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Old April 16th, 2007, 02:49 PM   #1
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Hd-100, wildlife and nikon adapter

I will be spending this summer in the Alaskan bush filming wildlife and landscapes. I currently own a hd-100 with is pretty much stock. Before I leave civilization for the next three months I want to make sure I'm going to be properly equipped to get some excellent footage. I guess I should explain what type of shooting I hope to be doing. I will be spending a lot of time around salmon streams taping kodiak brown bears. I've spent a lot of time with them before just not with a decent video camera. I figure most of my shots will be between 100yards and 20yards. I'm concerned about the softness of the stock hd-100 lens. I do not think I can afford some of the other lens options including the 18x or even the 17x lenses. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with a Nikon lens adapter? If so what do I need and what is the cost to get set up? How about the overall sharpness of the image vs stock lens? Has anyone had any problems with dust when changing lenses in the field?

Looking through some of the outdoor forum posts makes me a little concerned about my hd-100 choice. It seems most people are using the cannons. I still have the option of selling my hd-100 and buying a A1 before I leave. The A1 would be much smaller and tigher package which would be much easier to carry but I'm a big believer in using what you got. So I guess i'm just looking for some success stories with the JVC in harsh conditions.

Any kind of information or experiences people have had would be greatly appreciated. I will be dragging this camera through some pretty harsh conditions. If anyone has any other advice on up keep or what I need to watch out for please help me out.
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Old April 16th, 2007, 02:52 PM   #2
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one other question, 24 or 30 fps. Anyone have any experience with shooting 24fps and wildlife? Right now I still do not understand the 24 workflow, so i shoot mostly 30fps. Thanks for the help.
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Old April 17th, 2007, 04:10 AM   #3
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Hello Alf,

24p or 30p will be a decision you have to make yourself. especially with 24p you have to obey certain 'shooting rules' to have nice footage. Practice some time with both settings and decide what fit your needs best and what you like best.

As far as the lens goes, the Canon 20x5 might be better for you, but that's probably out of your price range. The 16x5.5 will display some artifacts at full tele - it depends a bit what your tolerance and quality-expectancy is... I might have a nice option for you: a hand-crafted nikon lens that is modified to fit in the HD100 bayonet - and it is for sale. It is very, very tele-image of course - but probably perfect for your application (I suppose you have a very steady tripod :-) ). I suggest you can send a mail for more information.
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Old April 17th, 2007, 04:14 AM   #4
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On the harsh conditions: there's a testimonial story out there from a guy that dropped his HD100 in a river and dryed it over a fire and continued shooting the next day. I'm sure someone will chime in and give the link....

You probably should avoid dropping it in water, though...
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Old April 17th, 2007, 08:10 AM   #5
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Alf

I read an article on a some one who used a HD100 with Nikon lens mount to shot wildlife. Unfortunately I can't find it.

Perhaps some one will have a link to the article.

Regards



Drew
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Old April 17th, 2007, 08:50 AM   #6
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Hi Alf - check out this thread by DV info contributor Andrew Young who was one of hte first to own this camera:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...ght=Madagascar

If you do a search on Nikon adaptor you'll find a couple of suppliers - remember everything will be very tele'd. Just search - there's a bunch of threads in this forum
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Old April 18th, 2007, 02:55 AM   #7
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Hi Alf,

There are a few threads on this board related to the HD100 in harsh conditions and to wildlife. Have a browse through the UWOL board.

Yusuf Thakur has been using the camera in the middle east under some fairly extreme conditions, I think he also uses a Nikon adaptor, have a look for some of his posts.

We use two of the cameras here in Mozambique, most recently on a 9 month doc about dugongs where it was the topside camera. This shoot involved being thrown about on a boat in rough seas, lots of sand and salt and a lot of humidity. I have mixed feelings about the build of the JVC, it is pretty filmsy but in fairness it has just about held together.
Have a look at this thread...
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=85938

The image quality of the JVC is outstanding but as you already know this is not a point and shoot camera. I have occasionally used the camera with a nikon adaptor and the quality is acceptable providing you use good glass. I have shot with 300 2.8 and it looks superb but needs lens support and a hefty tripod. You will certainly need a good tripod if you go down this route, otherwise your shots will be unusable, even a slight wind can set the camera vibrating.

