ZC1000 focus isue

Forum covering all aspects of small gauge cinematography! This is the main discussion forum.

Moderator: Andreas Wideroe

Post Reply
sportique
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:42 pm
Real name: Geoff Howell

ZC1000 focus isue

Post by sportique » Sat May 05, 2018 8:19 pm

I have a ZC1000 that seems incapable of focusing accurately, no matter how much care and attention I take on setting the focus on a subject the film always comes back from the lab showing the focus always significantly behind/further away from what I was aiming at!

I'm trying to figure out what might be at fault and weather or not it's worth spending money on having it repaired.

I've done tests with a number of different lenses (both primes and zooms) all with the same results.

setting up the eye peace is fairly idiot proof and I've done some tests with focusing exclusively with a measuring tape (taking the view finder out of the equation) so I suspect the problem is occurring after the light is directed to the view finder.

I don't believe it's a problem with the pressure plate keeping the film flush against the gate as all the exposed film I've seen from this camera has perfect rock steady registration!

I'm down to my last eight single8 cartridges and as replacement film is becoming harder to source I suspect these will be my last ever single8 films =((
I used to reload my own carts with Kodak film but this has become cost prohibitive in the past couple of years.

I'd really love to see some good results from this camera before I run out of film so if anyone has suggestions about what might be wrong I'd be super appreciative!

thanks in advance

User avatar
lylealmond
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:41 am
Real name: Lyle Almond

Re: ZC1000 focus isue

Post by lylealmond » Sun May 06, 2018 2:58 am

I have no advice for you sportique; you've done all I would have done to track down this problem. I would just add that my heart goes out to you. I feel your pain! My ZC1000 went right back to Duall where I bought it to see what they can do about a film transport problem. But my Super 8/Single 8 days may well be over at this point. I'm investing my time and money in 16mm gear now, but we'll see where that goes. I would only add congratulations to you for having had the opportunity to reload your Single 8 carts. Nobody will ever be able to take that away from you.

If it was me, maybe look into sending it to Bernie at Super 16? Or maybe even Tak at Retro8? At least get in touch and see what they say.

Silverdream
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:00 pm
Real name: Andrew Neugebauer

Re: ZC1000 focus isue

Post by Silverdream » Mon May 07, 2018 10:25 pm

Does this focus problem only happen when using a longish zoom setting? There should be little chance of a focus problem when using a wide setting.
After adjusting the eyepiece according to the instruction manual have you tested it by focusing on an object and then confirming the lens distance reading with a tape measure?

sportique
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:42 pm
Real name: Geoff Howell

Re: ZC1000 focus isue

Post by sportique » Tue May 08, 2018 3:46 pm

thanks for the reply.
I did some tests this morning as the camera's been gathering dust on a shelve for the past year or so.

I've tried three different lenses on it and taken measurements:

Cosmicar 25mm f1.4. focused to 0.6 meters. what I can see through the view finder matches what I'm getting from the measuring tape.

Schneider variogon 12.5-75 f1.8. focused to 1.5 meters at both the long and wide end of the zoom matches the measuring tape.

Fujinon 7.5-75 f1.8. (the zc1000 kit lens) focused to 1.5 meters at both the long and wide end of the zoom again matches the measuring tape.

everything was done with the aperture wide open.

thanks again

Silverdream
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:00 pm
Real name: Andrew Neugebauer

Re: ZC1000 focus isue

Post by Silverdream » Wed May 09, 2018 5:47 am

Based on what you have wrote it appears this camera has never given you a good picture, even though the lenses are good.
The problem could be one of the following;

Inbuilt camera filter, (test camera when set to artificial light)
Beam splitting prism, (could be dirty or have a separation problem)
Lens mount, (is it worn or misaligned)
Film gate. (check again)
Shutter not synchronized with film advance (causing film movement during exposure)

Hope you locate the problem.

nikonr10
Posts: 400
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:41 pm
Real name: Christopher Nigel

Re: ZC1000 focus isue

Post by nikonr10 » Wed May 09, 2018 6:24 pm

sportique wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 8:19 pm
I have a ZC1000 that seems incapable of focusing accurately, no matter how much care and attention I take on setting the focus on a subject the film always comes back from the lab showing the focus always significantly behind/further away from what I was aiming at!

