Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Sony FX1 viewfinder melting??!!


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 IONature

IONature

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 57 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Point Pleasant, New Jersey, USA

Posted 19 October 2006 - 10:53 AM

The viewfinder screen and the surrounding plastic on my sony FX1 seems to be melting inside of my Gates housing. I am beginning to get a haze across the screen. I am very good about covering the housing and replacing the eye cover beween dives so I don't think that it is a sun issue. Do they generate enough heat to melt themselves when they are trapped inside of the housing? Is this happening to anyone else?

thanks,
chris

#2 Nick Hope

Nick Hope

    Sperm Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1990 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Thailand

Posted 19 October 2006 - 11:06 AM

My VX2000 viewfinder is pretty badly melted. I'm sure it's from the sun shining through the viewfinder on the surface when I hadn't put the lens cap on. I took it into Sony yesterday actually to get a quote for a repair.

Are you sure you didn't leave it somewhere without the lens cap on? It wouldn't take long to get up to a dangerous temperature in strong sunshine.

#3 IONature

IONature

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 57 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Point Pleasant, New Jersey, USA

Posted 19 October 2006 - 11:57 AM

It is definately possible considering the vast majority of it happed under the Azorian sun. Hmmmm. I never thought about all of the time I spent in the water but at the surface. No lens cap.

#4 shawnh

shawnh

    Shawk Man

  • Senior Moderator
  • 1398 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Boulder, CO
  • Interests:UW Video, UW Photography Diving, Telemark Skiing, Cycling, Travel

Posted 19 October 2006 - 02:30 PM

Chris,
The rear viewfinder in the housing acts as an intense magnifying glass. Ever hold a magnifying glass over some paper or dry grass the hot sun...it can flame in seconds. Now imagine sensitive miniature lcds and plastic in very intense sunlight. it doesn't take long at all. my bet is on direct sun exposure.
Shawn
Canon 5D MII - Aquatica Housing - Sola 4000 Lights - Wahoo HD Monitor & Sony EX1 - Gates EX1 Housing - Fathoms UWA Lens
www.bluespheremedia.com

#5 peacedog

peacedog

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 118 posts
  • Location:Malden, MA

Posted 19 October 2006 - 06:29 PM

Wow. Hit me with a "how about that," why don't ya?

I was just reading the owner's manual to my new Bluefin (thanks Shawn, thanks Wags!) and I came across the warning about keeping the eyepiece cover on lest you melt the viewfinder on your FX1/Z1. I kinda did that sideways-dog face and womdered aloud if this was really an issue.

After the money I just plunked down and the anecdotes listed here, I will never, ever let my camera sit inside that housing without covering that eyepiece and I will absolutely never discount a warning in a manual.

Thanks. In advance.
Sony Z1U
L&M Bluefin HD
LiquidAssets TV

#6 shawnh

shawnh

    Shawk Man

  • Senior Moderator
  • 1398 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Boulder, CO
  • Interests:UW Video, UW Photography Diving, Telemark Skiing, Cycling, Travel

Posted 19 October 2006 - 07:49 PM

As a kid, i had a lot of fun with magnifying glasses;). I took that warning very seriously;)
Canon 5D MII - Aquatica Housing - Sola 4000 Lights - Wahoo HD Monitor & Sony EX1 - Gates EX1 Housing - Fathoms UWA Lens
www.bluespheremedia.com

#7 Nick Hope

Nick Hope

    Sperm Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1990 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Thailand

Posted 19 October 2006 - 07:52 PM

I was pissed off with Sony until I read about this on this forum. I thought I had a dodgy Friday afternoon camera with a really bad moulding behind the removable eye piece. Oops. Won't happen with my new cam!

#8 IONature

IONature

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 57 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Point Pleasant, New Jersey, USA

Posted 21 October 2006 - 04:43 AM

Thanks, one and all. I feel a little better. Unfortunately, now I think that I am the one to blame and that makes me feel a bit worse.

cw

#9 RebreatherDave

RebreatherDave

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 237 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles
  • Interests:rebreathers, marine life, mountain biking, flying hang gliders, paragliders and sailplanes.

Posted 21 October 2006 - 01:05 PM

But you're in the United States.....our National Sport is always using the court system to blame everyone ELSE for our own shortcomings and mistakes!

Just call it some sort of syndrome.....and blather on about how you just didn't wake up one day and decide to be a Dee De Dee...so it MUST be genetic.

:D

I remember reading my Phenom manual.....well, okay, just a few paragraphs, and sure enough, it says to cover the viewing port and lens...so I keep a wet towel over it which makes it clingly and less likely to blow away.

Edited by RebreatherDave, 21 October 2006 - 01:07 PM.

Inspiration Closed Circuit w/Vision electronics
Sony HDR-FX1 3CCD HiDef
Amphibico Phenom
Amphibico dual 35-50 HID's
whatever other toys I can
accumulate b4 I die

#10 Nick Hope

Nick Hope

    Sperm Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1990 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Thailand

Posted 21 October 2006 - 07:11 PM

Ah, so bright sun's potentially a problem for the lcd screen as well? That's going to be a pain. Dave you should make a Wagsy-shade. I think I'm going to try and make a velcro-on one for my Bluefin.

#11 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10645 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 21 October 2006 - 08:27 PM

But you're in the United States.....our National Sport is always using the court system to blame everyone ELSE for our own shortcomings and mistakes!

Just call it some sort of syndrome.....and blather on about how you just didn't wake up one day and decide to be a Dee De Dee...so it MUST be genetic.
=I remember reading my Phenom manual.....well, okay, just a few paragraphs, and sure enough, it says to cover the viewing port and lens...so I keep a wet towel over it which makes it clingly and less likely to blow away.


