I'm still playing around with my silly digital camera, trying to get it focused properly. The problem with the camera is that it's one of these fixed-focus cameras that has gone out of focus.
Well, I shouldn't say it's a fixed-focus—more like a semi-fixed focus camera that you have to tear apart to focus.
The assembly itself consists of two cylinders, one fixed to the CCD mount, the other one slides inside the first. There's a spring/screw combination used to move the inner cylinder (which contains the lenses) relative to the outer cylinder. There is no access to this screw from outside the unit—you have to open the unit up (six small machine screws) to get access to it.
The problem is that the focus assembly is only on one side of the cylinder, not both. And to focus the unit properly you need to have the inner cylinder as far in as possible. There's a lip around the inner cylinder that keeps it from going too far in and therein lies the problem.
Tighten the focus screw down too tight, and the inner cylinder tilts. With only one side being forced down, the other side is still free and because of the lip preventing the inner cylinder from slipping all the way in the outer cylinder, you get this tilt as you tighten the focus screw down.
Did I mention you need the focus screw pretty tight?
So the end result is that part of the picture is out of focus and it's real annoying. Adjust the inner cylinder so that the tilt is gone, and the image is out of focus.
I suppose half is better than none. It's still annoying and I'm still playing around with it. I mean, the camera itself is fine and I'd hate to chuck what was a US$400 camera just because of a cheap plastic assembly.