Good luck,

James
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Old April 18th, 2007, 11:25 AM   #8
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JVC HD100 with Nikon lenses

Hi Alf and everyone. I hope you find more info in this link: http://www.dvuser.co.uk/content.php?CID=133

I used the JVC HD100 with a 300mm 2,8 Nikon and the quality is very very good. Im also agree that you need a good tripod.
Hope this helps. Bye and good luck!
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Old April 20th, 2007, 11:13 AM   #9
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HD100-250, wildlife and Nikon Adapter

Zoerk from Germany makes a Nikon adapter and can be purchased in the USA. It's a mechanical adapter with no glass so image quality from the Nikon is outstanding. Infinity focus is still there, too. Contact Joshua at 971-222-3513. Price is 350.00.
As with any Nikon, the ED glass is preferable for best results. Primes such as the ED 300mm 2.8, 4.0, or 4.5, ED 400mm 2.8 or 4.0, or 5.6, ED 500mm 4.0 are extremely sharp with good contrast. Some of the zooms are excellent such as the ED 80-200 f2.8. I just picked up a 80-400 ED Nikon and although it's a little slow at 5.6, in daylight and well lit cloudy days it works extremely well. As with all these lenses you are shooting more in the center of the lens so you are getting in the sweet spot and the optimum performance of the lens. Contrast is very, very good and looks great on any of the JVC HD 100-250 series cameras. I own two of the JVC's and have been shooting them for the past 1 1/2 years. JVC sent me a HD250 to demo on one of my wildlife shoots in March and the 720P 60 is outstanding for slo-mo in post.
If anyone is interested, my website is www.wildvisions.net and there are samples from the cameras. Although they are just WMV videos, all the scenic & wildlife demos are from the JVC cameras and some of the shots are with the Nikon lenses. Same for the Time lapse shots in the demos. The Zoerk adapter just makes the JVC that much more versatile and better.
Of interest is the magnification on the 1/3" cameras. The JVC's come stock with a 16X lens and that translates to about a 70 or 80 mm Nikon lens when using an adapter. So do the math and a 300mm Nikon lens equals around a 64X video lens. A 80-200 EDIF 2.8 Nikon equals about a 16x to 40x video lens. Pretty neat when working with sports or wildlife.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 11:26 AM   #10
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Thank you Mike, and welcome to DV Info Net.

It was a pleasure meeting you in Vegas, and wonderful watching your wildlife footage on the JVC booth loop.

Please visit here often. Our members love hearing success stories.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 11:48 AM   #11
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HD100-250 extreme shoots

I have been using the HD100 cameras since August of 2005. Got one of the first dozen or so in the western US to work with. The cameras have been used in all sorts of extremes. I have filmed wildlife in -10 degrees all day with no heat packs. On one -10 day the wind chill took it to -40 and the camera quit there until I warmed it back up again. I have been using the camera to shoot a documentary in the deserts of Arizona and the camera has been out all day in 110 degree days with nothing more than a white cloth over it to protect from the sun. In Kentucky one day it rained and the sun came out. The weather report said 98 degrees and 98 percent humidity and the camera kept going. I have filmed all day is rain storms with good success. Some of the the environments I have worked in are dusty and dry (4% humidity) and the camera has been an absolute mess on the outside. To JVC's credit the two cameras are still chugging along.

