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-   -   Sony VCL-HG0872 review A++++! (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-4k-ultra-hd-handhelds/530626-sony-vcl-hg0872-review.html)

Paul Anderegg December 12th, 2015 05:31 PM

Sony VCL-HG0872 review A++++!
While searching for malware that could convert XAVC files into ProRes, I came across some pictures of Christopher Youngs X70 with a Sony wide converter. (inside joke) I went on eBay, and just missed an auction for one that closed for $36.12, 12 cents more than my bid, so I ordered a $50 BIN VCL-HG0872.

Well, it just arrived, but I am still waiting on multile step up and down rings to attach it to my X70, or so I thought. Chris had a problem using a single 72mm to 62mm step up (or down?) ring, but the one I have had for a year fit perfectly, and is not hanging on by a thread, literally. So how does it perform against my pair of 16x9 Inc EXII converters? Blows them out of the water, no comparison......with one caveat.

For evaluation, I used the focus expand feature, and moved the expand box to the upper right corner at wide angle with the converter attached. While the EXII's were sharp at center, they showed soft/blur and chromatic abberation as red and blue sides to objects. The Sony VCL-HG0872 suffers no such abnormalities, and in fact, appears just as sharp and devoid of CA at the corners and sides as it does at the center using expanded focus zoom to punch in on my 4K UHD image.

The caveat? It is possible to see some vignetting when panning or moving around using SteadyShot in certain ways, and also from optical zoom 3-30 when not using SteadyShot. Active SteadyShot will punch in a bit, so it almost totally eliminates these problems, but if you intend to shoot on a tripod, be aware, you may have some vignetting.

So what good is a wide converter that vignettes? For me, it is 100% useful for night ENG, since I am handheld and using Active SteadyShot in the dark, the issue will never be seen. This old converter can be found in bulk for $50+ on eBay currently, and to me, that is a heck of a deal, and I know a lot of you may love the whole wide converter handheld Active SteadyShot glidecam look, so this $50 converter would be a really fun tool to add to your camera bag.

Thank you Christopher Young for pointing out this jewel, and for helping me choose the correct virus/malware software for my PC! :)


Paul Anderegg December 16th, 2015 12:48 AM

Re: Sony VCL-HG0872 review A++++!
I just replaced my single step up ring with a set of Sensei PRO aluminum 72-77 and 77-62 rings, and I am happy to report the vignetting is practically gone at all focal lengths. :)


Christopher Young December 16th, 2015 06:15 AM

Re: Sony VCL-HG0872 review A++++!
Paul ~

That's why I am using the Canon WD-H72 most of the time as it does not vignette even when you zoom and move around with the steady shot on. Mind you it's a bigger and heavier than any of the Sony VCL adapters. From memory the Sony is 95mm across the front whereas the Canon has wider elements right through it and its front is 109mm. The Canon glass also works on my 18-105mm E-mount servo zoom without vignetting whereas the Sony just wasn't up to it. On both the X70 and the 18-105 I find the Canon WD-72 pin sharp across the whole zoom range and it seems to deliver a crisp image at almost any aperture setting. CA is virtually non existent. Very slight barrel distortion at the wide end but not to any great detriment overall. More than offset by the benefit of the extra width.

Like you one caveat. The rear flange on the Canon extends out the back by about 5mm or so. That was cut back down to 2.6mm and at that is still deep enough to protect the rear element if someone was to bang it down on a table backside first. At 2.6mm it allows all the adapter's threads to engage to full depth on a 77-72mm ring which in turns mates with a 62-77mm ring for the X70. So yes still using the two adapter ring setup. With the modified 2.6mm rear flange the Canon now engages the entire thread depth without adapter rings on the 18-105. With the adapter that lens is now 14.4-84mm. A very useful poor mans Cabrio 19-90, joking of course but great value for the money :))

More info and links on it at:


And yes those bandits are still using my X70 picture on that website:

