Wide Angle Lens for Panasonic SD10

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Justin, May 17, 2011.

  1. Justin

    Justin Guest

    I have a Panasonic SD10 with 30.5mm filter threads. I already have a UV
    filter to protect the lens - which also has filter threads.
    Anyway, I'm looking for a wide angle lens, and I'm on somewhat of a
    budget. :(
    I see these 0.45x lenses on eBay for fairly cheap. My question is, will
    I get that "fish eye" effect? What is the limit for minimal distortion?

    Also, should I get a set of Neutral density filters too?
    Polarizer?
     
    Justin, May 17, 2011
    #1
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  2. Justin

    Scubajam Guest

    On May 16, 11:49 pm, Justin <> wrote:
    > I have a Panasonic SD10 with 30.5mm filter threads.  I already have a UV
    > filter to protect the lens - which also has filter threads.
    > Anyway, I'm looking for a wide angle lens, and I'm on somewhat of a
    > budget.  :(
    > I see these 0.45x lenses on eBay for fairly cheap.  My question is, will
    > I get that "fish eye" effect?  What is the limit for minimal distortion?
    >
    > Also, should I get a set of Neutral density filters too?
    > Polarizer?


    I'm not the expert, but this is my experience:
    1) The cheap wide angle lenses don't have fish-eye, but do distort,
    esp on the sides. You'll find straight lines, like buildings, lean in
    toward the center; a wide horizon curves (unless it's across dead
    center of frame, which is poor technique). At least on some; more on
    some than others. Not full fish-eye, but some distortion. One of the
    primary differences between a $30 lens and a $300 lens.
    2) Often these cheaper lenses have vignette effect. That is you will
    see part of the lens barrel clip off the corners. You can eliminate
    this by zooming in, but then, why get a wide angle if you have to zoom
    in and wind up with the equivalent of what you had before installing
    the lens? More expensive lenses, exp those by the same camera
    manufacturer, are made for your camera and won't have this effect.
    Depends a lot on what the widest angle of your camera's native lens
    is. If very wide, then more vignette with a cheap WA lens. If not
    really wide, then this is not an issue. I have a couple of these
    cheaper lenses gathering dust that I won't use because of this issue.
    3) Cheaper lenses have less or minimal coatings. This creates more
    lens flare and can alter true colors.
    4) Cheap glass is USUALLY cheap glass. While not always do you get
    what you pay for, in this case, most cheaper wide angle lenses will
    have issues you don't want.
    5) If you use one of these WA lenses, I would remove the UV and use
    just one piece of add-on glass. The more add-on glass, the more
    distortion. Moving the WA lens out a 1/4" by putting it on top of the
    UV filter will increase vignette effect.
    6) A polarizer has it's own uses. I have one, but seldom use it. Go
    into a camera store and ask to try one outside in the sunlight. I
    find the variable polarizer is best. Decide what type of shots you
    are most likely to take, then get equipment for that. While it sounds
    like you want to be ready for everything, you can't. You are more
    limited by the quality of the camera itself. Are you taking family
    and vacation? Surely you aren't trying to get paying gigs using this
    camera? The story you tell and how you craft - that's CRAFT, the
    final production, even for family and vacation stuff, will make more
    difference than a WA lens, or polarizer, etc. As you shoot look for
    "B roll" stuff, like signs, close-ups of feet running or walking; get
    down for low angle, up for high. Fill the frame with faces from ear
    to ear. Think about how you will tell this story as you shoot. Can
    you create drama or mystery? What's just a family birthday video can
    be made special by cutting in old photos of the person as they grew
    up, and asking the question of what does the future hold for them? Do
    you have a good video editing program and a fast computer? These
    things are much more important than the questions you have asked.
    7) Neutral density is up to you. One use is to open the lens
    aperature and get less depth of field. Tough with your camera. The
    very small sensor will limit you more than aperature. More than
    likely, your camera with its 1/6" sensor will have everything in the
    picture in focus at all times. By getting back and then zooming in,
    and opening the aperature, you might get some depth of field with the
    classic cinema "fuzzy background" most serious videographers want.
    Usually too much trouble for the amateur taking family or vacation
    video. If you want everything in focus, and some do, esp for family
    stuff, then why consider neutral density?
    8) Panasonic is a good brand, but has a wide range of models and
    quality. This is more of an entry level camera with OK images. Great
    for family and vacation, not for serious documentary or Indie films.
    A wider angle is good for inside rooms, and for scenery, but remember,
    50% or more of your shots should be close-up. Even for family video,
    you will be noted as being very good if you tell a story with a
    beginning, a middle, and an end; use lots of close-ups which draw your
    audience emotionally into your production; and KEEP THE CAMERA
    STEADY!! I'd get a tripod before a WA lens or other. I like one that
    has a monopod built in. I used to shoot all handheld, then started
    using tripods, and while I thought I was good before (steady with
    elbows on something, holding my breath, etc), the difference is well
    worth the hassle. Unless you want a specific effect that emphasizes
    handheld (which is becoming more popular in TV), the steady shot is
    the sign of the pro. But story trumps all!!
    9) Remember that shooting is the fastest and easiest part of video
    production. Most of the time is spent editing. Don't think you have
    to make the final production with scenes in the same order as shot.
    That's why it called NLE. Non Linear Editing. Craft a complete
    story. Put in titles and credits. Use music and narration, but
    please, never use copyrighted commercial music if you upload to
    youtube or other places, or give a copy to others. For a single copy
    for use of you and your family when you have purchased the music ...
    well, that's up to you. Find a way to get really good sound - the
    soundtrack is 70% of what we call video! I don't think your camera
    has a mic in jack, and the onboard mic will sound tinny. Consider
    buying a separate audio recorder, and get software and a good computer
    that will allow you to synch the separate audio with the video, then
    delete the onboard soundtrack for what should be the better quality
    separate audio.
    10) For a while, just shoot and enjoy. Forget the accessories and
    paying $$; they won't make enough difference to make a difference.
    Instead of wide angle lens, just pan a little bit. Polarizer and
    neutral density won't make much difference with the limitations of
    this camera. Buy and extra battery instead; and a tripod; and decent
    editing software; and blank DVDs. Spend time editing and crafting
    good stories your family will enjoy. Beginning, middle, end; craft a
    story; close-up; tripod; good sound; editing equipment and skills.
    Don't just shoot and show! Create productions. You'll find it's
    either in your blood and will spend the hours, or you'll just shoot
    and show mediocre stuff they'll watch once, and the camera will be
    used less and less. It's in my blood, but then, that's me.
    More than anything... Have Fun!!
    Hope this helps,
    Jim McGauhey
    Washington State
     
