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Sony HVR-V1 / HDR-FX7
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Old January 28th, 2007, 06:40 PM   #1
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Super Wide / Fisheye

Hello

I'm looking to get some very wide panoramic shots, and my needs are obviously greater than the modest stock V1U lens. The Sony .8x, while useful to have on all the time, is not wide enough (and not available). I've been looking into the Raynox DCR-CF185PRO (see http://raynox.co.jp/english/dcr/dcrcf185pro/index.htm) . I haven't seen any reviews of this lens for HDV, but I'm thinking it could be versatile for fisheye to very wide angles for specialty shots. It also has a 62mm thread diameter, which seems rare in the Wide Angle adapter offerings (none from Century, Sony (in super wide yet), Canon or others.

I was also looking into the Century Optics .55x reversable, but I'm worried about the quality as well as the need for a step-down from 62mm-58mm, viginetting, etc.

I've also looked into adapters made for the Z1 (72mm thread), as well as cheaper Kenko, Optex, Canon. It's hard to determine the quality based on any marketing info and reviews seem scarce (believe me I've looked)

Thanks for any advice.

-Keith
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Old January 28th, 2007, 07:06 PM   #2
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Raynox makes a number of HD wide-angle lenses. Take a look at these lenses: http://raynox.co.jp/english/video/hdrhc1/index.htm

Also take a look at these: http://raynox.co.jp/english/video/egwidehdxl.htm

I own the HD-7000PRO High Definition Wideangle Conversion Lens 0.7X. I am very happy with it. I use it with a Z1U and a Cavision 4x4 bellows matt box.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 01:26 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Moreau
Hello

I'm looking to get some very wide panoramic shots, and my needs are obviously greater than the modest stock V1U lens. The Sony .8x, while useful to have on all the time, is not wide enough (and not available). I've been looking into the Raynox DCR-CF185PRO (see http://raynox.co.jp/english/dcr/dcrcf185pro/index.htm)
Raynox DCR-CF185PRO is a circular fish eye. If you need wide panoramic shots its not what you need. Look at Raynox DCR-CF180, that is the diagonal version.

Raynox website is one of the worst designs I have ever seen, absolutely confusing and difficult to find which lens is for what purpose (try macros if you want to get lost). The step up ring usage is also not clearly explained there - so one cannot predict how the lens gonna perform if the thread size is not exactly 62mm.

Had no chance to buy the lenses, keep on trying for quite some time. All I got is 2 times cancelling my Paypal payment - by the online shop for various reasons.

Not sure how is the US marketing and distribution - try BH if you can.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 02:11 AM   #4
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From the website it looks like the Raynox DCR-CF185PRO has the ability to be used as a circular fish eye, a diagonal fish eye, and a very wide, depending on the zoom setting on the camera. From the specs it also seems like it has higher resolution than the 180. In fact I just ordered the 185 from an outfit called Adorama, hoping it would be the more versatile than the 180. I agree the Raynox website is confusing, although in some ways a lot better than the other 3rd party lens adapter websites, who don't really show anything or provide any information.

I've used Adorama as well as BH in the past. Adorama has good shipping price and a good return policy. I'll let people know what I think of the lens when I get it. I'm also thinking of a .6x or.7x adapter. Not sure if I want the Sony .8x or not. Because of the fairly narrow wide angle on the V1U I think they should have tried to make it a .7x full zoom through.

I am also thinking of a Red Eye as well for the lightness. The V1U model of Red Eye is coming out in March, according to Rene Collins, who responded almost instantly to my email inquiry.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 10:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Nelson
I own the HD-7000PRO High Definition Wideangle Conversion Lens 0.7X. I am very happy with it. I use it with a Z1U and a Cavision 4x4 bellows matt box.
That's a 58mm mount - has anyone tried a stepup ring to 62mm to fit the V1U? There would be vignetting, yes?
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Old January 29th, 2007, 10:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Quinn
That's a 58mm mount - has anyone tried a stepup ring to 62mm to fit the V1U? There would be vignetting, yes?
There is no vignetting with the Z1U on wide end using the Raynox HD-7000PRO. I think this is because the front glass is huge, about 74mm and it has 82mm filter threads. The disadvantage of this lens, if you don't use a matt box, is the 82mm filters are very expensive.

I use a 72mm step down ring with the Z1U.

Last edited by Dave F. Nelson; January 29th, 2007 at 08:15 PM.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 04:52 PM   #7
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I've just ordered the Raynox HD-7000PRO with the 58mm mount as well based on the recommendations here. It seems it will not viginette when used with a 62mm to 58mm step down ring as it won't even with a 72mm to 58mm according to Dave Nelson.

