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Fuji S3 Pro focusing problems

cowes 13 4
13 Jun 2005 10:53AM
Hi there, I have two S3 pro cameras bought about 3 months ago to upgrade from the Nikon D100's. I am constantly having focusing issues with the S3 pro's, they have evn gone back to Fuji (UK) to be checked and they say they are fine. On there return the issue was still there. Is anyonelse having these problems.

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GingerBadger 12 97 Wales
13 Jun 2005 11:32AM
Well - funny you should mention that - and this is a sidestep from your question somewhat - I'm sure I've read some online review before nailing just that point - focusing issues with the S3...

...additionally, I have constant - rather sporadic focusing problems with the Fuji S7000. I know it's a different ball game compared to the S3 - but my experiences are leaving me less than impressed. I always used to prefer Fuji brand film with my old SLRs but my introduction to their digital hardware is troubling.

For no reason - none at all - I'll get 'zoom error'. Often, after waiting for three hours on some damp hillside. Yesterday for example, I was snapping away happily in Snowdonia. Power was fine. When the sun started to finally fall about 9:30pm or so - I honed in on the shot that had been in my head for the best part of day.

Manual focus, manual control over aperture [as always], ready to experiment a stop or so under given the conditions.

'ZOOM ERROR'!!! - with lots of negative beeps to rub it in a tad.

Infuriating. I had given up hope - was about to turn home - tried it one last time - and with some relief got my final shot of the day. Could it be the metering in the cam is doing this? The lighting was odd, but I was reasonably happy with the shot - seen here .

Anyone else have Fuji H/W issues of a more than trivial nature?
strawman 13 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
13 Jun 2005 11:44AM
That sounds more like an error controlling the lens. A friend went through two Nikon 5700's with similar errors.

This sounds like moisture affecting it I would guess. The s602 used to suffer zoom errors that sound the same. I guess it may be down to the small motor controls.

Another thought. Was you hand stopping it move the lens. For example had it decided to power down? or were you zooming it?
Snapper Plus
12 4.3k 3 United States Outlying Islands
13 Jun 2005 12:14PM
Strawman has it right here. We really need more information on when this happens, any specific lens, any manual intervention, front/back focus and whatever else comes to mind.
GingerBadger 12 97 Wales
13 Jun 2005 12:35PM
Well - for me - I'm always on manual focus - but you can punch an autofocus button in any case that'll sharpen your chosen point [just to be sure] in that instant. I'm pretty sure that's ok procedure.

In this case, I had the camera off for 10 mins or so to preserve power. There was more than enough juice in it. The problem ocured as soon I turned on - electronic viewfinder was fine, as soon as I edged in a little on the shot - it then hit me with the error.

strawman 13 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
13 Jun 2005 1:58PM
Does it move the lens on power up. If yes then that indicates the problem. Many cameras retract the lens on power off so on power up it has to move it.
I had it on a compact film camera, it turned out to be a grain of sand in the gears that drive the motor.
GingerBadger 12 97 Wales
13 Jun 2005 3:03PM
Wow - thanks for the advice strawman. Again, much appreciated. It kinda raises the question, for a relative beginner like myself - digitally, what is the best, most resiliant (takes a kock, takes sand, takes mostuire) SLR on the market?
UserRemoved 13 6.2k 1
13 Jun 2005 3:16PM
"There was more than enough juice in it"

I'd suspect power - how did you know there was enough power as the indicators aren't that great (unless you use alkaline batteries)

If you put an extension tube on the S7000, you'll find that pretty good (UV filter on front). Protects the lens and retraction mechanism. I've had S602Z for 4 years and always used tube. In dust/rain, just put it in a plastic bag, elasticated around tube and its all well sealed. Never had any problems with it, despite dropping it a few times (so there's a couple of dents/scrapes!).
cowes 13 4
13 Jun 2005 3:35PM
Thanks for the replies guys but i dont think it to be a lens error as all 9 lenses do the same with both cameras. They are all checked on a yearly basis and cleaned through a reputable Nikon service centre. Moisture i think is out too. Most of our work is wedding and portraits and should a wet day arrive we revert back to medium format (just cant put it down) The main errors occur when the shutter is pressed and focus is achieved, the shutter is fired but then the focus led is still on from the last shot and the af is disabled until the camera is turned off and back on again. Its a real pain and worrying when you have 100 guests at a wedding who dont want to be photographed anyway !!
UserRemoved 13 6.2k 1
13 Jun 2005 3:50PM
"shutter is pressed and focus is achieved, the shutter is fired but then the focus led is still on from the last shot"

Again, I say symptomatic of power. Big power drain when shot's taken and sudden voltage drop can have weird side effects - potentially locking up the focus mechanism.
13 Jun 2005 11:22PM
I have found on occasions of low contrast light that the S3 hunts and wont find a point of focus, I have manually focused or sometimes just a fraction of a different angle will catch the focus and then hold the release to lock the focus and fire at will. It sounds more difficult than it really is.
strawman 13 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
14 Jun 2005 12:23AM
Cowes, I think your camera has a different problem. The hardware problem is one possibility, but the camera should have enough on board de-coupling to prevent this. Do you use a battery grip? If so is there cororsion/oxide on the contacts.

Another possibility is a software problem, or does the camera have a strange focusing mode where it locks focus for the rest of the shots till you release it. I will ask the silly question of do you press the focus lock button by accident? I know I did once.
jacknyssa 13 13
14 Jun 2005 12:01PM
Hi cowes

When have you noticed the focus issue. Have you noticed it whilst taking the picture or is it from the results of the picture when you have uploaded it to your computer.

I have two S2 pros and have been far from satisfied with the results and have found it to be really disheartening.
cowes 13 4
14 Jun 2005 3:19PM
Hi jacknyssa,

Thanks for your reply, i think you may be the only one to understand my issue, but thanks to all those who have posted messages to me.

I notice the focus problem at the point of focus after the first shot is fired. If i move to a new subject then the focus is frozen and i have to turn the camera off and then back on again to re activate the focus.

The overall camera quality is superb and much better than the S2's. The dynamic range facility in particular out plays the likes of Canon and Nikon. Its just the focus issue that is annoying.

I have contacted Fuji again today and they have told me to reset the camera to the factory default settings and see what happens. I wll keep you informed over the next few days
14 Jun 2005 4:01PM
I have focus problems with my Canon 300D where it will not lock focus or it is always slightly off. So its not just Fuji I guess.

Some camera repair centres appear to never really work hard enough to replicate faults the customer indicates and return the item in identical condition. You get it in your hands and in 5 seconds the fault reappears. Frustration!

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