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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 August 24th, 2009, 01:13 PM   #1
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Wide Angle Adapter for 700

Due to the nature of the sharpness of the PDW-700 and its ability to show up "filter make up" and less than perfect HD glass, has anyone here used a wide angle adapter/attachment on a PDW-700 fitted with an HD lens?

I am aware of the various manufacturers but I am not clear on how well these attachments would perform. I am only looking for a fixed wide view, so while the “shoot- through” type certainly looks a lot less hassle than the “fixed” type which requires the use of the macro adjustment, I am open to being told differently.

For certain jobs I would hire an HD wide angle lens, but for travelling abroad in tricky environments where I am desperately trying to keep kit down to a minimum an attachment would certainly be preferable.

While image quality is important to me I am shooting documentary style, tracking individuals having a conversation within tight enclosures and on narrow streets.

Anyone?

Stu
www.studioscotland.com
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Old August 26th, 2009, 05:29 AM   #2
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I've used my old Optex 0.7/0.5 adapter. It's useable at .7x but too soft at .5x. It's not zoom through and not as good as a dedicated HD wide lens, but OK for occasional use.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 05:29 PM   #3
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I´ve been using the Red-Eye Wide Angle adapter which I originally bought for my DSR570 (Red-Eye Wide Angle Adapters :) for a while. It´s still ok but in my opinion it tends to be quite soft though, especially in HD. Non zoom through.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 03:20 PM   #4
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Thanks guys – I am looking into getting the Fujinon attachment WAT-H85, it’s quite pricey at around £2,500 + vat. As you would expect, a Fujinon rep explained that it has been specifically designed for the HA18x6.7Berm 58B and a couple of other HA lenses, and so is as good as it gets for an attachment. Apparently, according to this source the cheaper alternative (still not inexpensive) from Century is poor by comparison, particularly in regard to edge definition and vignette. The more expensive zoom through converter is not far off £4000 + vat … ouch!

FUJIFILM USA FUJINON | Untitled Page

If we end up with the fixed attachment type I will do a short review on it with some pics since I can’t find anything on the web and unfortunatly none of the dealers stock these items to try out. Keep you posted.

Best: Stu
www.studioscotland.com
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Old September 4th, 2009, 02:59 PM   #5
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At that kind of price it may be worth looking into buying a decent, used SD wide lens. The difference between SD and HD lenses is small, often un-noticeable in use and there are a few cheaper HD lenses that are not as good IMHO as good quality SD glass. I would suggest taking your 700 to a dealer and trying some SD wides. I'm not convinced that even with very best adapter that an HD lens + Adapter will be better than a good, hand picked SD wide, plus with a proper wide lens you have full zoom capability.

I can not currently afford a new high end HD lens, so I went to several dealers and tried various used SD lenses eventually ending up with a Canon 16x8 IF XS that I am really pleased with. There is minimal CA, it's sharp into the corners and nice and contrasty. It certainly outperforms most of the budget HD lenses that I tried.
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Old September 4th, 2009, 05:02 PM   #6
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I did think about the SD wide route Alistair but I can’t take the time out to travel down to England to try out some lenses – the dealers up here don’t carry much stock.

However, my main issue is trying to keep kit down to the very bear minimum for our work overseas (we travel a lot). As you will know, it feels like travelling is getting worse by the month, we are already stretched with 3 crew taking on board a kitted out 700 with appropriate power supplies, field monitor, audio gear and LED lighting + important nic knacs.

I refuse to put even our Peli cases or Flight cases into the hold any more, (unless its large items that are not so easy to steel) and we are not away long enough to get kit Fed Ex’d out and back. Our business/operations model does not always allow for hiring in other countries and so I don’t have that as an answer.

For overseas work I need the longer telephoto + extender on the HA18X7.6 more than I need wide but I still could do with a wide - so it’s all a bit of a compromise.

Best: Stu
www.studioscotland.com
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Old September 7th, 2009, 03:33 AM   #7
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Perhaps I have been lucky, but in over 20 years of shooting overseas travelling away on average once a month, I have not had anything stolen. We have had equipment delayed on several occasions, which has had an impact on shoots and the worst damage we have suffered has been to tripod heads that have bee packed with the locks on (best packed with locks off). Last week I went to Arizona on my own. I packed the 700, lens and 3 V-lock batts 2 x EX batts in my adapted hard shell regulation size carry-on bag. Batteries must travel in carry-on in the US and having seen Li-ion battery fires I would not want one in the hold. Then in the hold I had a Pelicase with EX1, NanoFlash, Chargers, Vinten 6 tripod head and sound kit. Then in a large samsonite suitcase I had the vinten fibertech legs, a manfrotto tripod and my clothes. All this came within my free baggage allowance (just).

If anything taking camera kit overseas is easier these days than it used to be. Airlines baggage regulations tend to be clearer and the amount you pay for excess is also clearer with most airline charging a set price per bag or item upto a set weight. In the past you never knew if you were going to get charged and if you were charged, sometimes it would be a token fee and then the next trip it would be hundreds or even thousands of pounds. I'll never forget on a trip to Hong Kong and Macau where on the way out we paid no excess and then coming home we had to pay just under £2k for 30kg of excess between 4 people.
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