I've tried a Sony Wide angle adapter with a 52mm mount with the v1U and a 62mm to 52mm step down ring and it does viginette slightly so that I need to zoom in slightly. Also the quality on that lens (VCL-0752H) is not great (although not as bad as it could be).

I'll let everybody know how my experiments with the Raynox lenses work out.

-Keith
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Old February 7th, 2007, 03:17 PM   #8
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I received the Raynox HD-7000PRO .7x wide adapter and the Raynox DCR-CF185PRO on Monday and did some tests on Tuesday, here is my 'review' of the adapters on the Sony V1U.

Raynox HD-7000Pro .7x: Overall a good quality piece of glass, from what I can tell. It is relatively small and light, on the small side of what you might expect from a .7x zoom through adapter. I have a .7x wide adapter for my tiny Sony HC1 and it is larger and heavier than the Raynox. Since the HD-7000Pro is a 58mm filter thread size, I had to get a 58mm to 62mm step-down adapter. This is somewhat problematic just from a trivial practical point in that the cap for the 58mm side of the lens does not fit when the 62mm step down adapter is attached. I'll have to get a cap that fits.

Performance. From what I could tell, it seemed pretty sharp at the widest zoom setting on my V1U. Mounted in front of a B+W 62mm UV filter on the front of my V1U lens, there was a slight amount of vignetting at the widest zoom. Without the UV filter it seemed there was no viginetting. You can see the differences with the files:

Normal-Wide.jpg - V1U with no wide adapter
Raynox-wide-adapter-UV-filter.jpg - V1U with Raynox HD7000Pro and UV filter inbetween
Raynox-Wide-no-UV-filter.jpg - V1U with Raynox HD7000Pro screwed right onto the V1U

It seemed there was little CA or distortion at the widest V1U zoom. When I zoomed in, however, there was distortion at the corners of the image. So I'd say the usable range is about 1/2 of the V1U's zoom range. You can see the distortion at the corners with the file Raynox-wide-zoom-tele.jpg

For $150 including shipping it seems like a pretty good deal, especially since there are few wide angle adapters that will fit a V1U odd filter size. I will use it in situations where I don't need to zoom much. I may eventually get an adapter, perhaps with a specific V1U bayonet mount, that produces less distortion at longer zooms but for now I think it will suffice.

Raynox DCR-CF185PRO: This is the full Fisheye adapter that supposedly will work as a diagonal fisheye as well as an extreme wide. It has a 62mm rear filter diameter so it can screw right onto the front of the V1U.

The lens is a big piece of glass. The lens caps on either side are kind of strange. The front one is hard to remove, because there is no 'tab' and the edges are flush with the front frame, and the rear cap doesn't really fit well. It seems that with all the other pro features of the packaging, the carrying pouch, etc that they could get this right.

I was hoping that this lens would allow me to have a fisheye, diagonal full frame fisheye, and wide angle, the best of all worlds. Unfortunately, it really only works well as a fisheye. In the fisheye mode, it seems to work ok. With 16x9 frame sizes especially where the circle is not the majority of the frame, the fisheye effect is of limited value to me. The main problem with the lens is that in order to completely eliminate the viginetting, you have to zoom in quite far, eliminating any wide angle advantage you might have over another standard, better quality wide angle adapter, such as the HD7000Pro mentioned above. You can see what I mean with the attached files:

Raynox-Fisheye-Full-Wide.jpg
Raynox-Fisheye-minimal-vign.jpg

In addition, when zooming the CA and blurring become more evident as you move from the center of the image, as is evident with this file:

Raynox-Fisheye-Full-Zoom.jpg

Perhaps this Fisheye adapter will work well with another application. For me it won't. I'm going to have to send it back for a refund. I may order the Raynox DCR-CF180 and see how that works.

Let me know if you have further questions.

Regards,

-Keith
Attached Thumbnails
Super Wide / Fisheye-normal-wide.jpg   Super Wide / Fisheye-raynox-wide-adapter-uv-filter.jpg  

Super Wide / Fisheye-raynox-wide-no-uv-filter.jpg   Super Wide / Fisheye-raynox-fisheye-full-wide.jpg  

Super Wide / Fisheye-raynox-fisheye-minimal-vign.jpg   Super Wide / Fisheye-raynox-fisheye-full-zoom.jpg  

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Old February 7th, 2007, 03:41 PM   #9
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Keith, thanks very much for posting this information. Is it just my eyes, or do the 0.7 images seem very washed out compared to the standard lens image?
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Old February 7th, 2007, 04:13 PM   #10
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Hi Greg,

