View Full Version : Telephoto for PDX 10
November 17th, 2004, 03:42 PM
I already have a Sony 2x Telephoto for my PDX 10, but I am interested to see if there are better picture quality and perhaps more powerful lens attachments? I am not dissatified with my Sony Lens, but I do my share of wildlife video (bald eagles, bears, moose, etc).
Has anyone shot with the Sony Lens and complared it with perhaps the Century Optics Lens?
Your comments are appreciated.
November 17th, 2004, 05:04 PM
Are you using the Sony high grade telephoto lens VCL-HG2037X? Have just finished shooting quite a bit of footage with mine and am really happy with the quality. Here are a few examples... The first frame was almost as far wide as I could go without vignetting. If you imagine a scale where 1 is full wide and 10 is full telephoto then you could zoom out as far as about 4. I was about 110 feet from the front of the stage (the candles in this image): http://tech.operaphilly.com/sets/pasquale/stills/norina-02.jpg
The following is max telephoto, or very close to it: http://tech.operaphilly.com/sets/pasquale/stills/norina-01.jpg
Zoomed out a bit: http://tech.operaphilly.com/sets/faust/stills/valentine-01.jpg
Max telephoto zoom: http://tech.operaphilly.com/sets/faust/stills/valentine-02.jpg
November 17th, 2004, 10:48 PM
Yes, I've been using the Sony Lens. I was just curious if there's anything better and perhaps more powerful than 2x.
Century Optics has a new 2x telescopic attachement, have you heard anything about this lens?
November 18th, 2004, 03:12 PM
You might want to talk to Century about this. I don't have any knowledge of these products. However several people have gotten their 37mm .5x wide adaptor and were not pleased with the quality. Century's response was that this lens was made for cheap 1-chip cameras with 37mm threads, and not for higher resolution cameras like the PDX-10 which reveal all its defects. 37mm seems to be a common size for these cheaper cameras, so it's best to be sure that any intended purchases are really designed for cameras in the PDX-10's league.
From what I've seen I'd be surprised if you are going to get quality that's much better than the Sony glass, but I'm always ready to learn something.
November 18th, 2004, 03:31 PM
Thanks. I've had conversations with Century on their new lens. This new 2x converter lens is made for the PDX 10, 3 chip quality camera. I'm hoping one of the readers of this website might have some comments to share.
December 12th, 2004, 10:28 AM
I'm wondering if the very nature of your shots could be the cause. (no pun intended). Really tho' my experience has been more still that moving but available light, F stop/Shutter speed and, if used, Auto-focus... (I wouldn't have in still shots) ...remain the same (ish). Add in "gain" as you must with a pdx10, and now add a "long tele shot". Over all this, the changing vagaries of natural light near or in trees will have its wicked bent, (as you undoubtingly know, our eyes, deceivingly, would see the overall picture much lighter that the camara through a "long tele").
Without seeing what is is you shot but arn't happy with I can only guess based on past X for me. So sorry if I'm off track here...
But I think you need a "Faster Lens" rather than a more powerfull one. i.e. one that will gather more light, helping to prevent "auto gain" kicking in.
Trouble is I don't know, if or who, makes any for the PDX.
For what I do the Sony 2x tele-con is fine, and the Sony 0.7x wide-con is great (never used a Century so no comment).
I think Boyd's links show what a great camara it is in a controled environment.
(Great shots Boyd, the 2 Valentine ones show well that it's fully possible to get well defined lows without burning out the highs, I'm impressed.)
Anyway if anyone knows of some "Big F" Fast tele converters that can over come the final 37mm bottleneck I'd love to know too.
December 14th, 2004, 09:53 AM
Thanks Nigel. IIRC those shots were wide open with maybe 6dB of gain, 1/60 shutter. It was a relatively dark scene. Unless you're shooting nature video in very dark conditions I don't think that will be much of an issue, and if it is then the noise should be obvious in the footage.
