Sony TD10 soft right eye on lens f1.8 scenes? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 43 Old 09-28-2011, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm seeing some right eye softness on my Sony TD10. I have heard of this type of issue on other 3d camcorders, but not the Sony. The problem only seems to happen on low light shots where the lens aperture is wide open possibly aggravating the problem with shallower DOF.
Using manual focus in these conditions does let me get both eyes in more equal focus, but auto focus seems to not get optimal results.
Probably some slop in the dual lens focus mechanics.

Anyone else have the chance to look at some low light footage to see if the eyes are the same ? I'm just curious if I have a defective unit.
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post #2 of 43 Old 09-28-2011, 08:54 PM
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I have observed this as well. At first I thought it was due to the compression method: right eye computed from delta left eye. However, when I examined L/R output during live preview on a 3D TV, it was clear the right eye was soft: focus is not correct for right eye. Design issue or defective units? It's harder to see this issue when watching 3D material. When examining L/R material in 2D, it's very clear the right eye is not in focus. It does not happen all the time, so it would be helpful to hear if others have seen the occasional unfocused right eye issue before sending the camera in for service.

A workaround is to use unsharp mask / sharpen on the right eye in post (even better, a 'super resolution' based method, such as with vReveal). In a quick test, vReveal did a pretty good job deinterlacing, denoising, and sharpening soft right eye TD10 footage (denoising was pretty fast (around 10fps), but not quite as good as Neat Video (slower)). vReveal also does a decent job of real-time image stabilization in post (heavily GPU acclerated). http://www.vreveal.com/ ($50).
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post #3 of 43 Old 09-29-2011, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
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John,
Was yours having the problem on wide open aperture shots only ? Mine seems to be only soft at f1.8.
I suppose I can filter the images, detecting the right to left sharpness disparity, and try to modulate a sharpener to compensate, but the detail is fairly severely blurred out sometimes. I'd say the right eye is sometimes at 1/2 the resolution of the left eye. Backgrounds maybe even worse.
Outdoor ( bright ) shots are OK. It's the low light indoor and evening shots that fail.
I really just have to see it in 3d some more to see if it really is noticeable to the casual viewer, to see if it's worth bothering with, I suppose.
-Les
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post #4 of 43 Old 09-29-2011, 11:19 PM
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Due to the nature of how the brain combines L/R images, it's hard to see when watching in stereo 3D (especially for the casual user). Clearly wide apertures require more accurate focus as the depth of field is narrow. However I have seen this issue when filming with a decent amount of light (floods and on camera). Example: http://youtu.be/cCN9oLpwv4w?t=5m15s ("pure direct" and "Volume" is soft in right eye). There are sections which are more pronounced. Examine at 1080p (anaglyph is fine, even without glasses).

Here you can't read "Network" in the right eye but can in the left (stop at 5:21): http://youtu.be/cCN9oLpwv4w?t=5m21s
http://youtu.be/cCN9oLpwv4w?t=5m33s (stop at 5:33): note large "YAMAHA" is barely readable in right eye.
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post #5 of 43 Old 10-02-2011, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, your camera is soft on the right eye, maybe even worse than mine. I viewed it as side-by-side full screen, and it's obvious.
I did some testing with other footage, viewing on a plasma. I added a blur effect to the right eye to an all sharp shot, to see how I would notice it. I found that the amount that the td10 is soft is not obvious at first, but if I remove the blur, you instantly notice the improvement. The viewing experience is less 'disturbing' with the eyes equalized.
I am now wondering if all td10's exhibit the problem, or only some. It's a bit sad really, the little td10 makes a very nice image otherwise.
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post #6 of 43 Old 10-07-2011, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm sending it to Sony repair. Flat rate repair cost is $50, seems fair I guess.
I sure hope the guy looking at the problem is sensitive to image quality issues.
The right eye is blurred with about a 0.7 Gaussian blur amount on low light shots. Another way to put it: if I resize the left eye to 1/2 size, and back to 1920, the right eye is about the same sharpness.... so I'm loosing a lot of detail!
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post #7 of 43 Old 10-07-2011, 11:26 PM
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Unfortunate that it only has a 90-day warranty (1 year for parts). How long for the repair (where is the service center)? I'll send mine in as well- it's now having trouble getting through autocalibration (on a tripod).
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post #8 of 43 Old 10-07-2011, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Repair center is in Texas.
They will want you to reset the camera to try to correct *any* callers problem. I'd do this before you call them, just to get it out of the way. It's worth a try anyway, it did correct a problem with the front knob I had.
They said it would take about 15 days to repair. I'm sending mine on Monday.
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post #9 of 43 Old 10-08-2011, 02:05 AM
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Cool, thanks for the tip (tried reset- no change).
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post #10 of 43 Old 10-08-2011, 07:01 AM
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John- with auto calibration- be sure you have lots of light. I had to take mine outside in the daylight because my room lighting was not adequate to complete that test. There is a scale that needs to be above the half way for auto calibration to work as I recall.
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post #11 of 43 Old 10-08-2011, 04:13 PM
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Thanks for the tip Don. It worked in my office in the past (same light conditions), now it only works in very bright light. It needs more than just bright light- apparently also needs high contrast and perhaps variable depth objects.
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post #12 of 43 Old 10-08-2011, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by les-d View Post

