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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    2

    FZ20 Focus Problem



    I've searched all over the net for people with a similar problem but havn't had much sucess at all. I've had my FZ20 for about 9 or 10 months and its been brilliant..........until a couple of months ago.

    I was photographing inside and the autofocus just blankly refused to lock on. Half depressing the shutter button made it hunt, it would appear in focus for a instant then stop, just out of focus. At the time I was a little worried but thought it might be because of the low light and bright light coming through the window confusing it, then it worked and seemed to be ok.

    Its been doing this on and off, and it seems to be gradually getting worse - I was in Hampton Court the other day and some of the photos there are blurred in exactly the same way, and that was in bright day light.

    Im gutted this has happened because I love the FZ20 so much. Im going to try taking the skylight off but I dont see that this could do much as I've always had it on.

    Thought I'd better raise the problem anyway, just incase others may be able to shed some light on it.

    So.....Im going to have to consider sending it back to Pixmania soon, bit of a pain because Im a marketing photographer for an architects practice and I need to use it. Anyone had any experince with sending things back to pixmania? How long might it take? and do you think they offer refunds - the FZ30 is just round the corner.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    308

    Foxus problems

    This may sound really basic, but have you checked to make sure that you have not inadvertently switched the focus setting on the lens barrel from "auto" to "manual?" I'm sure you have checked it, but others have reported this problem and found that the lever was in the manual position. If it is in auto, you might want to switch it to manual and then back to auto and give it another try. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    16
    Im going to try taking the skylight off but I dont see that this could do much as I've always had it on.
    I think you're on the right track, a dusty filter might be your only problem. I've experienced something similar a few times. For me, the reason was some really small dirt on the UV filter I had mounted on the Panasonic adapter. The dirt was hardly visible in normal lighting conditions, but bright sunlight shining on the dirt on the filter got the autofocus thrown off. There were two noticeable things that you might recognice: First, the camera tries focusing at almost all other ranges before deciding it's best to focus near the filter; Secondly, you can try to refocus how many times you want, it won't work until you point the camera in another direction, or shade the filter, or decide to focus manually.

    I've only had that problem three times in eight months, so with a clean filter and a lens hood when necessary, it shouldn't be a problem. I'm usually keeping a microfiber cloth in the camera bag just in case anyway.
    /SimonG (My gallery)
    FZ20+uv+polarizer+homebuilt wired remote+RS232 remote+RDS; GIMP for all editing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    western pa
    Posts
    2,334
    As some others have said remove the filter and try that.
    And I do not know what settings you are using but I would set the focus to spot focus and turn the continuous auto focus off.
    See if that helps ..if not set the camera back to factory defaults and start over again.
    If any of those things work dump the skylight filter and get a multicoated UV filter.
    .






    Gene
    http://grc225.zenfolio.com/
    http://imageevent.com/grc6
    one of these days I'll understand!

    Panasonic FZ20 & FZ30,FZ18
    D50 -- D80

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    403
    you may also have gone way off the effective focusing distance range. can't exactly recall what these are for the tele and wide as well as macro settings but the manual does have it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    2
    Many thanks for your help people. I was on a photoshoot yesterday and it was doing it on and off again. I took the chance while it was on the tripod and it was playing up to experiment a bit. I always use it in spot focus, and it wasn't playing ball so I tried the next focus setting, then the next and it didn't actualy focus until I changed it to the 9 point setting.

    Stupidly I didn't try it without the filter, I was too busy playing with the focus settings - I'll just have to wait until it does it again for that.

    So anyway, I used it on the 9 point auto focus for the rest of the day and it seemed ok - although I did notice when I was shooting long views through a shopping centre that the infinity focus wasnt quite sharp - even when focusing manualy. So Im wondering if the lens has taken a knock and its moved or something. hmmm

    Its not crippled - yet - and I got decent enough photographs so its something to keep an eye on and I havent given up on it yet. My gut feeling tells me something isnt quite right though.

    For me, the reason was some really small dirt on the UV filter I had mounted on the Panasonic adapter.
    I had to get the raynox adaptor to be able to use a normal 52mm filter which sits up close to the lens because I found using a 72mm filter on the panasonic hood thing terrible - loads of times it just focused on the inside of the filter rather than what I wanted it to.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    western pa
    Posts
    2,334
    Sometimes for no good reason, a setting needs changed and then set back after the camera has been restarted.
    Similar thing can happen with your computer.
    There have been a couple times in the last year and about 30,000 photos, I found I needed to set the camera to factory defaults and then set it back the way I want.
    One time was.. I could not see very well thru the EVF and another time it was a focus problem.
    I would try to get it working the way you want as I find that 9 pt focus to not work very well for me. It can focus on the wrong thing.
    If you can not get it I would get it repaired while its under warranty.
    .






    Gene
    http://grc225.zenfolio.com/
    http://imageevent.com/grc6
    one of these days I'll understand!

    Panasonic FZ20 & FZ30,FZ18
    D50 -- D80

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