I Got a Merkury Wide-Angle Lens for my HV20 at DVinfo.net

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Old July 16th, 2007, 12:39 AM   #1
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I Got a Merkury Wide-Angle Lens for my HV20

Okay, like everyone else, I've been curious about using a wide-angle lens. I stumbled upon a great deal in getting my foot in the door with a 52mm Merkury High-Definition Wide-Angle lens for $32.00. I know this is a very non-name brand and there just isn't any info about the lenses online. But you know what...I LOVE this lens.

I'm so impressed with this lens that I'm probably just going to leave it on all the time because I really like what it does with the image...but this is just personal preference in developing my own visual style. I went to the botanical gardens in town and the footage I captured looked downright astounding viewing the footage from the HDMI connected to my HDTV. Everything was sharp, clear, and in-focus. This lens seems to work well with the HV20 - at least that's my conclusion.

I've put together a few animated gifs so that you can see the difference the lens makes and also a few full-size images to show that there is very little blur around the outermost edges. I think this has to do with the fact that the lens is so large 52mm.

Another interesting aspect is that the MACRO lens that's part of the wide-angle lens can be used on its own as well. It's not a super strong macro - but it's another option to use. In addition, if I could find a 53mm adapter (which is the thread-size that screws into the macro) it appears I could also use the wide-angle lens by itself for super-duper wide angle. I say this because I held just the wide-angle part of the lens in front of the camera and it was able to focus through the lens - so this is something I'm going to experiment with further.

Below is the webpage I put together to show this wide-angle lens.

http://vettaville.com/canon_hv20_wideangle_lens.htm
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Old July 16th, 2007, 02:00 AM   #2
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Looks very sharp from your photo's. Were these shot with the HV20's zoom at full wide? Does it stay in focus throughout the zoom's range? I had a Raynox on my Sony HC-1. It looked very sharp at full wide and it was advertised to be full zoom capable, but as you zoomed it became noticiable soft. Where did you puchase this lens at? Thanks - pk
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Old July 16th, 2007, 02:15 AM   #3
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Nathan, you say nothing about the quality along the zoom range...

I've found more info on the company: they sell many accessoiries or small products and not only in the photo/video area. It's clear that they don't produce any product: they import them (from Asia) and sell them under their name... So, the real manufacturer of this WA is still an anonymous one...

Their name is not Merkury Optics but Merkury Innovations. Look at the Logo on their main site, it's the same than the one viewable on the sticker of the WA on the link provided by Nathan: http://www.merkuryinnovations.com
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Old July 16th, 2007, 03:27 AM   #4
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Does the original Canon WA for the HV20 looks worse than this or was it just a budget decision? I can clearly see the image goes considerably softer with this WA.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 04:14 AM   #5
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Michael, I think that many people try too find a good alternative depending on what is their own priority:
- could be a problem of budget and they want something less expensive,
- the WD-H43 is very heavy (330g) compared to the weight of the camera itself (760g), a lighter WA can be seen as more 'practical' for an everyday use,
- the WD-H43 is big too, and the IAF sensor works less well because it is hidden by the big size of the lens: a smaller (in size) WA can compensate a little the problem,
- the WD-H43 is only x0.7, someone can want to have a more wide angle (x0.65, x0.45...),
- the WD-H43 has no front filter thread: not highly a problem, but is a supplemental drawback that have not some other WA...

So, at the end, all the story is to know what is the limit between 'your own priority' and the final quality of the picture.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 07:55 AM   #6
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To answer your questions...since I don't know what the return policy is for buying camera lenses you decide you don't like (which seems like you could spend a lot of money and be very unhappy) - I wanted to get an inexpensive lens that would at least give me a wide-angle lens to play around with. Yes, I had already researched that Merkuray Innovations just seems like they are an importer of many different products, so I didn't know what to expect - but was more than pleased with the results.