I was at the Directors Guild in CA to hear the testimonial of the shooter who took the HD100 camera to Madagascar. He had one of the first ones. They floated a river in rafts in a jungle environment and the camera was totally soaked, so much so that they literally poured water out it one day when a wave splashed over the raft. They dried it out over a campfire and kept shooting. Every day was rain or splashed water from the river. After two weeks of shooting this doc for National Geo, the viewfinder did not work and the on/off button ceased to function. To turn the camera on and off they either put a battery on it or removed the battery. The camera finished the shoot and they brought home the footage which was transferred to film and projected on the 35 foot screen. Gorgeous footage. That's pretty extreme.

As a footnote, 720P is much better than 1080i
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Old April 20th, 2007, 03:04 PM   #12
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Sorry I have not had a chance to reply. I'd like to thank everyone for all of the fantastic information. Mike thanks for the great post on your experiences and the contact information on the Zoerk adapter. I think I might go ahead and give it a try. I'm thinking a 80-200 would be perfect for bears. A little more distance than the stock lens will be real nice. I'm not interested in being the next Tredwell.

I have one more question. What about swapping lenses in the field? Should I try and change only when i'm back at camp under more control ed conditions? or is it ok to be swapping lenses while i'm out shooting? Because sometimes you'll have bears within 10 to 20 feet. I come from a still photo background and have delt a lot with dust on the sensors and cleaning in the field.

So I only have 3 more days left here at my dead in job. Reading and learning from this forum is probably the only thing that's kept me sane. Hopefully I'll get a chance to post some footage and share some of my experiences as well. Thanks again for all the great help.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 05:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Pellegatti View Post
The JVC's come stock with a 16X lens and that translates to about a 70 or 80 mm Nikon lens when using an adapter. So do the math and a 300mm Nikon lens equals around a 64X video lens. A 80-200 EDIF 2.8 Nikon equals about a 16x to 40x video lens. Pretty neat when working with sports or wildlife.
"X" is not a measure of focal length. "X" is a measure of the difference between the wide and tele focal lengths of a zoom lens. A prime lens is just about as far as you can get from actually using a 64x zoom. And believe me, I've shot with a 70x zoom.

The tele end of the stock 16x is 88mm. That translates to an 88mm lens. Focal length is focal length.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 09:46 PM   #14
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Using the Zoerk Adaptor

Hi Alf,

I'm the guy who did the Madagascar shoot mentioned above (yes, I did actually have to roast the camera over an open fire to bring it back to life). The HD100 with Nikon adaptor in a excellent choice at the budget end of the scale, but there are some pitfalls you should be aware of.

On my second trip to Madagascar with the HD100 I had a Zoerk Nikon adaptor and a 50-300 f/4.5, a 300 f/2.8, a 55 macro and a 200 macro, all Nikors. All these lenses performed great on the JVC (because long lenses have lots of DOF behind the lens, the fact that they are not designed for 3 CCDs is apparently not an issue). There is however one signifiant problem with this adaptor - it leaves the silver flange that surrounds the entance to the imagers exposed and this causes bad internal flares under certain lighing conditions (contrasty backgrounds). You may need to blacken your flange, or get Zoerk to modify the adaptor, or choose a different brand. The adaptor needs a black collar like the back of the Fujinon that keeps stray light from hitting the flange.

I've done alot of shooting of bears at salmon creeks in Alaska - I did a PBS special on Glacier Bay - shot on Super 16. An 80-200 sounds like a good choice and it doesn't need support. You will absolutely need the most massive tripod you can afford, however. Stay away from long primes like the 300. It'll take you too long to find your subject. Zooms are the best for fast moving wildlife. No issues chaging lenses in the bush, just be careful.

A lot of the bear/salmon footge I shot was overcranked, usually about 60 fps. The acton is so amazing that real time doesn't do it justice. The one advantage of shooting 30p is that you can slow it down to 24 and get a little more poetry of of it. Good luck.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 04:23 AM   #15
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The Nikon-JVC adaptor that MTF (Mike Tapa) engineers is already blacked inside and doesn't seem to have a flare problem. Take heed to the tripod advice... if you cannot afford a new setup you can pick up an old Miller or simalar on Ebay, this will make all the difference.
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