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When I checked my email today, I was kinda happy. Sony support sent me an email, telling me that a new firmware for the SELP18105G came out that should fix a couple of problems, notably the focus issues with the zoom rocker on the smart grip.
While the thin focus throw of the lens was fixed with this update, the zoom rocker still throws the lens out of focus.
I need to mention again that this doesn’t happen with a standard LANC controller.
Sony, you really need to get this problem fixed!!!!
Many users know that the Sony SELP18105G lens, which is part of the PXW-FS5 kit bundle, is not the best lens ever. Actually, it distorts like crazy. The good thing is that it’s a fixed-aperture 6x optical zoom lens that is electronically parfocal, a feature that unfortunately doesn’t seem to work well together with the zoom rocker on the smart grip:
I have been writing about this on the FS5 facebook group multiple times. Unfortunately, some users have the tendency to rather believe it’s a non-parfocal lens instead of understanding that Sony didn’t implement the functionality in a working manner.
But facts are facts, and it’s a fact that connecting my old Manfrotto LANC controller instead of the smart grip doesn’t throw the lens out of focus.
Sony is also aware of the problem and promised me to release a firmware update until the end of March, which didn’t arrive yet (it’s already April).
Here’s a a little comparison between the Manfrotto LANC controller and the smart grip:
On one of my last shoots with the PXW-FS5 kit combo, I noticed that really strange things are happening when combining center scan and lens compensation. As soon as lens compensation (AUTO) and center scan (ON) meet, the SELP18105G starts to distort even more.
Please see for yourself and beware of this problem on your filming adventures: