Canon HJ40x14B lens on PMW-EX3 at DVinfo.net

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Old January 8th, 2011, 12:00 PM   #1
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Canon HJ40x14B lens on PMW-EX3

A few questions for those who know this camera & it's capabilities a lot more than me & maybe have even tried the above combo.

Background - I use to use the Canon XL1/XL2 & enjoyed the flexibility of changing the lenses but eventually down sized & went for a fixed lens, Canon XH-A1. However, after a few years with that I do miss that flexibility.

With more prosumer cameras on the market nowadays with the ability to change lenses the Sony PMW-EX3 has caught my eye but I would like to know from you out there that have used them if it is possible with a 2/3 inch lens adapter to use a high quality lens like the Canon HJ40x14B? Massive lens weighing 5.4kg so will require a lot of support, I realise that but does the PMW-EX3 camera mount & for that matter lens adapter have a limitation on what it can take in weight? Do you still loose functionality of other lenses like IS as I remember in XL1/XL2 days or has technology moved on slightly?

BTW, just in case your'e thinking why buy a Sony PMW-EX3 if he's got a Canon HJ40 to put on it, well I don't - If the combination works then I would hire it as & when, still not cheap though but if I can get proper functionality out of this lens on this prosumer camera instead of a proper 2/3 inch body then great.

Thanks in advance.

Gareth
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Old January 9th, 2011, 12:24 AM   #2
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Gareth, you wouldn't use a lens like that without the sled that comes with it. The sled supports the weight of the lens. Not the camera. Without the sled that lens would pretty much destroy the camera mount pretty quickly if you tried to get it to support a long lens like that.
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Old January 9th, 2011, 05:51 AM   #3
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I often use standard 2/3" lenses on my EX3 and they work very well. You get a 1.3x magnification compared to a 2/3" camcorder. I have had an HJ40 on an EX3, or more correctly, I've had my EX3 on the back of the HJ40 :o)

As Paul pointed out the HJ40 and other similar large ENG style lenses either come with a support system or should be used with one. Typical smaller 20x, 17x etc ENG lenses don't need additional support on the EX3, but a set of 15mm rails and either a lens support block or Matte box connected to the lens and rails does help with overall stability. What is essential with heavier lenses is getting one of the many EX3 base plate adapters to strengthen the rather small and flimsy tripod mount that the EX3 has. A long heavy lens or even the standard lens with a bulky Matte box will overload the standard mount causing it to fracture or pull out from the base of the camera.
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Old January 9th, 2011, 06:45 AM   #4
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Paul & Alister,

Thank you for confirming what I thought about the weight of this lens on the mount of EX3 & the additional support required. I hadn't thought about a base plate adapter to support the EX3 tripod mount - very sound advice. Since my initial post I have found some footage by the BBC with this lens on what looks like a Sony Z1 so I have a clearer picture of the set-up & yes it is much fairer to say you put an EX3 on the back of a HJ40, LOL!

Q for Alister as you have used this combination before, apart from the 1.3 magnification is all other functionality of the lens the same? I normally use a Vinten Vision 3 tripod head. Do you think that would be steady enough?
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Old January 9th, 2011, 08:58 AM   #5
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A vision 3 will be way, way under what you need for a long lens like this. A Vision 10 or sachtler 20 would be better, but any wind will induce lots of shake. When I use them it's normally with an O'Conner 2065 or similar.

All other functionality is the same.
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Old January 9th, 2011, 11:04 AM   #6
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I have used the HJ40x a few times with my F800.

I would say the minimum tripod head should be one that can support/balance 45 lbs. I used my Vinten Vision 100 and Fibertec sticks with great results. You need to consider the servo zoom, focus controls, and external monitor when considering weight. To use this lens with out both makes for a very shaky picture.

Also you will need to be concerned about wind and how much moisture is in the air. Then lens is so long that you need clear dry days to get the maximum range.

Great lens when set up properly.

A few thoughts and couple of stills of the HJ40:
http://whitecapvideo.com/wordpress/?p=397
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