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Old January 12th, 2007, 01:14 PM   #1
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Will I need a wide-angle adaptor to shoot widescreen?

I'm in the process of looking at purchasing the HVX200 and gear.

We are shooting this summer, and I want to have the final product be "true" 16:9 widescreen. IE, letterboxed because the shot is wide, not cropped to look like letterbox.

I know the HVX200 shoots native 16:9... how wide is the stock lens? Will I need to purchase a wideangle adaptor (if so, how wide and what Brand would you recommend)?

With no wide angle adaptor, what would my final output look like? With a wide angle adaptor, if needed, what would my final output look like?
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Old January 12th, 2007, 01:32 PM   #2
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Nobody can really tell you if you need a wide-angle adapter, but I'm guessing that after the spare battery and some tapes (or P2 cards) the widie is what most shooters crave for.

And with good reason. Modern camcorder zooms go from sort-of wide to pretty good telephoto, so generally a wide converter is a must (the PD170 had one bundled for free, the w/angle coverage of its 12x zoom was so poor).

Some folk buy a widie to 'get more in', but the real reason to get one is to offer the cinematographer far better perspective control. It also doesn't hurt that the shorter the focal length, the less the wobbles appear on screen as you track your talent, OIS or no OIS.

So yes, I'd say you do need a widie for the Panasonic. How powerful is a moot point, but I'd say the hassle factor of fitting a converter lens means that you should be fitting a powerful one, say a 0.5x rather than a mild one like a 0.8x. What would your final output look like? Well, with a 0.5x converter in place you'll see a scene twice as wide as without the lens attached. Saves a lot of hosepiping of groups.

You use some odd terminology Daniel. The HVX shoots true widescreen, and it'll only look letterboxed if shown on an old fashioned 4:3 TV off DVD.

What brand do I recommend? I'll avoid brand names but tell you that if you want full zoom through you'll generally have to put up with noticeable barrel distortion. With a partial zoom-through you can buy a single element aspheric and keep straight lines straight. That's the way I like it.

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Old January 12th, 2007, 02:11 PM   #3
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The OP seems to be speaking about 16:9 Wide, which requires no adapter, and the respondent seems to be speaking about a 'Wide Angle Adapter' which offers a wider angle of view than the stock lens ... two different topics.

The camcorder shoots true wide, as do many DV camcorders -- there is no letterboxing, though there may in some other cases be imaging chips that are not able to deliver the maximum resolution. Truth is, even the HVX imaging chips are not 1920x1080 ... so they too are a compromise, but they are a true widescreen compromise, no extra lens required.

Nor in fact is there a lens you can add to the HVX200 that would deliver widescreen when in HD mode -- that trick would only work in SD, shot at 4:3 with the 16:9 adapter in place ...

HTH

GB
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Old January 12th, 2007, 02:31 PM   #4
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Daniel's last sentence asks: ''With no wide angle adaptor, what would my final output look like? With a wide angle adaptor, if needed, what would my final output look like?''

That sure sounds to me as if he's asking about a wide angle adapter, and I answered him on that understanding.

GB, you say, ''Nor in fact is there a lens you can add to the HVX200 that would deliver widescreen when in HD mode''. I don't understand your thinking here, as any wide angle lens attachment would ''deliver wide screen while in the HD mode''.

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Old January 12th, 2007, 02:43 PM   #5
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I repeat, possibly with more clairity: The OP seems to be asking for a conversion lens that will take an SD 4:3 and anamorphically convert it to 16:9. Such lens exist, and are used on SD camcorders to deliver same.

Tom describes what I too would call 'a wide angle convertor' or 'adapter' -- a lens that takes the widest angle of view and makes it wider, i.e. a lens with a stock angle of view like a 35mm lens on a film camera, 'converted' to look like a 20mm lens.

I have no quibble with Tom, beyond a suggestion that the OP seems to be asking about 16:9 convertors, not wide angle 'extenders', to coin a phrase. Tom's advice is entirely sound, should that be what the OP wants -- owning a wide angle 'extender' has always been the first thing I've added to a camcorder.

GB
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Old January 12th, 2007, 02:56 PM   #6
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Ok, I think I'm a little confused and I suppose I'm not sure what I'm asking. Tom - my terminology is strange? Where so? It is most likely because I am not really sure what I'm asking!

Sorry to sound like noob on this; but I guess I am wondering this now:

Standard 4:3 Projector or Television. TV is full screen; 4:3. If I watch a DVD movie, it is widescreen, with letterboxing on top and bottom. My understanding is that there are different aspect rations depending on how wide the shot is, but "true" widescreen is 16:9... is this correct? If this doesn't make sense I think I need a little lesson here :)

It is also my understanding that to have a shot that is wide enough to REQUIRE letterboxing, you have to have a lens that captures an image that wide. I know some cameras have a 16:9 mode and they just chop off the top/bottom of the frame. I don't want that. I want a shot that is truely shot wide-angle, in 16:9 aspect ratio, where it will simply not fit into a standard 4:3 television screen without being letterboxed.

What I was wondering, then, is how wide is the lens on the HVX-200? If I turn the camera to 16:9 mode, what exactly does this do? What does it mean that the camera is 16:9 native? I don't just want black bars added, I want an image that has been captured that is truely wide.

So, is the stock HVX-200 lens a true wide angle lens that shoots in a 16:9 aspect ratio? Or will I need to add a wide angle adaptor to get my image to the proper width?

