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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old July 24th, 2004, 12:19 PM   #1
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Century Optics DS-55WA-58

Has anyone used this lens on their VX2100? I want to get a .5x wide angle and this about the only lens i could find that wasn't a cheapo $50 lens. If any knows of any other good .5x lenses please post here.

Thanks-Curtis
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Old July 28th, 2004, 02:06 AM   #2
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I've used the century .55x lens on my vx-2000, it looks a WHOLE lot better than the cheap lens i had on before. Century is good.
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Old August 2nd, 2004, 11:23 AM   #3
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Is the Century Optics adapter significantly better/worse than Sony's VCL-HG0758 Wide Angle Adapter...?
When I get one, I'd like it to be the best quality possible..
Thx.
Ross.
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Old August 3rd, 2004, 07:19 AM   #4
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There's a big difference in the angle of view between Sony's mild 0.7x and Century's powerful 0.55x wide-angle converter. They'll both give you barrel distortion, but the Century's will be much more pronounced. How disturbed are you by linear distortions bending doors, windows, walls, telegraph poles and people's faces?

tom.
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Old August 3rd, 2004, 08:27 AM   #5
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Tom,
Good point..
My particular application is shooting the inside of buildings, so I guess barrel distortion is to be avoided if it's too pronounced.
Is a x.65 (Century) or x.7 (Sony) the better option then..?
I have been reasonably succesful with careful camera/lights placement, but having a slightly wider view would really help for locked-down shots; pans I can get away with the std lens/view.
Thx
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Ross.
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Old August 3rd, 2004, 09:26 AM   #6
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Both lenses will disappoint you if you're fussy, and the thing is that with arcitectual subjects even the slightest barrel distortion yells 'amateur!' loud and clear. The .65 Century I tested for a British magazine (the bayonet version designed for the PD170) was beautiful in all ways but one - and that was the distortion. For my money far too much at the asking price. The Sony is better but again, with walls and ceilings and doors in frame they'll all go on a gentle bender.

Have you considered using an aspheric wide-angle? That way you'd not be able to zoom (much) but at least straight lines would remain straight. I use a 0.52x Bolex Aspheron on my VX2000. Beautiful.

tom.
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Old August 3rd, 2004, 10:00 AM   #7
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Tom,
Hmm, another good point. You're correct - I don't need to zoom on those shots, so perhaps an ashperic is the answer..
So, where can I find such a beast? A quick Google search didn't help me..
Thx.
Rgds,
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Old August 3rd, 2004, 01:20 PM   #8
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Red Eye in Canada make aspheric wide-angle converters, but as they didn't even bother to answer my email saying I'd like to test them, I can only assume they're not much good.

Look here:
http://www.wittner-kinotechnik.de/katalog/08_aufna/b_optike.php

and here

http://www.collinscraft.com/

and here

http://www.lenswvl.com/

Problems encountered are lack of coating (on some plastic varieties) and lack of zoom-through beyond about 1/3rd of your original zoom. Good points are the lack of distortion (these lenses often correct the inherent distortion of all Sony and Sony/Zeiss lenses at the wide-angle end of the zoom) and the fact that being a single element means the light loss when
using the converter is minimal.

tom.
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Old August 3rd, 2004, 05:33 PM   #9
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Thanks Tom, I'll check trhese out.
Have you used any of these? There seems to be a requirement that the video cam needs to be able to get into a macro mode. Do I assume that in the case of the VX2100, I would simply zoom fully out and the adapter would then 'work'?
Do these adapters show verticals (e.g. corners of rooms) as true verticals..?
Rgds,
Ross.
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Old August 4th, 2004, 12:36 AM   #10
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I didn't think the .55x century warped things much at all.....but then again, i'm used to using the century .3x lens. It's all relative.
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Old August 4th, 2004, 01:50 AM   #11
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Yes Eric, it's all relative. For a lot of work the Sony .7x will appear to be distortionless, and it's only when straight objects reach the edge of the frame that it begins to show up. The Raynox 6600 PRO (a .66x lens) is very well corrected in this dept, but falls down on resolution at the telephoto end.

Ross, I've got three aspheric wide-angles and they all work well on any camera I attach them to. Modern camcorders focus very close indeed, so there's no worries over that one. Yes indeed, they show verticals as true verticals - but of course you have to keep your camera horizontal for this to happen.

If you go here:
http://www.fortvir.net/index.php
you can click on tom's photo album to get an idea of how various wide-angles perform in the barrel distortion stakes.

tom.
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Old November 4th, 2006, 12:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick
I use a 0.52x Bolex Aspheron on my VX2000. Beautiful.

tom.
Tom, where can I find the Bolex that you have? I went to the links you provided, one was red eye brand, the other was german and the other i coud not find the Bolex brand.

Can you point me to where to get the same one you have, and Also what does the .52x equal to in 35 mm?
thanks.
Jerry
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Old November 6th, 2006, 03:01 AM   #13
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I'm miles away on holiday at the moment Jerry, so don't have access to the Bolex files and contacts.

.52x doesn't 'mean anything' in 35 mm terms - all it means is that you multiply your focal length by .52. So if you have a 3.5 mm wide angle and attach the Bolex it's now 1.8 mm.
On the Z1 it's the 35 mm 'equivalent' of 17 mm - seriously wide and undistorted.

tom.
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