by Adam Wilt: PXW-FS7, Part 2: Getting a Grip, Looking at Lenses, Better Balancing, and More at DVinfo.net

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Old September 22nd, 2014, 08:12 PM   #1
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PXW-FS7, Part 2: Getting a Grip, Looking at Lenses, Better Balancing, and More

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Wilt
Sony sent me two new E-mount zooms to try on the FS7, the 16-35mm f/4 and the 28-135mm f/4. Like other E-mount lenses, they pull focus “normally”, like other cine / video lenses, but zoom “backwards”, like Nikon stills lenses. Both lenses have servo focus and iris mechanisms and Optical SteadyShot (OSS) stabilization.

The FS7 can drive these lenses in both manual and auto modes for iris, focus, and (for the 28-135) zoom. Focus or iris can even be assigned to the control dial on the grip, though the current firmware’s dial “gain” is too low to make that practical.
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Old September 25th, 2014, 12:55 PM   #2
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Re: PXW-FS7, Part 2: Getting a Grip, Looking at Lenses, Better Balancing, and More

Very nice follow up of part 1.

I really like these factual review of gear with the right amount of humor
and lots of experience from a real-life camera operator.

Thanks a lot Adam!

I'm still looking forward to try out this camera soon. For me it's the verité approach
that really gets me interested.
Still fiddling with the FS100, the FS7 looks very similar to what I build up with my "S35 brick".
I also use the FS700s handgrip for expanded focus and push auto iris in quick changing light
conditions. It does indeed work, but the FS7 puts all of this to shame.
The handgrip will be my favourite part of the camera.

If the 10bit internal XAVC is close to the 4k2HD from the FS700/O7Q - it's everything I was hoping
for. Don't need RAW and V-Mount but small and lightweight camera, that I can handle and put where
I want without rebuilding the rig or using extra cables that get stuck in narrow paths...
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Old September 26th, 2014, 11:09 AM   #3
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Re: PXW-FS7, Part 2: Getting a Grip, Looking at Lenses, Better Balancing, and More

Great review, both parts.

Maybe Adam can answer a questions I've asked elsewhere. I've read that the ISO of the FS7 is native 2000. Does that mean it won't go any lower? Thanks.
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Old September 26th, 2014, 12:49 PM   #4
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Re: PXW-FS7, Part 2: Getting a Grip, Looking at Lenses, Better Balancing, and More

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
Great review, both parts.

Maybe Adam can answer a questions I've asked elsewhere. I've read that the ISO of the FS7 is native 2000. Does that mean it won't go any lower? Thanks.
You can get a lower ISO with different gammas.

"With version 0.07 firmware:

Standard gammas allow gains from -3 to 18dB; ISOs from 800 to 6400. 0dB = ISO 1000.
Hypergammas: -3 to 18dB, or ISO 1600-12500; 0dB = ISO 2000
S-Log3: -3 to 18dB, or ISO 2000-16000; 0dB = ISO 2500"

Info in Part 1: First Look: Sony PXW-FS7 L.S.S. Shoulder-Mount Camcorder, pt. 1
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Old September 26th, 2014, 08:37 PM   #5
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Re: PXW-FS7, Part 2: Getting a Grip, Looking at Lenses, Better Balancing, and More

Fantastic--thanks!
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Old November 2nd, 2014, 10:34 PM   #6
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Re: PXW-FS7, Part 2: Getting a Grip, Looking at Lenses, Better Balancing, and More

The question I have, and one I am surprised no one else is asking, is this:

Is the Fs7's control of the iris on Sony lenses stepped or infinitely variable? ( Sony glass that lacks an iris ring, that is. Glass such as the Sony 10-18mm f/4 OSS Alpha and the Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens ).

My suspicion is that the Fs7's control of the iris is stepped and if so that makes it damn near useless to me. It would be too good to be true for it's iris control not to be stepped.

My dilemma is this- If I am lucky enough to receive my pre-ordered Fs7, what zooms will I be able to use with the Fs7 that will enable me to ride the iris smoothly, without steps? Zooms less than $15k, that is, since zooms with a real iris such as the Cabrio, DP Rouge, etc. would enable smooth iris riding.