I'm sending it to Sony repair. Flat rate repair cost is $50, seems fair I guess.
I sure hope the guy looking at the problem is sensitive to image quality issues.
The right eye is blurred with about a 0.7 Gaussian blur amount on low light shots. Another way to put it: if I resize the left eye to 1/2 size, and back to 1920, the right eye is about the same sharpness.... so I'm loosing a lot of detail!

Very informative. Leaves me to wonder if the initial factory calibration was bad. Did Sony say they would fix it?

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post #13 of 43 Old 10-08-2011, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Landis View Post

John- with auto calibration- be sure you have lots of light. I had to take mine outside in the daylight because my room lighting was not adequate to complete that test. There is a scale that needs to be above the half way for auto calibration to work as I recall.

I concur. My first auto calibration succeeded indoors at night in a well lit room with 20+ feet of objects at varying depth. That same scene didn't work several months later when the TD10 asked for another calibration. I picked a different scene that happened to be better lit, and it worked.

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post #14 of 43 Old 10-09-2011, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I hope they fix it !
If the TD10 does use separate focus motors for each lens and there is a calibration, then it would be easy. I suspect that it does something more simple, such as a single motor moving both lenses at the same time.This would require adjusting that, or replacing a part with too much slop. I did try manual focus approaching the focus point from infinity as well as close, to see if it is slop, but I don't think it is.
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Very informative. Leaves me to wonder if the initial factory calibration was bad. Did Sony say they would fix it?

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post #15 of 43 Old 10-20-2011, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Sony repair called me, they reported that the camera powers up OK and takes video... so it works !
I kind of figured this type of knuckle headed response, at first.
I reiterated that the soft focus issue happens in low light only ( maybe lower light than the tech shop lights they work under ), and they need to look at the output one eye at a time on a big monitor.
They said they would pass along the info to the next level tech that would look at it.
I explained that a lens has shallower DOF with wide apertures, etc.
I await the next call.
I really don't want them to just send a brand new camera to me without real testing, as I'll just kick it back once more if it's the same issue.
-Les
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post #16 of 43 Old 10-20-2011, 07:22 PM
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Les- thanks for being the pioneer on this!
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post #17 of 43 Old 11-01-2011, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Sony called, and said the 2nd level tech could not see the problem.
They have no way of seeing each eye separately , they were just viewing on a 3d monitor, and closing one eye and then the other. Who knows what lighting condition they tested under, these people have little training on the basic principals of photography, such as aperture and how it effects DOF and difficulty of focus.
They said that they preformed an adjustment on the camera anyway, which I don't understand, because if they can't see the problem, how can they tell if they moved things in a 'better' direction ?
They did not charge me the $50, since they saw nothing wrong.

I will take it apart myself and do the right lens offset myself, if it is still bad.

I'm a bit disappointed, but I understand this is the age of stupid users and low expectations.

I am likely ordering two RED cameras on Nov 3rd, for the purpose of shooting S3D. I think they will be better at customer support, since it's not of a 'soccer mom' camera caliber.

I'll update this thread once I get the cam back and test it after they mucked with it.
-Les
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post #18 of 43 Old 11-01-2011, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by les-d View Post

Sony called, and said the 2nd level tech could not see the problem.
They have no way of seeing each eye separately , they were just viewing on a 3d monitor, and closing one eye and then the other. Who knows what lighting condition they tested under, these people have little training on the basic principals of photography, such as aperture and how it effects DOF and difficulty of focus.
They said that they preformed an adjustment on the camera anyway, which I don't understand, because if they can't see the problem, how can they tell if they moved things in a 'better' direction ?
They did not charge me the $50, since they saw nothing wrong.

