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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 May 9th, 2006, 07:07 PM   #1
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Anyone use this lens?

I'm considering purchasing this WA lens for my FX1:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

I really like the fact that it has a bayonet mount and a very wide 0.6x conversion, but I'm a little concerned about extreme barrel distortion. I understand that I can't use full zoom with it but I'm okay with that.

Thanks for your feedback.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 08:18 PM   #2
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I have this lens and I like it, but there is indeed pretty extreme barrel distortion. If you don't like that effect then it may not be the lens for you. See the following: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=58525
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Old May 9th, 2006, 09:39 PM   #3
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I was afraid of that. I would be using the lens to show home interiors and all those straight lines would make the distortion pretty obvious.

Thanks for the quick response, Boyd. I remember reading your above post back when I was looking at tele lens (which I still haven't bought).
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Old May 9th, 2006, 09:44 PM   #4
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Yeah, maybe not the best choice for your application. However, the builtin lens has noticeable barrel distortion at full wide already, so any adaptor is only going to compound that. Unfortunately there aren't a lot of options for wide lenses on the Z1/FX1.

With the .6x century, if you shoot outdoors with the horizon around the middle of the frame then it looks pretty good. But as soon as you tilt up or down the horizon line turns into a "smile" or a "frown". But sometimes this can be an interesting effect which I like.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 01:01 PM   #5
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Sony also makes a wide-angle adapter for the FX-1/Z1. I have one and it's been good to me. I've been planning (or trying: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=59816 ) to sell it only because I don't use it as much as some of my other glass.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 07:43 PM   #6
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Yeah, Joe, I'm looking at that one, too. The problem I have with the Sony is whether or not .8x is going to be wide enough for me. This lens (whichever one I buy) will be specifically for shooting home interiors for a real estate agency. Their sample video--which they'd want me to duplicate--is simply a series of one slow pan across each room, so I would have to fit the entire room top to bottom in one sweep. This is New England, where we have a lot of old Victorian homes with many small rooms and I will probably need as wide a lens as I can get. I also noticed some obvious barrel distortion on their sample, so maybe the .6x would be acceptable to them. I guess the next step for me would be to contact this potential employer and see what they say about it. I think you have a pretty good deal on the Sony. Don't worry, just because I bought an FX1 instead of a Z1U doesn't mean I'm a "cheap-a**". (I might be a "dumb-a**" but definitely not a "cheap-a**".) Hey, are we even allowed to say "a**" on this forum?
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Old May 12th, 2006, 12:35 PM   #7
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I wouldn't care as much about barrel distortion as about blur in the edges. If the lens you buy is very clear (even if you have to use a small apperture), then you can correct the barrel distortion completely in software. This will crop about 10% of the image (as a side effect) but the result will be awsome. It can turn a fish-eye lens to rectilinear!

I can't suggest a specific app but I think you can find something if you search for it -even as a plugin. This technique is used in photography and I think paintshop pro has a customized feature for any photographic lens. You might be able to use such an app (if you can't find one specific for video) through the batch feature to process a folder of images (that you previously converted from video).
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Old May 12th, 2006, 02:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Claus
Hey, are we even allowed to say "a**" on this forum?
Um, no....
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Old May 12th, 2006, 02:56 PM   #9
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Barrel distortion is a real problem with the Z1, as distortion has been traded for sharpness in the design of the Zeiss 12x zoom. The distortion is enough to make me wary of using max wide-angle as I track through buildings, because door frames that bow outward as I pass through them do NOT look good to my clients.

If you've got a flat-screen 16:9 TV, try this: Stand in front of the TV with your camera perfectly normal to the screen. Zoom to wide-angle and move so that the TV frame fills your v'finder frame. Switch to underscan if you like, the results are still pretty horrifying.

As you move further away though and zoom in, things begin to look better and the barrel distortion lessens. You've got to go to 12 on the 0>99 zoom scale to get zero distortion.

All is not lost though. My single element aspheric (a 0.5x) actually cures the inherrent barrel distortion to some extent. Not completely, but then there's a lot of curing needing to be done.

Steven - you're right. If you're going to go through the palarva of taking off the hood, opening the lens case, screwing on the supplimentary, changing the Steadyshot setting, storing the hood and lens caps, then at least make it worth-while. For me, doing all this for a 0.8x is a bit daft.

tom.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 12:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick
Steven - you're right. If you're going to go through the palarva of taking off the hood, opening the lens case, screwing on the supplimentary, changing the Steadyshot setting, storing the hood and lens caps, then at least make it worth-while. For me, doing all this for a 0.8x is a bit daft.

tom.
This must be the British translation of what I said in American. Words like "palarva" and "daft" haven't made it over here yet. :-)

But seriously, Tom, I don't have an HDTV and my FX1 lacks the numerical zoom scale of the Z1 (or maybe I just haven't found it) so I'll just take your word for it.

By the way, could you give me some more info on that 0.5x lens you have?

P.S. Message to Boyd: sorry about the a** thing. I was sort of quoting Joe Lumbroso and got a little carried away.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 04:11 AM   #11
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You're right - the FX1 only has the rather vague 'bar chart' zoom scale as another one of the 40 odd differences. See here for Chris Hurd's list:

http://www.hdvinfo.net/articles/sonyhdrfx1/compare.php

To go wide-angle and not increase the barrel distortion you'll need to shoot through aspherical surfaces. These generally are single elements and therefore won't be full zoom through, but even so they'll often allow a 6x zoom rather than the original 12x, say.

Look here:

http://www.lenswvl.com/

and here:

http://www.wittner-kinotechnik.de/ka...a/b_optike.php

A spherical lens like the 0758 supplied with the PD170 and the 0.8x designed for the FX1 is that they exaggerate the barrel distortion inherent in the original zoom lens. It may well be acceptable in the zoom, but if you double the distortion by using a 0.5x converter, it will become pretty noticeable. It's for this reason that Sony wide-angles are pretty mild, generally.

tom.
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Old May 21st, 2006, 02:03 AM   #12
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Go for it - much more useful than the 08 Sony which weighs a ton and really isn't all that different. I've found the Century 06 really usefull especially when shooting in cars. Nice to have the bayonet mount too rather than spending ten minutes screwing the Sony lens on!
Cheers, TW
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 10:35 PM   #13
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Yah, I pretty much decided to go with the Century .6x. I shoot weddings too, and I sometimes find myself trying to squeeze in a large wedding party in a tight space with nowhere to back up.

Now if I could just finish one of my video projects and get paid for it, I could buy it. I have 3 weddings (soon to be 4) and a corporate video already shot and no time to edit!
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Old May 24th, 2006, 02:47 AM   #14
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Another point. Say you shoot a line of 10 people standing perpendicular to you in front of your camera. The barrel distorting lens will make the middle people appear closer as they'll appear larger (and look fatter) in the frame.

The rectilinear lens (devoid of barrel distortion) will make the people standing at the edges appear stretched sideways - a bit like the selective distortion that 16:9 TVs add so that 4:3 material will fill the frame.

If you pan with the barrel distorting lens, stationery objects move at a constant rate across the screen. A non distorting wide-angle will make objects decelerate as they approach the centre of the frame and then accelerate out of it.

Both quite different effects.

tom.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 08:23 PM   #15
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Hey everyone,

Just wanted to mention to anyone planning on buying lenses for their Z1 and other HDV cameras...Make sure you buy glass and the lens says HD or HDV. A friend recenlty bought a plastic lens and, wow, it was clear as a bell in HDV mode (not so much in DV, but that's 4.5 times the resolution for ya).

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