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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 30th, 2009, 03:18 PM   #151
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...but you are expecting too much from a camera at this price point...
I don't think so at all. A smooth zoom servo is essential on any professional "ENG style" camera IMHO. I've never had issues with jerky zooms on cheaper cameras than the EX1/3, for example my JVC HD111 or Canon XHA1, so I'm assuming it isn't an expensive or particularly tricky piece of design. Maybe I'm wrong and it would have added significantly to the cost of the EX1/3. If so, it may have been a worthwhile compromise for some users.

There are several aspects to the design of the EX1/3 which hint it was designed by technicians without much input from cameramen. IMO this has worked wonders for picture quality but not the usability.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 03:43 PM   #152
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I remember some years ago someone in the industry telling me that a new Sony product could be designed without input from the the previous model's production team! I think this is what happened with the EX1. So simple things like zoom controls and filters were re-invented from scratch - previous knowledge was not carried over. The Cine - Alta team did not it seems talk to the Z1 team. But the EX series for all its faults is a landmark in HD production and I am truly grateful.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 04:19 PM   #153
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I thought we were talking about the zoom on the grip? If I misread the thread, sorry about that. I have no idea how the zoom control works on the hande because I would never use it. It doesn' have a variable speed, pressure sensitive control, so you'll never be able to do a decent zoom with smooth ramping no matter what your settings are. The control on the grip is the only one to use.
The grip zoom works fine but I'm talking about really slow creeps zooms my poor fingers can't execute. I don't remember the timing but it was many tens of seconds and at that delicate a touch my breathing can have an impact on my fingers. At a speed of 2 there's no need for a ramp . . . we're talking about a very very very slow creep. It's in cases like that that I resort to the top handle. Anything else, I have no problem with fingers on the grip zoom requiring "normal" human sensitivity.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 04:38 PM   #154
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On the PMW350's jerky zooms

Many thanks for all the reactions to my concern. I had hoped Sony would up the ante a bit on this camera's lens but it looks like the answer is no.

Like some of you I depend on extremely slow ramped zooms for emotional impact.

Could anyone recommend an appropriate serious lens for this camera? B&H only lists the Canon KJ16x7.7B-KRSD HDgc for $10,600.

All opinions welcomed and appreciated.


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Last edited by Dave McCallister; December 30th, 2009 at 04:42 PM. Reason: typo
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Old December 30th, 2009, 04:41 PM   #155
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With my handle zoom set to 2 on my EX3 the zoom is so slow you really can't see it. I do use it sometimes in conjunction with a pan (for really smooth pans I use a heavy rubber band to pull on), it is a very nice effect that I can't do with the grip zoom or remote handle zoom controller. This is on the replacement lens Sony sent me.

The new EX1R on slowest setting is not anywhere near as slow.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 04:56 PM   #156
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Dave I have started to look for 2/3" glass and information below are in type my sights. Still reading the manual so I have not even fired up the camera that is sitting in front of me. That will happen tomorrow as I start testing and build PP.

Fujinon ENG HA or ZA lens. You pick the focal length. CAC is important to me.
Canon ENG HJ same thing pick the focal length and CAC.

I am looking on the long end 22x with 2x doubler. But there are wide and mid range lens that vary in price. New is the $19,000 to $35,000 and used runs about $10,000 to $25,000. But make sure you test if first. If I buy used I will have Abel Cine Tech in NYC test the lens since they offer this service. Hope this helps.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 05:08 PM   #157
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Then again Dave you find deals like this one. Don't know much about it except their EBay store has loads of items.

Canon HD hj18x7.8B IRS Zoom Lens - Used - eBay (item 360222023642 end time Jan-29-10 07:22:00 PST)
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Old December 30th, 2009, 06:21 PM   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave McCallister View Post
Could anyone recommend an appropriate serious lens for this camera?
All opinions welcomed and appreciated.
Dave McCallister
Dave,

If the sale of my PDW-F350 goes through next week, I'll be selling the 1/2" Fujinon HSs18x5.5 lens that I used on it and my former EX3.
Fujinon | HSS18x55BRDS 18x XDCAM HD Lens | HSS18X55BRDS | B&H

It turns the EX3 into a whole different camera.
It's in perfect condition and I'll be asking $8,000 for it.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 06:49 PM   #159
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I remember some years ago someone in the industry telling me that a new Sony product could be designed without input from the the previous model's production team! I think this is what happened with the EX1. So simple things like zoom controls and filters were re-invented from scratch - previous knowledge was not carried over. The Cine - Alta team did not it seems talk to the Z1 team. But the EX series for all its faults is a landmark in HD production and I am truly grateful.
I agree 100% with your observations. I have heard much the same about the CineAlta team being isolated from the other Sony divisions. If you have worked with both cameras, which most of us have, it is clearly evident.

The only thing that bothers me about this thread is now I am thinking about 2/3" glass. Could be worse...