    Scubajam, May 18, 2011
    #2
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  3. "Justin" <> wrote in message
    news:iqt5pi$l4g$:

    > I have a Panasonic SD10 with 30.5mm filter threads. I already have a UV
    > filter to protect the lens - which also has filter threads.
    > Anyway, I'm looking for a wide angle lens, and I'm on somewhat of a
    > budget. :(
    > I see these 0.45x lenses on eBay for fairly cheap. My question is, will
    > I get that "fish eye" effect? What is the limit for minimal distortion?
    >
    > Also, should I get a set of Neutral density filters too?
    > Polarizer?


    Buying a cheap .45X add-on lens converter on eBay is a "shot in the
    dark". With VERY few exceptions, the resulting image quality depends
    more on the combination of the original camera lens and the particular
    converter used with it (I have shelves of cheap WA converters, and
    have tried them on numerous camcorders, mostly with poor results).
    One converter stands out, though, and that is the Raynox .66X Pro
    (note that the actual price is lower when it is in the "cart", about
    $120 for 58mm thread version). This means that you can use it with
    subsequent camcorders, using different stepping rings to fit the lens
    to a camera with larger mounting threads. This converter, as with
    most WA converters, is not fully "zoom-through" (it does not perform
    well near the tele end). On the plus side, it is sharp, wide on every
    camcorder lens I've tried it on (it is .66X, afterall...;-), and it
    has remarkably low linear distortion (much lower than any other I've
    tried). It is also remarkably light weight, useful with a small and
    light camcorder. It is here --
    <
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/219741-REG/Raynox_HD_6600PRO_58_HD_6600_Pro_58mm_0_66x.html
    >

    Another source is here --
    <
    http://www.adorama.com/searchsite/default.aspx?searchinfo=raynox hd 6600 pro
    >

    For a stepping ring (these tend to be thin from this source, usually
    a good thing...), go here --
    <
    http://www.adorama.com/SearchSite/Default.aspx?searchinfo=30.5mm to 58mm step-up ring
    >

    Unfortunately, after looking through 10+ pages of rings, I did not
    find a *single* ring that would do the job, so it will take two
    step-*up* rings, a 30.5mm to a more standard size, such as to a 49mm,
    and then a 49mm step-up ring to a 58mm - or I think I saw a 30.5mm
    to 52mm ring (if so, you could either get a 52mm->58mm ring, or get
    the Raynox converter in 52mm thread size). BTW, the price is the same
    at both Adorama and B&H for it, but Adorama has free shipping.
    Also BTW, the Raynox has a 72mm front thread, which *may* make it
    possible to put a WA shade on it. Additionally BTW, a wide-angle
    used at maximum wide makes steady hand-holding easier. Moving in
    with a WA also tends to get you better sound.

