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Old September 11th, 2006, 10:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephan Ahonen
When you're running it handheld how do you use the zoom ring? I tried shooting hockey using manual zoom on the ring (since the lens' servo was incredibly slow) but focusing and zooming with the same hand was a huge pain. Is there a way to work the right hand in there somewhere? Preferably on the zoom, since I'm used to focusing with my left hand.
Not easy and it takes a trick with the fingers which I'll try to explain. Using my left hand, I'll zoom with my thumb and forefinger, the ring finger and little finger free to shift the focus ring with limited movement. This doesn't enable me shift the focus from 3 feet to infinity very well but that's not a typical focal shift anyway. It's a very good method if you are shooting side close-ups of a cooking demo and one end of the counter is a different focus, say by 4 feet.

Hockey? That's a tough one, especially if you are at rink side. The distances are great. I would use the servo in that situation.

From years of working with cheap and middle of the road lenses I've leaned to do two things; get reasonably good at judging distance and if possible prefocus the setting you are in. If I'm shooting a kickboxing match and I'm a corner camera, I'll check the focus settings before the shoot. That way I can use my left eye to quickly spot check the focus ring and shift it to the right distance.

Years ago we used to have lenses that had a place to screw in a pull rod on the focus ring. That way you could orient the focus by the direction the rod was pointing. The stock JVC lens doesn't have a place for that and probably couldn't successfully have one.

Now the focal sensitivity of HD is making my old techniques need a rethink. That and the low sharpness of the JVC viewfinder which makes focus a guessing game during chaotic filming. The focus assist function helps but it can be a hinderance if you need to ride the exposure at the same time.

I was watching the US Open yesterday and I was surprised at the soft focus with some of the close-up shots of the awarding ceremony. And those are some of the best HD camera available.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 04:36 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephan Ahonen

I dunno if it's the cable or the mechanism in the lens, but it's all really smooth, a lot more than an ENG lens. It's like the cables have ball bearings in them or something, you can pull off some very graceful moves. Really the only limitation is the camera operator, I've seen very jerky zooms and very clean zooms from the same camera, just a different person running it. It's the circular motion you have to make with your hand that's really the most trouble to get used to.
ENG lenses tend to be made for a price, so there'll be a few compromises along the way.

I guess it comes down to the method you're used to and what works for you.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 05:38 AM   #18
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Interesting debate...suffice it to say I'll be using the motor zoom from now on (was worried the servo noise would be picked up on tape - not so much of a problem with an add on mic).
Still, the zoom isn't the fastest and for certain types of work (you all know that super quick zoom shot for corporates) I'll use the manual zoom dial.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 01:39 PM   #19
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The manual zoom is nice when its mounted on a tripod becuase it is on the same side as the vf/lcd. I hate having to reach over to fiddle with the zoom lever. Even in run in gun instances, I love the manual zoom.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 03:16 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Nelson
The manual zoom is nice when its mounted on a tripod becuase it is on the same side as the vf/lcd. I hate having to reach over to fiddle with the zoom lever. Even in run in gun instances, I love the manual zoom.
Using a Chrosziel fluid drive makes a HUGE difference to manual zooms. I've used them on film zoom lens and they give you direct control with smoothness. Well worth having if anyone plans to use JVC's 16mm adapter with a film zoom lens.
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