December 14th, 2004, 07:54 PM
Thanks Boyd and I think you are right, it's just I have been caught out on long teleshots in stills, thinking for sure there was enough light.... and yes there was on the meter over all! But once zoomed right in the meter "fibbed" to me and the light wasn't quite there as the critter moved from branch to branch, for the crisp clear shots I was after. I haven't yet tried yet on the PDX, and as I'm on assignment in Bangladesh at the moment my issues are more on the "to much light" end of the scale, meaning I walk round most days with an ND4 screwed on the end of my PDX. Humm actually I should post some of the river shots perhaps. Not the dramatic wonder of yours, but interesting, and water water everywhere!!! Give me a week or so tho' I'm "mid-project" at the moment, so sweating it out with local printshops and paper merchants all day.
Dan I hope your getting your problem resolved OK
December 15th, 2004, 12:45 PM
I've had no problems up to now using my current 2x Sony telephoto lens attachment. Some of the wildlife shots of grizzlies in Alaska and bald eagles nesting in British Columbia are extremely clear, but on my Santa's wish list..... there are times when I can get a little tighter on my shots. Lighting up to now has not been an issue for me. I asked earlier in a previous inquiry if there was anything more powerful than a 2x attachment and still get quality video.
I went to the DV Expo in Los Angeles last week. I visited the Century Optics booth and saw their 2x converter. The one advantage they have over the Sony is the ability to attach a filter for certain lighting conditions. I still don't know anyone who has one and would like to know their thoughts.
Moderator note: Daniel, I've merged this post into the existing thread on PDX-10 telephotos. -Boyd
December 23rd, 2004, 11:59 AM
Can't help you with your question, Daniel, as I'm now in the market for a telephoto lense myself. You mentiioned the issue of filters. Is it possible to attach filter to the cam and then attach the lense to the filter? Sorry if this is dumb question, but I normally use an ND filter with my TRV950 and I'm not sure what to do if I add a lense.
December 23rd, 2004, 01:54 PM
Yes, you can attach a filter to the camera and then the telephoto attachment, but the advantage of having a filter on the lens is protection from scratches. Much rather lose a filter ($) vs a new lens ($$$). I do alot of outdoor video work and I find having a filter on the outside of the lens is a little bit of an insurance policy.
January 4th, 2005, 08:43 PM
Yes Daniel makes much sence there.
I have often wondered "WHY OH WHY" haven't Sony enabled us to attach a UV filter at the end of the 0.7X wide angle converter for exactly that reason...
There is one heck of a lot of lense real estate exposed on the end of the WAC and just a standard UV filter could save a potential disaster oneday!
So "imho" for what it's worth, get a lense with a filter thread at the 'shooting end" if you never damage the filter, so what! it was insurance... if you do, well that would have been the lense.
That's not saying normal care and attention can be avoided, but we all know that anyway.
January 5th, 2005, 10:21 AM
Couple of points. Raynox have filter threads on the front of a lot of their wide-angle converters, but it's a filter thread in name only. The words that come with the lenses warn of vignetting issues the thicker the filter and the more powerful the wide-angle. The threads are there for lens hoods mainly.
As to Nigel's desire for a faster teleconverter to ''overcome the 37mm bottleneck'', this will never happen. As an aside, the PDX's zoom is f1.6 at wide angle to f2.8 at full telephoto, so it's a pretty fast lens in its own right. Have a look at any digital 'compact' still camera, and you'll see the 4x zoom goes from something like f2.8 to f6.3, a fact that they keep pretty stum about in the advertising literature.
A telephoto converter contains at least 3 elements, and some contain 4. These slabs of glass, however well coated, all absorb and reflect some light, so the effective maximum aperture of the PDX10 might well be T (transmission) 3.0 after production tolerances are taken into account. No worries though as the camera's meter will take this into accouint, but a light loss there most surely is.
January 7th, 2005, 07:09 PM
You are right, about the 37mm bottleneck being unresolvable, and f1.6 is good in anyones book reall. But it was worth asking. Thanks
Your point and explanation on the filter threads makes very good sence, but it would be nice if Sony gave us a way to protect the lens a little in use or even just reduce the number of times it needs to be cleaned! I live in a very humid, and (air) dirty climate.
However, as I use the Sony WAC and am not currently planning to buy another, it's a moot subject for me, and anyway, care and attention to my lens should remain the same even with a "protecting" UV filter.