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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old July 3rd, 2004, 08:04 AM   #1
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Lens Hood, filters on PDX10

After almost 5 years of using a TRV900, I recently bought the PDX10 (TRV900 died). A couple of questions.

1. In general, does the larger lens hood provide any practical value beyond simply allowing a WA lens or other attachment to fit? Downside is size and no lens cap attachment.

2. I got Sony's VF-37CPKS filter kit (haze and circle polarizer (CP)). I keep the haze filter on all of the time for protection. When I use the CP, I'd like to attach it to the haze filter rather than take the haze off, then attach the CP. Any problem with attaching the CP to the haze?

3. If I attach the CP to the haze, the small lens hood will not fit, but the larger one will. One benefit of attaching the CP to the haze filter is that, while difficult, the CP will stick just far enough out of the larger lens hood to allow me to adjust the CP with the larger hood on.

BTW, I have a two+ week trip to South America and will be video taping the Galapagos Islands, Tropical Rainforest, and the mountains in Peru. So I want to make sure I'm prepared for the trip. Separately, I love the 16:9 mode which I plan to use for this trip. Thanks.
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Old July 3rd, 2004, 10:20 AM   #2
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When you say the 900 died - does this mean faults occured that made it uneconomical to repair?

Whatever - yes, in general it's best to use the biggest hood that you can manage, and the little hood is really supplied for when you're using the PDX10 in '950' mode. The little hood is nice in that it's a 'shadowed' hood which the large one isn't, and this aids its efficiency. Shame that the big one isn't a 16:9 aspect ratio hood - that would be really cool. If I were you I'd mask it down with a 16:9 aperture mask, that way forming a shadowed hood into the bargain.

Always best to avoid stacking filters in the same way it's always best to get off the bus to shoot rather than filming through the glass. Each extra filter brings two more surfaces which brings more dust and flare, and the very short focal lengths on the PDX (shorter than on your 900) mean that dof comes closer to the front element for any given filming condition.

Remember too that as the PDX's hoods bayonet on, every filter you add brings the front element of your zoom lens further forward. Look at it this way - if you stacked 10 filters one on top of another (Lord forbid) you'd have no hooding at all, the front element (now the 10th filter) would be level with the front edge of the hood.

Moral: Don't stack filters unless you must, Roy.

tom.
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Old July 3rd, 2004, 01:38 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Tom. I tried to repair my 900, sent it to Sony, I was happy to spend the $200. After three tries, they gave up and offered a buy back of my 900 as well refunding my repair cost. I thought that was more than fair, so here I am with the PDX10. A few follow-up questions.

1. What do you mean by a "shadowed" hood? What makes the little hood a shadow hood but the big one not? What is the benefit of a shadow hood?

2. What do you mean by "masking it down"? Is this 16:9 aperture mask something I can buy? Again, what is the benefit?

3. Is there a large 16:9 hood that is available? Again any real practical loss by using the stock larger lens hood?

4. I may not have time to get this aperture mask. So, am I better off using the stock little lens "shadowed" hood or the larger stock lens hood?

5. I understand the basic concept of not stacking filters. Certainly multiple filters would create a problem. I was just wondering if there would be any real discernable degradation of quality by just stacking the CP on the haze? The advantage of doing this, of course, is the convenience of not having to remove the haze filter everytime I want to use the CP. Also, this stack will allow me to use the larger lens hood and still operate the CP, something that is impossible if I place the CP directly on the lens.

Thanks. Roy
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Old July 3rd, 2004, 02:08 PM   #4
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Let's take two lens hoods. We chrome plate the insides of one of them, and the black insides of the other 'remain in the shade' because of the aperture mask at the front, keeping the insides in shadow. Guess which one will work best?

If you look at the complex multi-part design of the little hood you'll see how they compensate for its size by shadowing the inner surfaces. Your 900's hood was the same but that had the stupid idea of screwing filters inside the hood - effectively shortening the hooding available.

The 16:9 aperture is not something you can buy but should be pretty easy to make out of a thin ABS black plastic sheet. You then attach this (somehow) to the front of your big hood. See the VX2k's hood to see what I mean.

You should be fine screwing two filters together. The cleaner you can keep them the better it'll be (obviously).