Since this is my first ever wide-angle lens - I have nothing else to compare it to, nor do I know what a wide-angle lens is and is not supposed to be able to do. But I was able to get sharp focus throughout the entire zoom range. I went to the Ft.Worth Gardens Saturday afternoon and shot all kinds of footage zooming in and out, moving the camera around subject matter, with the lens on at all times. When I got home and viewed the footage via the HDMI connection - I was floored at how sharp the image looked across the entire picture. On the HDTV, everything across the entire image looks as sharp as I saw it with my own eyes. At the gardens - I set the camera for 24p, white-balance for outdoors, and used P for auto-exposure. If I would have changed anything in retrospect, I would have set the camera for cinemode to give the footage a little less video appearance...but some of the footage I captured looks just as good as stuff I watch on Discovery HD Theater - so I've got no complaints about this lens.

Like I said, I didn't know what to expect from the lens - but I didn't have any issues - other than it needs a lens hood because of the sunlight would get into the lens at some angles. I'll see about posting some of the video footage in the days to come to try and let everyone see. I promise you that if we could all get together and watch the footage I captured with this lens on an HDTV - everyone would also be floored at many (if not all) of the shots. I purchased this lens at Microcenter (which is a computer store) that just happened to have only one of these lenses on their bargin-basement table. I had been aware of the lens sitting there for about two months and this weekend it was further discounted to $32.00 - so I couldn't pass that low price up as a way to at least tryout wide-angle lenses.

Here's my take home on this whole lens issue - I've been reading all the online forums, online articles, and have been frustrated at wanting to try a wide-angle lens...but then getting all caught up in the entire analytical process mentally of which lens would be the right one. Then there is the whole money issue that plays into the equation and not wanting to feel like I threw away good money on a lens I really dislike. I'm just as hyper-critical about image quality, sharpness, and visual details as I'm sure most of you are. Like I said, I knew this lens was sitting there in the store for a couple months, but kept dismissing it simply because I had never heard of its no-name brand. But I took a chance and threw away all my technical thinking and just decided to buy this lens because it was very inexpensive and would finally open up that doorway of wide-angle to try out finally. I really expected to dislike the lens because of the price and no-name brand...but I was proven wrong. I really do like this lens and felt like I somehow got very lucky in getting a lens that made me more than happy.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 08:01 AM   #7
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for $32.00 I would take that chance as well. Where can you find it?
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Old July 16th, 2007, 09:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey Sosner View Post
for $32.00 I would take that chance as well. Where can you find it?
I'm not sure how easy it will be for anyone to find this lens in their area. It originally had a price tag of $49.00 marked down the $32.00 and this is not an item that is typically stocked at the computer store I bought it at. IMHO it looks like that computer store ordered some Merkury Innovations/Optics items just to have something to put on their store shelf - but those items have been sitting there forever. They have some Merkury 52mm Tele-Photo lenses on the shelf as well, but this was the only wide-angle lens they had and it had been moved to their bargain table.

I know that Fry's Electronics carries the Merkury brand batteries/chargers for cameras/camcorders - but I've never seen them carry any of their lenses. In fact, I bought a Merkury battery for my HV20 for $20.00 and a car-charger for $15.00 at Fry's.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 11:03 AM   #9
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Ive got the Canon WD myself but am interested in this too
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Old July 16th, 2007, 11:38 AM   #10
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Hey everyone...I just thought of an idea to put together a test shot that has plenty of horizontal and vertical lines and subject matter - then I will record a complete zoom range (using the HV20's slowest zoom setting) with this lens in hopes that the entire zoom range will remain in complete focus, then upload the entire M2T file for download. That would be a pretty good test I'd think. It will have to be much later this evening though. Actually, it may be better to zoom and pause, zoom and pause, etc. I just don't want the m2t file to be too large of a download.

In the meantime...I just uploaded three unedited .m2t files taken directly from this weekends shoot with the wide-angle lens. Windows Media Player doesn't seem to like playing these files correctly - so you will need to import these into an editing program to look their best or use one of the other media players that support .m2t files.

