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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old January 16th, 2006, 07:07 AM   #1
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More on fisheye lenses

I got the sony hdr fx1 and am putting together a skate video right now. I need to get a fisheye lens for this project. I saw two lenses from century: one was .5x mag. and the other was an ultra fisheye that was .3x but way more expensive.

I was recommended that for skate videos i would need a minimum of .42x magnification.

So I guess I have three questions of which I would be thankful to get answered.
1) What are other uses for ultra fisheye lenses besides for action (like skate videos)? like what kind of shots are they good for?

2) Anyone know of any cheaper lenses with more magnification then .42x? (compatible with my camera obviously)

3) Raynox makes one but I don't know how much barrel distortion or vignetting it has, what should I look for in terms of quality? or what will i be sacrificing?

Thanks in advance!

Chris
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Old January 19th, 2006, 04:29 AM   #2
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1) Well, they are good for things that do need the widest view possible, most of the time it is just for an efect, or the fact that the wider the lens, the less shake in the video is noticed.

2) The Century fisheye is really your best bet because of the clairity of the glass and the fine bulid. They hold their value aswell.

3) The Raynox can get the job done, but you do get what you pay for. Some people consider putting cheap glass in front of a zeiss lens a sin.

One thing is, if you do get the Raynox, it might fall short and you will later want to move onto the Century, so sometimes its cheaper to by the more costly lens.
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Old January 19th, 2006, 05:45 AM   #3
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...as said above, but also keep in mind that you already have a much wider angle with the native 16:9 CCD instead the 4:3. Were using Centurys 0.6 and its really wide.

alex
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Old January 19th, 2006, 08:11 AM   #4
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I just got the Century 0.6x myself and so far I like it. It isn't really a "fisheye" but it's quite wide - like a 19mm lens for a 35mm still camera. You will get significant barrell distortion which tends to give it that fisheye look with a curved horizon line. However the distortion isn't so extreme that you can't use the lens for general purposes. And the bayonet locking ring is a very clever and fast way to attach the lens as well.

Also, they're offering a sunshade/filter holder for it at an introductory price. See my thread here for more info: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=58525
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Old January 20th, 2006, 03:36 AM   #5
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Why is an ugly fisheye shot neccessary in every skate video? I used to like skate videos but now their mostly boring and generic. I bet you could come up with some more interesting angles without one.
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Old January 20th, 2006, 03:56 AM   #6
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As far as skateboarding goes, the 0.3x century is the one to get. All cheaper options will (if you are serious about shooting) end up sitting on a shelf anyway. It is more expensive but it looks so much better than the raynox contraptions and all pseudo-fisheyes.

I aggree with the point of view that you shouldn't use the fish too much and try to find some other angles instead, but it is still an essential piece of kit...

How does the HDV codec cope with the fast motion of skating? especially with close-up fisheye shots you might get a whole lot of motion which may be too much for the codec... I would really like to see what its like.

JD
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Old January 20th, 2006, 05:29 AM   #7
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it's mainly the price difference. Because I am in Europe, it's 1/3rd the price difference with the raynox. With that difference I could get the Century .5x fisheye as well and still have money over for a directional mic.

I went ahead and ordered the Raynox, my reasoning is that most people consider fisheye shots ugly (but are a staple part of skate videos) anyways so what difference does it make?

Any last minute suggestions before I go for it?

If I get it, I'll be sure to post all of my experiences with it.

peace
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Old January 20th, 2006, 05:56 AM   #8
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hey i'm in europe too...

fisheye shots aren't always ugly... but honestly, the optical quality of the century is way way way better than the raynox.

the thing is, you've got a great camera and then you're going to but a not-so-great adapter in front of it... seems a bit of a waste.
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Old January 20th, 2006, 12:02 PM   #9
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Maybe ugly, but there are no liner ultra-wides for video and thats what is needed to get the close up feeling with out cutting off any of the skater or the object they are skating. A major thing is fliming runs, and the wider the lens, the more solid the shot.

Heres an example, skating full speed and making it look solid is a breeze with a fisheye.

http://www.skateaz.com/users/miyagi/...scarbcline.mov

It is shot with a Canon GL-2 and the Century fisheye, but i am currently using the Sony hc-1 and fisheye for the same type of shots.
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Old March 25th, 2006, 11:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Westerstrom
I went ahead and ordered the Raynox, my reasoning is that most people consider fisheye shots ugly (but are a staple part of skate videos) anyways so what difference does it make?
Did you receive your Raynox yet? How do you like it? Do you have an clips you could share?
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Old March 25th, 2006, 11:20 AM   #11
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Just so's were all on the same wavelength here - a true fisheye gives a circular image withing the frame, where edge to edge on the image is a 180 degree field-of-view. TV masking will flatten the top and bottom, but the loss of image area to black vignetting generally calls for a very specialist application need.

Much better to shoot wild action movies with the FFFE (full frame fish eye), where only the diagonal corner-2-corner sees 180 degrees. Using this lens you still get gobs of barrel distortion (hense the fish eye name) but you don't lose screen real-estate to black.

Go with the Raynox I say. I've been very impresseed with their lenses, and you sure as hell aren't interested in ultimate picture quality as you hold the camera 2" off the pavement at 20 mph.

tom.
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Old March 25th, 2006, 11:50 AM   #12
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Tom - Good point about the diagonal vs. circular.

I've seen some screenshots from the Raynox .3x for the A1 and they look good. Also, Raynox has some of their own demo shots here: http://www.raynox.co.jp/english/video/hdrfx1/index.htm Unfortunately, the overall quality of the video is bad so it's hard to see if there is a noticeable difference in quality w/ and wo/ the lens. There's no vignetting like the Century, though.
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Old March 25th, 2006, 12:21 PM   #13
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I bought a cheap 0.42x wide-angle converter and took it apart. One of the pieces of glass was a very powerful, very thick negative element that when held up to the front of my VX2k gave me a wild and whacky fish-eye look. I used sticky tape to hold it to a 58 mm filter ring with the filter removed. Real Heath Robinson stuff.

Technically this is going to be some way lower than Century's twin element fisheye lens, but mine cost less than a 20th of the price. And when this fish eye section of the movie comes on screen along with the screetching sound track (don't ask) the last thing on the audience's mind is the corner resolution, or chromatic aberation visible in fine detail.

I'm not a lover of barrel distortion. I'd much prefer to see footage shot on an FX1 with a 0.5x converter with undistorted straight lines. I'm happy with the dramatic perspective distortion such a combo would give as this looks far more realistic than the bulging look that barrel distortion gives.

tom.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 06:49 AM   #14
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Sorry to bring back an old topic but i thought it better than starting a new one.

Currently looking at a fish for my z1p, its a toss up between the century and the raynox.

By the sounds of things the century gives the camera vignetting? where as the raynox does not, this is a big thing for me.. i really dont want that vignetting.

Secondly, with the century, if you've got a shoty on the front itll probably come into frame, correct? im thinking the fact that the raynox is zoomable means its longer and less likely to get the gun in frame.

So.. sounds like the raynox is the go, well, then we get back to the whole glass quality (forget cost for the time being).

I was also planning on purching a sony wide angle - 0.7x as well as they are handy to i've found. Maybe i could grab the raynox fish and then a century x0.7 or .8 wide, at least giving me one quality lens.

comments, suggestions etc welcome.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 08:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Lawry
I was also planning on purching a sony wide angle - 0.7x as well as they are handy to i've found.
The Sony wide angle adaptor for the Z1 is only .8x, not .7x:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...lue=357486_REG

I considered this, but it didn't seem to expand the field of view enough to be worth bothering with...
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