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Old May 20th, 2009, 10:51 AM   #1
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EX1 Wide Angle - Pros / Cons ?

Love my new EX1, thinking of adding the wide angle adapter. Anyone like or dislike the Sony VCL-EX0877 0.8x Wide Angle Lens Adapter?

Many thanks in advance.

Greg Kiger
St Louis
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Old May 20th, 2009, 01:24 PM   #2
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See here.

In the meantime I've shot that heavy piece of glass in the bay and I like it. It's not perfect, so you will have some barrel distortion, it's really heavy and you have light blurring at the outer edges, but it seems to be perfectly zoom through and it simply works and adds reasonable wideness to the EX1 at an acceptable price.

Back to your question: I like it but I do not love it ;)

Last edited by Markus Klatt; May 20th, 2009 at 04:30 PM.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 04:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markus Klatt View Post
See here.
...

Back to your question: I like it but I do not love it ;)
Fully agree to this statement...
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Old May 20th, 2009, 09:58 PM   #4
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Right on Markus, very much appreciate the link to a fuller discussion of the topic, I really need to get better at searching this very informative forum.

Looks like the two favored contenders are the Sony VCL-EX0877 0.8x Wide Angle Lens Adapter vs the Century 0HD-75CV-EX3 0.75x Wide Angle Converter Lens. The cost is $425 VS $925. The Century is a bit wider which all things being equal sounds better. Both claim full zoom thru but I am not sure of the value of this feature for me. I would likely treat this like a fixed focal length wide angle lens, adding it only to shoot a wide shot then removing it. The Sony may have less barrel distortion but this would not be a huge factor for me either because I will use it outdoors vs a small room and as a story telling aid vs a technically perfect illustrative lens.

All this now leads me to consider the Century Precision Optics 0HD-06WA-EX1 0.6x Wide Angle Adapter Lens. Cost is only $375, not zoom thru but a whopping 40% wider than the stock EX1. Given the above, perhaps this .6 adapter is the way to go for me?

Any additional advice would be appreciated.

Greg Kiger
St Louis
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Old May 20th, 2009, 11:05 PM   #5
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You may also want to try out the CAVision .7x wide angle adapter for the EX1. I tested out the CAVision and Century and preferred the CAVision for $299.00. It's pretty clear with very little CA or edge distortion. I has about 1/2 zoom through so if you don't need full zoom through I'd consider it. I comes with a bayonet mount. I have that and the Century Fish eye adapter which was about $500 and is good for close quarters but has markedly more distortion and less clarity, especially at the edges so I wind up using the CAVision quite a bit more and use the Century for special situations.

The adapters require that you are in 'macro' mode because you are basically focusing on the adapter's glass. Because of this adapters need to be really clean or you may see the dirt on the lens.

However looking back, I might have gotten the Sony even though it's just a .8x. If it had been a .7x I would have gotten it for sure. All the good adapters/converters are pretty heavy and do take time to store and attach and remove when you're done. The Sony you can keep on all the time and has an integrated hood so you can choose to leave it on all the time.

Good luck!
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Old May 21st, 2009, 05:34 AM   #6
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@Greg
I am not in the position to rule others here in the forums and pointing to the search function. ;) It was just intended to show you the topic which helped me to find out, what I would need.

As written I now use the Sony lense because I need full zoom through for two reasons:

1.) In darkness its really difficult to find the focus. So I zoom in all the way, fix focus with peaking on some edges the best I can in full MF modus and then zoom back all the way. It would be almost impossable to have a good focus in darkness without zoom through.

2.) I normally film continous, full shows where I have not the chance to break and zoom in, find focus and then start filming again. I have to -wisely and rerely used- zoom close to some objects and then return to full wideness - manual or with shot transition, and need every second of those shows. Before EX1 I used 2 SD-cams to achieve close shots without on the fly zooming, but in HD and weighty EX1 times I have to stay with one camcorder only.

Cheers,
Markus
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Old May 21st, 2009, 08:02 AM   #7
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I went from a VX2000 to an EX1. I shoot mostly stage productions. I used the wide angle adapter lens on the VX2000 all the time despite it's inherent drawbacks. It is a 4:3 camera.
The EX1 which is 16:9 doesn't seem to require a wide angle adapter for stage work. That makes me happy besides not costing me a whole lot of money for something that will most likely lower the sharpness and introduce distortion through at least part of the zoom range.

I would wait until you have used the camera for awhile before buying a wide angle adapter to see if you really need one.

John
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Old May 21st, 2009, 08:10 AM   #8
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I picked up the 16x9 0.75 WA adaptor at NAB. So far no complaints, I got it at the show price which was quite a saving. I have to say the list price for the lens hood is a bit over the top at $150 and I'm rarely one to complain about price.

