Jump to content


Photo

Backfocus for XL1


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 clyde villegas

clyde villegas
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 44 posts
  • Director

Posted 22 September 2008 - 01:46 AM

I think my XL1 has backfocus problems. How do I adjust it? There's no backfocus adjustment lever and I was told all cameras that have detachable lenses should have them. Thanks and God bless.
  • 0

#2 David Desio

David Desio
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 204 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • california, USA

Posted 22 September 2008 - 08:40 AM

I think my XL1 has backfocus problems. How do I adjust it? There's no backfocus adjustment lever and I was told all cameras that have detachable lenses should have them. Thanks and God bless.




I have that same camera and as far as I know, there is no backfocus adjustment lever. Have you tried adjusting the viewfinder? Is the footage coming out soft all the time? I know that the viewfinder can get gunked up easily. Have you tried detatching the lens and giving everything a good cleaning?

Dave
  • 0

#3 clyde villegas

clyde villegas
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 44 posts
  • Director

Posted 22 September 2008 - 05:24 PM

When I zoom in and focus on my subject's eyes, I'm in sharp focus. When I zoom out, the picture softens. I surfed the net and found out that this is a back focus problem. Looking at the lens of the XL1, there is no back focus adjustment. But is there something that I can tweak to adjust it? Are there some "secret" levers inside the back end of the lens? Just like the color bars, the manual speaks nothing of it. But pressing on the up and down buttons of the shutter adjustment at the same time brings out the color bars in the viewfinder. God bless.
  • 0

#4 Josh Bass

Josh Bass
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 552 posts
  • Other

Posted 22 September 2008 - 11:21 PM

Hi. This camera and the 'S' upgrade have well-documented problems with this. You'll have to send it to Canon for service, it's not a user adjustment, like on pro cameras.
  • 0

#5 clyde villegas

clyde villegas
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 44 posts
  • Director

Posted 23 September 2008 - 12:27 AM

I've sent it before to the Canon Service Center here but the problem is still there. They're not as good as I expect them to be.
  • 0

#6 Josh Bass

Josh Bass
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 552 posts
  • Other

Posted 23 September 2008 - 11:02 AM

That's not good. I don't know what to say. . .send it in again, make sure to tell them your lens needs a back focus adjustment. Or try to get them to give you a new lens. On the manual lenses, if you're at all interested in getting one of those for your camera (they're sharper, and also have real focus and zoom rings--14x even has a real iris), you can adjust back focus like you would on a pro cam. The only way to fix the issue on the stock lens, though, is to have it serviced.
  • 0

#7 David Desio

David Desio
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 204 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • california, USA

Posted 23 September 2008 - 11:06 AM

Wow, good luck with all of this. Let us know how it turns out.
  • 0

#8 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 23 September 2008 - 11:22 AM

Hopefully it's not the lens. Have you taken it in to have it collomated? Could be that just one of the many elements in the lens is a bit off.
  • 0

#9 clyde villegas

clyde villegas
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 44 posts
  • Director

Posted 24 September 2008 - 12:59 AM

I just thought there is something that I can do on my own to fix this problem and without sending the camera again for repair. The last time I sent my XL1 it took more than two months before I got it back.... and some problems are still there. Anyhow, I'll try to call Canon Service Center again. Thanks and God bless.
  • 0

#10 Josh Bass

Josh Bass
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 552 posts
  • Other

Posted 24 September 2008 - 05:22 PM

I think it usually is the lens, on these cams. As I said, this was a pretty big problem when these cameras were more popular. I used to work at a place that owned one, and I finally convinced them to send it for servicing for this same issue. Came back and it was fine.

I promise that unless you're an electronics/technical genius, and you don't mind voiding your warranty (if you have one), there's nothing an end user can do to adjust the back focus on an XL1 or XL1s with the stock lens.