I'm trying to figure out what might be at fault and weather or not it's worth spending money on having it repaired.

I've done tests with a number of different lenses (both primes and zooms) all with the same results.

setting up the eye peace is fairly idiot proof and I've done some tests with focusing exclusively with a measuring tape (taking the view finder out of the equation) so I suspect the problem is occurring after the light is directed to the view finder.

I don't believe it's a problem with the pressure plate keeping the film flush against the gate as all the exposed film I've seen from this camera has perfect rock steady registration!

I'm down to my last eight single8 cartridges and as replacement film is becoming harder to source I suspect these will be my last ever single8 films =((
I used to reload my own carts with Kodak film but this has become cost prohibitive in the past couple of years.

I'd really love to see some good results from this camera before I run out of film so if anyone has suggestions about what might be wrong I'd be super appreciative!

thanks in advance
I'd really love to see some good results from this camera before I run out of film so if anyone has suggestions about what might be wrong I'd be super appreciative!

So in the time that you have had this camera , Has there being any good footage ? or it always being like this ?
have you dropped ? or has it take a bang of kind's .
if not maybe you need a camera repairman to take a look ?

sportique
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:42 pm
Real name: Geoff Howell

Re: ZC1000 focus isue

Post by sportique » Wed May 09, 2018 10:19 pm

thanks Silverdream,
I think the prism sounds like the most likely culprit, I've seen other cameras with pull down/shutter sync problems and there tends to be vertical motion blur or strobing effects on the footage

nikonr10,
I'd describe the focusing on this camera as imprecise.
a couple of years ago I did a side by side comparison with a Fujica Z600; both cameras on tripods aimed at a subject about 150cm away focused with measuring tape with tons of light. The Z600 performed perfectly; the ZC1000's focus seemed to be about 15/20cm further away from where I was aiming.

when I shoot casually/handheld with the ZC1000 the results are a mixed bag, definitely not up to the standard I've seen on the internet.

As far as I know the camera hasn't been knocked or dropped.

I suspect it just needs good servicing!

nikonr10
Posts: 400
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:41 pm
Real name: Christopher Nigel

Re: ZC1000 focus isue

Post by nikonr10 » Thu May 10, 2018 10:33 am

sportique wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 10:19 pm
thanks Silverdream,
I think the prism sounds like the most likely culprit, I've seen other cameras with pull down/shutter sync problems and there tends to be vertical motion blur or strobing effects on the footage

nikonr10,
I'd describe the focusing on this camera as imprecise.
a couple of years ago I did a side by side comparison with a Fujica Z600; both cameras on tripods aimed at a subject about 150cm away focused with measuring tape with tons of light. The Z600 performed perfectly; the ZC1000's focus seemed to be about 15/20cm further away from where I was aiming.

when I shoot casually/handheld with the ZC1000 the results are a mixed bag, definitely not up to the standard I've seen on the internet.

As far as I know the camera hasn't been knocked or dropped.

I suspect it just needs good servicing!
Sounds like you have had a faulty camera for some years , Take it to a good camera repair man whos know the ZC1000 and has replacment parts if need be . would not shoot any more rare single8 cartridges for now .

Silverdream
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:00 pm
Real name: Andrew Neugebauer

Re: ZC1000 focus isue

Post by Silverdream » Sat May 12, 2018 10:33 am

I am pretty intrigued about your camera problem.
You say focus seems to be 15- 20 cm further away from where you're aiming. Does this mean if you were to deduct that 15-20cm from your original set focus distance, you would then get the image in focus?
Is the focus consistently out of focus or do you sometimes get good focus?