If anyone is interested I can post some shots taken through it. Barrel distortion is within what I'd expected, weight is more than I expected. It's bayonet mount which means you need to be careful getting it on and off the camera. I'd certainly never consider using the EX1 hand held with this much weight up front.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 11:35 AM   #9
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I purchased the Century Optics .75x and was satisfied with clarity and edge to edge, but got a vignette on both an EX1 and EX3. I have returned it to Schneider for refund. It vignetted at full wide and at 75% wide. And yes, it was the newer version- purchased 1/09.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 11:03 PM   #10
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I'm also struggling with this decision. The .8 Sony is not enough additional coverage to justify buying it, IMHO. I got a local dealer to get the Century 0HD-06WA-EX1 0.6x Wide Angle Adapter in for me on approval this week. Of course, the weather has turned ugly this entire week so I haven't had any chances to take it outside yet. I need the extra coverage to do real estate interior walk-thru's so having a zoom-thru isn't necessary for me but from what I'm seeing, those walls are sure getting a little "bendy" with this attachment. I'll try to post some screenshots later when the weather gets better or when I can find a nice house to shoot interiors instead of my crappy apartment! ;)
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 01:34 AM   #11
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I have the Sony .8x and I love it. The more I shoot with it the more I like it. It's flippin' heavy but it's sharp. I also have the Century fisheye (I'm confused whether it's .55x or .60x) and I really like it too... get both, ha! The Century is more of a specialty lens and I really like the perspective. When the focus is nailed it's pretty darn sharp, but it can wander since it's 'auto'. The edges/corners lose sharpness, sometimes it seems better than others so it depends on what you're shooting, but it's acceptable to me. If I had to decide only on one, I'd get the Sony .8x. I wish the hood was removeable though.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 09:07 PM   #12
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Hey everyone, really appreciate the feedback from literally all over the world - this forum rocks!

Doing the math, like Dave Morrison i have come to the personal conclusion that the Sony just isn't enough additional coverage for me to justify buying it.

BTW...what do we mean by "zoom thru". My anticipated use for this lens is only to make the widest end of my EX1 that much wider when needed and then remove the WA adapter for any shot within the cameras native zoom range. So is "zoom thru" important to me?

Dave, any test shots or additional thoughts on your new Century .6x ?

thanks again to all for the discussion :)

Greg Kiger
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Old May 26th, 2009, 09:25 PM   #13
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Hi Greg. I've had the .6 out in the sun and inside doing some home interior walk-thru's and I'm liking it more and more. I found no vignetting with "normal" aperture settings (mid-scale f stops) and only a tiny bit of Chromatic Aberration. I also tried turning the Wide Converter menu setting off and on and couldn't see any difference. If you frame a shot anywhere near a straight wall or any straight edge, you WILL see bowing but that's the nature of the beast.

It sounds like you'd be using this lens the same way I intend to....put it on when I need maximum wideangle coverage but take it off for all other compositions. You can do a very small zoom move from full wide but it isn't of much apart from a slight change in framing. A "zoom through", if I understand the terminology correctly, allows you to use the entire zoom range of the fixed lens with everything reduced by the lens factor. So, with the Sony lens, all your shots would be reduced by a factor of .8.

The lens also has a very secure bayonet/cam locking system and felt very well made. You have to keep the lens in Autofocus mode and in Macro mode with the focus ring pushed forward into the MF/AF position. I'm not crazy about that as my camera would occasionally lose focus during the interior walkthru's and it would take a second or two to lock focus again. This seemed to happen when I was moving through doorways or making slightly fast movements and things were "blurring" as I moved from one room to another. That's the only big stinkeroo for me. I'll probably buy it despite the fact that I can't afford anything right now! But, I think it will do the job for me with these interior shoots coming up. Now, if I could only get ATW to work right!! ;)
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Old May 28th, 2009, 08:27 PM   #14
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Thanks for the review Dave as well as an explanation of "zoom thru". The "auto focus only" is kind of a drag but given that the WA adapter is not a huge expense and will give me another look in my video bag i think i will give it a go.

Thanks again to all who chimed in on this - happy shooting :)

Greg Kiger
St Louis
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 10:39 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Christoph Gelfand View Post
I purchased the Century Optics .75x and was satisfied with clarity and edge to edge, but got a vignette on both an EX1 and EX3. I have returned it to Schneider for refund. It vignetted at full wide and at 75% wide. And yes, it was the newer version- purchased 1/09.
Looks like I will be in the market for an EX1 wide adaptor soon myself. Can anyone else confirm/refute Christoph's observations about the Century/Schneider .75x zoom through lens? (to be specific: Century Precision Optics | 0HD-75CV-EX3 0.75x | 0HD-75CV-EX3 )

Currently B&H is sells the Century .75x for $975 and the 16x9 aspheric .75x for $790, which includes the HU104 rubber lens shade (see: 16x9 Inc. | 169-HD75XA-EX Aspheric Wide | 169-HD75XA-EX | B&H)

I don't think I want the Sony .8x because I'll need the option of using an ND grad filter with a mattebox.

It's hard for me to believe that the Cavision .7x lens will be good enough considering the low price, but I could be off base here....

I already have a Century .6x and posted some examples here: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/1170465-post9.html. I don't think that's a very good option personally. So I think the choice comes down to either the 16x9 or Century .75x for me.

Any new thoughts on this?
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