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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old November 21st, 2009, 01:58 PM   #1
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Wide Angle Revisited

Hello,

I'm looking to purchase a wide angle for my EX-3 soon.

In this thread-

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...ml#post1450502

-Paul mentions that he's been using the Century Optics .75x zoom through and experiencing barrel distortion, but not the vignetting issue in the upper left corner that others have reported when the lens was released.

1. Has anyone purchased this lens recently? I've heard conflicting reports that the problem still exists and that it has been resolved. Any recent purchases out there?

2. I'd also appreciate any feedback on the Sony .80x zoom through Is there in advantage with the barrel distortion because of the wide angle setting in the menu?

3. Any comparison of the optics of the Sony vs. Century Optics would be a big bonus.

Thanks!!
Gerry
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Old November 21st, 2009, 06:59 PM   #2
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Did you see my report on the Century .75x on the bottom of page two of this thread? http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...pros-cons.html

I got mine at B&H about 4 months ago.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 07:14 PM   #3
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Hi Boyd,

That was a useful thread but I was looking for some more current information.

Thanks!
Gerry
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 01:26 AM   #4
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Gerry that is current information. This is the revised version of the Century .75 zoom thru lens for the EX1/3.

I have the same lens. The barrel distortion is as reported by Boyd. About Z7 to Z11 the barrel distortion becomes tolerable when dealing with architectural situations and yes the corners get blackened just a bit depending where you are at in the zoom range of the lens. This to me is unacceptable in a lens (be it add-on or not) given it's price and the fact that this is a second rev. after the first one was pulled from the market. When the smoke cleared (with tax) for me in Canada it was $1600.

I haven't tried the Cavsion lens but I wouldn't assume it is bad on based on its low price.

If I knew what I know now and given how much I depend on wide angle shots I probably would have popped for the Fujinon lens but only after a hands on use of it.

I know Andy Shipsides from Able Cine Tech has posted some stills of it in use inside their store but there is some serious weirdness with the lines in the ceiling tiles in his examples that made me cringe. It may be some foul up with their drop-ceiling but I am not yet sold on the Fujinon until I see some really convincing footage of it in use where we can tell how good it is. The Fujinon lens is between 3 and 4 grand, if you get it from B&H. Not sure of AbleCineTech's price on the unit.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 04:06 AM   #5
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I own the Sony WA which is relatively cheap and gives good results.

But if you own the EX3 it could well be worth biting the bullet and buying the bespoke Sony WA EX3 lens which replaces the stock EX3 lens.

Fujinon | XS8X4AS-XB8 8x for Sony PMW-EX3 | XS8X4AS-XB8 | B&H

Reviews say it is excellent, very wide and no barrell distortion.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 04:53 AM   #6
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I have been put off the Sony proper wide angle because if you swop between wide and the standard lens I have led to believe that you have re-back focus the lenses - not a practical consideration. Someone please tell me I am wrong.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 07:28 AM   #7
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Andrew, I agree with your observations and I also think this is what Century/Schneider is selling today. As you say, the barrel distortion goes away in the z07-z11 range, but then you have to ask yourself why are are even bothering with the wide lens, since a setting of z08 with the adaptor is the same as full wide without the adaptor. See the image which I posted in that other thread: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/attachme...ns-compare.jpg

The vignetting is frustrating because you can't just zoom in a little to make it disappear. It actually gets worse in the z10-z15 range.

Having said all of this, your subject matter will have a big effect on this. The vignetting is not always noticeable, it depends on the composition and lighting of the shot. To be fair, the EX1 (don't know about the EX3) lens has a significant amount of barrel distortion all by itself, so I think a good deal of the problem in that area may be a garbage-in-garbage-out sort of scenario...
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 02:14 PM   #8
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Hi Guys,

Thanks for all the input, sounds like the Century Optics is a definite no. I've heard off list that the 16x9 .75 works well. So it's between the Sony .80 and the 16x9. The Fujinon sounds great but don't think it will provide a good return on my investment (would rather spend that on a Canon 5 Mark II and a nice wide angle lens).

Anyone know any rental houses with the Fujinon? Can't find one here in San Francisco.

Thanks!!
Gerry
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