Century 16:9 Windscreen Adaptor. PD 170 at DVinfo.net

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Old January 23rd, 2008, 02:21 AM   #1
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Century 16:9 Windscreen Adaptor. PD 170

Does anyone use this adaptor and what success have you had with matching it with a Sony Z1 or similar camera.
Whats it like to shoot with? is it hard to focus, what limit is the zoom function on the camera.

Im thinking of getting one as the PD170 just cant cut it anymore in post stretched out to 16.9. The camera's great but compared with the Z1 in widescreen it's not.

Is it worth the expense?

Cheers.
Simon
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 02:40 AM   #2
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I have shot an airshow with a z1 and PD150 with the 16:9 fitted to the PD150.

Provided you take care to manually white-balance both cameras and de-interlace the PD170 footage before you rescale it in the edit software to match the Z1 footage, you should be reasonably satisfied with it.

The 16:9 adaptor seems happiest from about 10% zoom to about 70% zoom on my cam. There is a barrel distortion on wide shots which will become apparent if shooting indoors where architecture will show as curved lines.

If you are authoring to YouTube or any other underscanned web presentation you need to be aware the Century will vignette on the left corners of frame at the widest zoom setting on your PD170. You should not see it in the normal TV safe area.

This offset is related to a trait you will find on some models of videocams, the centre of CCD is not the same as optical centre-axis.

You gain a slightly wider field-of-view with the 16:9, so by the time you zoom in to eliminate the vignette you are back on close to your normal wide framing, so you don't really lose anything.

I actually modified mine to eliminate the vignette but it is not something I would recommend to anyone who is not some sort of a lens engineer.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 05:05 AM   #3
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Thanks Bob,
The cost of this lenes is very expensive here in Aus (im from Sydney) and i dont know if its the correct thing i should do/ but the PD170 will become a door stop if i dont use it in some capacity.

Thanks for the info again.

Cheers
Simon
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 06:04 AM   #4
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Simon.

There are two flavours to Century 16:9 anamorphic lenses or adaptors as they are also called.

One is very good, apparently has a focus trim facility and is quite expensive. Another is non-adjustable except for direction of stretch and is more common and less expensive. Both are cruel costwise to us humble Aussies.

Try the on-line auction sites. Search under Century Optics 16:9 or Optex 16:9. The Optex was apparently the superior adaptor about the time of the VX1000 and early PD150 then they went out of business.

Last edited by Bob Hart; January 23rd, 2008 at 06:04 AM. Reason: error
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 01:50 PM   #5
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Thanks again Bob.

All the best
Simon
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