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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old May 30th, 2003, 10:23 AM   #1
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PDX10 - NDs, polarizers and WA lenses

Ok. here we go.

I'm just about ready to buy a PDX10 and am looking at the last things - the wide angle lens and the filters.

1. I think I'll get a step up from 37-49mm. From reading several posts this seems like a good idea.

2. Next, I need a wide angle lens, which will probably be on it all the time. Should I get a 49mm WA lens and add the filters to the front of that? I ask because I've seen a 37mm Century Optics .55x WA lens at B&H. There's no specs on the page but it looks like it has a front thread (essential for adding filters?) and its probably a 49 or 58mm thread. Would a 49mm WA lens be more advisable than a 37mm lens to reduce vignetting etc.

3. Next, Polarizer and ND filters. Can I add both of these at the same time? Do they fit together with screw threads?

4. I appreciate that I will need to audition ND filters to find what stops I need. Unfortunately, there's nowhere I can do this in Cardiff so I was thinking of getting .3 .6 .9 & 1.2 Does this sound about right? (sun is pretty absent 9 months of the year) can I double up .3 and .6 to get .9?

I know a getting a matte box would be easier. I don't mind spending the extra but I'd rather not have a huge weight hanging off the front of my relatively tiny camera. If I'm out on this, please let me know.

As always, thanks in advance
Steve
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Old May 30th, 2003, 01:51 PM   #2
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This was all covered in another thread recently, but here's my personal experience.

I got a 37mm .45x wide adaptor and have been very happy with it. It cost a bit more than $100 USD. It has 49mm filter threads, so your adaptor might be a good idea since you could use the same filters with or without the lens. But I got two sets of ND filters anyway, they're quite cheap in these sizes.

Personally I wouldn't put the WA lens on top of the adaptor ring because it will be larger, heavier and more expensive. One advantage of the 37mm lens is cheap filters and wide adaptors. I don't get any vignetting with the 37mm .45x WA adaptor.

Don't put any filters UNDER the WA adaptor or you probably will get vignetting at full wide, at least I did. And it's the annoying kind that doesn't show in the viewfinder but you discover in post when you see the full frame.

I'm glad I got the .45x WA cause I like the wider field of view, but I imagine a .55x wouldn't be too bad. Another reason to stick with a 37mm WA is the fact that it works along with the additional "wide" lens hood which Sony supplies with the PDX-10 (something you may not have been aware of?). I don't get any vignetting with this lens hood in place; you need to first attach the hood and then screw in the WA lens though. Another minor pain is that there's no lens cap for the wide hood, but I just use the little plastic cap on the WA lens. It's a little tight reaching inside to remove the cap though.

Regarding ND filters, it seems that different companies have different ways of rating them. I would suggest getting a couple. Basically I think you'll want the ability to reduce light by either one, two or three f-stops. I do stack them at times when shooting skies, sunsets, etc. All of mine have front threads, but it probably depends on the brand. When stacking them you should be careful to make sure each of them is really clean and dust free.

I have a 37mm linear polarizer which I've used a few times, but don't really consider it essential for my kinds of shooting. Your situation may be different however.

Enjoy the new camera, and let us know how it works out!
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Old May 30th, 2003, 01:53 PM   #3
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Sony sold the PD100 (the PDV10's dad) with a very high quality 0.7x 52mm fitting wide-angle converter. Doesn't Sony sell a similar lens in the 37mm fitting? Of all the cameras out there the PDx10 is in most need of a wide-angle, and a powerful one at that.

Beware of adding filters in front of the widie Steve as they can vignette the image if they're not the slimline variety. As the PDX10 also needs an ND filter for any sort of outdoor filming, I'd fit a 37mm ND8 and attach the w/angle to that. Then take a still into Photoshop via the Memorystick and check for vignetting.

This way your filters will be MUCH cheaper and every bit as effective. Vignetting is a matter of lens design and lens power so there's no substitute for checking the situation yourself, preferably before you hand over the money. A 49mm attachment doesn't necessarily help avoid the vignetting.