I will take it apart myself and do the right lens offset myself, if it is still bad.

I'm a bit disappointed, but I understand this is the age of stupid users and low expectations.

I am likely ordering two RED cameras on Nov 3rd, for the purpose of shooting S3D. I think they will be better at customer support, since it's not of a 'soccer mom' camera caliber.

I'll update this thread once I get the cam back and test it after they mucked with it.
-Les

Even though I can do service, I would not attempt to repair something that came defective.

If there is still an opportunity, you should escalate it further with Sony.

Insist on talking to the most senior person at corporate about this, and then escalate it until they either get you a new camera or a commitment to repair.

If Sony's reply is continued complete refusal, you can have another service company correct the problem, and make clear that you are going to sue Sony for failing to repair, and let other users know about their failure.

Sony has refused service in the past. Example: millions of projection TVs shipped between 2004 and 2008 had bad optical blocks. There was a class action lawsuit. Today Sony does accommodate customers that still have these TVs, as part of the settlement.

I have worked on a Sony camcorder focus problem that was due to a bad motor inside the lens. Not an easy repair.

At least the tech could have swapped the lens and perhaps the motor control board and redone the calibration. At this point we do not know if your camcorder is uniquely bad, or if there is something wrong that needs a recall.

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post #19 of 43 Old 11-01-2011, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Got the cam back.
Right eye same as before , maybe even a tad worse.

I'd like to think that it would help to send it back. They rushed it back to me.
When I last spoke to them, they said they would be sending an email to me and I explained I would reply with an enclosed video I prepared showing the problem, with each eye rendered in an alternating fashion, so they could see it without a 3d monitor. Rendered from the same media still in the cam for them to see.
I never received the email to reply back to. Nice.

I truly hope the RED camera company, a fully American company, will totally disrupt Sony's pro cam division with their pro cinema cameras, of which I also hope to soon be the owner of.
"Drink their milkshake", as it were ....

I might take a shot at adjusting it myself. I'm pretty good at these things, unless there are a lot of hidden snap clips that are hard to know about without a manual.
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post #20 of 43 Old 11-01-2011, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
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The TD10 focus is with the left eye. The right eye mechanically is supposed to just follow along. I'm thinking that there is just a simple threaded adjuster to tweak.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Adams View Post


At least the tech could have swapped the lens and perhaps the motor control board and redone the calibration. At this point we do not know if your camcorder is uniquely bad, or if there is something wrong that needs a recall.

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post #21 of 43 Old 02-11-2012, 10:30 AM
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Nowadays TD10's also have this big problem?
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post #22 of 43 Old 02-11-2012, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by relaxman View Post

Nowadays TD10's also have this big problem?

On my TD10, I use manual focus sometimes at night, when the auto-focus seems slow.

I've also used manual focus when recording the critters inside an aquarium, from the outside that is.

At other times, the 3D-auto-focus is fine.

The manual focus works ok for my use in those situations when the auto-focus was not optimum.

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post #23 of 43 Old 02-11-2012, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Manual won't help, the mechanical coupling between the two eyes is offset.
The best you can do is get the two eyes to look equally fuzzy.
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post #24 of 43 Old 02-11-2012, 10:05 PM
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les-d

I am surprised you haven't contacted Sony repair on this issue. The fix is likely simple as these things are usually all electronic. The TD10 has a service connection on the bottom that an authorized Sony service center can access with special diagnostics and calibration software. Unless you dropped it and broke something, that's all it will take to align the two cameras and the repair cost if out of warranty, might be 1 hour bench time.

I have used Sony's service in the past and they are quite good. I've used three levels of service, consumer, industrial, and broadcast. I hope your camcorder is not out of warranty, but if it isn't, you should contact them immediately. In my experience, consumer product repair is not that expensive. My experience with industrial product repair is that they often have a blanket complete overhaul for a reasonable price. They go through and bring everything except scratches on the body up to new specs for a flat rate. e.g. One of my small DVCAM's that retail for $3800 had a flat rate overhaul of $450 plus shipping. That comes with a 1 year new product warranty. Hard deal to beat!

