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Old January 4th, 2010, 12:30 PM   #1
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Quick PMW350 Lens Review

Here is my quick review of the PMW350 lens. It is a very interesting lens, and after putting it on the projector and collimator I've learned a lot more about how it works. In both manual and auto mode the camera utilizes a motor to adjust the elements... so without power the lens will not focus. As you zoom through the lens the motor continuously adjusts to maintain focus. The zoom tracks well throughout the range, but this is an unusual design for sure. As you'll see in my video there is very little CA and very little breathing. The back focus adjustment procedure is very much like that on the EX1 & 3, though a Sony rep told me there will be a way to adjust the backfocus setting somewhat manually.. by dialing it in somehow. I have no details on this, and I cannot find that option in the current firmware of the camera. All and all a pretty nice lens and a good deal at under $2k. See my video here -

Sony PMW-350 Fujinon 2/3″ HD Lens | CineTechnica
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Old January 4th, 2010, 12:51 PM   #2
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Glad you agree with what I found. IMHO The lens is remarkable value for money. It's not the greatest lens in the world, but for most people it will do a perfectly acceptable job. I think it will be ideal for those migrating from SD that don't already own HD lenses. I think you would need to spend at least $12k to better this lens optically. My guess is that the lens is a vari-focal lens with a lookup table that compensates for the changes in focus as you zoom by adjusting the rear elements. In addition focus is done by the rear element which is why it doesn't breathe. This makes the optical design of the lens far simpler which would explain why it performs so well given the price. I wouldn't be surprised to see more of this type of lens in the future. It makes a lot of sense, smaller, lighter, cheaper, minimal CA and breathing, especially if a way to dial in the back focus can be developed. The only question mark I guess will be over long term reliability, but it seemed reasonably well made to me.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 05:39 PM   #3
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That's exactly what it appears to be doing. Pretty amazing, and the simple design should hopefully make for a long shelf life. The back focus fix could make it a real winner for future designs as well. I think a wider lens would be a great addition.
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Old January 5th, 2010, 05:04 AM   #4
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Question for Andy

Thanks for the informative video.

On the stuttering at slow zooms, you said a Fujinon controller works better than the rocker. Does this mean that really slow, feathered zooms are possible? If so, that suggests the problem is not so much with the servo mechanism as with the rocker control mechanism.

Which Fuji controller, for example, would give the desired results?

Thanks..

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Old January 6th, 2010, 05:26 AM   #5
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Shame the lens doesn't have adjustable zoom speeds like the XS (and many other) lenses. I know it's all to do with costs.

Anyway, can you operate the zoom rocker with your left hand whilst panning/tilting with your right hand (using pan/tilt handle of course). That means reaching up and over the lens & under the vf with your left arm. I do it constantly with my XS/EX3 camera combo.

Thanks
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Old January 6th, 2010, 05:58 AM   #6
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Yes, no problem with that as the rocker is well forward of the viewfinder. If you use a Fujinon SRD-92 remote you get variable speed control.
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Old January 6th, 2010, 09:09 AM   #7
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I have also been pleased that my Libec ZC-9EX remote works fine it you want to spend less.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 02:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Cronin View Post
I have also been pleased that my Libec ZC-9EX remote works fine it you want to spend less.
Paul, have you actually tried the Libec with the PMW350K kit lens? According to Scott Cantrell of Tapeworks Texas, it does not work, the plug is different.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 02:47 PM   #9
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the plug has a adapter that comes off and that should have the right connector for the 350.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 03:01 PM   #10
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Thanks Greg, Paul.

I was trying to plug it into the remote controller input on the back, now I see the 8 pin zoom connector on the Fuji Lens itself...my bad.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 03:01 PM   #11
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Yes Tom, Greg is correct the adapter comes off and it works fine.

I have now been on two shoots using the Libec ZC-9EX on the lens with out a problem.

The zoom is very smooth.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 02:26 PM   #12
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Hi Paul,

Do you use the remote zoom controller when you go shoulder mounted or only on tripod?
If so, how have you mounted the controller?

Thanks
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Old January 12th, 2010, 02:36 PM   #13
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David only on the tripod and in the helicopter. Shoulder mount i try and stay as light and simple as possible.
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