Maybe my frame grabs made them washed out. I watched them all on a 50' plasma HD monitor with an HDMI connection and the quality of the Raynox seemed ok, ie not particularly washed out. I didn't set up the camera optimally for the best images, I was really trying to see how 'wide' things would get with the adapters and the behavior with the zooming and viginetting. The day was kind of a hazy and misty, contributing to the overall low contrast effect. I'm also still experimenting with the V1U to get sharp HD images. It seems there is a combination of aperture and other setting that make things POP. Sometimes I get it other times I don't. Also watching motion increases the perceived sharpness and resolution, in my opinion, rather than static frame grabs.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

-Keith
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Old February 7th, 2007, 05:16 PM   #11
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Like I said before: the DCR-CF180PRO might be the solution for diagonal fish eye.
DCR-CF185PRO is a circular fish eye.
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Old February 7th, 2007, 06:11 PM   #12
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Zsolt, yes you were correct, but the Raynox website says the 185 can be used for both fisheye and diagonal fisheye and wide based on the camera's zoom, so I thought I could get both. Also the 185 has a higher resolution than the 180. But in fact it wasn't that versatile.

I'll probably wind up trying out the DCR-CF180PRO, I'll post my findings.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 10:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Moreau
It seemed there was little CA or distortion at the widest V1U zoom. When I zoomed in, however, there was distortion at the corners of the image. So I'd say the usable range is about 1/2 of the V1U's zoom range. You can see the distortion at the corners with the file Raynox-wide-zoom-tele.jpg.
I agree with your findings. On the Z1 there are no problems at the long end of the zoom range but the Z1 doesn't have the long zoom of the V1. When I bought the Raynox HD-7000PRO, the specifications on their website stated the following: Effective zooming without vignetting : Full(1X-10X) Zoom. This is close to the zoom range of the Z1. The V1U has a 20x zoom so it stands to reason that there would be some distortion at the long end.

I use the lens frequently.

I'm eagerly await your findings on the wider Raynox lens, since I plan to buy at least one V1U shortly and will have the same problem.

Thanks, Dave.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 12:43 PM   #14
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Ok, I have bought quite a full HD line of Raynox lenses in Singapore.

Here are my intitial findings (sorry I dont bother with typing the brainlessly created product names of the lenses, you will figure out which lens I am referring to):

6600 wide angle lens - very good and sharp in wide, but if used zoomed in the sides of the image will get blurry. Sensitive to lens flare. I have to check my clips on big screen for other issues (e.g. CA)

2020 tele: I managed to take some great close ups of birds. Works only in full zoom, vignetting occurs (or circle in the middle of the screen) if you try it any wider. Quite difficult to find the object. CA appears in high contrast areas. Naturally it is impossible to use this lens without tripod.

185 fish eye: this is an entirely useless (and expensive) model. Practically you cant get any wider vs the 6600 - but the lens shows much more barrel distortion. You need to zoom in pretty much to remove vignetting - and there you get the image that is not too wide anymore.
The fish eye (full wide) function shows a weird circle together with funny inner parts of the lens housing. Big time CA and lens flare.

All models come in cheap feeling plastic housing - and they are not really heavy (the tele lens and the fish eye are pretty big, although not that heavy).
Maybe I am too much used to the weight of my SLR still lenses.

I have purchased two Raynox macro sets as well, I have not tried them yet. I will let you know my findings later.
I am still on trip, so I will have to wait with posting images.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 01:17 AM   #15
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Review of Raynox DCR-CF180PRO,

I received this a few days ago, I've had a chance to shoot a bit with it.

It is much better than the 185 model, shorter and lighter. There is no viginetting with it at all when screwed directly into the V1U, the images are relatively sharp with little CA at the edges. It can be zoomed in quite far, with CA getting progressively worse as it is zoom in, but the image is still quite usable even at full zoom. I've finding I can zoom in and use it for a 'ultra-wide' lense and it gets rid of some of the fisheye effect, if that is not what you want.

It seems well constructed, although they really need to get a grip on the lens caps, the back end cap is especially lame.

I think for a fisheye it is probably as good as one might be able to get for the V1U, especially in this price range. (though I haven't seen the Century or 16x9Inc equivalent, but they don't even have a 62mm and their 72mm I've not heard a great amount of good things about these lenses, besides they are much more expensive.)

I think it may 'soften' the V1U image, but I'm not positive. From the images I've seen with it so far with my 50" plasma it's acceptable, I believe I'm going to keep this lens.

I've posted a couple of screenshots, not the best but what I could come up with at the current time just to give you an idea. One is full wide and one is full zoomed.

Let me know if you have further questions.

-Keith
Attached Thumbnails
Super Wide / Fisheye-raynox_180.jpg   Super Wide / Fisheye-raynox_180_zoomed.jpg  

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