While I don't share the litigious tendencies of my fellow denizens, I have to say that ever since there were LCD VF coupled with a magnified viewfinder, there's been this problem. It's been around for decades. However, since it was Hi 8 and DV which helped u/w videographer into the mainstream casual diver level, it happens much more frequently than many believe. How long did it take for someone to build a shade into the housing? 2001, S&S finally put one in the VH2k housing.
Should the manufacturer tell you if there's a chance that the VF could fry your LCD? Or should you have the common sense to know that magnifier + sunlight= focused beam of photons which can fry stuff?

Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#12 IONature

IONature

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 57 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Point Pleasant, New Jersey, USA

Posted 22 October 2006 - 05:52 AM

OK... at this point I think that I need to explain myself, especially after the "common sense" crack :D so that I don't loose all of my street cred.
The vast majority of the damage happened on a trip to the Azores in July when the sun is at its hottest. I am absolutely obsessed with port covers and eye caps, in addition to covering the housing with a wet towel between dives. In fact, my fellow boat mates and crewmembers probably think that I am a bit of a dick about it. That is why I was dubious about sun damage. I was also suspicious about internal heat because of the pattern of the heat damage around the viewfinder on the plastic housing. I asked gates about it and they said that they had heard about a guy in Europe who gotten Sony to admit responsibility. However, The missing part of the equation was that I was filming sperm whales and finbacks while they were at the surface and so I spent a inordinate amount of time floating around waiting to be picked up by the boat or swimming the couple of hundred yards over to the whales. I kept my housing a bit positively buoyant so that it didn't get knocked out of my hand and follow the whales down to bottom in 3000' of water. So, I think that it happened while I was either swimming, waiting, or high fiving my fellow cameraman.

cw

#13 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10645 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 22 October 2006 - 08:11 AM

CW
It wasn't a crack but a serious question about the responsibilities of the housing manufacturers and end users. It's obvious that this problem occurs much more frequently and only in the recent years, manufacturers have made features to prevent it(internal eye shade or a neoprene cover etc). Now if someone new buys a housing, he cannot reasonably be expected to know this problem. BUT he is expected to read the manual (which many don't). Sure the manufacturer can also put neon signs up on the VF to tell users of the potential dangers. But is that necessary?

Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#14 IONature

IONature

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 57 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Point Pleasant, New Jersey, USA

Posted 22 October 2006 - 09:40 AM

What my situation proves is that no matter how careful we are, all of the preventative maintenance and usage protocols that we have developed over the years can just go out the window in the heat of the moment.

Scubadru- I know you didn't mean anything, sarcasm is just so difficult over the internet. I'm going to stop trying. :D
Is that true that this is happening more often in recent years?

#15 RebreatherDave

RebreatherDave

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 237 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles
  • Interests:rebreathers, marine life, mountain biking, flying hang gliders, paragliders and sailplanes.

Posted 22 October 2006 - 11:17 AM

Well, the top port on my Phenom is just a viewport, no magnification. The rear has some magnification, but sure is small.

Some of our LCD wrist rebreather computer/controllers have been known to have some sun damage that tends to disappear somehwat once it gets wet, but on the surface looks lame. Through our Inspiration e-mail listserve, we learned that only the highest quality lcd displays have less problems with direct sunlight.

That clued me in to covering the top, non-magnifying port on the Phenom. I can see how without giving it thought, one might not have the concept of sunlight on a magnified eyepiece damaging an lcd display cross their mind. It is not like us videographers don't have enough task loading while diving to begin with!
Inspiration Closed Circuit w/Vision electronics
Sony HDR-FX1 3CCD HiDef
Amphibico Phenom
Amphibico dual 35-50 HID's
whatever other toys I can
accumulate b4 I die

#16 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10645 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 23 October 2006 - 12:42 AM

Is that true that this is happening more often in recent years?


What I was saying in cryptic bad grammar is that, the problem has been around as long as LCD VFs have been around. Even SLRs have to be covered to prevent light entering from the VF.
The advent of cheap DV cameras has made video more and more popular. And hence the problem is increasing with the market growth.

Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#17 pmooney

pmooney

    Orca

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1232 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cairns Australia
  • Interests:Growing Grapes

Posted 23 October 2006 - 03:35 AM

I recall having a few melted viewfinders replaced under warranty - thank goodness for a sympathetic local repair centre.

#18 wagsy

wagsy

    Blue Whale

  • Senior Moderator
  • 3845 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cairns, Queensland.
  • Interests:Sewing and Knitting......no diving of course :-)

Posted 23 October 2006 - 03:54 AM

Folks, I always cover up :D

The Shade I made for the Phenom works really well and cuts the glare to it when shooting underwater.

If you are in Aus, Speedy Spares is a good place to get parts for you video camera. I have brought parts for my Hi8, VX1000 and PD100 over the years. Just pull the camera apart and get the number and call then. The also have the schematics so they can pin point your part. Replace a viewfinder is not that hard.
Amphibico Phenom & EVO PRO & Navigator 900
Share Your Underwater Videos www.hdvunderwater.com | www.flykam.com.au | www.reeftorainforest.com.au

#19 Barrett Heywood

Barrett Heywood

    Triggerfish

  • Industry
  • Pip
  • 38 posts
  • Location:Monterey, CA

Posted 23 October 2006 - 09:47 AM

FYI, we melted a viewfinder in the foggy old Monterey. It doesn't take a lot of sun if the viewfinder is parallel to the sun's rays.

Fortunately, this only seems to be a problem with angled viewfinders. At least I've never heard of the problem with Mako or BlueFin 900/HC1/HC3 housings.

FX1 owners: replace that viewfinder cap if you leave a BlueFin on the deck.


:-) Barrett
Barrett Heywood, CEO
Light & Motion
www.uwimaging.com
www.bikelights.com