Do ALL Sony Alpha lenses work with the Sony Fs7? I have seen conflicting info on that. Some claim they all cover the S35 frame....others say that only Sony "FE" lenses will cover the entire S35 frame.

If the Fs7's control of exposure is stepped that means there are only a handful of zoom lenses under $20k that can provide smooth iris riding with an Fs7- the Tokina Cine 11-16, the Gl Optics rehoused zooms, and the yet to be released Sony FE PZ 28-135mm f/4 G OSS Lens.

It appears that there is no fast zoom ( f/2.8 ) available for the Fs7 for under $20k that isn't a rehoused or adapted Still Photo lens.

I am already missing the Fujinon 4.5 from the 2/3 inch days. I never knew how good I had it for all these years shooting with a zoom that provided me with 4.5mm to 138mm at f/2.8. I don't think a full frame zoom exists at any price that can give you that.
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Old November 2nd, 2014, 11:46 PM   #7
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Re: PXW-FS7, Part 2: Getting a Grip, Looking at Lenses, Better Balancing, and More

On the e-mount lenses I guess the iris adjustment would be fully linear like it is on the FS700. Fine variable adjustment available. On the other hand the Sony Alpha lenses with the LEA adapters jump with an audible step in 1/3 stop increments on the 700. I think you would find much the same on the FS7.

Keen to know myself. We have a Sony FS7 intro night coming up next week so this and a number of other queries should be answered hopefully.

Chris Young
CYV Productions
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 07:04 AM   #8
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Re: PXW-FS7, Part 2: Getting a Grip, Looking at Lenses, Better Balancing, and More

It appears that the iris control on the FS700 is stepped-

"when I had my Canon C300 the iris on that (with the Canon EF lenses) was also control by a wheel on the camera body. On both cameras the electronically controlled iris operates in steps. The steps on the Canon were in my opinion too coarse to allow you to make unnoticeable iris changes mid shot. The steps on the FS700 with the kit lens appear much smaller and are small enough to go unnoticed in many cases."

http://www.xdcam-user.com/reviews/ca...-depth-review/

Likely that the iris control on the Fs7 with Alpha lenses will also be stepped. I suspect that the only way to have non-stepped iris control is to use a lens with a physical iris ring. So, as far as zooms, that means either using de-clicked still photo lenses and a lens adapter, Nikon glass with the Optitek adapter, the yet to be released Sony FE PZ 28-135mm zoom, or the $20k zooms.

A serious omission for Adam Wilt not to mention this when discussing the camera and lenses since it is what differentiates between a truly professional setup from a "prosumer" one. Stepped exposure changes in shot is unacceptable in the professional world and the inability to have smooth exposure changes severely limits the use of the camera.
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 11:12 AM   #9
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Re: PXW-FS7, Part 2: Getting a Grip, Looking at Lenses, Better Balancing, and More

Incorrect. I have an FS700 here and the iris control has fully variable smooth linear adjustment and NO steps if used with, I stress, E-MOUNT LENSES. As I previously stated the Alpha lenses, with which you have to use a Sony LEA adapter, or Canon lenses if you use a Metabones adapter WILL step as you adjust the iris. That's the nature of those still camera lenses, stepping and noisy. In quiet surrounding the mic can even pick up the iris noise as it adjusts.

AF type still lenses tend to compromise the way you work. Good old declicked 35mm SLR manual prime and parfocal zoom lenses on the other hand work well as long as you check that the back focus on the lens / adapter combo is correct. To date I have had to shim every adapter I've bought and that statement applies to all of them, from the more expensive Novaflex to the mid range Photodiox and the cheaper end Photga adapters. They are all short on flange back distance.

Also the auto focus with the Canon / Metabones combo leaves a lot to be desired. It is in effect unusable. Whilst the auto focus with Sony Alpha lenses works quite well I find it pretty abrupt on focus changes. Alpha lenses will also will default to f3.5 in auto focus mode. Part of their auto focus design technology. Kind of defeats the benefit of an f2.8 lens when using auto focus.

