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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old December 29th, 2004, 03:40 PM   #1
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Looking for a WA adapter for my PDX10 -- Again!

Hi. A close relative of mine is staying in London for few weeks so he might be able to bring home a WA adapter if I ask him. I am looking for something like a TecPro 0.5 with a concave front element. Hopefully, it will fit inside the wide lens hood supplied with the PDX10. Perhaps a second-hand Century Optics 0.65 --the special 37mm one-- could be the way to go if one is to be found in good shape, brand nw it seems too expensive. The other possibility is using a Raynox clip-on, which I would specially like if it has no or very little barrel distorion. Can anybody direct me to a place in London where such things can be had, beside Creative Video? Anybody from London? Tom, can you comment on using a Raynox clip-en versus a good zoom-through?
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 04:11 AM   #2
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You ask the question at an opportune time Ignacio, as I've just done a test of the Raynox 0.5x clip-on wide-angle converter for Film and Video Maker magazine. If you like I'll send you the test, but a part of my test is as follows:

The Raynox is an injection moulded plastic element and though some might sneer at this it’s as well to remember that many spectacle wearers are happy to look through such lenses all day long. Also your camcorder’s zoom lens undoubtedly contains a variety of glass and plastic elements and I don’t know of any that use glass throughout, even if they say ‘flourite’ in big letters on the casing. The Raynox is nicely coated, though it looks like a single layer coat to me – and this is not surprising at the price. Raynox also make this lens as a conventional screw-in, and as a snap-on with an integral lens hood, and their web site shows all these and more. Many of you will know what I feel about lens hoods – that they’re the cheapest and lightest and best accessory you can buy, so I’d always advise using a wide-angle converter such as this with a hood in place. There are no filter threads on the lens so other methods of holding on a hood must be investigated.

How secure is the lens when in place? An initial worry of mine was that the springs wouldn’t hold the lens in place securely enough for the run and gun photographers amongst us, but not to worry – the powerful springs means the converter hangs on tight with no sign of wobble or float. So this lens comes with a hearty recommendation from me. At the price it’s impossible to beat and my only warning is that it will increase the barrel distortion inherent in so many zoom lenses, so if you shoot indoors a lot you’ll have a lot of curving door frames and windows in your footage.
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But you also talk about the Tecpro 0.5S Ignacio, and I actually bought one of these for my own use after testing it and finding it so good. Not sure if it'll fit inside the big hood but I'd guess that it would. Never mind - it has a proper filter thread of its own, so you can simply screw a dedicated hood in place. I prefer the Tecpro to the Raynox clip-on, but it's a lot dearer, bigger and more expensive.

The Century 0.65 is also a goodie, but in my view is just too mild for the PDX. From that list of three I'd choose the Tecpro.

tom.
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 09:24 AM   #3
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That's some good info Tom. As it so happens, looks like I'm in the market myself as a result of my own carelessness. While shooting in a remote location out in the woods with my .45x "digital optics" converter I unscrewed the lens and put it in my camera bag in the car. Then after walking some distance I was ready to film again but for some reason nothing would come into focus. When I looked more closely I found that only the front part of the adaptor had unscrewed - the rear element is separate and can serve as a macro adaptor. Anyway, I unscrewed it and put it in my pocket.... and now it seems to be gone! Arrrgh. Oh well, I had been thinking that it exhibited a bit too much chromatic abberation and softness for my taste anyway.

That Techpro sounds interesting, will have to check it out. Happy New Years to all! I'm looking forward to another great year here at DVinfo.
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 07:40 PM   #4
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Thank You Tom for your most complete and informed answer. Can you recommend any stores in London? I have been to Creative Video's web site and considered the 0.5/37 - 0.45x, it is for 37mm camcorders and Creative Video specifically mentions the PDX10. It might be not as good as the 0.5S, but it only costs £52 + VAT.

I don't know the price for the Raynox snap-on, and it does not seem to be available at Creative Video, can you inform me the list price for the snap-on? The Raynox HD-5000PRO 0.5X also seems interesting. From the specs though I would expect it to be too expensive for me.

Does Film and Video Maker have an online edition?
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Old January 11th, 2005, 12:02 PM   #5
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Anyone know of a US distributor for the Tecpro? I can't google-up anyone. They all seem to be UK dealers.

I am thinking of going with the .55 from Century. I like the full zoom idea of the .65 but it doesn't seem like it will be wide enough.

Have you guys seen the new reversible DS-55WA-58 yet?

Sean
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Old January 11th, 2005, 03:41 PM   #6
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The Raynox is sold in most Jessops stores, and there's a big one in New Oxford Street. They're amazingly cheap for such a good wode-angle - the 37mm version is under twenty quid. I consider that a genuine bargain - not a lot dearer than a posh UV filter.

No online edition for Film and Video Maker sadly.

