Red Eye 0.5x wide angle adaptor sample video at

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Old January 31st, 2009, 10:37 AM   #1
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Red Eye 0.5x wide angle adaptor sample video


I just uploaded a video to Vimeo showing the Red Eye 0.5x wide angle adaptor in use with a Samsung VP-HMX20C and a Panasonic DVX100B, which might be of use to anyone considering a similar purchase, or wondering how they can expand their field of view.

Test of Red Eye 0.5x Wide Angle Adaptor on Vimeo

Phil Bambridge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 2nd, 2009, 03:01 PM   #2
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ROLF, very entertaining and informative, thank you! Hope you have thawed..../ Battle Vaughan/ video team
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 06:31 PM   #3
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Next time I'd try a bit harder to double-check the science behind it so I could offer more advice, but ultimately it was more "show" than "tell".

With luck I may have loaned to me the other strengths of Red Eye so I can give people a good idea of what to go for- I virtually flipped a coin before settling on the 0.5x.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 11:33 AM   #4
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I sincerely hope that someone will still found this thread continued, so anyone who has red eye can comment on this.
I found your review excellent Phil, you discovered what I was afraid of: distinctive lack of sharpness on left side of the image. Despite wonderful angle gained with it, this could be an issue.
Since I mostly do weddings, I'm always in need of wide angle. I use Canon XL2 and XL H1A with standard lenses. They're both wonderful, and once you adapt on them to be heavy, there's actually little to complain about. But I never purchased Canons wide angle lens, not 3x nor 6x, as I found them always to be too mush expensive. And they still are, at least here in Croatia. Guys from my country who have checked Kodak Centar (auth. Canon dealer here) and their price list know that 6x cost here 22.000 kn, which is 4200$. In the meantime, US prices dropped significantly, I found few demo 6x's in Adorama for merely 1.850$.
This is more than twice less than here, even shipping costs and tax seem to be acceptable.
But crunching some numbers I've done I found something: (for H1A)

standard lens is 5,4-108mm
with Red Eye it becomes 2,7-54mm. Since RE isn't zoom through, but half the zoom range, it would be 2,7-27mm. That's still 10x range. with IS.

wide zoom is 3,4-20mm. I fact, seeing the numbers tells us that it's not that wide as we want it to be, and not even close to RE, and it's range ends far before RE.
But it certainly has crisp and sharp picture with no or small amount of chromatic aberations.
This lens doesn't feature IS.

That lack of sharpness on Phil's red eye is so high that I wouldn't use it at all. But since Phil made his video in january of 2009., could be there maybe some new improved Red eye?
I searched all forum, but never found the end of the thread from 2005. where some members were given red eye samples for a review. I don't think that review was ever made, or maybe I failed to find it.

However, there is something I can say about wide angle adapters. In 2008. featuring lack of money, I was forced to do wide angle, so I purchased some cheap 0,48x glass from ebay. It was some 200$ I think. I know that our standards are different from member to member, but for wedding videography this lil' fella gave very fine image with obscurely wide angle. Picture on the center is extremely sharp, with no difference from just a standard lens by itself. Corners, however, are different story. Chromatic aberations are visible, but they are very acceptable. Sharpness is also trouble, but nowhere close to what Phil has taped. Also very acceptable. There is no vignetting with this glass, I still haven't scratched it yet (though I don't pay too much attention to it - rough usage), so far I have disasembled and assembled it 2 many times, and every time I completed it to be fully functional after. This all is to be mentioned considering SD footage, on HD every picture defect is more visible, maybe too little out of usage range. However, when needed, I would certainly use it. This is something I wouldn't do with Phil's Red Eye.
Oh, and there is another one thing that is bad. Weight. It's heavy. It's so heavy, taht after 20mins of taping, your wrist strap cuts it self in to your hand. I will weight it again if someone interested, but as far I can remember, it is .6kg which isn't that much when you think of it, but believe me, on front of the lens it becomes twice that heavy.
Any dust on front lens is visible, especially when you end or start sequence with out-of-focus way. Lens shade cannot be used anymore, and filter thread is unusual, 81mm or something. There is no filter for that thing.

Any more comments, would be hardy appreciated, especialy any comments in sharpness.
Is this issue to all red eyes, or maybe it's just Phil's piece?

thank you,

edit: my cheap wide angle consists of three glass elements, and it is zoom-through. All the 20x way.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 12:39 PM   #5
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He stopped making the .5X due to low performance. I also found the .5X too soft and had too much distortion plus colour fringing when matched with 16X, 20X or 3X Canon lenses. The SD Red Eye .7X performs much better.

However, the latest Red Eye HDV version .7X is in a different league with sharper edges and low distortion and lack of colour fringing. One of the best buys in this price range.
Tony Davies-Patrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 21st, 2010, 12:40 PM   #6
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I tried a .5 redeye a few years ago on a Sony Z1, but returned it. The corners had too much chromatic abberation for my taste (red and blue fringing.) They said it would be re-designed, but in my mind, I don't think it's possible because the unit is only a single glass element. If it was corrected, then the product is truly the work of a genius!
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 01:22 AM   #7
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Thank you, both Tony and Warren.

When you consider price range, it is true that it's price is competitive, but if picture gets too much worse when this applies to the lens, we cannot actually speak about benefits.
In one earlier thread about red eye, someone (believe it was Tom Hardwick) said something true about lack of sharpness in the corners, it was something like "if your viewers spend time searching for blur and CA in the corners, maybe you missed your point cause they don't see what you're trying to tell them in the middle of image where it is sharp.".

I found that true. But on the other side, there are plenty of situations where sharp and undistorted picture throughout all of the frame is wanted, ie:newlyweds parents sitting together in the church. I don't want my left father and right mother to be smeared.
Cake cutting know it.

@Tony: If 0,7x is better, it still doesn't bring that much wider field of view. 0,7x is actually tighter on standard lens than Canon's original wide: 5,4*0,7=3,78mm, and 6x is 3,4mm.

@Warren: I agree with you, single lens element that works should be engineered by mad genius to work.

I believe that I will give up from Red Eye. I'm not confused so much as I was earlier, but everything goes in that "abandon the ship" direction. Thus, I found numerous personal ads from users who are selling it.

It costs $400, what is merely a quarter of Canon 6x lens pricetag, but it is wasted money if I'll be disappointed. Plus, their seller, hasn't answered to my inquiry about Red eye 72mm.

I think I'll go for a lens.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 09:14 AM   #8
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If you can afford it, go for the Canon HD 6X AF zoom lens. A superb chunk of glass and nice and sharp with almost nil distortion. I love mine. :)

If your pocket will not stretch to the 6X HD, then the older Canon 3X SD zoom lens is also a nice lens to use (I've owned three of them and all performed well).

If your pocket is low-budget, then both the Red Eye HDV and Optex .7X (doubled to .5X with twin glass) are the best bet (Optex went out of business but they can still be found on Ebay or secondhand).
I've used all of the lenses mentioned and each works well in varying degrees.
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