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Old April 25th, 2007, 10:33 AM   #1
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I am dissatisfied with the HD-250U's standard 16x lens when used in a small studio environment for one and, occasionally, two person interviews. My primary discontent is with its inability to provide an image with the degree of sharpness and detail that I require for close in face shots. So, I am considering the 13x3.5 and wonder if there are any users on this forum that have had experience with this particular lens under the circumstances described above?

I have already done a search and although there are numerous comments regarding the quality of the lens, none of them seem to address my question.

Thank you in advance,
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Old April 25th, 2007, 02:23 PM   #2
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Hi Ron
We shot a low budget feature last year using my HD100 and the 13x3.5BRMU lens. We shot every type of shot going including interior and exterior closeups of the actors faces. The lens performed incredibly well for all the shots we did. It is a very clean sharp lens and a must for any serious work. I didn't have the luxury of a 35mm adapter and prime lenses so this lens had to cover everything we had to do and in my opinion, for what it's worth, this lens is well worth the money.
When I originally bought the lens I did a series of tests recorded to tape in studio conditions to compare the difference between the stock lens and the 13x3.5BRMU. When I saw the comparisons on my 32inch HD LCD monitor there was really no contest. You do get a small amount of magenta and green fringing on the extreme telephoto end with bright light backgrounds but not as much as the stock lens and I tend to back off a little so it didn't give me any problems on the shoot.

I hope this answers your questions.

David Cubbage
Green Man Films
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Old April 25th, 2007, 09:54 PM   #3
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I've had this lens for over a year and love it. However, I think my application is very different from yours. I shoot feature films and docs, where I need wide angles of view in very tight spaces. Sharpness is obviously a factor, but the 13x3.5 stands out with much less CA and no vignetting (unlike the standard 16x5.5)

Keep in mind that the 13x3.5 is only 45mm on the long end of the zoom. If your only concern is edge to edge sharpness, then for practical application comparison you should set the 16x5.5 to 46mm and see how it performs for you. That lens falls apart in the 46mm ~ 88mm focal length range, which is non-existent in the 13x3.5mm anyway.

I'm not saying that there isn't a sharpness difference between the lenses at 46mm, but it isn't as significant as you may think.
Also, don't shoot with the aperture wide open. Try to stay in the sweet spot ƒ2.8 - ƒ/4.
Tim Dashwood
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Old April 25th, 2007, 11:03 PM   #4
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I re-iterate that last comment by Tim - shooting anything above F8 and there will be a noticeable decrease in sharpness due to the doppler effect discussed in other threads. At F16 the footage becomes close to unusable. Use ND filter's instead to keep the lens in it's sweet spot. F2.8 - F4 is ideal for controlled studio lighting. I have shot some really sharp stuff with the stock 16x lens. I guess also check all the standard stuff on every shoot like back focus as well.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 08:58 AM   #5
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Thank you all for your thoughtful and useful comments and I will certainly plug them into my decicision making equation.

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Old November 7th, 2007, 03:36 AM   #6
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BTW, would anyone have experience with the Canon KT20x5B KRS? There seems to be very few information available on the topic. Thanks.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 05:02 AM   #7
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Ronald, I've used the 13x3.5 for a short feature film, I was very happy with the lens. Detail was good under very difficult lighting conditions. Very clean picture. A good lens. But my advice would be : rent it - unless you do really lots of documentary work. In many situations (excluding film-style) the standard lens is perfectly OK.

Also see this recent thread: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=105666
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