I have a Libec zoom controller on the way. I presently own a Manfrotto remote zoom that periodically exhibits "notchy" zooming at slow speeds. There is a thumbwheel on the Manfrotto that allows you to "gate" the zoom speed so you have full rocker control over just slow creeping zooms. Unfortunately, it seems that there are some sweet spots in the position of the thumbwheel and I haven't been smart enough to tape it down when I hit the sweet spot in a shoot. Not sure if the Libec will "fix" it (as quite a few here claim) but I sure hope so.

The notchiness on my camera does seem intermittent but I am not sure if it is in the zoom mechanism on the lens or the remote zoom controller or both.

I will post up once I get the Libec plugged in and run it through its paces in a long event shoot.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 02:06 AM   #160
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Guys,

I hope you're talking about the handle "rocker" being hesitant at speeds <10, not the main hand grip rocker?

As to the latter, operating it carefully I can get perfect creeping zoom lasting some 90 secs from end to end (regardless of the menu zoom speed setting).

As to the former - well, at the setting of 1, it tends to start and stop but only at the wide position; further towards tele and I can get even slower zooms than with the grip rocker (a single digit increment per 2 seconds).

With the menu zoom speed settings at 2 and above, it's as smooth as silk.
I should have added perhaps that using my Manfrotto 521ex controller, I can also perform creeping zooms taking almost 2 minutes (yes - it's almost 120 sec) from end to end. So, I guess I belong to those lucky EX1 owners - at least in this respect.

All this shows that the EX1 lens CAN be capable of proper zoom operation. However, I admit that the number of units out there that can NOT, is very disappointing. Fujinon seems to not be able to manufacture consistent units within tolerances... This has also been confirmed by Manfrotto engineers during their 521ex controlor design; they said the voltages at the zoom control socket vary considerably between units. Also the hysteresis (when starting/stopping, or reversing direction of zooming) is large, and inconsistent between units AND at various zoom positions...
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Old January 1st, 2010, 02:42 PM   #161
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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
Dave,

If the sale of my PDW-F350 goes through next week, I'll be selling the 1/2" Fujinon HSs18x5.5 lens that I used on it and my former EX3.
Fujinon | HSS18x55BRDS 18x XDCAM HD Lens | HSS18X55BRDS | B&H

It turns the EX3 into a whole different camera.
It's in perfect condition and I'll be asking $8,000 for it.
Doug,

Thanks, but would I not need a 2/3" lens for the PMW350?
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Old January 1st, 2010, 07:33 PM   #162
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Yeah, 2/3" for the PMW-350 and 1/2" for the PDW-F350 and EX3. It's a 1/2" lens that I'm selling. This thread has drifted in so many directions I can't tell which camera we're talking about or whether it's the zoom control on the grip or the handle that people are complaining about.
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 02:29 AM   #163
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Keep off the Jack Daniels Doug and things may become clearer :-)

Happy New Year to you.
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 07:06 AM   #164
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Enable the top handle zoom button (really a button not a rocker). Set your slow zoom speed to 2 in the menu. Try to execute the zoom using that top handle button and go from 0 to 99. You may notice the zoom stutters.
Interesting - I've not heard of this complaint before. I'm still using a Z1 for most of my work, and like to have the top handle zoom speed set to it slowest (and fastest). Then I can do short 'tracks' around objects, pressing on that handle zoom rocker (in or out) as I track. Funnily enough the slow, gentle zoom adds to the interest of the shot I find, as you combine a zoom with track.

So you mean to tell me even the EX1R can't guarantee this operational mode?

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Old January 2nd, 2010, 08:38 AM   #165
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So you mean to tell me even the EX1R can't guarantee this operational mode?
Sadly, I'll have to confirm that.

I have an EX1 that can do the slowest creep zooms with the top rocker, but it did go back to Sony to cure vignetting.

Just done a side by side with my new EX1R, and the EX1R does exhibit a form of irregular zooming using Speed 2 on the rocker.*

It seems most apparent, or at least I notice it, between Zoom 0-20 and particularly around 60-68. It doesn't stop altogether, but it seems to 'snag' a bit - like there's slack in the couplings as something accelerates that pulls or pushes a bunch of things on rails. Definitely mechanical, an example of 'sticktion' or uneven lubrication. I'd also point out that the 'start' from 0-5 has a big 'bump start' to it on the EX1R.

I tried disengaging steadyshot, used Auto and Manual focus, no change. Had a couple of runs that were smooth, so tried recording each pass in case I got a good one. It has to be said that 'humans' may not notice this (wife didn't spot it and when I showed her, I got a look along the lines of 'isn't there something useful you could be doing instead?'.

I do remember seeing an early EX1 example of 'jerky zoom' which was horrific. This was a lot better, but not 'right' - we're not being picky because there's 'good' EX1s out there.

I wonder if 'exercise' is going to help? Whilst I was doing the tests on USB speed, I was twiddling the zoom in and out to stress the VBR. Will sit and twiddle with it for a bit and test again in a few days time.

* The EX1R has a Menu control that goes down to 8, then alternates between * and / as if to say 'here be dragons', or at least 'all bets are off, YMMV' as you count the iterations to get to a 'virtual' 2. Certainly, at 2, a full zoom takes 1:20 (80 seconds) on both EX1 and EX1R, but the EX1R's full zoom time varies a little bit.
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