily or not at all ever?

So I've just want to be clear, you're saying the only way the problem could be fixed with Sony replacing the lens?

Thanks,
Matt

http://www.youtube.com/orf
https://sites.google.com/site/orfvideo/list


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