View Full Version : SD vs. HD glass on the 500
05-16-2007, 07:29 PM
I have a Fuji 17x7.8 SD lens, 4x3-16x9 switchable with extender, bought brand new about three years ago. I'm wondering how this lens would stack up against the new budget HD glass that is being packaged with the HPX500. I would think that a broadcast quality SD lens and and what seems like an industrial HD lens may tread some common ground and have had some gear dealers come out and say the same thing. This being said I'm no optics expert and haven't read up on the CAC technology. I'm also in the ENG/television/doc business and have no intention of shooting features. Will anyone see the difference between these lenses with the naked eye?
05-18-2007, 06:29 AM
There are some very limited practical purposes for using an SD lens, but I don't recommend it. We had both HD and SD lenses (No SD anymore due to a theft) and I had a similar lens a Canon 15x7.8 with 2x entender. This was a 22,000 lens back in '99 and on occasion we had to make use of the SD glass on an HD camera, and you could tell there was a real difference in crispness between it and our Canon 21x7.5 KLL.
So, if the business you're doing is for a broadcast client and it is going to be seen by a lot of people, I would not use SD glass...ultimately your name is on the credit list and if it appears soft or lacking pop, you now know why. Same goes for low end HD glass -you get what you pay for I am afraid.
05-18-2007, 08:06 AM
I've used/rented SD glass on the Varicam with great success. I think I may have used the same Fuji switchable lens you mention. It was switchable anyway. Footage was not transferred to film or anything requiring max lens performance. Documentary/corporate stuff/interviews etc. Lenses may have to be shaded properly on camera for optimum performance (at least on Varicam, HPX may not have that feature)
Much lighter for handholding and cheaper to rent. Everyone was happy.
I'm planning on bringing SD glass next week to the P2HD clinic in Baltimore to compare with the newer CAC HD lenses on the HPX camera.
05-18-2007, 07:33 PM
This is a question that really interests me. Other than softer images, is there any drawback to quality SD lenses on an HD camera? I've heard talk of chromatic aberration and I looked at the simulations of that effect in the HPX brochure. But can we get some image comparisons, even stills, of the differences between what a good 2/3 SD lens could do on this cam versus a low cost HD? I'm no where near able to buy a top level HD lens but am very interested in the HPX 500.
05-18-2007, 08:21 PM
I'd be very interested to see what you think. Please post your results/opinions.
05-19-2007, 08:16 AM
For me, I guess I am a little more critical/discerning of my image than others. I have certainly noticed the difference in average SD lenses and high end SD lenses, and the same goes for HD. As for the crossover and using high end SD glass versus HD, I stand by my previous comments. If the final product is SD and you're shooting HD then you're probably going to be fine.
Not sure if that helps.
05-22-2007, 02:02 AM
What would be great - and I know its a pain to do - is if people could post some full res stills for comparison noting the lens. I know its also asking a lot but a couple of stills from variable situations would be good, of particular note something against a high contrast background and a full wide shot.
05-23-2007, 03:22 AM
. Will anyone see the difference between these lenses with the naked eye?
Yes you will if you are recording to HD. Will look like it currentlyu does if shooting DVCPRO50 or under. Some folks think you can put an SD lens on an HD camera and you won't see the CA, but believe me it will show up at the point it always does and you just may not be looking there. Look in the corners and the hi-contrast diagonals, these will show first.
The CAC lenses do a good job of allowing the resolution of the camera come through. What we couldn't do in Baltimore because we didn't have 2 500s is to put one with a high-end lens and one with the CAC. Then you would again see a difference. An SD lens only had to be so good because the SD recording is only so good.
As I pointed out to the gentleman here that had the SD lens to try out, that he had used on a VariCam, he may not have seen the Chroma Abberrations on the recording but he may not have been looking in the right places. Most folks look in the center of the screen as that is where the majority of the story telling is, but that isn't where the CA primarily takes place.
I was witness to a DP's crash and burn when he was strutting his NY City skyline aerial shots that he did with a $17,000 SD lens and his VariCam. The stuff looked good, and a savvy client came over to the plasma playout and started to point out all of the CA in the picture. I will never forget it, and neither did the DP. He went out and bout an HD lens the next week.
The CAC function does work, it is better than an SD lens on the camera as it will alow more resolution to come through, because it is there. Is the CAC lens beter than a more expensive HD lens, no.
I hope this helps,
05-24-2007, 02:36 PM
That makes perfect sense.
But, for those who own high end SD lenses, ...i would test it and watch the results on a big plasma.
...maybe there are a few exeptions... never know.
BTW this little 500 looks very promising.
05-24-2007, 03:02 PM
I agree with you Antoine, but I want people to look in the right places, look in the corners and high contrast lines. Technology on lenses has gotten better and I believe that the Hd industrial will be better than the SD Broadcast, just because it really didn't have to be that great to get past the Standard Def resolution.
Anyhow when I get a chance, I take a look and let you all know.
05-25-2007, 07:25 AM
very much appreciated!
I'll wait for your advice.
05-26-2007, 05:04 AM
I have a $US35K Canon 21x7.5 HDx 2/3" lens. It's very heavy and has a 117mm front diameter which is a pain for filters and matteboxes. I was thinking of trading it in on a lighter (and cheaper) CAC lens. But the big Canon does look extraordinary even in PRO50 on a SDX900. Do you think I would take a performance hit switching even though the Canon is over 4 years old technology-wise?
05-26-2007, 07:21 AM
Do all the CAC lenses have a suffix in their model numbers to help us correlate them to the camera? It would be great to indicate the range of available CAC options within the HPX forum as a sticky!
05-31-2007, 11:55 AM
Jan, what is more interesting to me is the fact that the HPX500 has chips from a SD imager, the SDX900. How does this become HD, if the imager is SD? So, therefore, would not a broadcast-quality SD lens (as opposed to an industrial SD lens) look fine?
05-31-2007, 12:33 PM
The CCD is actually not the SDX900 chip set as the SDX did not clock out at 60 Frames. So if you are familiar with the HVX200 you will know how it is done and yest the HVX also produces an HD image. We use a spatial offset in both the horizontal and vertical domain and add the resolution gained by the red and blue channels that cover the spaces between the green pixels. These spaces are called the registers. By aligning the Red and Blue over these non-photosensitiv areas we gain resolution. After the signals come off of the CCDs, an analog device, the DSP captures the image at 1080P. All signal processing happens in the 1080 mode and thus once you have decided how it is going to record, it then changes the signal to your desired format.
For more info about how the Spatial Offset works there is a white paper of sorts that describs how it works on the HVX. You can find this paper off of the Support and Resources tab off of the HVX200 Product page at www.panaosnic.com/broadcast. This CCD is bigger and it has more pixels and frankly folks become very confused about what they are looking at when we start showing the Iditarod pictures. The HPX500 holds it own very well, right up there with the 2000.
Hope that helps,