Tuesday, November 6, 2007

HVX200 CCD Alignment / Matte Box issues

Blake Desaulniers (http://rbdcreative.com) writes:

I recently mounted a Chroziel matte box on the 200, and encountered severe vignetting in the upper left of the frame when I inserted the 16 X 9 mask. We spent quite a bit of time at Lorne Lapham's (Vancouver) trying to remount and eliminate the problem, but in the end the only solution we could come up with was to shave the 16 X 9 insert down on the offending corner.

We tried everything, including switching rods and inserts, but to no avail. Brian (L.L.) suggested that it could be a chip alignment issue with the HVX. Any ideas?

CO: It doesn't make sense that chip alignment would cause the problem - many other issues (i.e. chromatic abberation, backfocus) would show up first if this were the problem. The question is should you return your HVX under warranty . . .

I will contact Steve Mahrer of Panasonic to ask him . . .

These responses came from the Creatve Cow Panasoniv HPX/HVX forum:

Name: Rennie
Date: Nov 6, 2007 at 9:58:14 pm
Subject: Re: HVX200 vignetting with Chrosziel mattebox

I would think any chip alignment would also give you out of focus problems. The lens and the chip set must be in alignment to get a proper image. Try shooting an alignment chart and blowing up the corners. I would think it more likely the matte box is out of alignment so maybe try another matte box or see if the mount is bent. You could also mount the matte box on a different HVX200 to see it it appears there.

Name: Noah Kadner
Date: Nov 6, 2007 at 11:13:21 pm
Subject: Re: HVX200 vignetting with Chrosziel mattebox

Definitely not a good idea- you would destroy the camera and still not solve the issue. Try a bigger matte box- Vocas could be a better fit.


An anonymous individual made this comment in reference to the HVX200 alignment issue.

Here is the comment:

Hi there, CCD alignment on the HVX is an issue i've recently tried to find more discussions about online but startlingly find it to be an uncommon point of interest. This thread is one of few i am posting on now to share the results of a test i did myself recently.

I started investigating when i was attaching a Redrock lens adaptor to the front of the HVX and found that the 'gate' at the back of the Redrock unit would dissapear from the edges of frame at different points of zooming with the HVX. I had hard mounted the Redrock using stepping rings and at first assumed it was a Redrock problem (much as you assume it is the fault of your matte box).

I steadily started removing variables from the equation until i was left with only the stepping rings screwed into the thread on the front of the hvx mount, and the edges of this too were not aligned centrally with the image.

This lead me to the certain conclusion that the center of the lens and the center of the CCD are out of alignment with each other.

I have so far tested around 10 HVX's and find the problem to be the same on all of them. The rings appear to be shifted to the right of frame, leaving vignetting on the left. (the same direction as your matte box problem)

I have also done this test with the sony Z1 and the old DVX and find the alignment on both of these cameras to be perfect.

On contacting Panasonic i was met first with denial, then with an excuse that "the HVX is not designed to be used with lens adaptors", which completely ignores the issue that ANY accessory attached via the lens thread is out of alignment with the image, and so what would be the point of any accessory? The final insult came when a friend of mine performed the same test demonstration in front of Panasonic reps at a Panasonic demo, to which they responded "your problem isn't CCD alignment, it's your budget - buy a better camera" (!!!!!!!)

I think it's about time Panasonic owned up to the fact that they have performed a massive and inexcusable cock-up in their manufacturing of the HVX and either offer to fix all affected cameras, or announce the problem and sell the cameras at discounted rates. Neither of which they have been forthcoming about doing.

If you own an HVX, please perform the same test to see for yourselves if you are affected, (because it may be just a bad batch made at one time) if is so, or if not, note the serial number and post it back here so we can begin cataloguing affected models.

Feedback welcome!!!

The preceding post was made by an anonymous individual .

Chris M. Oben

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