A smudge in the middle

Discussion in 'SJ7 Star' started by Phil Rosa-Leeke, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. Phil Rosa-Leeke

    Phil Rosa-Leeke New Member

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    Hi there,

    Only got my SJ7 yesterday, so it's very much a case of a learning curve for me at the mo.

    Saying that, I have found something a bit odd. When shooting video or still with the camera in it's standard frame mount, the images are perfect, but when it's in it's underwater mount there appears a smudge bang in the center of the images. I call it a smudge now, but at first I thought there was a glitch with the focus.

    I have made sure the lens cover in the underwater housing is as clean as I can see, but still there seems to be a smudge.

    I am wondering could there be a contact with the camera lens cover and the lens cover on the underwater housing and if so, would this be the cause?

    Anybody got any ideas?

    Thanks in advance.

    Phil
     
  2. Sulev Svilponis

    Sulev Svilponis Elite

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    You can't blame the camera, if the smudge appears only when the camera is in the underwater case. From your description it is pretty obvious, that the smudge is caused by the case (window). If the window is clean (no fingerprints, no condensation, no scratches), then there might be some kind of material defects (internal haze, uneven thickness, structural anomalies etc). If you bought the camera from the local reseller, then you should contact them. If you bought from the internet, then I suggest you to buy a spare watertight case.
    If you remove the camera lens cover before you insert the camera into the underwater housing, then the lens cover should not to be blamed.
     
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  3. Phil Rosa-Leeke

    Phil Rosa-Leeke New Member

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    Thanks Sulev.

    The cases lens cover is squeaky clean, no dust, scratches or finger prints. I like what you said about maybe there is a slight "problem" with the cover itself.

    Now, what you mentioned about the lens cover on the camera itself has got me thinking. Does it come off by design?

    If so, how?

    Does it pull off or screw off?

    And finally, is it supposed to be removed when using the underwater housing?
     
  4. Sulev Svilponis

    Sulev Svilponis Elite

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    By lens cover I mean a small semitransparent or non-transparent cap of silica gel, rubber or plastic, that is for protecting the lens, when camera is not in use (like this one: https://pevly.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/sjcam-sj7-star-lens-cap.jpg ). And this cap should be removed, when you start using the camera.
    If you still suspect the lens problem (or inadequate focusing) then yes, the lens is removable. It is screw in lens that is fixed with a drop of hot glue. And the lens is relatively easy to replace with other compatible lenses (if it get scratched, or if you need different focal length, like this: [​IMG] ).
    But as much as I understood, then your problem is related with the waterproof housing (its lens window). And I suggested you to get another one, if the current one is problematic.
    BTW Did you remove the protective tape from the window of the housing?
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
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  5. Phil Rosa-Leeke

    Phil Rosa-Leeke New Member

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    Yes I did remove ALL the protective films, I am not that much of a newbie lol.

    So, to answer one of my own questions then, to use the waterproof housing I need not remove the actual lens cover of the camera.

    Regarding the flimsy Si cover, well it's not all that good is it. I mean give the camera a bit of a shake and off it goes.
     
  6. Sulev Svilponis

    Sulev Svilponis Elite

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    What do you mean by the "actual lens cover of the camera"? The front element of the lens? It is not removable, AFAIK.

    Another thing, that might cause of smudhiness, when the camera is in the watertight housing, is the fog, that could appear onto front lens and/or inside the housing window, if you put the camera into the housing in moist and warm conditions and try to record a video in cooler conditions
     
  7. Phil Rosa-Leeke

    Phil Rosa-Leeke New Member

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    Well, it is as I thought, the lens cover is making contact with the waterproof casing's lens cover, not by much, but enough to give that "unfocused" spot in the very center of the videos/photographs.Has anybody else had this problem and if so is there a fix?

    20171215_172440.jpg 20171215_172443.jpg 20171215_172713.jpg 20171215_172744.jpg 20171215_172907.jpg
     
  8. Sulev Svilponis

    Sulev Svilponis Elite

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    Then maybe your lens is nearsighted? Test it without the housing. If it is, you can rise a case and send the camera back. But you can fix this by yourself. The lens has a screw in type mount, unscrewing it by few degrees makes the lens more protruding and causes nearsightedness. You can fix this by turning the lens clockwise, by 5...10 degrees. But first it might be useful to break the hot glue loose by turning the lens anticlockwise, as the opposite case could need too much force and the MB connections could break. Before starting this procedure it is wise to mark current position so that it was easy to understand, if the screw position is more loose or more tightened, compared to the current state.
     
