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Issue with Slow Zoom and Stepping...

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Adam Browning
Issue with Slow Zoom and Stepping...
on Jan 30, 2009 at 2:05:48 am

When I use the slower setting on the camera lens servo, it's rather jittery at least halfway through (almost like something is sitting up against it, keeping it from moving freely). After a halfway point, it moves fluidly.

I wanted to make sure it wasn't a shaky hand accidently coming on and off the servo control, so I use the handle zoom, which is only one speed (depending of course whether its on H-L-OFF). When I adjust the zoom speed up to '15' it seems to go away, almost as if that's the breaking point at which whatever is causing the problem, no longer adversely affects it. Any thoughts?


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Don Greening
Re: Issue with Slow Zoom and Stepping...
on Jan 30, 2009 at 2:31:44 am

One of this forum's hosts, Craig Seeman, had a similar issue with one of the early EX1's with super slow zoom speeds. After some attempts to have it fixed Sony ended up replacing the whole camera. Of course, since you didn't mention what kind of camera you're having problems with (early or more recent EX1 builds or any EX3 builds) this info may or may not be helpful to you.

- Don


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Adam Browning
Re: Issue with Slow Zoom and Stepping...
on Jan 30, 2009 at 2:33:36 am

Yes, that would have been helpful information: I have an EX1. I purchased in August 2008.

Thanks for the tip.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Issue with Slow Zoom and Stepping...
on Jan 30, 2009 at 2:39:30 am

Yup, I had the issue. Got the camera December 07. I found Zoom would start to step at speeds below 10. Sony couldn't fix it and replaced the camera in Feb 08. It's now smooth down to speed 2.



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Adam Browning
Re: Issue with Slow Zoom and Stepping...
on Jan 30, 2009 at 2:41:42 am

Great. What was your experience with Sony. Quick turnaround?


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Craig Seeman
Re: Issue with Slow Zoom and Stepping...
on Jan 30, 2009 at 2:46:16 am

It took them like 3 weeks with Sony San Jose CA. They spent close to 2 weeks trying to fix it and gave up. It then took them about a week for them to get approval to send me a new camera.

One would hope that at this point they either have a quick fix or will send you a new camera right off. I was in "unchartered" territory so Sony service was new to some of these issues at the time.



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olof ekbergh
Re: Issue with Slow Zoom and Stepping...
on Jan 30, 2009 at 3:43:56 am

I had the same exact problem with an EX3, back in September.

My dealer sent the lens back to Sony and gave me a loaner 1/2" lens, so I could keep using the camera.

Sony sent me a brand new lens 10 days later. It has worked great ever since.

Olof Ekbergh


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Felix Halter
Re: Issue with Slow Zoom and Stepping...
on Jan 30, 2009 at 6:46:45 am

I had exactly the same problem with an EX1, sent it in to Sony Europe (in France), but all they did was a firmware update with the following comment:
"Smooth operation with the handle zoom speed in "hyper slow" mode (between 1 & 10) is not guaranteed due to lens variability & environmental conditions. All we can recommend is to set the zoom speed no lower than 10 to maintain consistently smooth operation."

Felix Halter, Switzerland



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Craig Seeman
Re: Issue with Slow Zoom and Stepping...
on Jan 30, 2009 at 7:04:25 am

It sounds like they feed you a hockey puck. There's no legit reason that a feature in the camera shouldn't work properly.

[Felix Halter] "is not guaranteed due to lens variability & environmental conditions"
I haven't seen this in the Sony warranty and neither will you. Of course one might wonder what happens at -40C but room temperature 20C would not be an adverse environmental condition. If there's an issue with "lens variability" it's OUT OF SPEC!

I'd send it back and tell them sorry but the settings in the camera should work under normal conditions and Sony didn't design "non working" zoom speeds in the camera. Sony has fixed vignetting issues, back focus issues, batter drain issues, letters rubbing off issues . . . and the slow zoom stutter issue.





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Felix Halter
Re: Issue with Slow Zoom and Stepping...
on Jan 30, 2009 at 7:29:55 am

That was about a year ago when I sent it in. My answer to them was:
"Too bad, because I think the EX1 should deserve a better zoom than that! There seem to be other people in this world who seem to have similar problems with their stuttering zoom" and I referred to your thread http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/142/857261#857288

I had to send it in later for another issue, bad contact on a circuit board (upon vibrations the picture went out, in camera and playbavk mode) And I must say that they fixed that problem very nicely, within a week I got the camera back including another firmware update and a fix for the battery drain problem.



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Wolfgang Schliessner
Re: Issue with Slow Zoom and Stepping...
on Nov 28, 2011 at 9:47:54 pm

I own 2 ex1's after 3 years one had an overheating isseu and went back to repair.
Vocas in The Netherlands told me the lens had to be replaced....for a overheating isse ;-)
So I got a new lens for €1500,- (and a software upgrade wich nobody told me!)...you guessed it without any zoom under 14 wich didn't stutter.
So it was send back to get my old lens back in with zoom!...since Sony told them no warrenty on a professional camera under the speed of 8!
So they wanted to put my old lens back under warrenty since it wasn't working.
Then they call me and tell me they did someting I didn't ask for and replaced the electronics from the new lens and put in back my old lens with zoom.
You guessed it again I had to pay for a complete new lens to get my old one back.
Sony and Vocas ...you"@#$%#" = this being polite not to use bad language.

Now I 'm looking to get these camera's replaced with anything decent.
No more Sony or Vocas for me!..I learned my lessons the expensive way!


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Wolfgang Schliessner
Re: Issue with Slow Zoom and Stepping...
on Nov 30, 2011 at 3:39:45 pm

Since we're not able to alter any posts on this COW forum I do have to say that Vocas tried to find a solution and did...Sony just didn't. They just said arogant: "YOUR OUT OF WARRENTY"..like that ever solved any problem!
They new how old my cams where (I told them)..but before giving me this answer they first wanted all my details where and from who I bought them and off course all my personal data!

Vocas replaced my old lens back and to exclude the old isseu I (overheating Image stabeliser) had they put in the new electronics wich Sony doesn't sell seperately...nice work again Sony.

My next cams could be RED, Canon, Panasonic, Whatever but certainly no Sony!

Thumbs up for Vocas..thumbs down for Sony!!


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Craig Seeman
Re: Issue with Slow Zoom and Stepping...
on Nov 30, 2011 at 3:59:18 pm

I agree that service should be a consideration when purchasing a camera. It's also why first hand experience means more than reviews.

I'm not sure how many reviews pointed out the steppy zoom at low speeds.
Sony replaced my camera after failing to fix it during the early part of the warranty period. Not too long thereafter, probably due to many incidences, they changed the policy and decided that a threshold of 8 was acceptable even though the camera goes to 1. When the EX1R came out I believe 8 was implemented as "official" through a warning message of some sort.

Also when I first reported the issue on forums when I first got the camera in Dec. 2007, the few other users didn't seem to report or verify what I believe was a wide spread issue (and probably was given Sony's change in policy).

I still like Sony video cameras but I definitely don't trust reviews (which may well be rushed) and the lack of reporting of such details.

My question about your experience about Vocas though does bother me about the charges you posted about given what they did. You have a right to expect a lens which has a smooth zoom to 8. That the replacement lens didn't perform to even that official Sony spec shouldn't incur any additional charges for them to rectify.



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