If you wanted to have a look through the film path do the following to get the camera shutter to stop in the open position;
1) Set the exposure to manual and set aperture to full open.
2) Close off viewfinder to any outside light by covering.
3) Remove front lens.
4) Loosen battery cover.
5) Open film door and prop open film gate pressure plate if there is one.
6) Run camera, but stop camera by removing battery cover. It may be necessary to try this several times to get the camera shutter to stop in the open position.

You will now be able to see through the front of the camera to the film gate and you will be able to see what condition the beam splitter and conversion filter are in.
You may also want to put a piece of exposed film with image or writing on it in the film gate and with a strong light behind it, see if it is sharp when viewing through the lens opening.
Regards

sportique
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:42 pm
Real name: Geoff Howell

Re: ZC1000 focus isue

Post by sportique » Sun May 13, 2018 12:06 am

I am pretty intrigued about your camera problem.
You say focus seems to be 15- 20 cm further away from where you're aiming. Does this mean if you were to deduct that 15-20cm from your original set focus distance, you would then get the image in focus?
Is the focus consistently out of focus or do you sometimes get good focus?
Yes! exactly this.
I'd say on average about 50% of my footage will have focus problems. I'd need to go back and check through all my past footage but if my memory serves correctly I believe it's mostly shots focused on the near to middle distance that are problematic.

I'll definitely check the film path when I get minute

Silverdream
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:00 pm
Real name: Andrew Neugebauer

Re: ZC1000 focus isue

Post by Silverdream » Sun May 13, 2018 2:35 am

Just noticed your ZC1000 uses a reciprocating mirror for the viewfinder image, so there is no beam splitting prism on this camera. One of the few 8mm cameras besides the Beaulieu 8mm cameras to use this system. As I mentioned earlier I am not very familiar with this camera.
Since you say the image focus is sometimes good and sometimes bad it seems to indicate a part that is affected by movement.
According to the manual the pressure plate of the film gate should be 80 grams. Can be adjusted with 4 screws.
Also if the camera has ever been taken apart then some washers may be missing behind the lens mount which may be causing an incorrect flange to film plane distance.
To top it off, if the camera has been used a lot the reciprocating mirror may need adjustment or replacing and could be throwing your viewfinder focus off.
Seems that you might need to do some further carefully documented tests to find out exactly under what conditions the camera delivers poor results, or maybe have the camera serviced from someone with the right testing rig.
Regards.

sportique
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:42 pm
Real name: Geoff Howell

Re: ZC1000 focus isue

Post by sportique » Mon May 14, 2018 11:34 pm

I've been trying to track down a copy of the service manual to get an idea of how the optical pathway is laid out, no luck so far.

from what I can see the screws for adjusting the pressure plate are located in the tiny gap between the gate and the plate itself; so I'm not sure how to get to them.

I think another potential problem might be the textured focusing screen may have been knocked out of alignment.

there's a thread on cinematography.com where someone's having problems getting a zc1000 serviced. I've got a couple of leads to follow up in the UK but it sounds like it's going to be quite pricey. Given that it looks like the camera will probably only be running about 400ft of film before I run out; I need to decide weather or not it's worth pursuing

Silverdream
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:00 pm
Real name: Andrew Neugebauer

Re: ZC1000 focus isue

Post by Silverdream » Fri May 18, 2018 6:31 am

Regards to the pressure plate adjustment I have to correct my earlier comment. The adjustment is done by one screw only, not four as previously mentioned. Apologies for the my mistake. It should be relatively easily to locate the appropriate screw.

Regards to doing a check of the film plane to lens mount distance;
Put the camera without the lens on a perfectly flat surface. From the film gate side use a depth gauge to measure the distance between the flat surface and film plane. This should be done on each corner of the film plane giving four depth measurements which should all measure the same. The specified distance from the lens mount surface to the film plane is 17.49mm (tolerance +0.02mm, -0.00mm).

It's probably wise not to take the camera apart yet until one tests for simple problems first.

Post Reply