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How to use the Focus Assistant on Axis IP Cameras

Axis P1343 Focus AssistantA useful, but often overlooked feature on Axis model network cameras P1311/P1343/P1344/P1346/P1347  is the Focus Assistant. Focusing security cameras via the lens levers can be a tricky business and any installer welcomes a neat trick or device that makes this vital step of the installation process easier and more accurate.

Using this tool it is possible to focus the camera accurately without looking at the video image output from the camera, but to adjust the focus and get visual feedback from the camera itself when the view is nearing and has hit that focus sweet spot.

Importantly, there are two very slightly different methods for using the Focus Assistant with the Axis P1311 being the odd-one-out.

Focus Assistant process for Axis P1343, P1344, P1346 and P1347

Before using the Focus Assistant there are some steps you need to complete first:

  • 1. Log into the camera’s home page and go to Setup –> Basic Setup –> Focus
  • 2. Under the tab labelled Basic click Open iris. If this button is not active then the iris is already open
  • 3. If the focus has already been set (but is perhaps not good enough) click Reset to reset the focus

With these steps done we can now use the Focus Assistant. Let’s go through these steps (once you’ve done this once it’s very easy to repeat it):

  • 1. Firstly, make sure the camera is secure and in position
  • 2. Now loosen the zoom puller (lever) and move it to its widest zoom setting by turning it anti-clockwise, then retighten the zoom puller
  • 3. Set the lens to its widest focus setting by loosening the focus puller and turning fully clockwise
  • 4. Press and release the control button and the Focus Assistant is activated. This is indicated when the status LED starts to flash green. If the light flashes red or amber before any adjustment to the lens is made go to step 7 to disable the Focus Assistant then go back to step 3
  • 5. Using the focus puller slowly turn the lens anti-clockwise all the way
  • 6. Now, adjust the focus backwards by turning the lens puller clockwise slowly until the status LED flashes green. (It will flash red when out of focus, amber when close to optimum focus and green when in focus)
  • 7. Press the control button on the camera to disable the Focus Assistant. (automatically deactivates after 15 minutes)
  • 8. Now tighten the focus puller
  • 9. Check the Live view on the camera to ensure the image is correctly in focus

If necessary, you can fine tune the focus through the camera’s web interface at Setup -> Basic setup -> Focus.

Focus Assistant process for the Axis P1311

  • 1. Secure the camera into position and power it on for at least 60 seconds
  • 2. Set the widest focus position by loosening the focus puller and turning it fully clockwise
  • 3. Press and release the control button  and the Focus Assistant is activated. This is indicated by the status LED starts to flash green. If the light flashes red or amber before any adjustment to the lens is made go to step 6 to disable the Focus Assistant and then move back to step 3.
  • 4. With the focus puller, slowly turn the lens anti-clockwise all the way
  • 5. Now, turn the lens puller slowly clockwise until the status LED flashes green (it will flash red when out of focus, amber when close to optimum focus and green when in focus)
  • 6. Press the control button on the camera to disable the Focus Assistant. (Automatically deactivates after 15 minutes)
  • 7. Re-tighten the focus puller
  • 8. Check the Live view on the camera to ensure the image is correctly in focus

Important notes

During focus adjustment the view should remain unchanged to provide a set scene for the focus assistant to use. If the view is constantly changing or has lots of movement in it then the Focus Assistant should not be used. If the control button is held for too long a time (over 2 seconds) it will activate the Axis Dynamic DNS Service instead of the Focus Assistant.

Helpful images

Axis Focus Assistant - zoom and focus pullers

Axis Focus Assistant - control button

Published on April 23rd, 2013 by Kevin Bowyer

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