question about my new Aiptek SD 1.3 - RC Groups
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Mar 09, 2004, 07:43 PM
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MRX2099's Avatar

question about my new Aiptek SD 1.3

I just received my Aiptek SD 1.3 (refurbished) from and I was just wondering if the focus knob is suppoossed to be real loose, mine does not actually click or lock into the different positionsand when viewing thru the viewfinder you cannot actually tell if it focuses when moving the knob, and you can touch it and it moves real loose like. Also I took a few pictures in the house and they seems real grainy, is everyone elses like that inside, its not been sunny enough outside yet to try an outdoors picture with it...below are 2 examples of my daughter inside the house

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Mar 09, 2004, 08:32 PM
davelab's Avatar
Both pics with the same camera?
Mar 09, 2004, 08:36 PM
Hooked Heli Human
gmaster's Avatar
the aiptek really isnt good in low light situations.. i tested mine outside and images looked great.. tested the images inside and they look similar to the bottom one.. i think its just the way the aiptek handles different light situations.. i mean.. it does great for how much it costs.. but for indoor pics everyone would get a better camera.. i have an olympus and it works great.. i use it for family pics.. aiptek.. it just goes on my slowstick
Mar 09, 2004, 08:52 PM
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MRX2099's Avatar
Yeah both are with same camera, one was in the living room with more light, the other in my samll PC/hobby room with less light, does the focus knob supposed to be like that, real loose not locking/clicking into the different places? almost like its broken but it does get kinda tight at both ends but in the middle its real real loose, Yeah i saw all these great AP pics from the Aiptek SD and was thinking when I got mine UUUhhhhooo mine is broken or something cause it takes real bad pics so far, but like I said none outside yet its been cold and snowing last few days

(Also got the switch from Zagirule!, Thanks Again Matt, great serice/product)
Last edited by MRX2099; Mar 09, 2004 at 08:57 PM.
Mar 09, 2004, 09:27 PM
davelab's Avatar

It wants light!

First I must say my focus ring doesn't feel loose. Your right no click for position just nice smooth movement but it doesn't feel loose. This camera needs light alot of light. Here is a pic about a month ago when I bought mine. I also got my swith from Matt. Very smart guy! I only bought mine for AP I use a 5MP for home stuff and vacation.

Mar 10, 2004, 12:00 AM
Senior Member
zagisrule!'s Avatar
A loose focus ring seems to be a problem with the Aiptek's. A solution is to add teflon plumbers tape to the threads of the disassembled camera, but that is a bit more tedious than most want to do. You can also just tape the lens in place once you get the focus right.

The camera will do much better outside in real light!

Mar 10, 2004, 01:12 AM
Aerial Shutterbug
RMihara's Avatar
Receiving a refurbished camera with a smooth focus adjustment is hit and miss. I've noted Aiptek had used some type of lubricant, paint, even a silicone RTV material in order to 'take out the slop.' nothing like Q.C. on cheap mass produced cameras.

There is a detent at the infinity setting on the SD models, but half of the time I've found the ears on the outer focus ring distorted enough to not allow this to work...not much that can be done with the fit of the outer lens ring on these cameras so increasing friction of the lens barrel is the only option.

There have been three methods posted over the past couple of years here that work equally well:

Teflon tape on the threads.
Placing a light 'scratch' over a couple of threads on the lens barrel.
A dab of RTV (caulk) on the threads - allowed to fully cure before reassembly.

As for your lighting question...when shooting indoors, try to avoid using 'overhead' light.

Mar 10, 2004, 04:38 AM
Dead stick!!
Peter Young's Avatar
I bought a new one and the focus ring is very loose. I suspect taping on the right setting might be the answer. I've been very surprised at the quality from this little camera. I have had some great available light shots indoors, and some very average ones in similar conditions. There seems to be a bit of variability for some reason.
Mar 10, 2004, 09:47 AM
Registered User
MRX2099's Avatar
Ok thanks all, last question, also when looking throught the viewfinder are you suppossed to actually see it focusing or not, cause mine I cannot. I was just wondering if its actually focusing at all.

Mar 10, 2004, 09:50 AM
Am I registered?
Randy Due's Avatar
If you are using it only for AP, I would recommend finding the sweet spot in the focus and taping or hot gluing (or both) across the threads after they're set. I made a mark across the barrel on both sides, so if it got out of whack again, it could easlily be reset. Be aware that the hot glue may come undone in hotter cliimates, but you shouldn't leave the camera in a car or hot place during the summer anyway, so this probably won't be a real problem. I have also just CA glued a piece of balsa across the camera ring and to the case, which is the simple solution if you leave the camera in its case.

Mar 10, 2004, 10:21 AM
Hard Wired

loose ring

I just got a referbed unit from Aiptek. The focus ring was way loose on it too. I instaled the pic chip in mine. After I reassembled it the ring was nice and snug. The detents even worked. Sadly, the focus is off. I'll have to take it back apart. Heres one of my first parking lot sorties.
Mar 10, 2004, 03:46 PM
Registered User
Ironsides's Avatar
I have been collecting advice from this group. There is some material on focussing an Aiptek at:

Mar 10, 2004, 07:52 PM
29 rods from you in western WI
Karl Bē's Avatar
Originally posted by MRX2099
Ok thanks all, last question, also when looking throught the viewfinder are you suppossed to actually see it focusing or not, cause mine I cannot. I was just wondering if its actually focusing at all.
The viewfinder isn't connected to the camera lens except that it points in the same direction and shows approximately the same field of view. I've removed mine entirely to save exactly .357 grams of weight. I can compose handheld shots by looking through the holes left behind. Okay, so I didn't weigh the viewfinder assembly.

For the record, both my retail Aiptek SD's had loose focus, and both required moving beyond the infinity stop to achieve a sharp focus at anything beyond 30 feet. I used teflon tape on the barrel threads to add friction. Nothing like fine tuning your focus only to bump it off right before a flight, resulting in 100's of fuzzy pics.


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