    As for polarizer's, I tend to dislike them (you lose about 1.5 stop
    of light through them, the color looks "odd", and with WA the
    illumination can be uneven. They can be fun for fall color, and
    when shooting into shallow water with fall leaves just below the
    surface while rotating the filter, but otherwise.....;-)

    Likely you will not need any ND filter...

    And, read "Scubajam's" post - he has some good advice...

    --DR
     
    David Ruether, May 19, 2011
    #3
  4. Justin

    Steve King Guest

    "David Ruether" <> wrote in message
    news:ir3c7a$h2c$...
    >
    >
    > "Justin" <> wrote in message
    > news:iqt5pi$l4g$:
    >
    >> I have a Panasonic SD10 with 30.5mm filter threads. I already have a UV
    >> filter to protect the lens - which also has filter threads.
    >> Anyway, I'm looking for a wide angle lens, and I'm on somewhat of a
    >> budget. :(
    >> I see these 0.45x lenses on eBay for fairly cheap. My question is, will
    >> I get that "fish eye" effect? What is the limit for minimal distortion?
    >>
    >> Also, should I get a set of Neutral density filters too?
    >> Polarizer?

    >
    > Buying a cheap .45X add-on lens converter on eBay is a "shot in the
    > dark". With VERY few exceptions, the resulting image quality depends
    > more on the combination of the original camera lens and the particular
    > converter used with it (I have shelves of cheap WA converters, and
    > have tried them on numerous camcorders, mostly with poor results).
    > One converter stands out, though, and that is the Raynox .66X Pro
    > (note that the actual price is lower when it is in the "cart", about
    > $120 for 58mm thread version). This means that you can use it with
    > subsequent camcorders, using different stepping rings to fit the lens
    > to a camera with larger mounting threads. This converter, as with
    > most WA converters, is not fully "zoom-through" (it does not perform
    > well near the tele end). On the plus side, it is sharp, wide on every
    > camcorder lens I've tried it on (it is .66X, afterall...;-), and it
    > has remarkably low linear distortion (much lower than any other I've
    > tried). It is also remarkably light weight, useful with a small and
    > light camcorder. It is here --
    > <
    > http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/219741-REG/Raynox_HD_6600PRO_58_HD_6600_Pro_58mm_0_66x.html
    > >

    > Another source is here --
    > <
    > http://www.adorama.com/searchsite/default.aspx?searchinfo=raynox hd 6600 pro
    > >

    > For a stepping ring (these tend to be thin from this source, usually
    > a good thing...), go here --
    > <
    > http://www.adorama.com/SearchSite/Default.aspx?searchinfo=30.5mm to 58mm step-up ring
    > >

    > Unfortunately, after looking through 10+ pages of rings, I did not
    > find a *single* ring that would do the job, so it will take two
    > step-*up* rings, a 30.5mm to a more standard size, such as to a 49mm,
    > and then a 49mm step-up ring to a 58mm - or I think I saw a 30.5mm
    > to 52mm ring (if so, you could either get a 52mm->58mm ring, or get
    > the Raynox converter in 52mm thread size). BTW, the price is the same
    > at both Adorama and B&H for it, but Adorama has free shipping.
    > Also BTW, the Raynox has a 72mm front thread, which *may* make it
    > possible to put a WA shade on it. Additionally BTW, a wide-angle
    > used at maximum wide makes steady hand-holding easier. Moving in
    > with a WA also tends to get you better sound.
    >
    > As for polarizer's, I tend to dislike them (you lose about 1.5 stop
    > of light through them, the color looks "odd", and with WA the
    > illumination can be uneven. They can be fun for fall color, and
    > when shooting into shallow water with fall leaves just below the
    > surface while rotating the filter, but otherwise.....;-)
    >
    > Likely you will not need any ND filter...
    >
    > And, read "Scubajam's" post - he has some good advice...
    >
    > --DR
    >


    Ditto on Scubajam's post. However, I believe a circular polarizing filter,
    the adjustable kind, is a necessary accesory in my kit. They are very
    effective in eliminating reflections from windows, water, automobile
    windshields, almost anything that's shiny. Want to get a shot of the driver
    of a car through the windshield with the sun behind the camera? Without the
    polarizer all you'll see is a big sun reflection. With it the driver is
    clearly seen. Want to shoot mountains in the distance? Eliminate the haze
    with a circular polarizer. These filters do intensify color saturation.
    For me that is an acceptable trade off. For the cost, I can't get along
    without them. YMMV.

