Re: PMW-320K camera stock lens question at DVinfo.net

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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 September 7th, 2010, 03:33 PM   #1
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Re: PMW-320K camera stock lens question

While at NAB last year I had a chance to see the new pmw 320 up close and I noticed a small hole in the stock lens that looked like a focus lens block hole for conventional mechanical lens focus control. I sure hope that is what the hole is for. I have owned both ex-1 and the ex-3 with the stock lens and have not found a way to use a conventional focus control with these lenses. I know that Vari Zoom has a very expensive device that will allow focus control. Since I already own a fugi focus block and cable I sure hope that the stock lens will accept one. Anybody know what the hole is for?

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Ronnie
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Old November 1st, 2010, 03:29 PM   #2
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We just took delivery on a new sony 320 and it appears that it would be very easy to make a focus block for a conventional mechanical focus control for the stock lens.

Anyone seen a focus block for the stock lens?

Also in the manual it refers to a rear shoe kit for external monitor. I have searched for this item without finding it. Out of the box the 320 has only one accessory shoe and since I already have a sony wireless system I need that shoe for the wireless receiver. I need the rear monitor kit for my external monitor.

BTW awesome camera !!!

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Old November 1st, 2010, 03:38 PM   #3
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Hey Ronnie, hope you like your new camera. Do you have the ability to know if the PMW-320 is any bit of a step up from the EX-1 in terms of image or menu options?

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Old November 1st, 2010, 04:41 PM   #4
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Not sure yet... just got it out of the box today... I have read that there is less noise than the ex-3 but this is minimal. It has the same sensors. We now have three of the xdcam cameras in our arsenal. EX-1R, EX-3, and the 320. We need to work on matching all three. The 320 uses scene files rather than profiles. We need to know how to match all three cameras.

One thing I noticed is that the 320 has only one supplied shoe. Since we already have Sony wireless mics and receivers we will need to use the front shoe for the wireless. The manual states that there is a rear shoe kit available for the external monitor. We have not been able to find any info on this yet.

The look and feel of the camera is great. It balances on my poor old tired shoulder easily. The position of the view finder is super and the view finder image is of outstanding quality.

What I would like is for someone to come out with a tutorial DVD for this camera like the ones for the Ex-1/EX-3. It appears that the 320 is much easier to operate from the outside rather than digging down in the menus.

Thanks for your reply

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Old November 1st, 2010, 05:31 PM   #5
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Thanks for your reply Ronnie. I would be interested in hearing about how the matching goes and if the PMW-320 has any differences other than form factor in your opinion.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 05:49 PM   #6
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What I will be looking for is a conversion table from EX profiles to Scene files.....

My main shooting in the past has been dirt racing at several tracks in the Mid South. However, I don't think this camera will ever see a dirt track. There are just way to many places for dirt to get into the camera. The EX-1R and the Ex-3 have been outstanding in this environment. With over 150 hours on the Ex-3 this past season shooting a 20 week TV show the Ex-3 and the Ex-1R never failed me. My main camera has been the Ex-3 for the racing with a shoulder mount brace by Westside AV and the EX-1 R for interviews and back up. We spend several hours cleaning up both cameras after a race using a vacuum cleaner and other aids and the quality of our video under very difficult shooting circumstances has been outstanding. Many of the tracks are poorly lighted and even with the gain up to 12db at times the lens would still be at 1.9. The first time I shot I couldn't believe that I even got an image much less one that I could use for broadcast. The cars move at over 100 mph and the light changes every 10 feet and we still get good quality video.

Anyway the 320 will be a super addition to our camera arsenal.

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Old November 1st, 2010, 05:52 PM   #7
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Sounds fun. Have you noticed and skew issues that are a negative to your eye following the cars?
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Old November 1st, 2010, 06:11 PM   #8
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Absolutely none. I did use as small Sony 520 stationary camera down in one of the turns also shooting 1920X1080i and it showed skew but none with the EX cameras. My previous cameras were all 1/3 inch cameras and the one thing I noticed was the accuracy in focus. Because of the temperature change the focus at infinity changes slightly. So with the stock lens I have to verify the focus before each race. Also the depth of field is shallow because of the 1/2 inch chips.

My shooting position is far enough away that my focus does not change as the cars come at me at speed. With my previous cameras Sony Zu1 all I had to do was hit the infinity button or crank the lens all the way to the stop and I was in focus. However, the Zu1 struggled with the low light. The best low light camera that I used for several years was as pair of PD 170s. This was before we went HD and 16x9 and tapeless. The move to the tapeless format was the best thing I have ever done for editing. When using tape it usually took a whole day just getting my video into the computer... now it only takes a few minutes and I have the native files on the timeline with my editor.. GrassValley/ Edius.


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Last edited by Ronnie Martin; November 1st, 2010 at 10:32 PM.
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Old December 26th, 2010, 03:13 PM   #9
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Still no progress on finding a focus block for the Sony PMW 320 so that conventional manual focus control in a studio configuration could be used. I have contacted Varizom and Sony about this issue and no one seems to have any interest in making one. The standard fugi SD lens block almost fits. Only problem is the set post is not the correct distance from the screw that holds the focus block on the lens. I don't understand why they would develop a HD lens for a new camera and then not provide a focus block for the lens.

I appears that both the 350 and the 320 would use the same size block. The 320 is right at home for tripod shooting but it is difficult to use manual focus with your left hand and then use your right hand on the zoom control and be able to make smooth moves with the camera. My first gig with the 320 was a Christmas program at a church where we used 3 SD cameras switched and 3 cameras un switched. My 320 was one of the "B roll" cameras and my ex-1R was another. I fought the focus all through the 1.5 hour program on two nights. Light was low and the way I had the 320 set up it had an affinity for blue light. The best color match came from the EX-1 R set to standard out of the box defaults.

The blue light enhancement was my fault in using some scene files that I down loaded for the 350. In post we were able to de saturate the clips from my 320 and it looked fairly good. However, my shooting position was extreme stage left and I fought the focus the complete show.

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Old January 10th, 2011, 03:04 PM   #10
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Still no luck with the focus block for the 320. The focus block from a SD fujinon lens did not fit. The tapped hole accepted the main screw on the old block but the set pin was not in the right place. You would think that knowing what type camera that the stock HD lens was to used on that the company would make a focus block from the beginning. I have called Varizoom several times and they do not have anything to offer at the present.

Still looking for a solution for focus control on the PMW 320

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Old January 12th, 2011, 11:51 AM   #11
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Servo Kit:
http://ecprostore.com/fujinon-ms-01-...ntrol-kit.html

Focus Block:
FMM-X1 - Focus Block - Lens Adapter and Filters - Sony XDCAM EX Series - Sony Camcorders - Camcorders

This should be it.
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