If you care to investigate the 14x or 16x manual lenses for this series of cams, I think they can be had (via ebay, I'm not sure they're still being manufactured--but they might be) for around $1000 or under. If they're still being made, maybe around $1200. The 14x is much rarer, and was an adapted Fujinon lens (I think). It has a manual iris, so you don't have to use the body iris control on the camera, but no motor for the zoom (you'd have to turn the zoom ring yourself), although I remember reading you could buy a motor for it. The 16x was the newer version of that, and has a zoom motor (though you can still turn it manually if you like), but no iris ring. The 14x will definitely be an ebay thing, but they may still make the 16x.
  • 0

#11 clyde villegas

clyde villegas
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 44 posts
  • Director

Posted 25 September 2008 - 04:07 AM

Thanks guys!
  • 0

#12 Rafael Rivera

Rafael Rivera
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 121 posts
  • Director
  • San Jose, CA

Posted 20 December 2008 - 01:24 PM

Hi Clyde,

The XL1 & XL1s do not hold focus over their zoom range. There's nothing that can be done to correct this.
  • 0

#13 Paul Bruening

Paul Bruening

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2858 posts
  • Producer
  • Oxford, Mississippi

Posted 20 December 2008 - 01:36 PM

Hi Clyde,

The XL1 & XL1s do not hold focus over their zoom range. There's nothing that can be done to correct this.


I've got the 14X manual lens on my XL1s that has back focus adjustment. It doesn't help. It never bothered me. I hate zoom shots anyway.
  • 0

#14 Albert Wood

Albert Wood
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Other

Posted 20 January 2009 - 03:34 PM

Hello All, I have an XL1s & when I use the 'standard' 16x IS lens I have no focus/zoom problems. I also have the 16x manual lens with back focus adjustment & when I remove/refit the lens I very rarely (never really!) have to adjust the focus. I bought the camera second hand from a swindler. It had a problem with chewing tapes on rewind. I had it 'fixed' at a local Canon agent but the first tape I rewound got chewed to hell. I contacted Canon direct here in England. They could not have been more helpful or more decent. They got the camera collected by courier, completely overhauled it & returned it to me in just over a week. All at NO CHARGE including carriage. In fairness to the local agent I think they caught themselves out by trying to do the job at too low a price. Or perhaps they assumed the problem was one thing & did not allow for the abuse the previous owner had given this camera. I am now sure, especially from Canon's advice/comments, that he used damaged/distorted tapes. Since getting the camera back I have looked after it, as any sensible owner would, & have had over three years splendid service. I actually record to disc & also have another camera for editing when I have to work from tape & so seldom have to rewind in the XLis. The tape serves as a backup & when I record four audio tacks. The output to disc only has two tracks. My worry was that if the tape guides were out of true for rewind, or the tape was able to move out of line, then at some point during record I might get a problem. Possibly loss of quality even before a tape chew problem. I have since used the local firm for work on other cameras with complete success.
Call Canon & explain that you had the camera attended to & you are not happy that it, or the lens, is operating as it should. Tell them you like the product, but you are concerned that this camera/lens pairing is not as you feel it should be. I am sure they will want to help.
Good luck.
Cheers, Albert.
  • 0

#15 Paul Bruening

Paul Bruening

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2858 posts
  • Producer
  • Oxford, Mississippi

Posted 20 January 2009 - 09:50 PM

Hello All, I have an XL1s & when I use the 'standard' 16x IS lens I have no focus/zoom problems. I also have the 16x manual lens with back focus adjustment & when I remove/refit the lens I very rarely (never really!) have to adjust the focus. I bought the camera second hand from a swindler. It had a problem with chewing tapes on rewind. I had it 'fixed' at a local Canon agent but the first tape I rewound got chewed to hell. I contacted Canon direct here in England. They could not have been more helpful or more decent. They got the camera collected by courier, completely overhauled it & returned it to me in just over a week. All at NO CHARGE including carriage. In fairness to the local agent I think they caught themselves out by trying to do the job at too low a price. Or perhaps they assumed the problem was one thing & did not allow for the abuse the previous owner had given this camera. I am now sure, especially from Canon's advice/comments, that he used damaged/distorted tapes. Since getting the camera back I have looked after it, as any sensible owner would, & have had over three years splendid service. I actually record to disc & also have another camera for editing when I have to work from tape & so seldom have to rewind in the XLis. The tape serves as a backup & when I record four audio tacks. The output to disc only has two tracks. My worry was that if the tape guides were out of true for rewind, or the tape was able to move out of line, then at some point during record I might get a problem. Possibly loss of quality even before a tape chew problem. I have since used the local firm for work on other cameras with complete success.
Call Canon & explain that you had the camera attended to & you are not happy that it, or the lens, is operating as it should. Tell them you like the product, but you are concerned that this camera/lens pairing is not as you feel it should be. I am sure they will want to help.
Good luck.
Cheers, Albert.