You can use two filters at once but I advise my students against it. Two filters equals 4 more surfaces for dust and fingerprints and flare. Less really is more. An ND8 (which absorbs 3 stops) is all you'll need, even in Cardiff.

tom.
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Old May 31st, 2003, 02:28 AM   #4
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Tom, I've checked and Sony do indeed make a 0.7x WA converter for about $150. That's a little more than I was planning to spend on one but it is more powerful than the 0.55x I was looking at so I am considering it (0.7x is wider than 0.55x right?)

This WA lens doesn't have any front threads though so any filters would have to be placed underneath. Tom, in your experience this is better; Boyd, with you it is worse. It looks like I'm going to have to find somewhere to try them out before I buy them.

According to:

http://www.centuryoptics.com/products/filters/nd/

ND 0.9 absorbs 3 stops and ND8 absorbs 20 stops. Are your filters rated in a different way Tom?

Boyd, with a ND filter and a WA lens, my camera lens should be pretty well protected so I probably won't need a polariser unless I'm shooting near a window etc. I might get one when I need one.

Thanks guys, youve cleared up a lot of confusion for me. I'll try to find somewhere I can try a 37mm ND filter with 37mm front threads and see how this works underneath a Sony 0.7x WA lens. If this is no good, I'll have to consider a filter on top of the WA lens, so I'll look for one with front threads. It would be easier if they put front threads on them all.

Cheers,
Steve
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Old May 31st, 2003, 02:35 AM   #5
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Steve Pierce,

Tiffen makes a great 0.5 wide angle in the 37mm size. It is zoom-through, great glass, there is no vignetting nor distortion. Plus it has filter threads on the front. It's probably Tiffen's best wide angle adaptor---the 37mm version.
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Old May 31st, 2003, 02:44 AM   #6
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No, no Steve. The 0.5x or the 0.7x refers to the multiplication factor that you apply to your focal lengths, so a 0.5x on a 6mm focal length takes it to 3mm, a lot wider than the 4.2mm when you've got a 0.7x converter on.

tom.
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Old May 31st, 2003, 05:48 AM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Steve Pierce: I'll try to find somewhere I can try a 37mm ND filter with 37mm front threads and see how this works underneath a Sony 0.7x WA lens.-->>>

If you try it in a store, be sure to hook up to a monitor that shows the whole frame, or roll a tape and bring it home to check in your NLE. In my case the vignetting was not visible on a regular TV or in the viewfinder. Perhaps this wouldn't be a problem for you, but I need the entire frame for my work.
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Old June 1st, 2003, 12:07 AM   #8
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Me too Boyd and that goes for everybody these days. More and more our work is being burnt to CD or DVD and when shown on an LCD projector or on a computer monitor every last pixel is shown. So beware the corners of the frame.

tom.
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Old June 1st, 2003, 09:41 AM   #9
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Thanks guys,

This area looks like a real minefield for online buyers so I'll make sure I try before i buy.

Steve
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Old June 1st, 2003, 11:44 AM   #10
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Kenko makes some if not all of the wide and tele adaptors for Sony. The Kenko Pro line seems to be on par with the ones Sony sells, except that the Kenko Pro adaptors are a tad cheaper, and come with filter threads in the front.
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Old June 30th, 2003, 01:11 PM   #11
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http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh4/controller/home?O=&A=ShowProduct&Q=&sku=221437&is=REG&bi=E15

Any one had experience with this WA? Is it work with PDX10??
What filter should I use with ( linkey ??) Thanks for clearing these things to a newbie.
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Old May 30th, 2004, 11:33 AM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Boyd Ostroff :
Another reason to stick with a 37mm WA is the fact that it works along with the additional "wide" lens hood which Sony supplies with the PDX-10 (something you may not have been aware of?).
-->>>

Boyd,

I'm looking at getting a WA adaptor for the PDX10, and was wondering about a hood for it. Are you saying that the Sony-supplied wide hood will still fit with any 37mm WA adaptor, or just a specific make? And if so, which make?

