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HPX500 Backfocus HELP!

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Bill Thomas
HPX500 Backfocus HELP!
on May 29, 2008 at 3:48:32 am

After about 5 or 6 hours of shooting, I've noticed my backfocus going out and I can't figure out why!!

I've searched the web and found various ways to set backfocus and even when I thought it was set perfectly, a few of my interviews were soft. I constantly check focus - even between questions - and I was monitoring on the small LCD. Maybe that was my downfall, I probably should have used the viewfinder for critical focus.

But even still, there was no obvious change from the previous shot to the soft-focus shot; the backfocus screw was still tight, I hadn't used macro at all, the lighting was the same.
In any case, I've read in many places that this camera and the basic lens has issues with holding backfocus. Some guys talk about setting it 10 times a day because their wide shots aren't as crisp as they want.
Any ideas on what could be causing this? I think I set my old betacam D30 maybe 5 years ago and backfocus hasn't budged AT ALL on that camera.
Any procedures for setting the best backfocus? Some things I've read talk about having to be 75 feet away from my chart. Unfortunately , most of the time I'm in an office or small room where I have maybe 25 feet max - any ideas in there?

All help would be GREATLY appreciated!


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Brad Neal
Re: HPX500 Backfocus HELP!
on May 29, 2008 at 12:30:49 pm

First, I would not rely on the LCD screen on the camera for anything more than framing. I would really consider a good on-board monitor, or if you usually shoot in a studio environment, then Adobe OnLocation (formerly DV Rack) does a great job with your laptop.

Next, what are you using for a backfocus focus chart? The one in the back of the lens manual is really not a very good solution. Better than nothing, but barely.

If in fact your are experiencing trouble in keeping the backfocus properly adjusted, then you should probably send it in for service.

I have 2 500's with the stock Fuji lens, and I have never had problems like you describe. I check it occasionally, but it's usually dead-on.


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Chris Baldwin
Re: HPX500 Backfocus HELP!
on Jun 1, 2008 at 3:48:19 am

I'd like to go on record that the back focus on my HPX500 is a constant issue as well. I'd don't take the lens off in between shoots and never use the macro. The screw is tight.

I hadn't read or heard anything publicly that lead me to believe that this was a widespread issue but hey after the 5600k problem...

I wonder if there are others who have this issue?

I'll say this though the lcd and the viewfinder are NOT to be used for critical focus or color.

I have a Panasonic 17"lcd and a Marshal component 7" lcd I use for focus and color and exposure. I just used for the first time this last weekend the Panasonic 8" lcd with the focus pixel in red feature. It is AMAZINGLY helpful! I wish Panasonic had given the HPX500 the feature internally. But I guess we may not buy as many monitors then...

If anyone is considering a monitor for this camera, GET ONE WITH THIS FEATURE and just consider it the actual professionally equipped price of the camera.

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