Convert and Load Sony PXW-X70 XAVC into FCP X

Chris Young
CYV Productions

Robert Young December 17th, 2015 12:02 AM

Re: Sony VCL-HG0872 review A++++!
Great tip Paul
I just snagged one for myself at Adorama for $45
Unbelievable price for a $500 lens

Mike Griffiths December 17th, 2015 12:14 AM

Re: Sony VCL-HG0872 review A++++!
Thanks Paul, got one on Ebay for #33 (?? $50)
I've been using the Fuji WCV-82SC that Chris Young recommended, Looking forward to trying out the Sony

Paul Anderegg December 17th, 2015 12:25 AM

Re: Sony VCL-HG0872 review A++++!
Now that there is a "run" on VCL-HG0872's, the price will double overnight! :-)


Nathan Mitchiner March 11th, 2021 01:55 PM

Re: Sony VCL-HG0872 review A++++!
Hey Paul -

Sorry for digging up a REALLY old thread.

Thanks so much for all that you do for the Sony Cam community...settings, picture profiles, etc.

I am writing to confirm that the purchase of the two rings below (72-77 and 77-62) should work with getting the VCL-HG0872 wide angle lens connected to the Sony PXW-X70 Camera?

All the best!
Nathan Mitchiner


Originally Posted by Paul Anderegg (Post 1905291)
I just replaced my single step up ring with a set of Sensei PRO aluminum 72-77 and 77-62 rings, and I am happy to report the vignetting is practically gone at all focal lengths. :)


John Nantz March 12th, 2021 11:18 PM

Re: Sony VCL-HG0872 review A++++!
Nathan ....

Yes, Paul was extremely helpful, couldn't agree more. Also had a good sense of humor ...

Question about the Wide Angle lens attachment:

Granted, it is designed to be used with the FX7, so how can work with another camera? It has a button or lever 'thing' on the side so does that prevent it from being attached to the front of a non-FX7 lens?

Also, the AX700, for example, has a 62mm thread, so would it be attachable on that?

I happen to have a use for something that is a bit more wide-angle than what the cam is capable of and this might be helpful.
Edit: forgot to mention there is, or may be, a 62mm version.

Christopher Young March 19th, 2021 05:09 AM

Re: Sony VCL-HG0872 review A++++!
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Nathan, John

You are thinking of the Sony VCL-HG0872X, note the "X" at the end. That is a different lens to the VCL-HG0872. The earlier VCL-HG0872 from the HVR-Z1 HD Mini-DV cam days is the one that works well on X70s and Z90s with a 62 t0 77mm step-up ring and then a 77 to 72mm step-down ring. You will see why the two rings are required when you see the pictures from the old posts.

Have a look here at the old posts from when Paul and I were digging around for various WA lenses for the X70s. I had one sitting on the shelf from the Z1 days and thought let's have a look to see if we can adapt it. It worked! Still use it quite frequently on the Z90 these days.

Chris Young


John Nantz March 23rd, 2021 01:47 PM

Re: Sony VCL-HG0872 review A++++!

Thanks very much for the update and providing the link. Checked the ads for sale and Pauls suspicion was a good one. Although there have been some eBay solds that looked good; the current crop are either missing items that came with the original package, questionable condition, or have dream prices.


Originally Posted by Paul Anderegg (Post 1905360)
Now that there is a "run" on VCL-HG0872's, the price will double overnight! :-)


Its not really needed so I'll wait and choose my battle; plus, there are other things on my like-to-have list. It's spring time and wife is going around the house telling me to get rid of stuff and if she sees me on a, say, not-good selling web site she starts getting a little upset. A happy wife is a happy life, so there are trade-off decisions to make!

John Nantz April 25th, 2021 07:35 PM

Re: Sony VCL-HG0872 review A++++!
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time flys and stuff happens … so, I’m now the proud owner of the 0.8x wide-angle lens. And the step-down ring to attach it. That’s the good news. And, it is good. However .....

Next up: finding a way to make sure the adapter ring does not permanently attach itself to the rear lens threads(!). The adapter rings I’ve been using are brass and have large and easy to grip outer edge. When they are screwed on they come to a somewhat sudden stop such that there is a feeling it will not loosen easily, and, it doesn’t take much to loosen the ring in order to unscrew it and an initial grip-twist is all that is needed.

