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Sony XDCAM PXW-FS7 / FS5
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Old February 16th, 2015, 05:54 AM   #1
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FS7 with vintage Canon FD glass - bad idea?

I didn't post on DVInfo for a long time - due to the neck spine condition that effectively prevents me from shooting (all my current rig is for sale now).

But after (and if) I manage to sell my HD stuff, I'll be considering something future prof and ergonomic (for my weak arm) - and the FS7 looks like an ideal candidate. The question I'm going to ask is a trivial one, but I'd just like to make sure:

- I used my FS100 with a number of vintage but optically great Canon stills glasses with FD mount; I have a number of primes plus one nice zoom, each with its own FD->E mount, hood etc. If the kit version of the FS7(K) proves to be above my means pricewise, does it make any sense at all to shoot 4k with these lenses - or should I forget it?

TIA

Piotr


PS. I have Zacuto Z-Finder EVF Pro; now I hear about their Gratical HD - of course the latter has higher resolution, color depth and contrast - but will my EVF be good enough for focusing in 4K? Anyone tried that?
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; February 16th, 2015 at 12:42 PM.
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Old February 16th, 2015, 01:05 PM   #2
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Re: FS7 with vintage Canon FD glass - bad idea?

I have a collection of vintage FD "L" glass that I use on the FS700 and it looks very good.
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Old February 16th, 2015, 01:26 PM   #3
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Re: FS7 with vintage Canon FD glass - bad idea?

If you liked your Canon lenses on the FS100 you'll like them on the FS7. They are more than worthy of shooting 4K.

BTW, you might as well sell your Zacuto EVF with your old rig because the stock EVF on the FS7 is better. It's not necessary to bother with a 3rd party EVF, in my opinion.
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Old February 16th, 2015, 08:25 PM   #4
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Re: FS7 with vintage Canon FD glass - bad idea?

Doug,
I shot a musical yesterday, and was at least 2.5 to 3 feet behind the fs7 monitor. Although the Vf is better than the one on my fs100, I still felt that I needed help to see focus. I hooked up my Zacuto EVF so it was right in front of me, and was able to see much better. I just wish it wasn't the junk hdmi connection, which cuts out if you even breathe heavy on the cable. When I have my eye directly on the fs7 Vf, however, it is pretty good.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 02:18 AM   #5
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Re: FS7 with vintage Canon FD glass - bad idea?

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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
If you liked your Canon lenses on the FS100 you'll like them on the FS7. They are more than worthy of shooting 4K.

BTW, you might as well sell your Zacuto EVF with your old rig because the stock EVF on the FS7 is better. It's not necessary to bother with a 3rd party EVF, in my opinion.
Thanks Doug for your answer. I wonder though how many lines of horizontal/vertical resolution this vintage and rather old glass is able to resolve; I was satisfied using it with a HD camera but we're talking 4k now, and this has been the main purpose of my question.

Speaking of which: would your advise be to sell the FS100 along with its stock zoom lens, or - before I can afford a proper one - keep it for use with the FS7?
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Old February 17th, 2015, 05:38 AM   #6
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Re: FS7 with vintage Canon FD glass - bad idea?

If you've got a professional, high-quality SLR lens was designed to work with 35mm film, and it looked good for that purpose, there's no reason to think it won't be perfectly fine for 4K.

Are you asking about whether you should keep the Sony 18-200? You're asking the wrong person because I really dislike that lens and think it has no business being used on any professional production. You've got to use good lenses with the FS7 or you should just get a different camera with a fixed lens such as the PMW-300 or something like that.

If you need an inexpensive starter lens for the FS7 then take a look at the Sony 18-105. It's only $600 and makes a decent lens for HD shooting. 4K is also possible with it, but you won't be able to use the distortion control function so vertical lines may look a little curved in some situations.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 10:12 AM   #7
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Re: FS7 with vintage Canon FD glass - bad idea?

If you get the higher end FD lenses they will resolve 4k easily.

