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Sony NEX-VG10 / VG20 / VG30 / VG900
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Old December 15th, 2010, 04:41 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
There are so many on eBay. Which did you buy?

And, can you tell me how you set aperture?

Some old lenses have an aperture ring, some don't.

Adaptive for the first work differently from the second.
I set the aperture by using the aperture ring on the lens. Without this you'd be stuffed.

I bought this one:

Nikon F G lens Mount to Sony E Adapter for NEX-3 NEX-5 on eBay (end time 10-Dec-10 13:38:13 GMT)

But I only bought it because it didn't need to ship from Hong Kong. They all look much of a muchness really and looking at what the adaptor consists of there's not alot to go wrong on. It's a fraction of the cost of the "official" adaptors.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 06:02 PM   #62
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OK, here is the test:

I wanted to test my focusing abilities before I return it to the store so I went to the local store, bought Nikon to NEX adapter and used my Nikon 105 2.5 manual lens (great lens btw). I hooked VG10 with 10ft HDMI cable in order to focus as best as I can looking on my 50" LCD TV!!!! from the distance of HDMI cable. VG10 was set to 1/30 F:2.5 gain 6db AWB and I shoot this footage; for EX1 (since the camera doesn't have luxury of hook up with HDMI cable) I used camera peaking function as I always use (great feature that saved many, many as....). Ex1 was set to HD1080/30p 1/40, 3db F:1.9 AWB I tried to get the best possible footage for both cameras, honestly, otherwise what would be the point to do the test. It was filmed from approx 10ft. here is still shot (which stunned me....) you be the judge.....(o, btw...EX1 is on the left side)
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Old December 15th, 2010, 06:22 PM   #63
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It was filmed from approx 10ft. here is still shot (which stunned me....) you be the judge.....(o, btw...EX1 is on the left side)
I suggest you try again with better lighting. I just tried the experiment myself under standard domestic lighting on a 50mm 1.8 lens and it was struggling. So a 2.4 would be even worse. Gain doesn't really help. Trying to focus a video camera that is struggling to get enough light onto the sensor is always hard, let alone one that is so sensitive to any tiny variations in focus.

Certainly the shots I got just now don't match the results I was getting under daylight conditions.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 06:41 PM   #64
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I was testing MY ability to focus using huge 50" LCD in normal room conditions (and how lack of peaking affects footage); it is not a test of those cameras (ex1 is from different league...) It is like I was trying to shoot documentary....you never have perfect conditions....
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Old December 15th, 2010, 07:15 PM   #65
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I was testing MY ability to focus using huge 50" LCD in normal room conditions (and how lack of peaking affects footage); it is not a test of those cameras (ex1 is from different league...) It is like I was trying to shoot documentary....you never have perfect conditions....
The thing about the VG 10 (and I've only had mine a little longer than you) is that it is one of the most fiddly cameras in its price range. It's not a run and gun, you don't just need to set up the camera correctly but the conditions need to be right as well.

Whereas you can put an EX1 into most situations (and I've been in some strange varied conditions with mine) this isn't possible with the VG10.

The VG10 is bloody fiddly and thought needs to go into what you are doing. Consideration needs to be given if a light meter might be a good investment and you will need lenses to suit all occasions. In many ways you need to be thinking "photo" as much as "video".

There are people out there getting good results with the camera and I can see the potential in my test footage. The people on the forums who are finding fault with it are generally run and gunners who mistook the camera for some kind of replacement for the old VX series. I'm not saying this is the case with you, but I was certainly aware of the criticisms before I purchased it.

Fair enough if the camera isn't for you, but on my first week with the camera my impression is that the camera and lenses will add some exciting possibilities to my workflow. I can live with the shortcomings until something better comes along.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 07:23 PM   #66
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OK, here is the test:

I wanted to test my focusing abilities before I return it to the store)
You test is confounded by the focal length, the aperture setting (fully open is always very soft), and the lens quality itself. And, of course the everything inside the camera.

You need more light so both lenses are at f5.6, no gain is used, and both lenses are set to mid-zoom.

But, that will still not give you a valid test because of the Sharpness control on the EX1 and the codec.

==============

Your comment that "it is like I was trying to shoot documentary....you never have perfect conditions...." Of course not. No offense, but all you've said is that FILM makers with NO focusing aids, were so skilled they could do what Marcus describes as is needed with the Vg10 very rapidly and in harsh conditions.

I'm not saying I'm super skilled, but my first Bolex had a side-scope that you aimed at the subject, noted the parallax distance, and set distance on one of 3 lenses. Then one used a lightmeter to to get the exposure and set the lens aperture. One also had to wind the spring-motor! Yet, somehow, I spent a summer in Europe shooting and had very few bad shots. Everyone who shot film did this. The spring motor died so I bought a K2 with a 3X zoom lens AND had a selenium photocell driven meter inside. But, when I bought another Bolex I gave-up the meter. Moreover, I carried my baby 20 miles through the snow to get a shot!

