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Sony HVR-Z7 / HVR-S270
Handheld and shoulder mount versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old June 27th, 2008, 01:14 PM   #1
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400mm Nikon manual lens??

Anybody have any insight or at least a good guess as to how a Nikon 400mm f/3.5 manual lens will behave on a Z7?? I am on the cusp of buying one, and wondered if any of you had an educated guess??

Thank you
Jake
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Old June 27th, 2008, 02:02 PM   #2
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It would be almost unworkably long without a very good tripod and support. On 1/3rd I tend to stop at 300mm and simply then improve my positioning on the subject. Also without any zoom actually finding your subject will be difficult to say the least.

That said some folks do use 400mm primes so with the right kit and patience they can work if you require big telephoto.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 02:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mat Thompson View Post
It would be almost unworkably long without a very good tripod and support. On 1/3rd I tend to stop at 300mm and simply then improve my positioning on the subject. Also without any zoom actually finding your subject will be difficult to say the least.

That said some folks do use 400mm primes so with the right kit and patience they can work if you require big telephoto.
I often film mountain animals (ie...Dall's Sheep, Mountian Goats, Big Horn Sheep etc..), and I also film whitetail deer, often times in low light conditions. So yes, I do require super telephoto. I have adequate supports such as tripods, but I am more interested in knowing if f/3.5 will work in morning and evening light conditions on the Z7 and what the limitations will be? I shouldve been more specific with my initial question, but I didnt want to limit the responses.

I understand that the 7X factor will essentially give me 2800mm of zoom. How does that effect the light?

Thank you
Jake
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Old June 30th, 2008, 03:51 PM   #4
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if I'm wrong about this, someone please correct me, but an f-stop is an f-stop

I don't think the X7 factor will change the light. stand alone light meters don't ask for legnth of lens, they only ask for ASA & f-stop. so if you're wondering about 3.5 being too dark for you on a 400mm lens, see if 3.5 is too dark on any lens you already have.

but I have to agree w/ Mat Thompson in saying a 400mm fixed lens (ie no zoom) will be tough to find anything, though not impossible. I would think you might almost have to have a spotting scope added onto your camera to help "aim"
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Old June 30th, 2008, 04:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jake Latendresse View Post
but I am more interested in knowing if f/3.5 will work in morning and evening light conditions on the Z7 and what the limitations will be? I shouldve been more specific with my initial question, but I didnt want to limit the responses.
Jake, your question are almost impossible to answer. Light will vary where on the globe your are and what season you are filming! I'am living far north on the northern hemisphere and during summer I can use f/3.5 or even f/4.5 lens almost all night. So the answer for your question will be: yes, you can use a f/3.5 lens in morning and evening light if the conditions is right!
I'm not familar with the Z7, but I'm using huge prime lenses with the Canon XLH1, both 300mm f/4.0 and 500mm f/4.5. In fact I prefer to do my footage in evening and morning light where the colors are more than beautiful and no hars lightning.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 05:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Per Johan Naesje View Post
Jake, your question are almost impossible to answer. Light will vary where on the globe your are and what season you are filming! I'am living far north on the northern hemisphere and during summer I can use f/3.5 or even f/4.5 lens almost all night. So the answer for your question will be: yes, you can use a f/3.5 lens in morning and evening light if the conditions is right!
I'm not familar with the Z7, but I'm using huge prime lenses with the Canon XLH1, both 300mm f/4.0 and 500mm f/4.5. In fact I prefer to do my footage in evening and morning light where the colors are more than beautiful and no hars lightning.
This actually does answer my question. Having been to your part of the world, I can visualize the twilight hour there in the summer and it would be very similar to the light I am referring to. So, I think it will work out great!!

I ordered the lens today, so it should be here in a few days. When i get it, I will post some sample footage with the Nikon 400mm f/3.5 ASi-ED attached to the Z7.

Thank you for the replies...please keep it coming.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 09:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jake Latendresse View Post
This actually does answer my question. Having been to your part of the world, I can visualize the twilight hour there in the summer and it would be very similar to the light I am referring to. So, I think it will work out great!!

I ordered the lens today, so it should be here in a few days. When i get it, I will post some sample footage with the Nikon 400mm f/3.5 ASi-ED attached to the Z7.

Thank you for the replies...please keep it coming.
Hi Jake,
Check this out http://www.vimeo.com/1127928/l:transcoded_email

Got this with the Z7 + Nikon 400 f3.5 ED AIS which I find it to be a SUPERB lens !!!
It is difficult to find your subject but I am sure this can be solved with a small binocular mounted on it.
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Old July 1st, 2008, 08:15 AM   #8
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Ofer,

Approximately how far were you from your subjects (the bats)? And what were your ambient light conditions? Morning, mid-morning, mid-day, early afternoon,etc???

Thank you...your video gives me great confidence!!!

Jake
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Old July 1st, 2008, 08:40 AM   #9
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Also...Ofer,

What support system do you use for this camera/lens set up?

Do you have a photo you could share of this particular set up?

Thanks
Jake
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Old July 1st, 2008, 09:58 AM   #10
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Hi Jake,

I assume I was 20 meters or so from the bats. Keep in mind this is an effective 2800mm lens !!! This was taken in mid morning in a sunny day.

The support system is a Vinten Vision 3 fluid head and Miller carbon fibres tripod. I attach the camera+lens combo to lens "leg" as the lens is far heavier than the camera body. I use a RedRock base with the quick release plate attached to the lens "leg".

One thing to keep in mind is that with such long telephoto lens it is impossible (at least based on my short experience) to avoid vibrations when touching the camera/lens/handle. I can't really get clean, vibration free, camera movements. I have started to use a rubber band attached to the handle to reduce the vibrations while panning and it does help.

Good luck and please share your experience with us.

Cheers,

Ofer Levy - Nature Photographer
Sydney-Australia
http://www.oferlevyphotography.com
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