L. Kingston's Custom A1U - Page 8 at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old April 16th, 2006, 03:36 AM   #106
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There's never going to be a single hood solution, not unless we have motorised hoods in the same way as SLRs have motorised flash tubes that are linked to the focal length of the zoom being used.

Remember lens hoods are only designed for the widest angle of your zoom - at all other focal lengths the hood id pretty useless and the Flarebuster is a boon. Have a look at Wayne Orr's set-up here:

http://www.digitalprods.com/flare.htm

tom.
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Old April 16th, 2006, 10:33 AM   #107
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There are other lenses with superior coatings and performance out there. You can look for lenses that were designed for higher end cameras, with better glass, that may not fit the 37mm filter threads of the A1U/HC1 out of the box. All you have to do is attach an adaptor (step up) ring to use a better lens. The disadvantage of using bigger high-end lenses is that the filter threads are much larger which means you have to pay more for the filters.

I've read discussions here speaking positively about the Sony VCL-HG0737Y, but this lens has a few shortcomings too. For one, the lens doesn't have threads on the lens barrel to allow you to attach filters, etc., so if you purchase this lens, you would have to purchase a lens hood which allows you to attach filters to the hood itself. The Cavision LH77 Lens hood is made for the Sony VCL-HG0737Y lens, and allows you to attach 82mm filters to the inside of the lens hood.

I use a Raynox HD-7000PRO High Definition 0.7X Wide Angle Conversion Lens instead of the Sony VCL-HG0737Y 37mm 0.7x Wide Angle Conversion Lens for a number of reasons. First of all, the Raynox lens has superior glass and was designed for high-end cameras. The Sony lens is also a good lens, but has more aberration at the edges when zoomed to it's widest angle, and more red and green color shift than the Raynox lens.

The Raynox HD-7000PRO High Definition 0.7X Wideangle Conversion Lens requires the use of an 37 to 58 mm adaptor ring because it was made for 58mm lenses and designed for use with 1/3 inch ccds such as the VX2000/2100, PD-170/150, etc. It uses 82mm filters which cost more, but if you want to play, you've got to pay.

You can get a lens hood for this lens too. The Cavision LH100WP 3x3 Rubber Lens Hood for Wide Angle Lenses can be used with the Ranox HD-7000Pro Lens. You will also have to buy a step down ring, 100mm to 85mm (Cavision ARP485) to use this hood with the Ranox lens. Cavision also makes a French Flag MBF-3 for this lens hood which helps in outdoor shoots and also acts as a lens cover... Good Stuff!

In my humble opinion, the Raynox HD-7000PRO is a superior lens and costs the same as the Sony but requires a step up ring which costs another 5 bucks, and it supports a French Flag to boot!

I don't have the same filtering problems you do though, since I use a wide angle Cavision 4x5.65" hard matt box system on 15mm rails with both my Z1U and A1U. This is an expensive solution ($800.00 plus with accessories and side flaps) for attaching filters but is the only way to get the most out of both of cameras (especially outdoors in bright sun) since matt boxes provide lots of light control and you can choose filters from the pro world of 4x4" and 4x5.65" filters. However, since both camcorders use the same matt box system, I get more bang for my buck.

I will use the A1U mainly for second unit work and will frequently shoot outdoors where matt boxes and filtering systems are a must (the A1U/HC1 has more problems in low light situations than the Z1U). Also, in available light situations indoors, the A1U/HC1 has more problems with filters since filters cut light levels down a bit and the A1U can use all the help it can get in available light. Indoors, the A1U definitely needs more light. More light, less video noise.

When I use the matt box with my Z1U, I insert the AR85-72 Conical Adapter Ring into the ARR1385 Rubber Adapter Ring in the matt box so it will fit on the Z1U lens. When I use the matt box with the A1U, I remove the AR85-72 Conical Adapter Ring and slip the A1U with the Raynox High Definition 0.7X Wideangle Conversion Lens (85mm lens o.d.) installed, directly into the matt box.

I also use the Cavision dual hand grips and shoulder pads with this system so I don't need the Spiderbrace that so many here rave about. However I do use a Spiderbrace with whichever camera isn't fitted with the matt box system, at the time. That would be the Z1U, in most cases, since I use the Z1U as the first unit camera (mainly indoors, but outdoors too if the second unit isn't using the matt box).

I don't like the Spiderbrace nearly as much as the Cavision shoulder mount system because the Spiderbrace is a little flimsy and is too thick, and hard to attach accessories to, unless you go to the auto store and buy radiator hose clamps (YUK!) to attach accessories, or drill holes in it as I did. The Spiderbrace front handles are also a little on the short side and angled too far out and away from you so it is difficult to attach a Lanc remote to the handle and still grip it. The Spiderbrace also has a substandard attachment system with thumb nuts from Home Depot, to mount the camera. The camera loosens up on the Spiderbrace and can swivel on its mount because it doesn't have a guide pin.

