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Old March 4th, 2010, 08:46 PM   #1
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Looking for real world reports on HMC41

I tend to use my existing HVX172 in "extreme" environments - like Malaysian mountains (humidity = 90% to 100%), or the Nepal Himalaya (where temperatures go to minus 30 deg C). The HVX172 zoom lens goes down 28mm equivalent - and I like that wide angle for my kind of shooting.

Now - the HMC41 does not have a 28mm equivalent zoom built in. You need a wide angle adapter. There's where my problems start - I need to hear from users who have used the HMC40 or HMC41 with the wide angle adapter in those environments ...

Does it work well? Any problems with fogging in high humidity? Does the filter tread lock up in extreme cold - making it very hard to remove it?

I am thinking of the HMC41 as a light camera to carry where weight limitations will not allow me to carry up my HVX172. Now - I have 2nd thoughts after realising the wide angle adapter is also required.

Looking for feedback. Thank you.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 11:46 AM   #2
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I've used mine at ~100% RH, but only down to 0degC.

The main issue in either situation for me has been that the front lens element of the adapter is an inch or so front of the prime lense, so that ANYTHING (snow, dust, condensation) on that element is so close to being in focus that it becomes v. noticeable in your footage.

Plus the element is much larger, less well protected, and more prone to flair than the built-in lens ... in fact by the time the adapter is attached, ideally with a hood, the camera will be as long as a 170.

I have not had condensation problems, however I leave the adapter on the whole time in the field - if you plan on adding and removing it while filming you will of course have 2 extra surfaces to worry about ...
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Old March 5th, 2010, 11:51 AM   #3
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To give you an idea of size, here's my HMC40 with a Panasonic 0.7X adapter and $3 rubber lens hood.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 12:36 PM   #4
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Thank you for the feedback. Looks like I might as well stick to my trusty HVX172 then. From your photo, my original purpose of getting a HMC41 is definitely lost. It is not any smaller than my HVX172 in that case (after attaching the lens hood on the 0.7X adapter).
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Old March 5th, 2010, 01:01 PM   #5
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Have you checked out the Century Optics .5x Wide Angle? It has a much lower profile than the Panasonic one does. Probably wouldn't be terrible with a hood on.

Their .65x is rather large though.

Here's the .5x
Century Precision Optics | 0HD-05WA-43 0.5x Wide | 0HD-05WA-43
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Old March 5th, 2010, 01:31 PM   #6
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B&H gives the HVX170 as 5lb vs. the HMC40 as 3.1 pounds (both with batteries).
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Old March 5th, 2010, 08:42 PM   #7
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The fact, as you pointed out, that I have to take care of 2 glass surfaces and keep them real clean - is indeed a big problem already. I have encountered fine yellow dust blown by wind in Nepal (between 2000m and 4000m) where it really stick into whatever gaps the equipment has. Almost impossible to clean in the field - because of high static charges. Now if I get a wide angle adapter, I have to keep that spotlessly clean (as you pointed out, any dirt will be captured on footage) - that is a killer NO to me.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 09:39 PM   #8
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I've been struggling with this same question - my solution presently is to use a Canon HF10 when I need a small camera - it still needs a wideangle adapter though (which I leave on permanently).

I'm interested in the new Sony CX550V due out this month. It has a 28mm equivalent wideangle, and has more manual control than previous models. But no progressive modes.

There's also a new Panasonic palmcorder due out that has progressive and a 35mm wideangle: Camcorders - HD Camcorders - HDC-TM700 - Overview - UK & Ireland

Edit: by the way my biggest encounter with dust was on the Mongolian steppe - I had a Sony miniDV camera using tape, so it was a nervous time. I had to get the camera completely stripped when I got home - the camera tech guy kinda laughed when he saw it.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 09:54 PM   #9
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From the specs, it seems the Sony has a 26.3mm focal length equivalent. Not sure if Sony has the equivalent for PAL world. I go and check the Canon as well. Locally, I get better after sales service from Canon than Sony.

Looks like you know what I am talking about - those dammed fine dust ... a real killer then.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 10:00 PM   #10
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The new Canons are about 3 models on since the HF10 - HFS11 now, I think. (These are NTSC models - not sure what the situation is with PAL).

The HF10 and HF100, which now sell for about $400US on EBay, take 37mm-thread adapters, as does the new Sony. The newer Canons have a much bigger front thread (= bulkier adapter).
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Old March 6th, 2010, 10:25 AM   #11
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What I hoping (looking) for is a video camera that has an equivalent of 28mm built in (then I don't need adapter). If Sony is the only one, I will have to evaluate that camera then (provided it is available here).
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Old March 7th, 2010, 09:47 AM   #12
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Graham wich wide angle do you use with the HF10? And how satisfy are you with it?
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Old March 7th, 2010, 07:17 PM   #13
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I use this one: Panasonic | VWW4307HPPK 0.7x Wide Angle | VW-W4307HPPK | B&H

I agree with the positive reviews at that link - I've had no problems with sharpness, the lens is full zoom-through, and the curvilinear distortion is mild.
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