I was leaning towards the Century 0.65x adaptor, but may look to go wider than this (open to suggestions).
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Old May 30th, 2004, 05:22 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tom Hardwick : Beware of adding filters in front of the widie Steve as they can vignette the image if they're not the slimline variety. As the PDX10 also needs an ND filter for any sort of outdoor filming, I'd fit a 37mm ND8 and attach the w/angle to that.
tom. -->>>

Tom,

This mostly answers a question that I had - but could I just check something? I'm just about to order some stuff from B&H and thought that I'd try and get everything I currently know I need in one go (to save on the international shipping). Part of what I'm ordering is a Century 0.65x WA adaptor (which I hope to use with the wide lens hood supplied with the PDX10, assuming it is deep enough) - but I also want to get some filters.

So ...

1. I'm planning to get 0.6 and 0.9 Tiffen ND filters, and from what you are saying I should just get 37mm and screw the WA adaptor into them. That has the advantage of being able to use them with or without the WA adaptor. However, some filters such as the Tiffen Black Pro-Mist range are not available in 37mm. Would you anticipate any problem with a 37mm ND filter behind the WA adaptor, and a 62mm diffusion filter in front of it?

2. I've been looking at Joe's Filters and I'm wondering if they really do provide a good alternative to the Tiffen Black Pro-Mist and other film-look filters. They appear to, and adding diffusion effects in post certainly seems a better bet - but I don't know the extent to which true optical effects may be better. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
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Old May 31st, 2004, 01:29 AM   #14
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Do you really have to order these things from the USA Pat? Have you tried www.cke.co.uk or camerafilters.co.uk? No matter, to your thoughts.

I've tested the Century 0.65x for FVM mag and the VC2k bayonet version doesn't have a filter thread, so (without chcking) I'd guess the one you're looking at doesn't either. Any filters you plan fitting will need to attach directly to the Sony lens.

The PDX10 I tested for CV mag did indeed come with two hoods, but they were both designed for the 12x zoom as it stands, and not designed to fit any wide-angle you might choose. I do applaud your decision to buy a hood for the Century, but the Sony one supplied won't work. Both the Sony hoods bayonet to the the front of the PDX10, and you'd be better off with a 4:3 clamp-on hood for the Century.

I'm prepared to be shot down in flames if the 37mm fitting Century 0.65x comes with a filter/hood thread. It's a nice lens, beautifully made and beautifully coated. Too mild a wide-angle in my view - especially for the 950/PDX10. And it distorts too much for all that money too, though undoubtedly B&H's prices are good.

tom.
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Old May 31st, 2004, 03:40 AM   #15
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Thanks for the quick reply Tom.

The Century 0.65x adaptor does indeed have a 62mm filter thread - http://www.centuryoptics.com/product...37mm_specs.htm

It isn't as wide as I would ideally like, but it's a choice that I've arrived at after reading much here, including a lot about the lower quality of the 0.5x adaptor. So, a compromise between angle of view and quality.

I had assumed that the Sony wide hood would fit around the Century adaptor, but maybe not. There are a number of 62mm screw-in hoods at B&H but I know I need to be careful about vignetting. So, I just sent a mail to Century Optics asking for their recommendation on this.

As far as ordering from the US is concerned, that would not be my first choice as it complicates things if I need to return something. However, B&H do have the widest online display (and in store - I did visit once) and stock of any reputable company I've ever come across. There is also a considerable price saving, even after shipping, import duty and VAT is added. I wouldn't bother just for smaller low cost items, but the Steadicam JR (PAL) is considerably cheaper than in the UK.

I had already checked www.cke.co.uk (they don't have any of what I want) and did take a look at www.camerafilters.co.uk, from a previous post of yours I think. Their site seemed very confusing in the way it was structured, but I will take another look later on.

I'm kind of hoping that Joe's Filters will be a suitable alternative to some of the effect filters, and I'll probably get it anyway.

Another thing that keeps going through my mind is a matte box (despite the unexplainably high prices - have I missed something here?) but haven't yet done any research on this, and haven't seen any that clearly state that they would fit the PDX10. If anyone knows of a model that is good and would fit I'd like to hear about it.
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