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Old June 28th, 2005, 11:19 AM   #16
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At 12k, I'll be renting. But at least it's available. I hope they get the camera out in July, I can definitely use it in Aug.
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Old June 30th, 2005, 07:16 AM   #17
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Granted a $12k lens is more then likely much better then the stock lens. But my question is more in the lines of how much quality improvement do you get over the 16x stock lens at the same focal ranges? Are there other technical and artistic differences other then sharper images? Also, at 3.5mm, most cheap lenses will barel distort like crazy. I would assume that the Fujinon T13x3.5 lens is better?
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Old June 30th, 2005, 03:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frederic Segard
Granted a $12k lens is more then likely much better then the stock lens. But my question is more in the lines of how much quality improvement do you get over the 16x stock lens at the same focal ranges? Are there other technical and artistic differences other then sharper images? Also, at 3.5mm, most cheap lenses will barel distort like crazy. I would assume that the Fujinon T13x3.5 lens is better?
At NAB, JVC had the 16x and the 13x attached to DH100's. The output from the cameras was via uncompressed analog component 4:2:2 through HD Link HD-SDI converters, and then presented on good quality CRT monitors. Obviously it was a controlled environment, but I took some time to zoom and focus cameras with both lenses. The 16x image was good. The 13x image was great. I noticed no significant barrel distortion on the 13x and none on the 16x. The 16x seemed to resolve well for the camera, but the 13x was obviously a much better lens, providing impressive, crisp, and clear images. The 16x images looked good, but not as good as the 13x images. Afterwards, I went to the Fujinon booth and talked with an engineer about the lenses. He claimed that the 16x will resolve the 720p image from the HD100, and stated the obvious - that the 13x is a much better lens.

For professionals with decent project budgets, I'd recommend buying or renting the 13x lens. The images from it will maximize what the HD100 and the HDV format can deliver. Is $12k a lot for a professional wide angle HD lens? No. Check prices on Fujinon and Canon 2/3" HD lenses and you'll find that the cheapest is around $25k, and they go up from there, with 2x, etc. I think the 13x is a true professional lens, and thus is priced accordingly. I regularly buy and rent lenses that are more expensive than the camera body I use them with. So do most professional still photographers. If you can only afford the 16x, simply rent the 13x when you have a project budget that will justify it.
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Old June 30th, 2005, 04:07 PM   #19
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I remember when the XL1 came out. Boy, there was a hurricane of
angry buyers who said the camera was SOFT and had no where the
clarity of the Sony VX1K.

Well, that was true UNTIL you hooked up the XL1 to a PS technik and
35mm film lens (or EOS and 35mm SLR). I was SHOCKED at how
much better the images became.

Bottom line: The Canon 16X lens was/is a cheap lens that probably cannot
resolve over 250 lines. So what I am saying is that you get what you
pay for and when dealing with HD you want good glass.
The stock lens will probably do okay, but for those who
can afford it, the good news is that real glass is available. Others will pony
for a PS adapter and use film lens . . . YUM!

The waiting is killing me!!!
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Old June 30th, 2005, 04:29 PM   #20
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Good points Jacques. I already owned a VX1000 when I bought an XL1 (1997?). I put better lenses on the XL1 immediately, and was glad I did. In 2000 I bought a JVC DV500U, which came with a cheap, stock Fujinon S14x7.3 lens. I immediately bought a much better Fujinon S20x6.4 lens for the DV500, and was so happy I did - the images were much better. I'm a big believer in putting as high a quality of glass as possible between me and what I'm shooting. You know the old addage: garbage in - garbage out. It's not professional to be forced to fix things in post, that could have been prevented at acquisition!

Some producers spend exhorbitant amounts on audio, lighting, talent, and camera bodies - and then scrimp when it comes to lenses. I guess "common sense" really isn't that - perhaps it should be renamed "uncommon sense"...
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Old June 30th, 2005, 05:10 PM   #21
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I've had numerous camera purchases over the years in which I put more money into the lens than the camera. I don't think I would spend $12K on a 1/3" chip camera lens, however, unless I planned to always use a 1/3" chip camera.
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Old July 1st, 2005, 12:24 AM   #22
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I regularly use 1/3", 1/2", and 2/3" camera systems, in SD and HD, so for me it will make sense to buy the the 13x. For others, it will make more sense to simply rent the lens if and when they need it. If you can't justify the outlay by projects that will pay for the lens, it wouldn't make sense to buy it. The production capability of 1/3" cameras has been getting better year by year. Almost everything I produce is for national television - and yet I routinely use 1/3" cameras when the genre and application will allow it. I never sell 1/3" cameras short - they may not have quite as good an image as 1/2" and 2/3" cameras, but they are more than adequate for broadcast when used by professionals, they're affordable, and they are very mobile...
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Old July 1st, 2005, 09:21 AM   #23
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I am starting to believe that way too. I normally shoot with a 2/3" chip camera, but often use a DSR250 when the situation is appropriate. There are things you can do with a smaller, lighter camera that are difficult and sometimes impossible with a larger one. And, if properly used, the footage is good enough for TV and most definitely good enough for TV news. In fact, I find it strange that TV stations haven't embraced them more. Maybe the new JVC will propel them more in that direction, since it apparently will be the first really truly professional camera in the 1/3" chip area.

When I saw Sony's DVD of the Z1, I decided that if I were in the market today, I don't think I'd spend $30K on a DSR570 package. Instead, a camera such as the Z1 could do just about everything I needed to do. With the capability of using real lenses on the JVC, it might be even better. The only issue for me with HDV is chroma key. Everybody says you can't chroma key it. However, it hasn't been all that long since everybody said you couldn't chroma key DV either, and we do it every day.

My only issue with the $12,000 lens, really, is that its use is limited to a single camera at this time. If Sony would do something similar in design, then that lens would suddenly have more value, I think. I don't think it would fit the XL2, would it? Maybe with an adapter.

I don't mean to knock the fixed lens cameras. They have their place--I have one. But it would be difficult for me to have one as my only camera. It's not the fact that the lens doesn't come off so much as the fact that it's electronic--you can't look at the distance ring and have an assistant shift focus from, say, 30 feet to 5 feet while you dolly.
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Old July 1st, 2005, 11:38 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor
It's not the fact that the lens doesn't come off so much as the fact that it's electronic--you can't look at the distance ring and have an assistant shift focus from, say, 30 feet to 5 feet while you dolly.
That's the way it used to be, but it's not that way anymore.

With the forthcoming HVX you could do exactly what you suggest -- have an assistant watch the distance marks and shift focus from 30 feet to 5 feet while you dolly. That's completely possible and entirely practical; in fact it's more practical because instead of a few distance marks on the ring, you get a precise to-the-foot distance readout in the viewfinder/LCD. So you, the operator, would use the viewfinder; you'd lay the LCD flat against the body of the camera and your assistant would use the distance readout on the LCD to precisely track focus marks. Precise, repeatable, and accurate.

The FX1 also has a distance readout in the LCD, but it's only in meters, which make it a little lower in resolution for distance measuring. Still way way better than the DSR250/PD150/VX2000/XL2 system where there's no readout at all.

Don't let the limitations of the last generation of cameras keep you from exploring what the new generation can do. You may be very pleasantly surprised!
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