I still use it, though, because it was cheap. The Spiderbrace and HC1/A1U will probably be the number one combination for Hi-Def Porn Shooters, because it is very light, easy to handle, and cheap. But since I don't shoot porn, and mostly use tripods and dollies, I plan to buy another Cavision shoulder mount system to replace my Spiderbrace. The Cavision system attaches to a tripod with the handles attached so you can go from shoulder to tripod in a snap.

As a matter of fact, I also use the Cavision RPSHC - SPACER FOR SONY A1U / HC1 instead of the DeMaagd Accessories HC1-SHIM because the DeMaagd shim shifts the camera too far off center, too the right, in an attempt to accomodate bigger tripods. The Cavision shim is better for me because it works with high-end tripods, and also positions the A1U/HC1 tripod mount closer to the centerline to mount on pro rail systems for matt boxes etc. The DeMaagd HC1-SHIM is great and is priced right (actually the Cavision RPSHC shim is the same price as the HC1-SHIM, $25.00) but the HC1-SHIM can not be used with rails.

I did buy the DeMaagd Accessories HC1-SHIM and it works great on the Spiderbrace and my tripod but I don't need two shims to use with only one A1U. When I got the A1U, I didn't think it would work with the Cavision 4x5.65 matt box system, and like you, was thinking about how to solve my the filtering problems with a wide angle lens.

I discovered that the A1U would work with my matt box, quite by accident. When I got the Raynox lens and discovered that the lens o.d. was 85mm, I knew it would work on the Cavision matt box if I could find a shim that would allow the A1U to work with my matt box rails, and let me remove the tapes without taking the matt box system apart. After digging around a little on the web, I discovered that Cavision also makes a shim that allows the A1U/HC1 to be used with their rail systems (who'd a thought). Since I already had the matt box system for my Z1U, I ordered the Cavision RPSHC shim and tried using my matt box with my A1U. It worked great!

On another note: I'm planning to sell my Sony Z1U so I can buy a Canon XL-H1. My Cavision matt box system works on the Canon XL-H1 too so the matt box turns out to be a great investment and will be around long after all the first generation HDV camcorders have bit the dust.

You can obtain more information about the Raynox lens I use at this link:
http://raynox.co.jp/english/video/hdrhc1/index.htm

For samples of video shot on the HC1, with this and other Raynox lenses, visit this link: http://raynox.co.jp/comparison/video/comp_hdrhc1.htm

You can buy the Raynox lens at B&H Photo. Visit this link: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

For more info on the Cavision LH100WP 3x3" LENS HOOD FOR WIDE ANGLE LENSES, visit this link: http://www.cavision.com/lenshoods/LH100W.htm

You can buy the Cavision LH100WP 3x3" LENS HOOD at B&H Photo. Visit this link:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

For more info on the Cavision MBF-3 3x3" FRENCH FLAP for the 3x3 Lens Hood, visit this link: http://www.cavision.com/matteboxes/more/MBF3.htm

You can buy the Cavision MBF-3 3x3" FRENCH FLAP for the 3x3 Lens Hood at B&H Photo. Visit this link:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

If you want to use the Cavision LH77 Lens hood so you can use filters with the Sony VCLHG0737Y 0.7x Wide Angle Converter Lens, visit this link for more info: http://www.cavision.com/lenshoods/LH77.htm

You can get information on glass filters at the following links:
http://www.cavision.com/filters/cavision.htm
http://www.centuryoptics.com/products/filters/index.htm.

For more info on the Cavision RPSHC SPACER FOR SONY A1U / HC1 camcorders, visit this link:
http://www.cavision.com/rods/A1Uspacer.htm

For more info on the DeMaagd Accessories HC1-SHIM FOR SONY A1U / HC1 camcorders, visit this link: http://dm-accessories.com/HC1-SHIM.php

This is a link to a system much like the one I use with my Z1U and A1U. The difference is that my system does not use a follow focus and does not use 4x4 bellows but uses the 4x5.65 wide angle hard shade instead. Visit this link to see a system configured similarly to mine: http://www.cavision.com/pictures/SonyHDV/RS1580_1.htm

This is the link to the Cavision Shoulder Mount system: http://www.cavision.com/rods/RS1580.htm

I will upload some photos that of my system and provide links to it soon.

Also, the best way to deal with Cavision is to call them. They accept orders over the phone and are very helpful.

--Dave
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Old April 24th, 2006, 09:14 AM   #108
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Hi Laurence!