    Steve King
     
    Steve King, May 19, 2011
    #4
  5. Justin

    Justin Guest

    On 5/19/11 12:52 PM, Steve King wrote:
    > "David Ruether"<> wrote in message
    > news:ir3c7a$h2c$...
    >>
    >>
    >> "Justin"<> wrote in message
    >> news:iqt5pi$l4g$:
    >>
    >>> I have a Panasonic SD10 with 30.5mm filter threads. I already have a UV
    >>> filter to protect the lens - which also has filter threads.
    >>> Anyway, I'm looking for a wide angle lens, and I'm on somewhat of a
    >>> budget. :(
    >>> I see these 0.45x lenses on eBay for fairly cheap. My question is, will
    >>> I get that "fish eye" effect? What is the limit for minimal distortion?
    >>>
    >>> Also, should I get a set of Neutral density filters too?
    >>> Polarizer?

    >>
    >> Buying a cheap .45X add-on lens converter on eBay is a "shot in the
    >> dark". With VERY few exceptions, the resulting image quality depends
    >> more on the combination of the original camera lens and the particular
    >> converter used with it (I have shelves of cheap WA converters, and
    >> have tried them on numerous camcorders, mostly with poor results).
    >> One converter stands out, though, and that is the Raynox .66X Pro
    >> (note that the actual price is lower when it is in the "cart", about
    >> $120 for 58mm thread version). This means that you can use it with
    >> subsequent camcorders, using different stepping rings to fit the lens
    >> to a camera with larger mounting threads. This converter, as with
    >> most WA converters, is not fully "zoom-through" (it does not perform
    >> well near the tele end). On the plus side, it is sharp, wide on every
    >> camcorder lens I've tried it on (it is .66X, afterall...;-), and it
    >> has remarkably low linear distortion (much lower than any other I've
    >> tried). It is also remarkably light weight, useful with a small and
    >> light camcorder. It is here --
    >> <
    >> http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/219741-REG/Raynox_HD_6600PRO_58_HD_6600_Pro_58mm_0_66x.html
    >>>

    >> Another source is here --
    >> <
    >> http://www.adorama.com/searchsite/default.aspx?searchinfo=raynox hd 6600 pro
    >>>

    >> For a stepping ring (these tend to be thin from this source, usually
    >> a good thing...), go here --
    >> <
    >> http://www.adorama.com/SearchSite/Default.aspx?searchinfo=30.5mm to 58mm step-up ring
    >>>

    >> Unfortunately, after looking through 10+ pages of rings, I did not
    >> find a *single* ring that would do the job, so it will take two
    >> step-*up* rings, a 30.5mm to a more standard size, such as to a 49mm,
    >> and then a 49mm step-up ring to a 58mm - or I think I saw a 30.5mm
    >> to 52mm ring (if so, you could either get a 52mm->58mm ring, or get
    >> the Raynox converter in 52mm thread size). BTW, the price is the same
    >> at both Adorama and B&H for it, but Adorama has free shipping.
    >> Also BTW, the Raynox has a 72mm front thread, which *may* make it
    >> possible to put a WA shade on it. Additionally BTW, a wide-angle
    >> used at maximum wide makes steady hand-holding easier. Moving in
    >> with a WA also tends to get you better sound.
    >>
    >> As for polarizer's, I tend to dislike them (you lose about 1.5 stop
    >> of light through them, the color looks "odd", and with WA the
    >> illumination can be uneven. They can be fun for fall color, and
    >> when shooting into shallow water with fall leaves just below the
    >> surface while rotating the filter, but otherwise.....;-)
    >>
    >> Likely you will not need any ND filter...
    >>
    >> And, read "Scubajam's" post - he has some good advice...
    >>
    >> --DR
    >>

    >
    > Ditto on Scubajam's post. However, I believe a circular polarizing filter,
    > the adjustable kind, is a necessary accesory in my kit. They are very
    > effective in eliminating reflections from windows, water, automobile
    > windshields, almost anything that's shiny. Want to get a shot of the driver
    > of a car through the windshield with the sun behind the camera? Without the
    > polarizer all you'll see is a big sun reflection. With it the driver is
    > clearly seen. Want to shoot mountains in the distance? Eliminate the haze
    > with a circular polarizer. These filters do intensify color saturation.
    > For me that is an acceptable trade off. For the cost, I can't get along
    > without them. YMMV.
    >
    > Steve King
    >
    >


    Gotcha I just ordered a Sony 37mm 0.6x wide angle.
    I'll get a circular polarizer too.
     
    Justin, May 20, 2011
    #5
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