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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 December 4th, 2008, 01:22 PM   #16
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So, the lenses. The "21" is a Canon HJ21x7.5 super duper, very expesnive HD lens - check out that chromatic abberation! "22" is a Fujinon HA22x7.8 HD lens, and "36" is an SD Fujinon A36x14.5 monster.
The most notable thing I see is the complete absence of CA on the SD lens, it's super clean. On the paper shot I'd say he HJ21 is the sharpest, with the HA22 and the SD lens only slightly behind. On the bird shot though I think the SD 36x is the best.
Will do more tests.
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Old December 4th, 2008, 04:39 PM   #17
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Further investigations, the Fujinon HA22x7.8 (my standard lens) is actually pretty good. The Canon HJ21x7.5 is very disappointing, less sharp than the Fuji by some way. The SD Fujinon A36x14.5 is also quite a bit softer, especially the wider open the aperture gets, to be expected I suppose. It also has less contrast.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 03:35 PM   #18
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Decent fairly "budget-priced" lens

Tested a Canon HJ17x7.6 the other day on the PDW700 and it looked pretty decent, about the same as my Fujinon HA22x7.8 (standard, decent benchmark lens). Both have the usual chromatic abberration, about the same amount, and both about the same sharpness.
The HJ17 is a proper, top-flight HD lens rather than one of thr "budget" lines and looks the part, and at "only" £8250 is probably the Best Buy HD lens out there I reckon (after long long investigations!)
May or may not buy one myself, but just thought I'd flag my findings in case anyone else is interested. However, that said, I know that Simon Wyndham has said that he didn't think much of the HJ17 when he tried it - was it the same lens Simon?
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 05:35 PM   #19
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Yep, it was the same lens. It is passable, but certainly not compared to the expense. Now if it was the same price as the J17 when that was one of the main lenses in use (£7000) it would be a different matter. Although looking at the price you mentioned perhaps it has come down now.

Ideally I would like to get my hands on a 700 again so that I can try my SD J17 on it as a comparison.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 05:48 PM   #20
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Check DS Video, they've got it listed for £8250, Visual Impact said the same, just a bit difficult to get hold of apparently. As I say I tested it against the £15k Fujinon HA22 and they looked very very similar even at big blow-ups and with 2x and at different apertures, really not a lot in it. I'd kind of expect this as the optical formula is not being stretched too much at just 17x compared to 22x.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 12:35 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham View Post
Yep, it was the same lens. It is passable, but certainly not compared to the expense.
Simon, when you said it was passable, do you mean that like pretty much all of the other HD lenses on the market it's passable (ie fair bit of resolution but quite a bit of CA), or did you find it worse than say an HJ22, HJ11 or anything else you've tried?

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Old June 17th, 2010, 10:51 PM   #22
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My recent experience is that a Fujinon HA18X7.6, ZA17X7.6 and XA17X7.6 look the same. I had an HA18X7.6 that had more CA than I liked with my HDX900. Once I put it on my HPX2700 I found it unacceptable, even after having Fujinon modifying it for CAC. I then looked at a new HA18X7.6, 2)XA17X7.6, and a ZA17X7.6. They looked identical and better than my 18X7.6 as far as CA.

I learned that the glass is the same in these models, only the QC for HA series is supposedly more intense. The XA and ZA are the exact same lens, just the price differs. The HA does not show any difference at a higher price still, at least on 720P native CCD cameras.

I actually sold my HA18X7.6 to buy an XA17X7.6BERM, the lens I feel is the best deal out there.
All three breathe big time, but equally.

I have not been impressed with the low cost Canon HD glass, but have seen CAC work wonders with an HPX500. I still use my Fujinon A8.5X5.5 wide angle SD lens on my HD cameras and found it to be sharper in the corners than a Fujinon HA10X5.2 HD lens. It does, however, have a bit more CA on the edges than my XA17X7.6, as did the HA10X5.2.

I do not believe any low cost or even many higher cost HD lenses offer advantages over the best SD lenses. Using the extender is a bad idea with any of these lenses.

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Old June 18th, 2010, 03:41 AM   #23
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Your entire post pretty much agrees with my findings Jeff.
I too had an SD Fuji 8x5.5 and it was amazingly sharp, I included it in some of my tests. It's such a hard to navigate lens marketplace these days!
I have to say though that I didn't find the CA on the HA18x7.6 too bad (bad, yes, but they almost all are!) I tried it against the HA22x7.6 and they were about the same, the HA22 maybe a tiny bit better. And the CAC didn't seem to make any difference on either them (well, maybe 2%).
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Old June 18th, 2010, 05:54 AM   #24
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I have been watching and reading as much as I can on the net about lens choice and I really like your findings about different lenses. I use an old SD Fujinon lens on my old Sony F350 and find it goes alright both as SD and HD. I'm always looking to upgrade to the 700 or 800 cameras but the cost of getting a lens on theses cameras just blows the budget way out, what lens are you guys using on theses cameras on a typical shoot?

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Old June 18th, 2010, 06:18 AM   #25
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Typical kit I get with Varicam and other 2/3" is Canon HJ11 and HJ18x28 or HJ40, that's pretty standard for wildlife crews.
Otherwise probably the standard all round lens would be the HJ22. All these lenses are good, but as you say, bloody expensive. This is why for owner operators on budgets there is so much interest in more reasonably-price options.
I think a "sweet spot" compromise is the HA18 type lens. You get a decent range, from 7.6mm to 200mm or so with the 2x extender (which you don't get on the XA17x7.6), they're extremely compact, and relatively cheap - £8,000!
Hard to say for certain, but I get the impression that if you're really budget conscious it might well still be better to spend £1,000 for an old Fujinon 15x8 or similar rather than a really cheap HD lens. But then if your client is paying for an HD kit and they find you've got an SD lens? Good luck explaining it to them!
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Old July 13th, 2010, 04:36 AM   #26
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Has anyone tested the HJ14x4.3 v HA14x4.5?
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Old July 13th, 2010, 07:53 AM   #27
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Slightly off topic here - sorry.

Are you the same Steve Phillips that filmed "Wild Wales" ? I thoroughly enjoyed this program and the photography was excellent - it's still available on BBC iPlayer for those who may have missed it.

BBC iPlayer - Wild Wales: The Beautiful South
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Old July 13th, 2010, 08:42 AM   #28
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Yes, that's me! Nice to know someone's watching, thanks Vincent!
All pieces to camera were HDW750, wildlife was some with the 750, some with PDW700 and some HPX2700 Varicam - bet no-one can tell which is which, even I can't remember! It's likely to be on BBC HD at some point, and I'd really like to see that on my big TV to see if you can really can see the difference between the formats.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 09:44 AM   #29
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It never fails to impress me how anyone has the patience to film wildlife, I did some myself in Africa last December and I know how much time has to be spent waiting for animals to do something that will be interesting to watch - it seems they fall asleep the minute I point a camera in their direction.

I was captivated by the program and will be in North Wales myself next week, perhaps I will keep an eye out for your tripod holes :-)
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Old July 13th, 2010, 09:54 AM   #30
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You won't see me, I'm camouflaged :-)
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