Another thing apart from having smooth iris control and stabilization is that the e-mount zoom lenses are parfocal and the 18-105mm servo zoom example has a constant aperture of f4.0 and and that makes it quite suitable for video. It will also work on the S7 correctly which it currently will not do on the FS700 due to the barrel distortion it exhibits on the 700. The FS700 as yet does not have a firmware correction for this distortion.. The S7 already has the correction firmware on board.. The 18-105 whilst not a very fast lens is not a bad all round working lens and hard to beat for the price. It has a vague fly-by-wire feeling if you try to focus or zoom quickly in manual mode but at least you can servo zoom while filming and not lose focus which you cannot do with the Canon lenses as they are not parfocal.

I use the FS700 primarily for interviews with a few selected, serviced, declicked and shimmed manual primes and zooms and find it a great combo along with a Samurai Blade for that sort of work. I also use one of MTF's B4 lens adapters that allows you to use a 2/3" B4 lens although with an approx 2.5 stop light loss. Notwithstanding the stop loss I have been happily surprised at the pictures obtained using this combo. Use a a good 18 x HD lens that has minimal CA and I think you would be surprised. Also the pleasure of using proper focus and iris rings can't be overstated. Having a fully variable servo zoom is also nice feature to have available on an S35 camera.

Next week I will be having a close look at the S7 to see if it's going to replace the FS700. For all other work I still use my true and tested XDCam kit with its disc workflow as that is what most of our broadcasters want. They give me discs, I shoot, I give the discs back and it's thanks and see you later.

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney
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Old November 4th, 2014, 07:46 AM   #10
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Re: PXW-FS7, Part 2: Getting a Grip, Looking at Lenses, Better Balancing, and More

Christopher-

Is the Sony 18-105mm actually an 18-105 on an S35 camera?

Also, are you limited to the doubler on the broadcast zooms with the B4 adapter?
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Old November 4th, 2014, 07:49 PM   #11
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Re: PXW-FS7, Part 2: Getting a Grip, Looking at Lenses, Better Balancing, and More

The 18-105 is 18-105 0n S35 but if you are trying to compare it with FF there is a crop factor on the Sony S35 sensor.

Super 35 3 perf film with a 16:9 frame is 24.9 x 14mm. The Sony S35 sensor is 23.6 x 13.3mm. Therefore the S35 film has an image circle of 28.5mm whereas the Sony FS700 S35 sensor, and I would imagine the S7, has an image circle of 27.1mm. About 95% of the S35 image. This creates a crop factor of 1.597 up against a 35mm FF film image. Let's call it a crop of 1.6 for arguments sake. In that case the S35 18 x 105 lens in would be equivalent to a 28.8mm x 168mm lens in FF.

Yes you are limited to the doubler, hence the light loss. In no way though can you compare it to using the doubler on a 3/3" camera. It's all pretty well explained in Alistair Chapman's YouTube clip on the MTF B4 unit. Alistair was the main proponent of getting this unit built.


Also the very first test I did with the B4 adapter can be seen here.


Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney

Last edited by Christopher Young; November 4th, 2014 at 08:48 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old November 9th, 2014, 04:01 AM   #12
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Re: PXW-FS7, Part 2: Getting a Grip, Looking at Lenses, Better Balancing, and More

Adam,

Thank you for the very informative reviews of the FS7, I'm sure that you must have spent a lot of time writing them!

Whilst I have some of questions they are not strictly related to the lens, but this seems to be the only forum that has an FS7 slant.

1) the interface connection between the hand grip and the camera appears to be via LANC. If this is so, can one use existing LANC controllers such as the Manfrotto pan and tilt handle, all be it with reduced capabiliies?

2) Can the hand grip be removed from the extension bar that attaches it to the camera? I am thinking about making a bespoke attachment that would allow it to be mounted on a pan/tilt handle.

3) Nothing to do with lenses, but is it possible to download using the USB3 connector on the camera or do I need to get Sony's card reader?

I've done something that I always recommend against and that is to order one of the first off the line, this camera appears to tick all the correct boxes and I have an eight week overseas shoot coming up so I hope that I won't have to swallow my pride!!

Geoff
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