Is my terminology all messed up here? If so, I'd really appreciate an explanation. Sorry and thanks for the patience!
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Old January 12th, 2007, 03:17 PM   #7
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'Widescreen' is not actually 'wide' ... it just isn't tall. You can take a close up with a widescreen camcorder (which is what every HD camcorder is -- there is no such thing as 4:3 HD, leaving aside the oddball description of 480p as an 'HD' format which some may attempt) -- the final image is exactly the same as a shot from a 4:3 camera that has been masked top and bottom. Widescreen is not, despite the suggestion in the name, wide ...

So you don't need anything to get real widescreen from the HVX -- in HD mode, that's all you can get. It is as good as the imaging chip allows, which is pretty good though some other devices with different imaging chips may offer better ... but no additional lens will change that.

If you want a 'wider angle of view' than the lens is capable of, you can add a wide angle adapter to extend the angle wider than the stock lens delivers -- but it won't change the 16:9 aspect ratio, and is not in fact part of what makes the shot 'widescreen'.

Sorry if this doesn't explain it fully, though in truth I have a hard time understanding how you may be confused. And my apologies to Tom if he felt I slighted his answer in any way.

GB
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Old January 12th, 2007, 03:23 PM   #8
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Daniel,
Here is the specs on the lens on the HVX200
(from the description of the camera on the B&H site)
Leica Dicomar 13 x Zoom
4.2mm to 55mm f/1.6
(35mm Still Film Equivalence 32.5 to 423mm)
82mm Filter Diameter

Since the camera will shoot in 16:9 format then you don't need an adaptor to give you widescreen.
However as for whether or not you NEED a wide angle adaptor as it was said before it depends on the job.
I don't own the camera nor do I have experience using a standard WA angle adaptor on a 16:9 camera so I can't speak as to how the image would look (4:3 or 16:9) but before investing in a decent adaptor I would judge whether or not you need one.
If all you're looking for is true widescreen then the standard lens on the HVX200 will do that for you.

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Old January 12th, 2007, 03:32 PM   #9
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Ok, that seems to make a bit more sense. So it will "look" like a letterboxed DVD by default when shooting in HD. However, how wide that field of view is depends on the lens.

Question then: what about when shooting in SD mode? Will it fill the whole screen of a standard 4:3 television? Can I switch this so that image captured is still wide, or will it require cropping then?

Finally, if I do decide that I need a WA adapotor, I looked at Century Optics site and they have these two listed for the HVX:

0HD-06WA-HVX .6X WA, PANASONIC HVX200 $475.00 EA

0HD-75CV-HVX .75X W/A CONVERTER HVX200 $1,195.00 EA

LINK: http://www.schneideroptics.com/centu...200/hvx200.htm

I was wondering why the 0.75x lens, which is not even as wide, is over twice the price of the wider 0.6x?
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Old January 12th, 2007, 03:42 PM   #10
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I don't believe that the HVX will switch to 4:3 mode. I saw nothing in the description of the camera to indicate that it can be switched to 4:3

Again from the description from B&H

Image Device 3-CCD, 1/3"
16:9 Native Aspect Chips

As for how wide the field of view is yes it depends on the lens, how far away from your subject matter you are and how much if any zoom you use-I can't answer that.


As far as the CO WA and the differences;
(Less expensive one)
Ideal for shooting situations in which zooming isn’t needed. The .6X attaches to the front of your video zoom lens for 40% wider angle of view and minimal distortion.

It allows partial zooming up to mid-range while in Auto Focus (loses focus beyond 5X). The resulting focal length is 2.5-14.9mm with a 87.7°-18.3° horizontal angle of view).

Comes in our popular Bayonet Mount that attaches with a twist to the front of your HVX200 13X lens.

(More expensive one)
Wide Angle Converter, the right tool for shooting situations that require both a wider angle of view and full zoom capability. Increases the field of view by 25%. This professional add-on lens produces crisp, high resolution images with low distortion, and superior contrast edge-to-edge. Interfaces directly to the bayonet mount on the front of the lens for quick and easy mounting & removal

The more expensive is a full zoom thru lens adaptor the other isn't.

Don
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Old January 12th, 2007, 04:19 PM   #11
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The HVX200 will record 4:3 SD but only in DV -- maybe also in DVCPro50, another SD format -- but not in any HD mode. Theoretically, that is the one time you could use a 16:9 anamorphic optical lens ... though I don't know why you would.

GB
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Old January 12th, 2007, 05:13 PM   #12
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Thanks for the info about shooting 4:3-like I said all that I know about the camera is from reading the description on B&H.
Learn something new everyday and maybe the manufacturer should re-write their decriptions ;-)

Don
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Old January 12th, 2007, 07:46 PM   #13
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Daniel,

The HVX200 is not only native 16:9 (widescreen) but the lens is literally, quite wide at 4.2mm. So you can get close and do some tight shooting if you need to. I haven't heard a lot of complaints about the HVX lens not being wide enough.

But the moral of this story is that a wide aspect ratio and a wide lens are two different things.
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Old January 12th, 2007, 10:28 PM   #14
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Daniel,

My recommendation is that before you make ANY equipment purchases that you first spend some time researching both the hardware and format options in the video world. A great place to start is: http://www.adamwilt.com . On that site you will find a great deal of basic and easy-to-understand explanations of many of the concepts you'll need to understand - including what 16:9 and 4:3 really is and how they both translate to how different TV's display those formats.

I'd also suggest picking up some industry magazines and books about the subject.

The HVX is one of the most complex handheld cameras on the market today and from what I've read in your posts you are going to get completely lost unless you get a good foundation of video standards knowledge first.
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Old January 13th, 2007, 12:52 PM   #15
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Thanks Robert, I appreciate that.

Can you recommend some magazines and books to me? (and anyone else as well!)
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