I have a quick question for you..

I just purchased the Rode NTG-2 mic and was wondering how you got it to fit in Sony's mic mount. I havent recieved the mic yet, but I've heard that it's not exactly a good fit. Thanks!
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Old April 24th, 2006, 01:49 PM   #109
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Just take the rubber wrapping around the including Sony mic off, wrap that rubber wrapping around the Rode mic, and you're good to go. You can also stick the Rode SM5 shockmount directly into the Sony shockmount, and then stick the Rode mic into the Rode shockmount.
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Old April 24th, 2006, 02:35 PM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Thames
Just take the rubber wrapping around the including Sony mic off, wrap that rubber wrapping around the Rode mic, and you're good to go. You can also stick the Rode SM5 shockmount directly into the Sony shockmount, and then stick the Rode mic into the Rode shockmount.
Alex - have you got the SM5 yet? If so, can you post a picture of the SM5 mounted on the A1 please? Or ... Laurence??
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Old April 24th, 2006, 03:35 PM   #111
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Problem I have is that I sold my NV1 to buy the Rode NRG-2 :-P

And the SM5 mount, which was on the B&H photo site this morning is now disappeared and I have no idea where to buy one...?
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Old April 24th, 2006, 04:52 PM   #112
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I don't have one myself, but I've seen pictures posted by someone of it once. Basically, the SM5 is the SM3 with a different mounting system. Instead of the shoe mount on the SM3, the SM5 has a cylinder (similar to the shape and size of a microphone) that extends out from the bottom. You just stick that cylinder mount into the Sony shockmount, and attach the mic the same way you would on the SM3 (into the rubber bands).
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Old April 25th, 2006, 01:27 AM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Holmes
Alex - have you got the SM5 yet? If so, can you post a picture of the SM5 mounted on the A1 please? Or ... Laurence??
You can find a picture of SM5 with Rode NTG1 in here: http://www.aavekammari.com/a1.html
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Old April 25th, 2006, 01:30 AM   #114
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I got my SM-5 here:

http://www.fullcompass.com/Products/...070/index.html
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Old April 25th, 2006, 01:46 AM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppe Johansson
You can find a picture of SM5 with Rode NTG1 in here: http://www.aavekammari.com/a1.html
Cool picture. The only problem is that if you use the light with the mic in that position it will cast a shadow across the frame. Just rotate the SM-5 so that it stands out horizontally instead of vertically when you use the light and this is no problem.

Actually for tripod mount I use a set of shop lights. I just use the camera light (with Stofen diffusor) for handheld stuff.

One thing that this picture shows is how pro you can get for very little money. A setup like this is right around three grand and in addition to looking pro, it produces absolutely incredible footage.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 03:09 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by Laurence Kingston
Cool picture. The only problem is that if you use the light with the mic in that position it will cast a shadow across the frame. Just rotate the SM-5 so that it stands out horizontally instead of vertically when you use the light and this is no problem.
Actually I've been using SM5 horizontally lately. Rode is so light that horizontal position doesn't make handheld shots uncomfortable. I also have that Stofen diffusor for light but I wanted picture look cooler, so I left it out :D
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Old May 6th, 2006, 10:50 PM   #117
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Picture of custom a1u

Do you think you can repost a link to the pictures of the custom a1u on page 1. The link brings up a page that says the picture is no longer available.
Thanks
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Old May 7th, 2006, 01:35 AM   #118
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Good to see the shots of your kit Poppe. I have that Manfrotto 128 head on my second tripod, and much admire the fluidity of all its movements. The 503 head is better, but so it should be considering the price.

Looks like you have a Cavision hood fronting the wide-angle converter - is that a Cavision one too? I have the same light (the 20-DW2 that takes the bigger NP-F battery) and velcro on a Lumquest diffuser. With both filaments lit and the diffuser in place, it's bye-bye to harsh shadows and squinty eyes.

tom.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 01:53 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick
.. I have that Manfrotto 128 head on my second tripod, and much admire the fluidity of all its movements. The 503 head is better, but so it should be considering the price.

Looks like you have a Cavision hood fronting the wide-angle converter - is that a Cavision one too? ... tom.
Manfrotto 128 is good when you have to carry things all around, it's SO light. But it's too much front balanced with heavy wide lense.
Yep, my hood is Cavision LH77 (with Hoya HMC Pro1 UV).
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Old May 7th, 2006, 06:19 PM   #120
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Which Hoya filter is the Pro 1? Is it this one:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont....x=0&image.y=0

I am looking for an UV filter to use with the LH77 and I am not sure which quality I am looking at to match the image quality without the filter (or at least come very close to that image quality).
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