  9. Sulev Svilponis

    Sulev Svilponis Elite

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  10. Phil Rosa-Leeke

    Phil Rosa-Leeke New Member

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    As I said in the first part of this post, when shooting video or stills with the camera in it's standard frame mount, the images are perfect.

    If I follow you correctly, if I can tighten the lens cover down a bit, it should stop the contact with the waterproof housing?
     
  11. Sulev Svilponis

    Sulev Svilponis Elite

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    Yep! This would screw the lens inwards, like if you are screwing a screw into the wall. But as a consequence, the sharp focus area is shifting away (closest objects may look unsharp), depending on how much you turn the lens. But as a positive side, the objects in the horizon could become more sharp.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  12. Phil Rosa-Leeke

    Phil Rosa-Leeke New Member

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    Ah, I get it. I have been taking a good look at the back of the waterproof housing and the 4 little sponge discs that hold the camera snug. I am going to see if I can take them down a bit, just half a mm will do. I will let you know the outcome. I think it is better trying that than messing with the lens itself.
     
  13. Sulev Svilponis

    Sulev Svilponis Elite

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    Ok. Hope, that it helps!
    If removing those spacers from the back wall is not enough, then see this video:
     
  14. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson Humbled by events

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    When does the smudge appear? That is, what's the camera doing? Video, time lapse, stills? What settings are you using? Why is the camera in the case? Are you swimming, diving, etc. or is it in the case because it seems like a good idea.

    Part of where I'm going with this is I had "smudge" issues that ultimately were easily sorted out. FWIW I use the "motorcycle" (external power) version routinely without a problem.
     
  15. Phil Rosa-Leeke

    Phil Rosa-Leeke New Member

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    If you take a look at the images I posted above you will notice that the lens cover makes contact with the waterproof housing's lens cover, only a bit, but enough to be noticed in the filme or photographs.

    I don't want to play about with the lens cover on the camera if I have to, so I am going to see if removing a a bit of the rubber spacers will fix the problem. The contact is made only when the rear is latched closed.
     
  16. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson Humbled by events

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    Unfortunately, the pictures don't show much except a small dot, which seems to be on the case's lens port.

    Unfortunately, at the moment I'm about 3,000 miles away from my camera (I'm in Germany, the camera isn't) so I'm guessing a bit. NTL, reducing pressure from behind is probably not the best plan. If you think the lens (I'm guessing that your term "lens cover" refers to the lens' front surface) is being forced into the interior side of the case's lens port (the other "lens cover"?), the space in front of the camera needs to be increased. I suggest creating a spacer, not trimming padding.
     
  17. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson Humbled by events

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    Thinking a bit further about the matter, even if the lens is pushed hard against the case, it should not, in the short term, matter. Long term, the lens coating and lens won't hold up under the wear and the lens port will suffer, too.

    Again, under what circumstances do you see the smudge?
     
  18. Phil Rosa-Leeke

    Phil Rosa-Leeke New Member

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    Whenever I put it into the H2Oproof case. I have managed to take an even better look and it is definitely making contact, very small as the above images show, but enough to create an unfocused point in the center of the image/film.

    As for the spacer idea between the teo lens covers, yeah, that had crossed my mind too, but I got to wondering if it might interfere with the image.

    Please take at the following images, you'll be able to notice the differences.

    V-no-case copy.png V-with-case-1 copy.png V-with-case-2 copy.png TL-copy.jpg
     
  19. Sulev Svilponis

    Sulev Svilponis Elite

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    This contact between the front lens and the housing window is obviously the reason of the smudge, Because of the lens glass and air have different refractive index, this contact definitely smudges the image.
    This kind of contact might be even the reason, what caused the smudge on RBEmerson's own photos, that was complained about in this thread:
    https://sjcam.com/community/threads/v1-20-test-results.2161/#post-3553
     
  20. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson Humbled by events

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    OK - I see what you're talking about. Try, as an experiment, laying the case, leaving the door open, and shooting that way. If you can stand to do it, try holding the camera in place with cellophane tape (Tesafilm, Scotch tape, or some other office tape) or light rubberband pressure (keeping the lens away from the port). That answers if shimming will help.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017

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