GS400 wide angle experiences? at

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Old November 22nd, 2004, 11:01 PM   #1
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GS400 wide angle experiences?

Some time ago I bought a Raynox HD5000pro 0.5x wide angle lens for my GS400. But I sold it again, because there was some vignetting in several shooting modes due to the small 37mm thread diameter.
The GS400 has a very wide viewing angle, especially in wide screen modes, and I heard even most 43 or 49mm WAs give vignetting.

Now I'm thinking to buy a lens with bigger diameter, probably 52 or 58mm, and use a step-up ring. But I'd like to know if this affects the lens' relative magnification factor if used on the 43mm lens of the GS400, as not the entire lens area is used, but only the center part. I imagine it could be less effective - e.g. a 0.5x gives only 0.7x or so?! Any experiences??
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Old November 23rd, 2004, 10:04 PM   #2
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Andreas I'm now using a Panasonic VW-LW4307M (43mm, 0.7x) and a Sony VCL 752B (52mm, 0.7x). They are equally wide at full back despite the Sony having wider glass at the back, but flaring exhibited by the Sony (older) WA gave me a better appreciation of the special coating of the Panasonic WA lens.

I have also tested a Canon WD58 (58mm, 0.8x) and although I have no basis of comparison, the widening of the horizontal angle of view appears to be consistent with the 0.8x rating.

Finally, I have also checked the back side of a 43mm and 52mm Raynox HD6600 and the lens diameter at the back are identical even though the thread sizes are different. Raynox Japan also confirmed that the 52mm Raynox HD6600 and DCR660 are the same (the difference in labeling is merely a marketing thing).

Speaking of the Sony 752B, if anybody is visiting Akihabara in Tokyo, you'd better check Grace Camera (at the backstreets near Sofmap 9 & 10). They have a box full of used (and old model) WA and TELE lenses (mostly Sony's, a few Kenkos, Panasonics, Kowa and Olympus) of various thread sizes. They sell for JPY2,000 each but I was able to haggle with the Chinese clerk for JPY1,500. The lenses are dusty but some of them are in good condition. You'd better bring a cleaning cloth to verify whether scratches or smudges are superficial or not. It's amazing how heavy those old Sony teleconverters are!

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Old November 23rd, 2004, 11:12 PM   #3
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Thanks a lot for your information, Allan!
Meanwhile my friend, a video professional, also confirmed to me that the widening should be consistent, regardless the area used. It's even better to use only the inner area of a bigger lens, as the most error is originated along the outer perimeter.

I was also guessing that the Raynox HD6600 and DCR6600 are the same. Thanks for this confirmation.
As my local dealer told me it's not easily possible for him to get a HD6600, but the DCR, I'll go for this one.

As for the trip to Tokyo... I delayed my plans a bit and most likely will come to Japan in April next year. Not sure if I want to wait that long to get the WA converter, but Akihabara is definately always worth a visit again! ...especially if there's a Chinese clerk - still some time to attent more Mandarin lessons! ;)
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Old November 25th, 2004, 05:53 PM   #4
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DCR-6600 PRO (52mm)

Yesterday evening I purchased a Raynox DCR-6600 PRO for my GS400 which is apparently the same as the HD-6600 PRO. I got the 52mm model plus a 43-52mm step-up ring. By testing around in the shop I was amazed by the very low amount of barrel distortion and no vignetting in all modes - though I still want to investigate for possible vignetting later in my NLE where I can see the full overscan area. So far there was none to see on the cam's LCD and several TV sets connected.
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Old November 26th, 2004, 10:01 AM   #5
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Here are some frame grabs from GS400 wide screen interlaced video.
Sorry, lighting conditions were not the best.

- without WA lens attached, for reference - 1.png
- with Raynox DCR-6600PRO, attached on hood - 2.png
- with Raynox DCR-6600PRO, GS400 hood removed - 3.png

As you can see there appears no vignetting. Maybe I'll do some grabs on brighter backdrop later.
I only saw very slight vignetting in still mode with the WA attached to the GS400's hood. But when attached to the GS400 directly there was no vignetting in this mode also!
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Old November 28th, 2004, 10:18 AM   #6
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If the w/angle lens is a 0.5X then it will halve the focal length of whatever camcorder or camera lens it's fitted to, no question.
Some w/angles vignette when you have optical steadyshot turned on and you swing the camera quickly - this is because the optical elements move and the lens 'sees' the inside the converter's barrel. It's also worth checking at very small apertures and closest focus because vignetting shows up more in these situations. Also 'still picture mode' and 16 :9 mode often use more of the chip's area, so check out these situations too.

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Old January 6th, 2005, 10:50 PM   #7
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I decided to post on this thread to celebrate my 300th post and say big THANK YOU to Allan!
He provided me with incredible good service and rock bottom price so I'm owner of a WD-43 Canon 0.7x wide-angle adaptor lens.

Some impressions on WD-43 (very brief though):
1. As long as styling and color goes - it complements the silver GS100 pretty well. Just the gap left from the hood ring is open but the match is better than I expected (yes the Panny has huge barrel and small lens so I though it could look more awkward). Weight is also right.
2. Very little barrel distortion at full wide. It is full through zoom even in wide (pro-cinema) mode. Doesn't seem to darken the image much or to affect the color reproduction (may be very slightly)
3. Exhibits flare - could see yellow reflection from the luminescent light in my room as well as in daylight (not straight sun - just streaming from North orientated room window). It seems the flare is "positioned" at a circle about 1/3 from the edge and appears like large diluted ellipse. Tried to shade the lamps and it removed it so definitely at least 2 cm protracting hood would be a good thing.

Still to check my observations on monitor and in NLE as well as the impact on the still image mode. I think I'll be using it permanently attached most of the time anyway.
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