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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 May 8th, 2006, 03:35 AM   #1
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Canon Half Inch Lenses

Interestingly Canon produce 3 remarkably similay lenses, the YJ19x6.7 which is a 2/3 inch HD lens, the YJ19x6.7 which is a 1/2 inch SD lens and the KH19x6.7 which is a HD 1/2 inch lens. The pictures and almost all of the details of these three lenses are remakably similar. Indeed on the Canon site even canon seem to be confused about which lens is which giving identical specs for both the YJ19 and YH19. http://www.canonusa.com/html/industr...67_intro.shtml
Obviously the rear elements will be different for a half inch lens compared to a 2/3 inch lens, but I suspect that it is cheaper for Canon to manufacture one basic lens and then adapt/re-badge it for different markets rather than having 3 production lines producing 3 almost identcal products.
I am not a lens expert, but I do know that it is harder to make a sharp lens for a smaller image sensor than a large one. It kind of makes sense therefore that a sharp half inch lens would be easy convert to a HD 2/3inch lens.

The YJ19x6.7 was the first of these very similar lenses produced by Canon. Did they then adapt it for 2/3 inch and re badge it as a HD lens, then have they re-badged it again as a half inch HD lens and slapped on a higher price tag?

It would be very interesting to compare the YJ19x6.7 and KH19x6.7 on the same HD camcorder. You can pick up YJ19x6.7 quite cheaply, I got a second hand one for $1000.

I was working with the owner of Van Diemen Films, a company that produces lenses for film cameras. He told me that there is a lot of hype about HD lenses. His comment was that "a lens is a lens, it is either ground correctly or not. There may be differences in tollerances and quality of materials, but when you are talking of broadcast quality glass lenses there is normally little or no difference between HD and SD glass." He then went on to remind me of how when CCD camcorders first came out all the lens manufacturers started to produce special CCD compatible lenses. These were nothing more than re badge lenses with a price premium, but if your lens grip didn't have a big "CCD" badge on it you felt inferior.

I expect (or at least like to hope) that HD lenses are produced to closer tollerances than SD lenses, but is there really that much difference? It makes me think of my XL-H1 and how Canon tell you that the older SD lenses are no good for HD, however many users are finding that the old XL SD lenses perform perfectly well and in some instances better than the supplied HD lens.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 09:54 AM   #2
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I am not sure this is true. I tried the Canon 19X 1/2" lens and got very poor results (max 600 lines resolution, CA, etc). I switched to the 1/2" HD 18X Fujinon lens and saw a dramatic increase in resolution (750+ lines) and much better image. Certainly both Canon and Fujinon will tell you that their HD lenses have much more resolution and many other improvements over the SD lenses. For example, the Canon literature on their website indicates that for 2/3" lenses Canon specs their SD lenses at 30 line pairs / mm, versus 55+ line pairs / mm for HD.

My understanding is that the lens is where you should put (a fair amount of) your money, at least for HD.

Note that the correct Canon lenses for XDCAM HD are here http://www.usa.canon.com/html/indust...efp_lens.shtml in the file labeled "HDgc Lenses Catalog" and in the four KH lens spec sheets. There are four KH style 1/2" HD lenses specifically designed for XDCAM HD, in fact the HDgc catalog has a nice picture of the XDCAM HD camera as its centerpiece.

That same catalog discusses the Canon LO32BMT adapter for mounting 2/3" lenses on the 1/2" XDCAM HD. They have a detailed description of the impact of the adapter on angle of view, focal length, and F-number. However, they do not discuss the impact on resolution.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 12:07 PM   #3
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I totally agree Michael that the lens is probably the single most important part of the whole system as no matter how good the CCD etc, if the lens isn't delivering the goods then that will limit performance.

My guess is that the 3 canon lenses are all produced to the same basic design but that there may be differences in the tolerances, materials and/or lens coatings.