Thanks for the tip, Albert. Do you have an address in England where I could send my XL1s-eats-tape-constantly? CanonUSA was evasive about where I should send mine for repair. After getting bounced all over the company and getting frequently put on eternal hold, I got an address for a Canon service center here in the States. It spent months in their hands and came back with no changes. It still eats tapes. I gave up on it and assumed that Canon, frankly, sucked at honoring their products.

I loved the camera inside the brief window of it working and have gotten very fine service from my XL2. But, I had long since given up on getting any service from CanonUSA on this XL1s.
  • 0

#16 Albert Wood

Albert Wood
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Other

Posted 22 January 2009 - 08:30 AM

Thanks for the tip, Albert. Do you have an address in England where I could send my XL1s-eats-tape-constantly? CanonUSA was evasive about where I should send mine for repair. After getting bounced all over the company and getting frequently put on eternal hold, I got an address for a Canon service center here in the States. It spent months in their hands and came back with no changes. It still eats tapes. I gave up on it and assumed that Canon, frankly, sucked at honoring their products.

I loved the camera inside the brief window of it working and have gotten very fine service from my XL2. But, I had long since given up on getting any service from CanonUSA on this XL1s.

Hello Paul, Canon UK are in Elstree, Hertfordshire, England. I will have to look for the full address & PHONE NUMBER so you can contact them. I had a stroke of luck early in my dealings with them. I am sorry if a long (seeming) ramble of info is boring but I will be as brief as possible. I bought another Canon camcorder from a clearance site on Ebay, because I had found the chewing tape problem & decided not to use the XL1s for editing. Unfortunately the DV out connection was not working on that camera. Hence the reason for it being on clearance. But it had a years makers warranty. I had it fixed by the Canon agent & Canon picked up the bill. No swindle, that was the way it was sold. The clearance site were happy to collect the unit & refund my money. I preferred to get it fixed once I was assured I was not paying. During the contact regarding that other camcorder a phone call to Canon automatically went through to their workshop. I chatted to the man in charge of the workshop. My call should not have gone through to him, but he was very helpful. Canon have very few XL1 series cameras back for repair. When I decided to get the repair on the XL1s I took it to the same local repair shop. I think they had little experience with these models & fitted a replacement gear set. They assumed this was the usual problem. It did not work. When I contacted Canon UK at Elstree again I was actually prepared to pay the extra to get the full repair but did not want to throw away the payment for the cheap repair. More importantly I wanted to be sure the camera was fixed. I spoke to a chap at Elstree & told him I had a lot of Canon kit (true) & was very pleased with the XL1s (true) but that after the first repair on it, I felt it was tuning a little sour. He stopped me virtually mid-sentence saying he would issue a recall label for the unit. I received a label next day in the post. Packed the camera & applied the label. Telephoned the carrier & it was collected about an hour later. Back in just over a week, all at no cost.
The other camcorder, which I use as 'recce' unit & an edit deck when required has given great service also. Last year during a wedding shoot one of our guys was using it to get shots outside the church whilst I was at the brides house. He called me with a problem. The viewfinder picture was ridiculously pixellated. I told him to use one of our old analogue cameras & I captured the footage into digital. Later in the afternoon the camera worked OK. A few days later when I checked it would not record at all. Black screen on record. Playback of recorded tapes no problem. A CCD problem. Looked on Canons website. A note came up stating that in certain circumstances & under certain conditions the connection to the CCD on this model could fail. If this has happened send it for repair at Canons expense. Again the unit was repaired for free despite long being out of warranty. Now I don't know if it was placed directly under the heater outlet in the car or if it was dropped or if the problem was just what Canon have found, but they fixed it. I do not want to slander any other make but I do not believe any of them give the support Canon give. I have nothing but praise for their kit & the dealings I have had with the firm. I will find the full address & number for their Elstree premises & send it. I know the new helpline number (over here) takes you to an office in Eastern Europe & the people there are helpful & polite but don't understand the kit.
Sorry for the long winded coverage.
Cheers, Albert.
  • 0


Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

The Slider

CineTape

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

Abel Cine

Technodolly

Glidecam

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

CineLab

Tai Audio

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

The Slider

Glidecam

Technodolly

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets