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Old May 17th, 2004, 05:11 AM   #1
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Looking For A 37mm Wide Angle

I have the Canon 0.7X for my PV-DV53, but I'm looking
for something wider. Zoom through is not important,
but I'm looking for sharpness and minimal distortion.
Anyone got any ideas?
I see the well-regarded Century Optics offers a single-element 0.55X. I imagine the Sunpak stuff
isn't too good. Raynox offers a 0.5X. I've heard the
58mm Raynox stuff is low distortion, but how
'bout in 37mm. And then there's a Sony
0.45X that is intriguing. Anyone tried that one.
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Old May 17th, 2004, 05:25 AM   #2
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The Raynox HD5000 seems to be one of the favourites around here. I also think the Tiffen Pro is good. You are asking about wides in the 37mm thread size, right?
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Old May 17th, 2004, 05:32 AM   #3
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The Raynox 5000 will definitely give you distortion. Check out the Raynox site. I think the 6600 (hope I have that number right) is supposed to be distortion free - or close to it - but has lower resolution and may be .7x like the Canon. Several people like the 6600 better, though I personally own and like the 5000.
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Old May 17th, 2004, 05:41 AM   #4
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Yep, Frank, 37mm. The Canon 0.7X are really good:
sharp, zoom through, great coating. I'm looking for
something more, without getting any fisheye look.
I wonder if anyone has posted any comparison clips anywhere?
I checked out the Raynox site, Patricia. Is that 5000
noticably soft? The distortion didn't seem too
bad on it.
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Old May 17th, 2004, 05:56 AM   #5
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Dave, I don't know. I tried both the Tiffen 37mm and 43mm wide angles. They both looked good, playing back the footage on my TV, but the 37mm was a lot better. I've read the Tiffen Pro's are even better which I have not tried. I know nothing of these Canons except what you just told me. A couple of years ago someone from Vancouver tested a bunch of 37mm wides with the help of Lornes (a pro dealer). The TRV900 or TRV950 was used, from what I recall. The one that cam out best was the basic Tiffen (not the Pro version). Several wides were tested including a Century---perhaps not a 37mm version. Not sure. The Raynox HD5000 was not tested because you can't buy them here. Tom Hardwick also tested several lenses and posted his findings here and on the TRV900/TRV950/PD forum. Tom writes for a UK cam mag.
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Old May 17th, 2004, 06:01 AM   #6
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I know Tom has tested 58mm but how about
37mm? The Tiffens I didn't know about, so I'll
consider them, too.
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Old May 17th, 2004, 06:14 AM   #7
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I think he's played with some of the 37mm wides, or at least looked at some and added some comments. Perhaps he'll see this thread and respond.
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Old May 17th, 2004, 07:50 AM   #8
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As some of you know I work in the television industy as a Director and Technical Director. I cover live sports events and at times I use my DV953 for an additional look. I wanted to be able to go to a wide shot of an arena which I wasn't able to do with the standard lense on the DV953. Hence, my purchase of a Kenko Digital Wide 0.5X lense. I was in New York and hopped into B & H and told them what I was looking for. They suggested the SWG-05 PRO Kenko lense which has really suited my purposes without spending an arm and a leg.

The pictures I have received from using this lense have been extremely nice and they look great. I have even compared this camera and it's Kenko wide angle to broadcast cameras and the Canon GL1 - no comparion on that front .... the DV953 has much better color saturartion and it was more crisp and chroma accurate than the GL1. As for the broadcast cameras on the show ... the DV953 might not the detail of a $100,000 camera, but when using it for the wide shots and additional coverage under baskets, it does hold it's own and it has complimented my productions.

Now back to the wide angle.... Guy asked me to post something about my lense on the camcorderinfo.com which I gladly did for him. The thread has pictures attached of shots I took with this lense. It can be found at the following address:

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/bbs/sho...5&pagenumber=1

The only problem I have experienced with this lense is when I use the flash on the DV953. With the flash you get a little bit of a shadow at the bottom of the screen because of the lense itself. I believe this will happen with most any wide angle lense that obstructs the flash sight line. That is something you all might want to consider when making a purchase like this.

The price from B&H at the time was about $ 75.00 for the lense which made it a nice alternative to the others that were out there.

Best,

Rick.
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Old May 21st, 2004, 04:52 AM   #9
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The filter size chosen by a manufacturer is a somewhat arbitrary figure guys, and doesn't affect the way a wide-angle converter works in the slightest. If you look at the TRV900 and the TRV950, you'll see that they have a 52mm and a 37mm filter thread, yet both cams are pretty similar, have 12x zooms etc. The difference comes down to the fact that the 900 has a filter thread further from the edge of the front element, that's all.

So you could use the same 0.5x w/a converter on both cams. You'll need a 52 > 37 step down ring for the 950, but the w/a effect will be exactly the same in each case. Always better to get a 'too big' converter because OIS uses more lens coverage and EIS does so too when you take stills to memory.

Barrel distortion is the big bug-bear of course, and all camcorder zooms come with a a greater or lesser amount at the w/a end of the zoom. So if you fitted a 'perfect' 0.5x w/a converter that had no barrel distortion, you'd still double the amount on screen. The only real way of avoiding this distortion is to use an aspheric converter, but then again, not all aspheric surfaces are wild enough to remove the distortion. None of them will be more than partial zoom-throughs, too.

I know Red Eye lenses (http://www.collinscraft.com/) do aspheric converters and I'd dearly love to test them and report my findings here. But my emails to the factory in Canada go unanswered and so I'm none the wiser. If any of you guys have Canadian Clout, could you get them to respond?

tom.
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Old May 21st, 2004, 05:23 AM   #10
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Tom, what exactly do you want to know? These are sold locally. I can go take a look and get feedback for you.

Did you ever test a Tiffen wide in the 37mm size?
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Old May 21st, 2004, 06:47 AM   #11
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What I want to know is if they'll lend me a 58mm 0.5x aspheric for a week. I've bought and paid for too many wideangles in my time, and from now on I want to give a lens a good workout before the shellout.

But the main question in my head is, "how well does this Redeye control barrel distortion?" I've looked at them and they're beautifully coated (though the red ring was a bit iffy on the one I saw at the Video Forum in London). I didn't have a cam with me at the time, and looking through the thing tells you nothing.

tom.
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Old May 21st, 2004, 06:58 AM   #12
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Oh, you looked at one already. I'll talk to the owner of the local shop about what he thinks of them. He's a pretty good guy and on the ball. They only sell higher end video gear---no still cams. About the other thing, I would just send the an e-mail and tell them who you are, and give them your intentions. Don't forget to tell them that you test gear for magazine articles. If they don't bite, then don't worry about it.
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Old May 21st, 2004, 11:07 AM   #13
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Rick, I looked at those stills from the Kenko 0.5X
Pro wide. Not too bad. The one in your back yard
doesn't seem to show much distortion at all.
Have you ever compared the field of view of the
Kenko to any other wides? I'm getting frustrated
with the manufacturers fudging the numbers on
how wide their lenses are. When you think about
it, what's to prevent them from doing so?
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Old May 21st, 2004, 02:32 PM   #14
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I use my Konix semi-FishEye 37mm lens. It's 0,45x. Very cheap, a lot of distortion, but... useful sometimes.
Here is review: http://www.videomax.ru/tests/konix/
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Old May 24th, 2004, 01:06 AM   #15
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Raynox HD wide angles are great. VERY low distortion.
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