(to download Right-Click and Save Link As)

http://vettaville.com/videos/clip130.m2t - 44MB

http://vettaville.com/videos/clip163.m2t - 28MB

http://vettaville.com/videos/clip187.m2t - 35MB

Last edited by Nathan Shane; July 16th, 2007 at 02:38 PM.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 02:34 PM   #11
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For comparison

Some test shots of the Raynox HD6600 0.6x wide angel ($120 street)

In order:

Raynox Wide
Raynox Tele
Raynox Macro Wide

No Raynox Wide
No Raynox Tele
No Raynox Macro Wide
Attached Thumbnails
I Got a Merkury Wide-Angle Lens for my HV20-img_0120.jpg   I Got a Merkury Wide-Angle Lens for my HV20-img_0123.jpg  

I Got a Merkury Wide-Angle Lens for my HV20-img_0127.jpg   I Got a Merkury Wide-Angle Lens for my HV20-img_0129.jpg  

I Got a Merkury Wide-Angle Lens for my HV20-img_0130.jpg   I Got a Merkury Wide-Angle Lens for my HV20-img_0132.jpg  

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Old July 16th, 2007, 02:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno Donnet View Post
Michael, I think that many people try too find a good alternative depending on what is their own priority:
- could be a problem of budget and they want something less expensive,
- the WD-H43 is very heavy (330g) compared to the weight of the camera itself (760g), a lighter WA can be seen as more 'practical' for an everyday use,
- the WD-H43 is big too, and the IAF sensor works less well because it is hidden by the big size of the lens: a smaller (in size) WA can compensate a little the problem,
- the WD-H43 is only x0.7, someone can want to have a more wide angle (x0.65, x0.45...),
- the WD-H43 has no front filter thread: not highly a problem, but is a supplemental drawback that have not some other WA...

So, at the end, all the story is to know what is the limit between 'your own priority' and the final quality of the picture.


My point was, does the Canon looks better or worse?
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Old July 16th, 2007, 02:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Maier View Post
My point was, does the Canon looks better or worse?
I wish I had the Canon lens to be able to do a comparison, unfortunately, I do not.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 02:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ario Damghani View Post
Some test shots of the Raynox HD6600 0.6x wide angel ($120 street)

In order:

Raynox Wide
Raynox Tele
Raynox Macro Wide

No Raynox Wide
No Raynox Tele
No Raynox Macro Wide
I have a very similar problem with red fringing when I zoom all the way with my Sony 1.7 teleconvertor lens, as you did with the Raynox Tele...
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Old July 16th, 2007, 02:59 PM   #15
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Anyway you can post the full-res 1920x1080 pics of tree foilage against sky with the Merkury at wide and zoom to compare?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Shane View Post
Okay, like everyone else, I've been curious about using a wide-angle lens. I stumbled upon a great deal in getting my foot in the door with a 52mm Merkury High-Definition Wide-Angle lens for $32.00. I know this is a very non-name brand and there just isn't any info about the lenses online. But you know what...I LOVE this lens.

I'm so impressed with this lens that I'm probably just going to leave it on all the time because I really like what it does with the image...but this is just personal preference in developing my own visual style. I went to the botanical gardens in town and the footage I captured looked downright astounding viewing the footage from the HDMI connected to my HDTV. Everything was sharp, clear, and in-focus. This lens seems to work well with the HV20 - at least that's my conclusion.

I've put together a few animated gifs so that you can see the difference the lens makes and also a few full-size images to show that there is very little blur around the outermost edges. I think this has to do with the fact that the lens is so large 52mm.

Another interesting aspect is that the MACRO lens that's part of the wide-angle lens can be used on its own as well. It's not a super strong macro - but it's another option to use. In addition, if I could find a 53mm adapter (which is the thread-size that screws into the macro) it appears I could also use the wide-angle lens by itself for super-duper wide angle. I say this because I held just the wide-angle part of the lens in front of the camera and it was able to focus through the lens - so this is something I'm going to experiment with further.

Below is the webpage I put together to show this wide-angle lens.

http://vettaville.com/canon_hv20_wideangle_lens.htm
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