Enjoy your forthcoming trip!

tom.
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Old July 3rd, 2004, 03:02 PM   #5
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Thanks again. I'll have to look into this, but with very little time, not sure I can get to it. So . . . given everything we talked about, would I be better off with the stock shadowed smaller lens hood, or the larger stock lens hood?

Again this would be for a 16:9 shoot mostly outdoors. I'm also a bit concerned about the vertical smear, so if either of these provides greater relief of this problem that would of course be good.

Thanks. Roy
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Old July 3rd, 2004, 03:58 PM   #6
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Roy, you should be just fine with the large lens hood, really. Tom is bringing up some valid points, but most of us are just using the stock parts that came with the camera and and getting good results. Considering the diminuitive size of the lens, the large hood is actually pretty deep.

If you're really paranoid, or if you want greater control over things, you could buy a mattebox. But of course that will cost (maybe) $600 and your camera won't be nearly so portable anymore.

In the meantime, pop on the large hood and have a great trip. If you use manual controls and keep the shutter locked at 1/60 (or 1/50 PAL) second you will have very few vertical smear problems unless you do something extreme like shooting right into the sun. High shutter speeds aggrevate the problem, as discussed in various other threads here. If you find conditions too bright to shoot at 1/60 then pick up a neutral density filter or two for your kit. Try playing around with your new camera under a variety of conditions and learn its limits before you leave for South America. That should give you some confidence by the time you're ready to go. With a little experience I think you'll be very pleased with the quality of this little camera's 16:9.

It's a pain that they don't provide a cover for the large hood. You may be able to find a plastic cap that will go over your filter inside the hood though.
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Old July 3rd, 2004, 08:52 PM   #7
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Thanks Boyd. I miss that ND button on my old TRV900. I'll let you all know how it goes.
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Old July 3rd, 2004, 09:42 PM   #8
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Well if you read back through some of the posts in our forum you'll learn that the PDX-10 does have internal ND filters, several of them actually. However the camera decides when it wants to use them and doesn't tell you - even in full manual mode. They will drop into place to force the iris to stay in the "sweet spot" of the lens, and the data code will give erroneous info if you view it on playback. Very odd that Sony has never documented any of this and they don't let us manually select the filters. Use a flashlight to shine into the lens as you point towards a bright light and turn the exposure wheel. You'll see them.

But an external filter can help also to control bright light or to force a large iris opening if desired.
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Old July 4th, 2004, 10:10 PM   #9
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Very interesting. I don't I see what you are talking about when shining a flashlight into the lens.

Not sure I really need a ND filter now. Thanks for the info, Boyd.
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Old July 5th, 2004, 12:56 AM   #10
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I had to go for a shoot yesterday up in the mountains nd decided to use my bad quality Sony WA adapter (I had planned to buy a better one but can't afford it right now) and, since there was a lot of light and there was going to be some sky in the shots, I also decided to use my circular polarizer to get a darker sky. I placed the 37mm circular polarizing filter between the cheapo Sony WA adapter and my PDX10... and suddenly the WA seemed to work better than bofore, less reflections, less fuzzy focus at the edges! Very strange. But very cool. Of course there has to be a lot of light around in order to pull this trick off.

Could it be that distancing the WA from the cams fron element helps with the edge focus?

Could it be that the polarizing filter is in some way cancelling out some reflections?

Boyd? Tom? Any ideas?
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Old July 5th, 2004, 06:33 AM   #11
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That's odd, don't know why it would help. But have you viewed the full frame on a good monitor? If I put a filter between my camera and .45x WA adaptor there is some vignetting that doesn't show in the viewfinder.

I bought one of the cheap Sony telephoto adaptors that was on clearance for something like $15. The result was $15 wasted, it's so soft that it's not usable...
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Old July 5th, 2004, 08:10 AM   #12
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Internal reflections are polarized light (just like all reflections on non metallic reflecting surfaces). If it happen that your filter gets the right orientation (not against the cam's optics but against the WA adapter) you will get a significant reflection reduction. The general flare will also reduce a bit.
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Old July 11th, 2004, 12:25 AM   #13
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> That's odd, don't know why it would help. But have you viewed
> the full frame on a good monitor? If I put a filter between my
> camera and .45x WA adaptor there is some vignetting that
> doesn't show in the viewfinder.

No vignetting problem but this is one of the rare cases when I was using 4:3 instead of my usual 16:9 because it was for a friend and her teacher insisted about NTSC being 4:3 or something like that, so 4:3 it was.
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