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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 March 20th, 2009, 10:07 AM   #1
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PDW-700 viewfinder

Has anyone tried to use a small LCD instead of the viewfinder. This is a great camera but the viewfinder is the weak point I was not impressed. After using EX1 with 3rd party (http://philipbloom.co.uk/2008/10/22/...x3-viewfinder/) on LCD and EX3 viewfinder I am surprised the 700 is so far behind and so expensive for the viewfinder.
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Old March 20th, 2009, 01:00 PM   #2
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You could always go with the HDVF-C35W - Sony HDVF-C35W 3.5" HD Color LCD Viewfinder :: SD & HD Camera Accessories :: Camera Accessories :: Equipment Sales :: Abel Cine Tech - which has amazing quality but it's not exactly cheap... A small Marshall, TV Logic, or Panasonic BT-LH80 monitor would do well.
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Old March 20th, 2009, 01:38 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response Andy but $12,500 for a viewfinder is very silly. I think a small LCD would be the way to go. Wonder if anyone has tried this route with the 700? Then add the options that people use on the EX1 in my last post and you could be in for the price of the 20A.
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Old March 20th, 2009, 04:40 PM   #4
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Paul –

I personally do not think much of the viewfinder either, not seeing any real improvement on the F350 viewfinder – others disagree. However, after using the 700 for a good number of jobs since we purchased it with the HDVF-20A a month or two ago I would say –

1: I could not imagine having this cam without a viewfinder of some description – once you get used to it, it really hits focus on the button every time… I have not once experienced any soft focus shots. It is definitely much quicker to get your focus than using an external monitor.

2: I use an 8.5” Sony LMD9050 with the camera when I need more image information and it does a great job for focus, colour, lighting balance and general image inspection.

3: When I got the cam, I took some time out to mess with the viewfinder and pullout monitor while linked up to the Sony LMD9050 with the camera outside and in studio lighting set ups to see what I was working with. With use I am now able to judge all that I need without an external monitor.

At the end of the day it all depends on what you’re doing but clearly this type of cam without a viewfinder would be very limiting in certain types of work.

All the best with your decision making.

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Old March 21st, 2009, 03:04 AM   #5
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I have a C35W. I recently tested it against a Grade 1 Sony monitor (BVML230, I think), as well as a lower grade Sony LCD. The C35W was remarkably similar in colourimetry and tone to the Grade 1 monitor. Much, much closer than the lower grade HD field monitor in fact. I feel this is a great plus in favour of the C35W and arguably goes some way to justifying the cost. It's also great to use on a day to day basis and I'm personally glad I have one as part of my kit.
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Old March 21st, 2009, 08:18 AM   #6
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Paul,

You can get a better (optional) eyecup for the viewfinder if you want. If you really not like the one that sits on the HDVF-20A, you maybe can consider getting Sony's high performance A8314-798-A viewfinder eyepiece with soft cushion, that also magnificates 3 times. It's actually a pricey 3x loupe. I don't know the actual price anymore, but maybe Andy from Abel Cine Tech can help us out.
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Old March 21st, 2009, 01:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Cronin View Post
Has anyone tried to use a small LCD instead of the viewfinder. This is a great camera but the viewfinder is the weak point I was not impressed. After using EX1 with 3rd party (Philip Bloom Blog Archive How to make EX1 LCD BETTER than EX3 viewfinder) on LCD and EX3 viewfinder I am surprised the 700 is so far behind and so expensive for the viewfinder.
Paul,

I am not sure what problem you saw with the 700 viewfinder but personaly, I think the HDVF20A is one the finest HD B&W viewfinder on the market. It is so sharp that I tend to keep the peaking level pretty much all the way down. I have also looked at another 700 with the HDVF200 viewfinder which has a slightly lower resolution and found it quite good too. I doubt that you can find any small LCD screen that will give you the convenience, detail and exposure precision of these HD viewfinders.

Thierry.
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Old March 21st, 2009, 02:37 PM   #8
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Ivan, I'll look into the pricing on that accessory. Also I find that the Tiffen 52mm Close-Up Kit - 52MM CLOSE UP LENS SET - Tiffen.Com - works very well with Panasonic VFs. They really magnify the image. Has anyone tried it with the HDVF-20A?
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Old March 21st, 2009, 03:25 PM   #9
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Thanks for all your input. I guess I was just expecting more from the viewfinder. From the sounds of it most of you are very happy with the 20A.
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Old March 28th, 2009, 10:27 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Andy Shipsides View Post
Ivan, I'll look into the pricing on that accessory. Also I find that the Tiffen 52mm Close-Up Kit - 52MM CLOSE UP LENS SET - Tiffen.Com - works very well with Panasonic VFs. They really magnify the image. Has anyone tried it with the HDVF-20A?
Andy, you're not the first one to mention the trick of using a 52mm diopter glass in place of the standard. I've been meaning to try this for my F350 viewfinder.

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Old March 28th, 2009, 11:29 AM   #11
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Andy, you're not the first one to mention the trick of using a 52mm diopter glass in place of the standard. I've been meaning to try this for my F350 viewfinder.

-gb-
That would be a very simple and cheap solution. Has anyone tested this?
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Old March 28th, 2009, 01:37 PM   #12
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52mm diopter glass in place of the standard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston View Post
Andy, you're not the first one to mention the trick of using a 52mm diopter glass in place of the standard. I've been meaning to try this for my F350 viewfinder.

-gb-
I saw this idea on the forum of using this on a sony viewfinder. Can anyone tell me how you attach it etc?

Cheers

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Old April 4th, 2009, 07:28 AM   #13
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I saw this idea on the forum of using this on a sony viewfinder. Can anyone tell me how you attach it etc?
You would carefully remove the existing eyepiece lens and sub it with the other one.

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Old April 4th, 2009, 09:12 AM   #14
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You would carefully remove the existing eyepiece lens and sub it with the other one.

-gb-
So, if I remove the Protecting filter (nr.4) and place the Tiffen 52mm close-up filter instead this should be working?

Do I also have to remove the metal (or whatever it's made of) ring from the Tiffen 52mm filter for placing it inside the eyepiece?

The Tiffen close up lens set contains three filters: CU+1, CU+2, CU+3. Wich one has te be used? Or is this different for every person? On their website they also say that you can use them in combination for maximum effect. Any ideas?
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