I think this "my camera can't" really should be "I can't". Run and gun is no excuse IF you really are practiced! Perhaps when buying a camera cost about as much as a VW, so one used one for a very long time, it really helped develop skill. And, because Bolex changed so slowly, one was not lured into buying a new one.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 11:20 PM   #67
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With all respect; I know there are many veterans with tremendous experience gained over the years of shooting in very challenging conditions; they could teach and share their experience with our future filmmakers because laws of optics didn't change but guys, please stop comparing what was it like 20 years ago to present, amazing times - now equipment is different and we can watch it on huge HD screens (soon in 3D) - now shooting in full HD we can see "shape of dandruff flakes" ;-) on someone's shoulder....it is a different ball game.

Last edited by Marius Boruch; December 16th, 2010 at 02:12 AM.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 08:25 AM   #68
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Just to confirm, I repeated my experiment from last night with a single video light and focus was perfect.
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Old December 18th, 2010, 08:32 AM   #69
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Just to follow this up I did an extended test today with my two new lenses (the Nikon 50mm and the Sony 16mm pancake).

In the bright snow the Sony pancake was a nightmare. Utterly impossible to focus. The never ending focus ring makes it impossible to judge where you are in the focus range and on the wide angle shots this lens is designed for you just couldn't see a thing on the viewfinder or the screen. I suspect this lens will be the first candidate for Ebay when my collection grows. On autofocus it was fine but overall it's a massive disappointment.

However the Nikon 50mm was a delight. I could hit the spot perfectly each time with no issues. Having a proper focus control with a start and end (+ distance markings) makes all the difference. The only point where it was slightly more difficult was towards the end of the focus range where it took a few moments thought to get it spot on. In short a delight and lovely images to boot. The Nikon 50mm + adaptor should be the first 3rd party lens a VG10 owner looks at because they are so cheap for the image quality you get.
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Old December 18th, 2010, 10:01 AM   #70
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shooting on snow with such great light what shutter speed did you use and what range is recommended?
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Old December 18th, 2010, 11:01 AM   #71
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shooting on snow with such great light what shutter speed did you use and what range is recommended?
I was using 1/400 and 1/500 shutter speed due to the fact I don't currently have any ND filters for this lens.

I can't remember the f-stop I was using as obviously with a manual lens there is no readout on the LCD. Somewhere around F4 I think which is the lenses sweet spot. However it was constantly changing as I had fast moving clouds overhead so the lighting was very dynamic.

But shooting with the Nikon felt so natural. All of my gripes when shooting with it are down to the focal length not really being suited to what I wanted to shoot (I bought it for interviews not landscapes). So I suspect my next purchase will be a wider lens.

The only thing to note with these lenses is they are designed for stills. This results in the mechanics not being quite as smooth as a dedicated video lens. Also of course the EX1 and similar cameras have a much larger focus ring which gives more precise control.

And going back to the Sony 16mm, some of the wide angle stills I took with it look very nice indeed. It has potential but I can't help but think the focussing issue is a biggie. You either trust in the autofocus or effectively shoot blind.

[edit] Here's a review of the Nikon 50mm 1.8 for anyone interested. It's what persuaded me to get mine. They can be had for as little as 79 new in the UK:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/5018daf.htm

Would be interested to know what anyone reckons the actual focal length is after conversion + the usual cropping.
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Old December 18th, 2010, 09:05 PM   #72
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This was a quick test in the snow with the 18-200 kit lens. I've left the footage completely raw and ungraded. 1/100 for the stuff in the trees and 1/50 for the stuff on the ground + 6 db of gain. I was at maximum zoom almost the whole time with the lens as open as possible so I think about f5-6 depending. A little approximate with the settings and the focus at times (cos Robins move faster than the people I'm used to filming!) but it should be a decent indicator of how the lens holds up under these conditions.

YouTube - ROBIN IN CHRISTMAS SNOW SONY NEX-VG10 TEST
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Old December 19th, 2010, 07:21 AM   #73
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Marcus, focal length on 4/3 and NEX cameras with DSLR lenses is 1.6x - so 50mm = approx. 80mm
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Old December 19th, 2010, 12:45 PM   #74
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Marcus, focal length on 4/3 and NEX cameras with DSLR lenses is 1.6x - so 50mm = approx. 80mm
Interesting. Thanks.

It looks like Nikon sell a line of lenses that are for APS-C sensors so I guess they might do what they actually say on the tin so to speak.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 02:34 PM   #75
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IWould that bring vignetting back into the equation?
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