The new step-down ring operates differently. They are made of aluminum (more on this later) and they screw on easily. No problem there, but it doesn’t have this “somewhat sudden stop” of the brass ring and that puzzles me. The real problem comes with trying to remove the ring. For some reason, even though it is screwed on to a, shall we say, a “soft stop” (knowing full well it won't come off easily), it really takes some effort to “un-stick it” for removal.

So, why is it more difficult to unscrew after it has been lightly screwd on, with all the knowledge it will be difficult to remove? One place I read said that the difference is due to the aluminum vs the brass. This seems weird because both rings have a black coating, thus, there is no direct metal-to-metal contact due to the coating. It is what it is. As an old radio mystery program starts out: “Who knows what evil lurks within the hearts of [a filter ring]”.

The fix-it, or workaround. The “sticky issue” could be caused by different manufacturing specifications, … or not. Can’t solve this. Workarouds include vassaline, grease, oil, graphite, …. and maybe a few more. Plan B is to buy a brass ring and see if it works better, but that cost$.

My short term workaround is to use abut 2mm of generic Scotch tape. As a test, I put four pieces spaced around the SenseiPRO (B&H house brand?) lens ring. When the ring is screwed on it comes to a soft stop, and to remove the ring, it doesn’t take much of an effort to start to unscrew it. Don’t know how well this will last over time, but at least it works for now.

The real fix-it, I think, will be some lens filter ring removal wrenches. Currently thinking of two sets with a size range from 55mm up to 77mm. Rubber-coated metal seems like it woudl be good.

Removal of stuck filter rings can be a pain so any input on any of this is welcome.

I can also visualize a brass ring in my future.

Picture of lens ring with tape. Small scissors with curved tip to cut the tape:

Christopher Young April 25th, 2021 09:10 PM

Re: Sony VCL-HG0872 review A++++!

Grab yourself a silicone band jam jar opener. Neve had a problem removing the ring off the back of a VCL-HG0872 or any other adapter ring or stuck camera filter for that matter. They are cheap and work a treat. Do you know those silicone bands that people wear around their wrists? Often put out by charities. I always carry a couple of those as they will grip onto a step-up ring or lens filter allow a good all-round grip which is essential to undoing anything like that. When push comes to shove I have even used a bit of that rubberized electric cable from a toaster or kettle to wrap around a stuck filter to get it off.

Chris Young


John Nantz April 26th, 2021 07:09 PM

Re: Sony VCL-HG0872 review A++++!
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Chris - thanks for the link! I’ll give that a try as not only is it a lot less, it is more versatile and takes up less room. So far, the pieces of tape have been holding up well but I’m concerned what the adhesive might do to the ring coating. The one ring, the 77 > 72 step-down, “sticks” really hard, and really fast, even with almost no tightening.

I have an AX53 that I will also use this lens on and it worked very well, and, it may turn out to be the primary beneficiary! There is already a step-up 55 > 62mm ring on it so it can use the filters from the AX700, but with the 62 > 77 and the 77 < 72 rings, there is a slight bit of vignetting when suddenly moving due to the Balanced Optical Steady Shot (BOSS) stabilization system; however, a very small amount of telephoto made the vignetting problem go away. If one went with a 55 > 77 step-up ring, in lieu of the two rings, it is probable that the vignetting would be eliminated.

This wide-angle lens on the AX53 would be a good combination in tight quarters or a crowded situation, such as at a wedding, for example. The large optics wuld not be innocuous, though.

Other than the “sticky” issue with the one ring, there was no problem getting everything screwed together. My technique is to turn the item counter-clockwise until it “clicks” and levels up, then turn clockwise, checking for cross-threading before screwing it on. Everything went very smooth.

It’s a beautiful lens, must feel great to re-purpose a piece of gear like that! And especially on a “non-interchangeable lens” camera!

Thank you for all the work you and Paul did.

Edit: for info, the AX700 is sitting on top of the lens caps

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