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Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.


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Old March 28th, 2006, 04:18 AM   #16
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It was brave of you to stick with Canon after illness struck the first one Alan, but as you say, the 20x zoom exerts quite a pull to a wildlife man such as yourself.

But that 20x zoom feeds tiny 1/4" chips in the Canon, and if the 1/3" chipped VX/PD range had a 20x zoom (especially of the same speed) it'd be huge, heavy and expensive. If you fit a 1.7x TC to the VX2k1 you end up with the same telephoto reach as the XM2 but it's also half a stop faster at f/2.4. When you came to replace your XM1, didn't this thought make you reconsider Sony?

I've had many people say to me that the XM2 must be better than the VX2k1, simply because the cameras look so similar, perform so equally well yet the Canon's miles cheaper and comes with a noticeably longer zoom. I always have a simple reply. Market forces define the situation well; if two cameras are the same price and one has a much longer zoom, which one do you thing would have the better lens? If one of the cameras is a lot cheaper as well as having a longer zoom, ask the question yet again.

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Old March 28th, 2006, 04:31 AM   #17
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Ah, yes, Tom, but then I was using the XM1 with a Sony 1.7X convertor most of the time, and I have bought a Century 2x convertor for the XM2.

I would happily pay the price, and lug the mass of the PD170/Canon hybrid, if only!

Another slant on the price differential: Perhaps Sony have put the money into the CCD, chassis and transport, whereas Canon have put so much into the lens that there is nothing left for the rest. Maybe what I want is a 2000+ XM3, but I doubt this will happen. It would tread on the toes of the XL2, which is available for around 2800 now I think.
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Old March 28th, 2006, 08:39 AM   #18
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steve macdonald, who is a smart, articulate guy, and i had a back n forth exchange about this very issue here, the sony vx series mounted with teleconverters v. canon options, if anyone wants a look:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...115#post407115

it's towards the end of a very long thread, so would have been hard to find.

he makes a good case for using the sony plus TCs--though i still think for wildlife there's no substitute for the eyeball-to-eyeball long reach which only canon cameras currently provide. just my opinion, don't anyone take it beyond that. no matter how much reach i have, it's never enough:

http://www.ourmedia.org/node/152989

but again, that's my own issue.as i told dale in an email, it's best to hear what everyone says to make your own informed purchase.

after all, kevin railsback took this video with the HVX2000 of these wolves, but given what i know of the 12x zoom on my FX-1, he was either in a protected environment, somehow, or otherwise too close for my comfort. i don't know the details. but to get this kind of detail with a 12x, you're not far from your subject. i think this footage tipped many folks towards the panny camera, but not many of us would be willing to get this close to this subject without some degree of protection. unless you're the next tim treadwell.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...ghlight=wolves

oh, and raynox makes a teleconverter for the FX-1. i know nothing of its price or performance (maybe someone else can weigh in?), but here's the link:

http://raynox.co.jp/english/video/hdrfx1/index.htm
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Old March 28th, 2006, 10:02 AM   #19
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"no matter how much reach i have, it's never enough" - I am with you on that, Meryem! Though there is one well respected professional still photographer here in the UK who says the reverse : "No matter how wide ....."! But she is a still photographer, and was talking about landscapes
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Old March 28th, 2006, 11:34 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz
Raynox makes a teleconverter for the FX-1. I know nothing of its price or performance (maybe someone else can weigh in?), but here's the link:

http://raynox.co.jp/english/video/hdrfx1/index.htm
Raynox seems to have put together a nice collection of fisheye, macro and telex lenses for high-performance camcorders. I have the DCR-2020PRO, with 2.2X and a 62mm mounting ring. I use it on a VX2100 and also on a large digital still camera. They rate it at having an optical resolution of 260 lines per millimeter at lens center. You'll note that they describe it as a high-definition lens and show an example shot with an FX1. I regard it as having exceptional quality, especially for the price. With my still camera, the images come out as sharp as they do without it. However, it vignettes on the VX2100 at any point below about 85% full zoom, so it's limited for use only on extra-long shots, where the subjects aren't going to come zooming in on you. They supply step-up rings for use on 52mm and 58mm lenses, but for an FX1, you'd need to get your own adaptor ring. I can't say at what point it would vignette on an FX1, but with that model's larger lens, it could be at a higher point. I'd check out this factor, before I bought it for a camera with that large of a lens diameter.