Remember that when you go more powerful than 0.5x (to 0.45x, say) the barrel distortion tends to increase alarmingly, and these lenses have to be used with care if the 'effect' isn't going to overpower your shot and shout 'fisheye'.

tom.
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Old January 12th, 2005, 01:44 AM   #7
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Tom, or anyone else, found a review, or know of, the new Giottos wide angle lens?
Recently I purchased a Giottos tripod with fluid head, great tripod, much better value and featured than others of twice the price. Because I was so impressed with the tripod I would like to know about their new wide angle lens'.
Their gear is coming out of China, cheap, but the quality of their pro tripod is stunning for the price. My research has found out very little. If they are making gear in China to meat high standards without the price tag it might be worth a look.
The one on their internet site - LN 37051AS
Mounting threads : 37mm
Front filter size : 46mm
2G / 2E Optical coated glass
Magnification : 0.5X wide angle
Macro shot: 1.5X
Size : Ø48x33.5mm
Weight : 70g

I did manage to fing the previous model in a shop and tried it on a PDX10 in the shop. Had Zoom through, apparently no vignetting, on screen looked good with very little parralex. This was a .45x

Any thoughts anyone?
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Old January 12th, 2005, 02:17 AM   #8
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Never even heard of a Giottos. Do they have a web site showing their kit? As always with lenses, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

If you can attach the lens to your PDX and shoot some stills to flash memory at lots of different focal lengths this will allow you at access them in Photoshop for a good look see. Take a shot with out the converter in place as well. Look for distortion (bendy straight lines), chromatic aberation (colours appearing at high contrast boundaries, especially in the corners of the frame), and vignetting, where the corners of the image darken. Remember to shoot some movie too, as the PDX's OIS means vignetting can occur when the camera's moved.

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Old January 18th, 2005, 02:44 PM   #9
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Anybody know of a place in London where pre-owned stuff is sold? Before commiting to the Raynox or TecPro, I would like to try to get my hands (well actually my cousin's hands, he's in London) on a second hand Sony VCL-HG0737X 37mm High Grade 0.7X Wide Angle Lens. I don't think I could afford it new. But since it has a concave front I think it must be really good, and it should ft inside the hood nicely.
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Old February 15th, 2005, 08:52 PM   #10
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Sorry for resurrecting this thread...(The searches didn't lead me to a conclusive recommendation....)

After playing with the PDX10 this past weekend, I'm thinking about getting a wide angle lens for it.

The PDX-10 makes such pretty pictures that I feel it would be a shame to put something really substandard in front of it.

Here are some choices I've found on the BH Website...

Sony VCL-HG0737X 37mm 0.7x High Grade Wide Angle $125

Canon WD-H37 37mm 0.7x Wide Angle $109

Century Optics .65 wide angle in 37mm (full zoom through) $210

I like the Century--but it is a bit "pricey"...is it worth the extra money?[though compared to still camera lenses--they seem much more affordable]

Looks like with the Century Optics--you can't use the supplied Sony hoods.

Anybody with any opinions/experience with these things?

Which would you favor?

[I'm "prejudiced" against Tiffen lenses because of this low quality digital camera lens I got in the past[Tiffen makes kick ass filters though...] and the a low end Kenko I had previously seems really "soft" around the edges fully wide?]

I looked at the one quicktime movie of the Sony lens and it seems good(but it is hard to judge from a small qt movie)

Thanks in advance.

Edit:

I just realized that the reason there isn't much written about 37mm lenses is that it is a "consumer" format size and not really common in the more professional circles....but anyway..
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Old February 16th, 2005, 02:05 AM   #11
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The Century 0.65 is indeed a bit pricey, but in a group test I did it came out on top for build quality, sharpness, lens coating (anti-flare) and the beautiful bayonet (onto the VX2k). On the downside it was by far the most expensive, heaviest, and it gave much more barrel distortion than the Raynox 0.66x costing less than half its price.

Don't forget that these mild wide-angle converters are invariably of 3 element construction. If you buy a 28 mm lens for your SLR it will have 7 elements, an auto focus mechanism, a multi-bladed powered diaphragm, lens markings and so on. In reality the far bigger market makes it a much better deal.

Have a look here:

http://www.raynox.co.jp/english/dcr/egindex.htm

tom.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 12:31 PM   #12
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The Century 37mm .65X Converter was designed specifically so that it can be used in conjuction with the larger Sony lenshood that comes with the PDX10.

It also has a standard 62mm front filter thread to allow for the use filters and shades--- be careful to check in underscan for possible vignetting when adding shades or stacking filters.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 03:55 PM   #13
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Has anybody been able to find out if the smaller high-quality Raynox zoom thoughs will fit inside the Sony wide hood?

Also, I reckon the tests Tom mentions were not done on a PDX10, thus the small 37mm Century Adapter is not part of that comparison. I have yet to contact anybody who has tried it, or the Sony 37mm high grade WA, which is almost as expensive as the Century.
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Old March 18th, 2005, 02:22 PM   #14
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Ignacio,,

I would think by now you will have got a wide lens, but anyway just to say that i managed to get the sony VCLHGO737X and it works very well and gives a good clean picture.
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Old March 18th, 2005, 05:40 PM   #15
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Thanks Ian, I am still working with a couple of used WA adapters I have been able to buy here but did not get around to buying the Sony. Or I have not yet. But I may in the future. Thanks for the info.
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