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Old October 4th, 2006, 04:18 AM   #1
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HD-100 zoom ring issues

Is it just me or is the manual zoom ring on the HD-100 rather slack? I work in a university and have three of these cameras in my department. All the zoom rings are the same and I find it impossible to do a nice slow manual zoom when filming. It only seems to be any good for crash zooming. By comparrison I shot a documentary over the summer using three Sony Z1s. The zoom ring on this camera offered more resistence which allows for a much smoother, more controlled zoom. I'd be interested to here others thoughts on this. I'm about to purchase a new HD camrea for my personal use (upgrading from my canon XL1s) and the only thing that's holding me back from the HD-100 series is this issue with the Fujinon lens. By contrast I would be quite happy with the Canon XLHD but cannot believe that Canon still haven't introduced a lens with a proper manual focus ring. Any thoughts on this?
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Old October 4th, 2006, 05:17 AM   #2
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The varifocal lens on a Sony Z1 (and almost all prosumer cameras) is different design to those used on the HD 100 or any of the high end video cameras using a standard zoom lens with manual focus. If you want to do a slow smooth zoom on the latter lens types you need to use a zoom motor or if you want to do it manually use a fluid zoom drive. The design philosophy being resistance inside the zoom would just add extra strain onto the zoom motor (which is how most people control these lenses in most situations, rather than manually zooming).

I suspect the zoom motor may still be mechanically engaged in the Z1 and is offering resistance. However, on the standard zooms you have to disengage the motor before doing manual zooms, so there will be no resistance.

Even expensive film zoom lenses aren't that wonderful for really slow zooms unless you have a fluid drive or use a zoom motor fitted. They do have slightly more resistance and better mechanics than ENG lenses, but you still need assistance for the best results
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Old October 4th, 2006, 09:19 AM   #3
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That's interesting, thanks!
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Old October 4th, 2006, 12:39 PM   #4
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I don't mean to be rude but have you switched the S/M switch, which is located at the bottom of the lens, to M (manual)? And if yes, then I think it might be just a need for more practice because the zoom ring has no resistance and it's just a matter of the shooters ability to move it gently. BTW, I removed the zoom lever the day the camera arrived because it is much easier to use the ring. Not to mention that the lever is in my way operating the focus and iris controls on the lens.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 03:55 PM   #5
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2 cents

I have gotten some great slow zooms using the zoom servo. I switch it to the servo for slow zooms, and use the manual zoom for crash zoom stuff. Medium zooms don't really look great on HDV anyway - you get the most motion artifacting...
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