It makes a nice item in my camera bag and once in awhile, I pull it out for some shots of sitting ducks on a large pond. Its length actually helps stabilize the camera. I'm currently trying to ambush a herd of elk in a deep valley, while I lurk up on the rim and have the 2020PRO on all the time.

Meryem, you might be surprised to know that in the last several years, two herds of elk have moved their ranges into Eugene's city limits, on the SW and SE corners of town. One bunch are Roosevelt and the other, of the Rocky Mountain subspecies. Cougars are also regularly spotted in these areas.

Raynox also makes the DCR-1540PRO, with 1.54X, that is rated sharper at
340 lines per mm. It probably would be better than the 2020 for an HD camcorder, when used for normal shooting distances, except for the vignetting problem. I can't speculate at what zoom point it would vignette, as its smaller, 52mm mounting-thread diameter, complicates the matter.

The high-definition fish-eye lens on their page is rated even sharper and is an interesting possibility. It has a larger, 72mm mounting thread. I'm waiting for someone else to buy it and give us a report. There are some super-macro lenses on this page, of which I know nothing and can make no comment, except that their mounting threads are very small. Perhaps for zoomed-back macro use, that size wouldn't matter. Raynox's lenses are fairly lightweight for their size, but seem sturdy. I wonder if they will ever produce some telex lenses with 72mm threads, to better serve cameras such as the FX1?

Last edited by J. Stephen McDonald; March 29th, 2006 at 12:15 AM.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 11:06 PM   #21
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teleconverter follow up

Gentlemen,

What a wealth of interesting information.

with my lovely gl2 out for repairs I broke the bank and bought a new xl2. I must say i am most impressed with the lens. My 1.6 canon teleconverter should be here soon. We leave on saturday so I hope it is here by then.

I had a couple thoughts: is there a duplex that can go on the end of the 72 mm lens as well as the base mount? I wonder if the resolution would be to degraded if you tried that?
I have the 58 century 2x and wonder if you used a step down ring if you could still get usable frames/ hAS ANYONE TRIED THAT??

What I have noticed is that not all 20x zooms are equal. tonight we were videoing migrating cranes passing by in large flocks probaby a couple thousand feet up or so. My wife was shooting a sony 20x and I the xl2 20x. there was visual difference with the canon being a larger image. the sony's bottom is a 2.5 to 50mm and the canons is 5.4 to 108. you think while the proportion is the same the image might be too, but apparantly not. In my slr past we never used couplers, just seperate lenses, so this is kind of new to me.
We will be filming sage grouse and antelope this month and I will try to get some comparisons done for interest sake.


Thank you everyone for writing on this thread!!


Dale
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Old April 10th, 2006, 01:06 AM   #22
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There is this, which is designed for the Canon 16x, but may well fit the 20x:

CENTURY OPTICS VS-16TC-XL 1.6 TELE CONVERTER

It would certainly be better than trying to fit a 58mm thread convertor onto a 72mm (?) thread lens front. The vignetting would be dreadful with the 58mm and a step down ring. I do not know what it would do to the resolution - Meryem would doubtless know.

I think you are confusing the 20X zoom range with actual focal lengths. 20x simply means that the ratio of the longest focal length to the shortest is 20:1. The factors that control image size are the actual focal length of the lens and the format - in this case the CCD chip size. There is a complicated formula which enables one to compute the 35mm equivalent focal length of a digital camera lens with its small chip, but most people use a conversion factor, eg 9.4x for 1/4" chip, 7.2x for 1/3" chip.

The Canon XM2 has a 1/4" chip and a 20X, 42-84mm range lens, which leads to a 35mm equivalent of 39.5-800mm.

The Sony VX2100 has a 1/3" chip and a 12x, 6-72mm lens, giving a 43-516mm 35mm equivalent.

This way of computing is independent of format, eg 3:3, 4:3, 16:9, as it is based on angle of view. Some camera makers confuse the issue by using horizontal field of view for comparison purposes. As the lens produces a circular image field and the format has to be fitted into that, a widescreen format has a wider horizontal field of view than the comparable 4:3 format, BUT with a given lens and chip the actual size of the image of a given object is the same for all three formats.

