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Old April 23rd, 2004, 04:50 PM   #1
Capt. Quirk
 
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Stacking lenses?

I have been looking at a wide angle lens, and a telephoto lens for my GL1. Is it possible to stack lenses?
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Old April 23rd, 2004, 05:00 PM   #2
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Hi, Keith! No. Use 1 or the other.
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Old April 23rd, 2004, 05:53 PM   #3
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Yeah... I thought as much, but wasn't sure. Thanks Frank!
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Old May 18th, 2004, 04:49 PM   #4
Capt. Quirk
 
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I was just watching some footage I shot, from about 100-150 ft, using my GL1. I noticed that even zoomed in, the image wasn't that clear. Zoomed out, it didn't look too bad, but you couldn't see much detail either. This is one reason I want the telephoto lens, to avoid the digital zoom.

However, I would also like to have the advantages of wide angle. Is there an in-between?
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Old May 22nd, 2004, 08:28 AM   #5
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I would turn off the digital zoom, so it won't go into that netherland when you zoom in. The GL1 doesn't have so much camera resolution as the GL2, so digital zoom will reduce the picture sharpness more. I'd think 20X would handle most situations, but if you want a good superzoom, without digital degradation, try the Sony HG 1.7X or Century Optics 2x telextenders, both with matching 58mm mounting threads. The new Raynox DCR-2020Pro with 2.2X, has a 62mm mounting thread and comes with a 58mm-62mm step-up adaptor ring and one that is 52mm-62mm. It may work well with the GL models, but could be overpowered on their already large 20X basic lens. It gives you 44X optical on the GL models. This Raynox has an 82mm outer barrel diameter for minimum light loss at full zoom and not much vignetting at wide settings. This lens is made specially for the GL, VX and PD series of 58mm camcorders. It sells for $199. at the U.S. distributor, Digital Distributors, Inc. This distributor is selling the first shipments directly at 1/2 the retail price (or so they say).
They claim they'll be priced at around $400. over a retail counter in a few months. The manufacturer says their tests show that this lens can resolve 220 lines per mm of lens area.

Steve McDonald
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Old May 22nd, 2004, 11:39 AM   #6
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Hey Steve- Thanks for the info on the Raynox. I haven't heard much about them. How do they compare to the Sony and Century?

As far as the Digital zoom, I do leave it off whenever possible. I don't regularly do anything greater than maybe 100 ft, but even then, I have discovered the GL doesn't do as well as I had hoped. Combine that with a narrow field of view, and I either get a closeup on a small area, or a very wide shot with almost no definition. I suppose I could use the 16:9 feature, but haven't had much luck with it.

But my little GL kicks @$$ at talking head shots, and in low light!
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Old May 24th, 2004, 08:30 PM   #7
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Keith, I haven't used the Sony 1.7X or the Century 2X. However, I received my
Raynox DCR-2020PRO 2.2X telextender lens today and I am very pleased with it.

I spent some time testing it on several cameras and it gave me a very sharp and bright image in all cases. The toughest test was on a digital still camera, that has a basic 14X lens, so the 2020 gave me
30.8X at full zoom. Without a tripod or any shoulder mount, I got sharp enough pictures to read the renewal tags on a car a quarter-mile away. That's 400 meters for the English/Metric challenged.
I could detect no loss of image quality when using this extender, compared to shots I took without it. This includes closer subjects at half-zoom or less.

I could hold the 2020 in my hand and use it by itself, as a 2.2X spotting scope, with sharp focus and detail, on subjects close up to several miles distant. There was no noticeable distortion near the outer edges.

On all my video and still cameras, their autofocus worked with precise results, even at full zoom, with this extender. Granted, at the full telephoto position, their autofocus was generally slow to shift from near subjects to far ones, but what could you expect? If I pulled back to 2/3 zoom, their autofocus snapped in immediately and then held tight when I zoomed back. For manual focusing, the 2020 allowed enough depth of field to give no trouble in finding the sweet spot, even at full zoom.

On large-lens cameras, the 2020 caused vignetting at anything wider than about 35% full-zoom, so this means that 65% of the tight end of the zoom range was vignette-free on a 58mm basic lens. This 60% amount will shift south in dimmer light, however. On the smaller 49mm and 37mm cameras, there was no vignetting at any zoom setting, in afternoon sunlight.
Despite the 2020's size and power, the cone-shaped body, with an 82mm outer barrel is one reason for this, as well as the larger 62mm inner thread diameter.
The 2020 package contains 58mm-62mm and 52mm-62mm step-up adaptor rings.

I'm not sure how this thread-mounted lens would work on a GL1 or GL2, as well as with a VX1000. I've never used any of these models, so you'd have to work out the mounting logistics for them.

With a 72mm-58mm step-down adaptor ring and a 58mm-62mm step-up ring, I was able to try it on my Canon L-1. It vignetted through 80% of its zoom range, being clear of it only in the 20% that was near full zoom. But, this could be expected and with its basic 15X lens and 2X under-the-lens extender, the total zoom was 66X. With the not-as-bad-as-you'd-think 2X digital zoom of this older Hi-8 camcorder, that gave me 132X, with somewhat usable images of people across a 6-mile lake (content rules!). This brought them up to an apparent 85-yard distance. And of course, my biggest tripod was used and it really worked only when the wind wasn't blowing. This same setup on an XL1 would yield an optical 56.3X.

The Raynox DCR-2020PRO weighs just 8.75 oz./248 gm. This is possible because of its plastic body. It seems very solid and well-made and I like the minimal front-end load it adds. It comes with front and rear lens caps and a nice, thickly-padded ballistic-cloth carrying
bag w/drawstring.

Talking with Sam today at Digital Distributors in Brooklyn, they have sold out the first shipment and have backorders covering the next one for June. If you want to reserve one for the future, act now. 1-800-774-7282.
http://www.digitaldistributors.com
http://www.raynox.com

If you go to the Raynox international website to check out the lengthy descriptions and photos of the lens, you can locate their distributors for most
countries of the World. There's another USA distributor listed, but its URL gives an "under construction" pop-up on the Raynox lens section and no further information, when I last tried it.

Steve McDonald
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Old May 24th, 2004, 08:54 PM   #8
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I will check out the Raynox, but that won't be soon. Against my better judgement (Again), I'm looking at a somename wideangle/telephoto package on ebay for about $70.00. I have a 4 day event coming up in june, and doubt I'll have the money to get both a decent w/a AND a decent telephoto before then.
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