pmw-ex1 setup for dark venues w/ schneider optics 0,6 wide angle adapter at DVinfo.net

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Old March 5th, 2009, 09:04 AM   #1
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pmw-ex1 setup for dark venues w/ schneider optics 0,6 wide angle adapter

Hey all,
I've been on and off here, mostly helping myself with existing topics, trying not to bother too much people with rookie questions (as i can't really spread much knowledge about these things myself) hehe, but today i really feel the need to ask a few things... so here goes.

I have a Pmw-ex1, and i film a lot of parties, so low light / flashing lights / strobo conditions. Most of the time i just make it all work out fine... testing and trying in the settings and all that, but last time i was at a pretty dark venue and i just couldn't get it right. I prefer not to use extra light by the way.

I use a Schneider Optics 0,6 X Wide Angle Adapter, and with that attached, i just couldn't get the focus right. Without the adapter attached i got everything sharp and focussed, but with it it just didn't work out. Can someone tell me how this is possible? I've used it in various other pretty dark locations without any problems.

Tips on how to set this camera up for these kind of occasions are welcome as well:
Optimal format?
Shutter on or off?
Gain?

I will do my best to test it all and share my experiences :)

Thanks in advance and greetings from Belgium.

Richard
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Old March 5th, 2009, 11:47 AM   #2
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Hi Richard,

Focusing the Schneider .6 wide in the dark is very difficult. First, I've found that the only way to reliably the wide is to:
1). Make sure you focus ring is in the forward position.
2). Use full autofocus AND macro mode. You have to be in some light to do this. Once focused, you can turn the autofocus switch off but you have to keep the ring forward.

So, in conclusion, the macro focusing on the EX1 or EX3 is not a very good scenario. No one wants to be dependent on autofocus in the dark.

-Tony
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Old March 5th, 2009, 11:55 AM   #3
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When you use the wideangle adaptor, you need to do several things before shooting:
1. Push the focus ring forward (take it off full manual focus)
2. Turn on MACRO
3. Set manual/auto focus switch to manual
4. Open your iris wide open (1.8)
5. Turn your focus ring as if you're focusing on something close until image is sharp.
6. Adjust your aperature so you get correct exposure.

Opening your iris in step 4 will create a shallow depth of field which will enable precise focusing. Keeping manual focus in step 3 will prevent drifting.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 05:20 PM   #4
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At the bottom of the Camera Set menu you have a Wide Conversion option. The manual is a bit ambiguous, but I read it as an option to set to On when a Wide Converter is added to a native lens.
I don't have a wide, so I've never tried it. It could possibly defeat the need to set your Macro?
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Old March 5th, 2009, 09:44 PM   #5
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Does anybody know what that WA Adapter setting in the menu actually does? I figure it must be setting the lens to behave properly with the WA attachment in place, but I sure don't know what it is affecting.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 12:15 AM   #6
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This is from Schneider web site

Focusing on the Sony PMW-EX1

Like all wide adapters, the Century .6X uses the macro feature of the camera to achieve focus. Be sure the macro mode is enabled when using either the auto-focus or electronic manual focus modes of this camera.

NOTE: The full manual focus mode of the Sony PMW-EX1 disables the macro focus ability of the video camera's zoom lens. As a result, this mode CANNOT be used in conjunction with wide adapters.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 01:37 AM   #7
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Manual focus can be used with many wide angle adapters. It depends on the design of the optics. As a rule of thumb zoom through lenses work with normal manual focus why non-zoom through lenses require the use of macro.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 12:41 PM   #8
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Richard,

It looks like everybody here has told you how it works which is with the macro mode on. You can use manual focus but you are dealing with such an extreme depth of field that a slight change in the focus ring can drastically affect your image.

I suggest you leave it in macro with the auto focus mode on. Also make sure your lens is clean on both sides because point sources of light can cause dust particles to "light up" and create focus problems for the macro mode.

As far as we can tell here at Century, the wide angle adapter mode in the camera menu does nothing to positively or negatively impact the image with our adapter in place. We believe it is a chromatic abberation correction that interacts only with the Sony adapter but we have not noticed any difference in the image with this in place either!

Ryan Avery
Schneider Optics
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Old March 9th, 2009, 01:50 PM   #9
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I have a Sony wideangle adaptor on my EX3 and have no problems focusing in manual focus mode even in low light, I ashume because it's a zoom through?
I have also not noticed any difference with the wideangle mode switched on or off in the menu.
I must remember to ask a "Sony Man" at IBC this year how it works.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 06:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Twittey View Post
I have a Sony wideangle adaptor on my EX3 and have no problems focusing in manual focus mode even in low light, I ashume because it's a zoom through?
I have also not noticed any difference with the wideangle mode switched on or off in the menu.
I must remember to ask a "Sony Man" at IBC this year how it works.
Mark,

You are correct in that focusing problems should not occur on a zoom through like they would on a wide angle adapter. That's the difference in the technology between the two. Also, please let us know if you find anything out from Sony. I have yet to find anyone who can tell me what that does in the menu; at least not scientifically.

Ryan Avery
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Old March 11th, 2009, 04:42 AM   #11
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Wide adapter mode 'on' appears to compensate for some barrel distortion.

I accidentally left this setting 'on' without the adapter attached. I was shooting some scenics with the ocean as the horizon, at full wide with standard lens. This wasn't noticable in the LCD. If I had my Hoodman on I think I would have noticed the distortion.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 04:46 AM   #12
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I tried to figure out what the WA option did when I got my Sony adapter last year. From my tests at the time I concluded that it limited the range of image stabiliser function to some degree.

It's hard thing to judge, and I was probably wrong but thought it worth mentioning.

Paul.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 04:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Cates View Post
I was shooting some scenics with the ocean as the horizon, at full wide with standard lens.
But any correction would be bending it the other way to compensate for barrel distortion woudln't it?

Would the camera really be able to manipulate image distortion in real time? Seems unlikely to me, you would also see the effect on the monitor when activating the function.
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