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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
Sony PDW-F800, PDW-700, PDW-850, PXW-X500 (XDCAM HD) and PMW-400, PMW-320 (XDCAM EX).


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Old May 21st, 2008, 03:31 AM   #16
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My only issue with the 700 was that it was too good!

The camera I used (I assume it is the same one Phil also used) came with a Canon HJ17 lens, and the 700 showed up every single flaw with it!

I'm beginning to get pretty depressed with the lenses on offer these days. There was CA all over the place, and some very soft edges despite shooting at around f5.6.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 03:39 AM   #17
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Hey Simon

It's a production model that I used, not the pre production that I had last months, so the 25p wasn't working (firmware in June) and yes CA all over the place. It was 4.5 wide angle, nice piece of glass, bit too wide for most stuff!
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Old May 21st, 2008, 04:12 AM   #18
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Most are mediocre at best, and they cost anywhere from hideously expensive to insanely expensive. One of the main reasons I put reservation on a RED was so I could you good old fashioned film lenses again. Having said that I still do use stills lenses like Canon 300, 150-600 and 800 on HDCam with what I think look pretty good results. Less CA for sure than most video lenses. Sharpness looks fine to me too, though I know others would debate that it should with that combo. I put the 150-600 side by side on a cam with an HJ something or other at a BBC HD training day though and they looked about the same to all who saw it - in fact some thought the 150-600 had the edge.

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Old May 21st, 2008, 05:57 AM   #19
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Glad it's not just me that's disappointed by the quality of HD Zooms. I guess as the manufacturers have been busy competing to produce longer, wider, higher zoom ratio lenses they have ended up with just too much complex glass. Maybe it is time to go back to basics and prime lenses.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 06:51 AM   #20
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I agree Alister. Because a lot of the work that I get involved in could afford the time to change lenses given the opportunity, I was seriously considering the possibility of primes. I'd imagine that the 700 would look superb with such glass.

One thing that I get extremely frustrated at is manufacturer claims of extremely low 'breathing' during focussing. I nearly always have to use the macro cheat to do pull focussing because the breathing on show on most of these lenses is absolutely horrendous.

On the HJ17 it isn't so much slight breathing as a full fledged zoom movement!
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Old May 21st, 2008, 07:01 AM   #21
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The first lens I ever used on an HD camera was on an F900 not long after it had come out, and was one of the Canon cine style zooms, something like a 14x7, no extender, solidly made, great handling and optically superb. Smooth contrast, no CA AT ALL that I could see, and sharp as a pin. Whether they still are this good or whether they've made "advancements" and screwed them up I don't know.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 02:27 PM   #22
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One thing that I get extremely frustrated at is manufacturer claims of extremely low 'breathing' during focussing. I nearly always have to use the macro cheat to do pull focussing because the breathing on show on most of these lenses is absolutely horrendous.

On the HJ17 it isn't so much slight breathing as a full fledged zoom movement!
Amen to that Simon! The HSs18x5.5 has some serious breathing issues. Fujinon claims to have that problem solved on some of the higher end 2/3 lenses by coupling the focus and zoom servos together such that the breathing is compensated for. Don't know how well it works or doesn't work.

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Old May 29th, 2008, 06:37 PM   #23
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700 + 2 Ex1

Hello all,
Just got back from the Galapagos. We used a 700, an EX1 Letus Ultimate, and a second EX1 in a Gates Housing. What a great time. The perfect set up. When the need for a quick shot, I just reached into a 507 Kata, and removed the EX1 w Century WA, then swapped to the EX1 Letus for the CU's. 2 Cameras in one sack. When diving the Ex1 was terrific. The 700 is so sharp. The lens is critical. I agree the 4.5 is too much. I'll post more later. I have to transfer all the material to 3 (1 TB) drives for post.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 02:19 AM   #24
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I tell you Denis thats the kind of kit thats getting me excited (sad I know). I think the 700 is going to be a killer camera with a good lens. Pair it with an EX for the run and gun stuff there can be no excuse for shoddy pictures.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 06:56 PM   #25
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There isn't really any excuse for shoddy pictures these days anyway....

Well, apart from stupid midday summer shooting conditions, being told to shoot an interview ad hoc inside with a big window in the background, and not having enough ND and needing to shoot with the lens almost closed up ;-)

I can't get excited by the Letus. Nigel showed it to me and I found that the ground glass was visible at all apertures. They need to make the GG rotate rather than vibrate. Plus it made the EX weigh as much as a 350, but without the ergonomics! I want to shoot with a camera, not a Mechano set.

Give me a 700 all the way, but with one of those Canon Cinematography zooms, or primes.

Dennis ,need anyone else to tag along for a Galapagos shoot? I'd be quite happy to look after the kit on the beach ;-)
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Old May 31st, 2008, 03:11 AM   #26
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The letus is a weird beast. Produces pictures that at first glance look nice, but after a while the novelty wears off.

No, I was just thinking of a stock EX1 or EX3 as being good for the situations where a full size camera like the 700 is too bulky.

I'de love to get a 700 but my clients have got used to my F350 and trying to persuade them to pay that bit more for each shoot is going to be tough. Perhaps next year when all the options are out.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 03:25 AM   #27
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I can't get excited by the Letus. Nigel showed it to me and I found that the ground glass was visible at all apertures.

Then it can't be working correctly Simon. As I have been using it for over 7 months the only time I see the ground glass is if I close beyond f5.6
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Old May 31st, 2008, 04:47 PM   #28
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Dennis ,need anyone else to tag along for a Galapagos shoot? I'd be quite happy to look after the kit on the beach ;-)
Ha.... get in line Simon! The line forms right behind me. (grin)

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Old June 1st, 2008, 09:07 AM   #29
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Then it can't be working correctly Simon. -
Oh it was, I'm just very finnicky! What I found was that on clear skies and other light plain colours I could see it. When the GG vibration is turned off, the GG is clearly visible, obviously. Then when it is turned on, I can still see it subtly. It stands to reason really with static GG.

AFAIK it was set up correctly. I can't think of anything else that could be changed or adjusted to change the situation.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 02:15 PM   #30
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Oh it was, I'm just very finnicky! What I found was that on clear skies and other light plain colours I could see it. When the GG vibration is turned off, the GG is clearly visible, obviously. Then when it is turned on, I can still see it subtly. It stands to reason really with static GG.

AFAIK it was set up correctly. I can't think of anything else that could be changed or adjusted to change the situation.
Very odd Simon, I don't know what is wrong but I love my skies and shoot them all the time with the Extreme and only ever get patterns when I stop down past f5.6 I use a 23" Apple Monitor for editing and never see patterns in these shots. If I did I would never use it. No point. I have had patterns before but only when I stop down or the batteries are low. They have to be changed every four hours. Did you try putting fresh ones in?

Anyway back the the PDW700!! My video review will be up this week
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