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Elmo 1012s-xl focusing problems


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#1 Niall Conroy

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 08:29 PM

Greetings all!

hope you could all shed some light here...

After much research and bidding, I've happily been able to purchase a beautiful Elmo 1012s-xl. In seemingly perfect condition...or so i originally believed.

While testing it out (i have yet to run a roll of film through her) I found that the focusing was ever so slightly 'out' while I was either at the lenses widest (7.5mm) or most telephoto (75mm).

In terms of the infinity focus issue - If i was to point the camera at a far off branch on a tree (well over 100m) zoom in to 75mm, rack the lens to infinity - the branch would be slightly soft and the split imaging focus would be slightly out of line - however, If i ever so slightly rack the lens away from infinity focus - the branch comes into full focus and is aligned perfectly with the split imaging focus.

I have a feeling this issue could just be due to the viewfinders diopter not being set up correctly to my eye, however - the cameras supposed diopter adjuster doesn't seem to want to move for me, and is extremely stiff (doesn't move an inch). So much so that I'm afraid to try force it.

In terms of the focus issue when the lens is at its widest - again a similar issue alike when at 75mm, close objects that I try to focus on (from 1.5m and beyond) don't seem to fully align with the split image - however, if i zoom in a small bit I can achieve perfect focus with the split images aligning perfectly.

Maybe i'm being too anal and percise here... and i've recently only discovered how finicky focusing with super-8 cameras can be (due to their being no ground glass i believe?)

anyway, if you can - some wise words or suggestions would be lovely.

peace
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#2 Ian Payne

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 12:50 AM

Hi. id say its your diopter. definitely
Loosen the diopter with care. then focus on infinity.point at the horizon zoom to 75
then adjust diopter until it focuses.
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#3 Niall Conroy

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 08:36 AM

many thanks, I agree that is probably the solution - but this supposed diopter just won't move one bit.

anyone out there with experience with this elmo?
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#4 Chris Fernando

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 11:47 AM

Until you set your diopter it's anyone's guess as to what, if anything, is wrong. The diopter is in two parts, the eyepiece/ cup and the actual diopter adjustment and the adjustment dial has, I think, (not currently near the camera) about 6 or 8 click-stops to adjust. Do you have the owner's manual - I can check it when I get home, but I don't seem to remember it mentioning too much about the diopter other than how to adjust it.
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#5 Niall Conroy

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 07:27 PM

Until you set your diopter it's anyone's guess as to what, if anything, is wrong. The diopter is in two parts, the eyepiece/ cup and the actual diopter adjustment and the adjustment dial has, I think, (not currently near the camera) about 6 or 8 click-stops to adjust. Do you have the owner's manual - I can check it when I get home, but I don't seem to remember it mentioning too much about the diopter other than how to adjust it.


oh really? very interesting. Because I did happen to get the manual with the camera and as you've said, it doesn't go into huge detail about how to adjust.

I'm starting to think I may be missing the adjuster part?

here are some poor images taken off my phone of the viewfinder (I screwed the eye cup off) - if the links don't work please say and i'll reupload them:

https://catch.com/m/BkiPV/4lg0jKwS_X
https://catch.com/m/BkiPU/_6SvxkpE_5S

so does that look like yours? or is it missing something? ...or have i just missed something!
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#6 Ian Payne

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 02:25 AM

looks like it should move or it wouldn't have the grip around the eye piece. Make sure there is no screw clamp around to keep it in place and in position.( Worst case get the pliers onto it softly softly back and forth, dont force it , just gives a bit more leverage. if it doesnt move with that it wont.) but dont break it. This stuff is all getting old and sometimes you gotta be cruel to be kind.
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#7 Robert Lewis

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 03:46 AM

looks like it should move or it wouldn't have the grip around the eye piece. Make sure there is no screw clamp around to keep it in place and in position.( Worst case get the pliers onto it softly softly back and forth, dont force it , just gives a bit more leverage. if it doesnt move with that it wont.) but dont break it. This stuff is all getting old and sometimes you gotta be cruel to be kind.


If you compare your pictures with those on www.cinematography.com/index.php?showtopic=31691 - 81k, especially the third picture, it looks like the ring on the viewer which has a knurled finish is meant to screw in or out in order to adjust the viewer focus. In your pictures it seems to be the case that the knurled ring is screwed right in and it might indeed be the case that it has been "over-tightened". There is, as you can also see a thread in the knurled ring, but I suspect that this is simply to enable the eyepiece to be screwed into the knurled ring. The eyepiece is, of course, missing from your pictures.

Have a look at the pictures on the "cinematography" page referred to above...it might be helpful to you. I am no expert on this camera, but I hope you are able to sort out the problem.
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#8 Ian Payne

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 04:54 AM

maybe the rear element is missing.the one that moves.
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#9 Niall Conroy

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 12:19 PM

many thanks for everyones helpful suggestions.

I'm considering spraying a small bit of WD40 on it and see if that might loosen it up.

However, maybe i'm just making a huge deal over nothing - the split image circle probably isn't HUGELY out of alignment, as i've said, i can achieve sharp alignment focus when i zoom into an object.

So I guess my final question is: If i can achieve, what I think to see as, crisp aligned focus with the split imaging focus circle will that mean my footage will(/should) also be in focus? Or is it a case that no matter how 'in focus' I think it is, the rushes will come back out of focus due to the split imaging circle being ever so slightly out of line?

i'll report back with updates later.
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#10 Ian Payne

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 03:16 PM

Dont spray it with anything! it will creep into the elements then you'll really be up the creek. if any thing try what i said before but dont force too much.
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#11 Niall Conroy

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 01:38 PM

Dont spray it with anything! it will creep into the elements then you'll really be up the creek. if any thing try what i said before but dont force too much.


yikes! close call. I was just about to spray it a bit due to a suggestion from a friend, but i gotta say, I had a bad feeling about it.

I'll try using a pliers like you said and see if I can get it moving without going too hardcore on it

also, what did you mean by:

maybe the rear element is missing.the one that moves.


in your previous post?
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#12 Niall Conroy

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 02:13 PM

hold the phone! Just tried the pliers technique - it worked a charm. Got the 'diopter' working like new, it seems to work in a system of clicks and levels.

However, the bad'ish news is - from my testing of various diopter settings it still didn't seem to change the original problem - infinity focus isn't in focus unless I ever so slightly rack it away, then the image is in full focus.

Has anybody had this problem before with other cameras? Or is it really all that big an issue? Surely if i just focus it to what looks correct with the split imaging focus then the film should be in focus?
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#13 Ian Payne

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 02:44 AM

Element comment was only a what if. Glad the pliers bit worked. That camera has a 70mm zoom, so at 70 has a very shallow depth of field. Maybe forget the split image focus and just concentrate on getting the image sharp at infinity. near enough will have to be good enough. Super 8 camera focusing is a bit dodgy at the best of times. When in doubt set at 7.5mm and focus at 3 metres
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#14 Niall Conroy

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:09 AM

Element comment was only a what if. Glad the pliers bit worked. That camera has a 70mm zoom, so at 70 has a very shallow depth of field. Maybe forget the split image focus and just concentrate on getting the image sharp at infinity. near enough will have to be good enough. Super 8 camera focusing is a bit dodgy at the best of times. When in doubt set at 7.5mm and focus at 3 metres


Excellent. Many thanks for your help(and to everyone else) along the way. I'll be sure to post results once I get some film developed and edited in the coming months.
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