One word about Sony repair. They do require you to make all recommended repairs. They don't do partial repair. If you decline, there will be a charge for diagnostics and return shipping.
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post #25 of 43 Old 02-11-2012, 10:34 PM
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So Don it sounds, you never had this focus issue with your TD10, right?
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post #26 of 43 Old 02-12-2012, 12:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Don, if you look at my earlier posts, I did send it to sony. They were too incompitent to even see the problem, which totally made me loose faith in those guys. I spoke to them twice on the phone.
I recenty shot about 4 hrs of footage with in in N. Thailand, and have resigned myself to the fact that it is a consumer gadget , it's pocket sized, and is what it is. I'm wondering if the new td20 has a better chance on this problem.
I really like the eye that is sharp!
As I said before, in better lighting conditions it does well, and even does well in low light if it isn't full wide on the focal length. But I like wide shots, so it's usually set to full wide.
Who the heck actually shoots stuff at the other end of the zoom setting?, I always wonder!

For a more 'pro' solution, I will be shooting my non narrative travel projects in 3d with my two Red Scarlets. Matched lens's and up to 4k each cam, at 500 megabits compression data rate per eye. Screw Sony ! ( put it's not pocket sized ... ) Oh my aching back ....
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post #27 of 43 Old 02-12-2012, 09:48 AM
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relaxman- No! I own two TD10's and both exhibit perfect focus on both left and right eye renderings. Focus is an issue in low light, however, using auto focus as sony uses an image analyzer to determine focus. When that issue presents itself, I switch the cam to manual focus. ( I love that little knob/button for control over everything I need to "get the shot"

Quote:


Who the heck actually shoots stuff at the other end of the zoom setting?, I always wonder!

Les-d: Go to my YT channel at www.youtube.com/user/DonLandis and look at the first video Kellie Pickler concert. I shot the entire concert from one location all handheld in a tightly packed crowd. Observe, the full zoom shots of her, especially her hair strands in 3D. The camera settings were auto everything except exposure which I had to ride the control throughout the half hour due to the damn spot lights. In the beginning the spots caught me off guard so I had to shoot and switch the intelligent auto off, then select exposure and correct to fix the blowout I was getting on her face. That is the reason why early in the show her face complexion is so pasty. About 3 minutes into it I was riding the manual exposure for the remainder of the show. Focus remained in auto.
I think you will admit that properly shot full zoom with the TD10 can get stunning results in a less than ideal shooting environment. There are plenty of shots in full wide to compare.

Here's what I would like you to do for me. Can you shoot a scene you believe is defective because of the one cam lens being out of focus when the other is in focus. Render the clip in SBS output and post a frame grab. This can all be done in Vegas. I'd like to see this. I must admit I haven't seen all the posts on this topic, and as such, have never seen anyone post an example of this out of focus problem. If you have already done this, please point me to it. The fact that seeing is believing and that Sony could not find anything wrong, makes me doubt the problem exists.
Quote:


For a more 'pro' solution, I will be shooting my non narrative travel projects in 3d with my two Red Scarlets. Matched lens's and up to 4k each cam, at 500 megabits compression data rate per eye. Screw Sony ! ( put it's not pocket sized ... ) Oh my aching back ....

Ok less-d, now you are insulting me and I'm sure many others here. Have you ever seen me compare the video quality of my broadcast cameras with my TD10? For that matter, have you ever seen me compare my TD10 to my Bloggie3D? No! Not in the way you just compared $55k+ 3D system with the TD10.
If you know cameras and lenses you should be able to appreciate the differences beginning with the front piece of glass all the way to the size and number of imagers. Plus all the big boy stuff comes at a price and that is not just in $$$ either. You should know where the sacrifices are in the smaller packages. The amount of detail in an image in a full wide shot in a much larger imager and much larger diameter and quality of glass has obvious advantages.
I once had an intern working for me who was running at the mouth one day about how an FX1 HD cam far out performs my broadcast cams because it is HD So, I said to him show me. Lets take my Z1U HD recording and compare to my 3 2/3" chip set with broadcast glass camera in SD wide screen. ( I don't own any broadcast HDCAMS ) We pulled both into Vegas and and they looked identical on the HD monitor. Now, I said, blow both wide shots up 2X and recrop to wide screen. His jaw dropped, The Z1U HD was all fuzzy around the edges of each subject. The broadcast SD cam still looked sharp and details were still present. I told him to do it again only this time take a quarter of the original frame. Now the broadcast cam began to exhibit the same degradation that the HD footage had at 2X blowup. If we had the HD Cine Alta I'm sure it would run rings around my SD broadcast cam. But the smaller glass and imagers really showed losses with these small consumer cameras. So don't feed me that BS about Screw you Sony. There is a right tool for every job and the smart producer will match the proper tool as budget and conditions warrant.