I enjoy using mine.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 04:19 PM   #8
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Re: FS7 with vintage Canon FD glass - bad idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
..... If you need an inexpensive starter lens for the FS7 then take a look at the Sony 18-105. It's only $600 and makes a decent lens for HD shooting. 4K is also possible with it, but you won't be able to use the distortion control function so vertical lines may look a little curved in some situations.
Doug, are you saying that you cannot use distortion control at ANY resolution with that lens, or only at 4K?
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Old February 19th, 2015, 04:48 AM   #9
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Re: FS7 with vintage Canon FD glass - bad idea?

You can't use Distortion Comp. at 4K or even at HD over 60 fps.
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 05:48 AM   #10
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Re: FS7 with vintage Canon FD glass - bad idea?

Doug, this makes me interested in learning a more general "rule" (if any exists) of which E-mount lens does/does not allow to use distortion control in the FS7... Just what does it depend on?
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Old February 24th, 2015, 05:04 AM   #11
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Re: FS7 with vintage Canon FD glass - bad idea?

Piotr,

Sorry, I don't have that answer because I really don't use e-mount lenses except for the 18-105. Besides, it's not really a question of what lenses "allow" distortion control, it's more a question of what lenses "need" distortion control. I doubt that even Sony has a comprehensive list of lenses that need distortion control. I tried to get a list from them a couple of months ago of lenses that offer the newer "Active" SteadyShot mode and they couldn't even give that list.

BTW, I did have a demo Sony 28-135 lens for a couple of weeks and it did not require distortion compensation.
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Old February 24th, 2015, 05:14 AM   #12
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Re: FS7 with vintage Canon FD glass - bad idea?

Thanks Doug.

Well - it's a pity we won't know about this important aspect of the FS7 to a particular lens "matching" unless we can have both in hands... As to the 28-135 kit lens, like most people I just think it's not wide enough for my kind of use, while the 18-105 would be perfect (wide enough, talks to the camera, not to mention small size, weight and price tag).

BTW, is there a demo footage Or at least a frame grab) on line somewhere showing what kind and severity of distortion we're talking about with the SELP 18-105 lens?

Piotr
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Old February 26th, 2015, 06:08 AM   #13
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Re: FS7 with vintage Canon FD glass - bad idea?

I have a couple of examples of what the distortion looks like in chapter 18 of my FS7 Master Class, but there's no way for me to easily post an excerpt.The severity of the distortion all depends on what you are shooting.
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Old February 26th, 2015, 06:24 AM   #14
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Re: FS7 with vintage Canon FD glass - bad idea?

Dear Doug,

I don't need to tell you that if and when I only decided to go with the FS7 I'll buy your excellent video, as well (frankly, having seen the free chapter on line gave me more information in a shorter time than I needed for browsing the Instruction Manual pdf). As to the SELP 18-105 lens pincushioning problem, at first I understood it's some peculiarity of its combination with the FS7 - but after some digging I now know it's how this particular lens behaves in general. That said, it doesn't change the fact that in my situation the 18-105 looks like the ideal zoom to start with (in additional to my vintage Canon FD glass which is mostly primes) - hence my interest how setting the FS7 Correction to Auto alleviates the problem...

The good news is that I hear the last firmware update for the FS700 does actually help a lot with the SELP 18-105 pincushioning problem, so chances are future firmware updates for FS7 may also make using Sony's own lens possible with this great camera.

Piotr
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Old February 26th, 2015, 07:19 AM   #15
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Re: FS7 with vintage Canon FD glass - bad idea?

The 18-105 is a good lens for HD if you can live with the limitations. I own this lens myself and have no regrets buying it. And for $600 it is a real bargain. But it is what it is. Someone either has to accept the limitations or they should look for a different lens. But don't waste your time waiting for Sony to change the firmware in the FS7 to allow HFR or 4K shooting with that lens. The camera simply does not have the onboard processing power to do everything at once. Something has to give, and that won't change with a firmware update. The FS7 already has the capability that they are just now going to add to the FS700.
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