Last edited by Alan Craven; April 10th, 2006 at 02:34 AM.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 02:09 AM   #23
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Alan nails it, Dale. It all comes down to focal lengths and chip sizes. 20x is a nominal figure anyway, and just like in your still camera days there's a healthy production tolerance on this figure anyway.

tom.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 09:10 AM   #24
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someone did this experiment of adding the canon 1.6x to the base of the lens and the 72mm CO adapter to the front, but i'm not recalling the outcome. a search might yield it up. i think it worked out for the user. but undoubtedly image quality suffers from softness.

at this point, you are better off getting the EF adapter and a 35mm lens to use on an XL2, for a little more than the price of two teleconverters. used adapters crop up here periodically, and used 35mm lenses can be found fairly inexpensively on the still photo websites' classifieds. the canon 100-400mm zoom is quite popular for extending reach. or the nikon adapter which puts no additional glass between the lens and the camera and a nikon 35mm lens.

it's all too easy to get addicted to long reach....
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Old April 10th, 2006, 08:31 PM   #25
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Is there a good 2x telephoto adapter for the Sony Z1?

I bought a Raynox 2.2. We tried it on a friend's Z1. Resolution looked good.
Throw was terrfic. But there was no place in the zoom to get rid of the
vignetting.

Might be OK for a SD broadcast. But wide screen- if you see edge to edge-
it probably is a problem.

Still looking. Any suggestions? Really want 2x and not the 1.6x which isn't long enough for our wild animals.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Wayne
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Old April 10th, 2006, 08:36 PM   #26
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Well I looked but couldn't find anything bigger than 1.6x except that Raynox which I also considered. I was concerned that it wouldn't really do what I wanted on the Z1, and it sounds like you've confirmed this. I ended up getting the 1.6x and am happy with it. Don't know that you'll do a whole lot better on the Z1 without some tradeoffs. Have you seen this thread?

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=58525
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Old April 10th, 2006, 08:53 PM   #27
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HDV sunshade?

Thanks Boyd. Looks like it's the Century Optics 1.6X and move closer.

Did you like the sunshade? Is it easily packed? Filter tray?


Again- thanks for your help.

Wayne
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Old April 10th, 2006, 09:05 PM   #28
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Yes, I like the sunshade a lot. It goes on and off very quickly, and fits in my camera bag without problem although it isn't small. The bayonet mount on the lens is very clever and also works quickly. One thing when using with the .6x lens.... I need to use the Z1's allscan mode to be sure it isn't clipping the edges of the image, which it will do if not properly aligned. But of course with the 1.6x lens that shouldn't be an issue.

I haven't used the lens shade with filters yet myself. They're pretty expensive, and even the tray itself ain't cheap!
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Old April 10th, 2006, 09:35 PM   #29
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Reach

"it's all too easy to get addicted to long reach...."


What a true statement !!!!!!! I have been there in the past.

To be honest, having grown up in an Archery hunting tradition (my father was a bowyer), as youngsters we learned stalking skills and practiced them like pocessed demons!!! When i started shooting (35 mm and 16mm film)wildlife I started getting lazy and going for reach. it was not that ling that I realized that all my best pictures had been with my Highest quality lens it was a 100 to 200 and had about a 4 inch diameter low f stop.

To be honest, a 20x with a 1.6 should be all you need. My biggest problem is shooting birds at high altitude, for some reason I just can't stalk them!!
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Old April 10th, 2006, 09:49 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Crawford
I bought a Raynox 2.2. We tried it on a friend's Z1. Resolution looked good. Throw was terrific. But there was no place in the zoom to get rid of the vignetting.

Wayne
I was afraid that the Raynox 2.2X might have this absolute vignetting problem when used on a basic lens with a 72mm barrel. On my 58mm VX2100, the top 15% of the zoom range is vignette-free, so it's useful on very long shots. As I said before, they should consider making a larger 2.2X telex, that has a wide enough barrel to provide at least a small zone without vignetting, at the highest magnification point. Their current 2.2X model does have a 62mm mounting thread, but apparently not even that is enough for the 72mm cameras. Raynox seems to breeze by this issue on its website and I think they should not list their lenses as suitable for cameras, with which they vignette at all points of the zoom.
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