I think I will probably stick with my SD lens for the moment as the bulk of the work for my XDCAM will be SD. I will hire in good quality HD glass for the HD jobs. That way I can try out the various lens options before eventually buying a HD lens.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 09:52 AM   #4
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I had the opportunity to try out the Canon lenses and the low end Fujinon (xs17x5.5brm) at NAB. I was really impressed with the HDgc high end canon lenses but at $26k that is a bit steep for me. I was not impressed however with the low end Canon(KH19X6.7KAS). The image was really soft and seemed about the same as the low end Fujinon.

I am curious if anyone has had the opportunity to try out the Fujinon HSs18x5.5BRD. It is in the middle price wise and avail @ b&h, but I don't remember it at NAB.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 04:29 PM   #5
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I am using the Fujinon 18x lens. It is a huge step up in resolution from the lower end Canon and Fujinon lenses, although sometimes there is still a slight bit of CA. I am sure the $24-26k lenses from either Canon or Fujinon would be better. If you want to see some footage see our site www.redhawk-development.com and go to the Central Sierra page. The Hummer videos were shot with that lens (see the thread "Vehicle Mounted F350" here on DVInfo for details).
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Old May 11th, 2006, 05:47 PM   #6
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So Mike..is your Fujinon lens the 15k version? Also going OT...now that you have had a chance to get very acquainted with both the XLH1 and PDW-350. Can you see a significant difference in the quality of the picture between the two camera's?
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Old May 11th, 2006, 09:22 PM   #7
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Yes, it is the 15k Fujinon.

Both cameras are excellent for their price point

The resolution of the two cameras is similar. When capturing uncompressed from the HDSDI the 4:2:2 of the XLH1 is better for green screen than the Sony because of the 4:2:0 nature of the Sony imager.

Latitude is greater for the F350, which is a huge advantage shooting outdoors. The CineGamma curves for the Sony are also better than the ones provided by Canon (at least I have been getting better results with the Sony gamma curves). Also you can adjust the Knee of the Sony all the way down to 50 (not that I recommend it), so again more control over the image. I like the optical disc much better than tape. Of course the XDCAM is much more rugged than the XLH1 and seems like it will take a beating for many more years than the XLH1. The viewfinder is much better on the F350. The workflow for the F350 is much nicer. The on camera LCD and thumbnail feature is very handy in the field.

For shooting outdoors the F350 wins on image quality. For studio shots with very controlled lighting, especially green screen, the XLH1 does very well.

I'll admit I am really looking forward to the the 2/3" XDCAM HD. Based on my discussions with the Sony folks at NAB it will be an awesome camera. F900 or better image quality, plus the XDCAM workflow.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 08:51 AM   #8
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Thanks Mike for the info. Awesome footage of the Hummer.

It is good to know that the 18x Fujinon is a huge jump in resolution. I can live with a little CA for the price. It is probably the lens that I will end up going with...
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Old May 12th, 2006, 10:20 AM   #9
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I too look forward to the 2/3rd inch XDCAMS. Another reason for not investing too heavily in half inch glass at this point. I may look into a 2/3 inch lens as I already have the adapter.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 08:42 PM   #10
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Mike thanks for the great info. I suspect that the 2/3" XDCAM-HD version and will come with a hefty price tag, probably more than I would be willing to pay...and the 1/2" is available now.....I need to get up to B&H and look first hand at the camera and some footage displayed on a good plasma or lcd monitor.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 09:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Aston
Mike thanks for the great info. I suspect that the 2/3" XDCAM-HD version and will come with a hefty price tag, probably more than I would be willing to pay...and the 1/2" is available now.....I need to get up to B&H and look first hand at the camera and some footage displayed on a good plasma or lcd monitor.

Hi,

I was at B&H yesterday and they aren't showing the camera (although its in their new catalog). I would recommend that if you are coming north, that you go to Abel Cine--downtown Manhattan---they have cameras on display and are very knowledgable. (Sorry to say this but I buy lots from B&H but I find that most of their pro video staff is clueless).
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