As for your aching back... My solution to this is the big stuff needs to have grips allocated in the budget. I budgeted for a grip on all my broadcast EFP shoots.
Today, I'm not doing broadcast level work so as an amateur, I focus more attention to maximizing the image quality to what I can carry for a day of aggressive shooting. I spend far more time compressing weight and physical size than I do worrying over image quality.
You know the old saying: Speed, cost, quality; choose any two. You need all three- Dream on! Your competitor will get the job.

Have fun with your Red Scarlets. Glad those days are over for me. Looking forward to seeing your finished work. Seriously!
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post #28 of 43 Old 02-12-2012, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by les-d View Post

Don, if you look at my earlier posts, I did send it to sony. They were too incompitent to even see the problem, which totally made me loose faith in those guys. I spoke to them twice on the phone.
I recenty shot about 4 hrs of footage with in in N. Thailand, and have resigned myself to the fact that it is a consumer gadget , it's pocket sized, and is what it is. I'm wondering if the new td20 has a better chance on this problem.
I really like the eye that is sharp!
As I said before, in better lighting conditions it does well, and even does well in low light if it isn't full wide on the focal length. But I like wide shots, so it's usually set to full wide.
Who the heck actually shoots stuff at the other end of the zoom setting?, I always wonder!

For a more 'pro' solution, I will be shooting my non narrative travel projects in 3d with my two Red Scarlets. Matched lens's and up to 4k each cam, at 500 megabits compression data rate per eye. Screw Sony ! ( put it's not pocket sized ... ) Oh my aching back ....

Although my TD10's is a fantastic piece of equipment and its focus is adequate for my use thus far, I can vouch for Sony's complete indifference to reply in a reasonable manner to problems they have created, unless they get sued, or someone has a special "IN," with them, such as the one Don has nurtured. No wonder that Sony consumer products lost $billions last year. I hope Don can get some progress going on this focus issue.

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post #29 of 43 Old 02-12-2012, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Landis View Post


Here's what I would like you to do for me. Can you shoot a scene you believe is defective because of the one cam lens being out of focus when the other is in focus. Render the clip in SBS output and post a frame grab. This can all be done in Vegas. I'd like to see this. I must admit I haven't seen all the posts on this topic, and as such, have never seen anyone post an example of this out of focus problem. If you have already done this, please point me to it. The fact that seeing is believing and that Sony could not find anything wrong, makes me doubt the problem exists.

Don, I made a still frame of the image les-d mentioned a few months ago, which is still on youtube. Attached below. Notice how the words Yamaha and other words there are blurry. I am going to check this more closely on my own TD10 using similar settings too.

My image below was down-rez'd by AVSforum policy to 1280x720. The blur is visible there.

The original 1920x1080 frame capture can be downloaded by anyone at the following link. Blur is more definitive there since its 1080p

http://st7.us/td10_right_blurry_yam1920.jpg
LL

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post #30 of 43 Old 02-12-2012, 01:52 PM
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Thanks Richard. That clearly shows there is a focus problem. Whether it's as he believes, a tracking link between the two cameras, or other possibilities such as fogging over or dirty right lens, or Back Flange calibration remains to be seen. None of these would be user fixable except fog. To eliminate the back flange adjustment as a root cause we would need the same shot done at full wide, medium zoom and close up. If the dirty right lens is condensate or dew buildup that is user fixable by allowing ther camera to adjust to it's environment for a few hours. The fogging of a lens element would eventually evaporate when a cold camera comes to room temperature regardless of humidity. Have lots of experience with this issue shooting in the Keys after keeping my cameras in an air conditioned hotel room all night. The flange back or Back Flange calibration is mechanical and has nothing to do with the electronics so this is a tare down to get to that part of the lens set. Only on Broadcast cameras is this adjustment external and field adjustable.

-- just trying to think of all possibilities that could cause what we see.

Anyway, thanks again for doing that example of his problem.

While I don't really have any insider connections at Sony, I do get to see the engineers at CES and NAB. If I find any of them and can communicate ( would help if I spoke Japanese ) I'll see if they can lend some explanation to this. NAB is at end of April.
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