Jump to content
DeanB

Gates Housing for Sony PMW-EX1

Recommended Posts

One would have thought so jonny. Up for a breather, back in the cold waters of south Africa. Shooting the EX1 here for an Internet aimed project.

 

Cheers,

Mark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We received the following information from Gates today. Just thought those reading this forum may find it useful/interesting.

 

 

Gates GM26 Precision Macro Lens

 

The GM26 is a recent addition to the Gates Precision line of optics for underwater imaging. It is a +2.6 achromat diopter specifically for macro imaging.

 

Features

 

Achromat means the diopter is composed of two fused optical elements instead of the more common single element designs. This feature brings edge to edge sharpness to your macro images -- no 'keyhole' effect that has center sharpness but very fuzzy edges. Your macro images are clear and precise.

 

Specs

 

Focusable range (underwater): 12-15 inches from port vertex

 

Minimum image size @ full zoom and close focus: 1.05" x 0.75"

 

How to use the GM26

 

The GM26 is not a port, but rather affixed to the camera filter threads behind a Gates FP44 flat port.

 

The magnification of the GM26 is significant and therefore requires stability to the housing system. Use of a tripod is recommended, but any method to ‘lock down’ the housing to keep it stable will produce solid results.

 

Lights are also quite useful for macro work. With your subject so close to the port it can be nicely illuminated and produce good color.

 

Setting up the shot is probably the most important aspect. Position the housing so the subject is in the focusable range – 12-15” from port vertex. At full wide center your subject in the image, then zoom in keeping the subject positioned in the image where you desire. If your subject goes out of focus you have moved out of the focusable range, so reposition carefully and in small movements until focus returns.

Edited by spaceflight

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhhha, seems all those threads regarding macro diopters were read by the powers that be. A move in the right direction.

 

Cheers,

Mark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Direct menu cannot be accessed from the housing. There is no contact to the joystick. However Direct is set to ALL in any case.

 

I hear what you are saying Drew. But it doesn't work that way. For instance. Take your EX1 and goto the TLCS menu and set the AGC Limit at +18 (to make it obvious) then set the trigger for AGC at F-stop at 4.5 (or some middle value). Now without the camera in TLCS (No Full Auto Mode), turn on manual iris control. As soon as you do this, the gain shoots to 18db no matter the iris position. Try it. They don't act independent.

 

So we agree that here is no way to turn off ATW while in TLCS? We also agree that when not in TLCS, all functions of the camera are manually controllable. What we do not agree on is that settings in the TLCS menu do not independently function or control camera outside of TLCS being on. I would like to think I'm missing something here but I don't think so.

 

I would like to have the camera do some things auto such as I set an Fstop and WB and the camera attempts to correctly exposure around that Fstop using shutter, gain automatically. I believe the Z1 does this but I'm not sure. My PD150 def did.

 

I don't know. Maybe we are talking in circles at this point.

 

Hi Mark,

 

Did you end up sorting this issue out with the gain jumping in?

Edited by dogbreath

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Mark,

 

Did you end up sorting this issue out with the gain jumping in?

 

Bottom line... : I think so. But it does require staying out of full auto. However, those menus and understanding what is engaged and manually controllable is still somewhat confusing. I will report more on this later.

 

I'm still in the Turks and Caicos and will return beginning of Oct. Lots of bottom time with the EX1. ShawnH was just here for a week as well and we compared some notes, measurements, and strategies. We broke out the measuring tape, focused on some cola cans, drank some beers....focus got sharper. Minimum focal distance is a real challenge at times. We did get better results with the achromatic diopter but the setup distance was very precise and reefs generally are not. :-)

 

Messed with the Sunray 2000s with the cyan filters and we got some mixed results on skin tones but the cyan filters along with the red flip was a cool combination and shows great potential..

 

We also worked out a cool mod that allows use of the Sunrays, GAS plate, and the Gates tripod at the same time without added complexity and without diminishing stability of the platform. I had to wrestle my tripod back from Shawn and he caught me sneaking off with the one of a kind mod plate we made. Darn. :-/

 

As soon as I can, I will post some drawings of how to make the mod if Shawn doesnt do so first since he has the prototype. I will do up some precise CAD drawings when I can so someone can mill it if they want to send me one. :-)

 

Mark

Edited by marksm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There has been some questions about shooting with the achromatic diopter. Here is a frame grab from my first night shooting with it in early September. This is compressed from 6mb .tif exported from the timeline to a 200kb .jpg.

post-2224-1224191387.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey thats pretty sharp there shawn.

 

Have to get me one I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey thats pretty sharp there shawn.

 

Have to get me one I think.

 

Get which on - the diopter of the camera ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Peter you are alive?

 

Camera? Well I'm in no rush as it not that much better than what I have now for underwater.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey Peter you are alive?

 

Camera? Well I'm in no rush as it not that much better than what I have now for underwater.

 

 

A) you've sold the Z1 and upgraded as the EX1's shed loads better than that old relic.. :P

 

B) i thought you were never going to get a EX1/EX3 etc, because of the media as its Soooooooooooooo unreliable / fragile...

 

Come on wags admit it if Amphibico had a housing for it you'd have had one ages ago... We know yer, we know yer, we know yer !!!!!!! :):)

 

Dive safe

 

Dean(totally unbiased)B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still owe folks a full write up of my first couple months with the EX1....I won't forget.

 

Couple thoughts on the Z1 vs EX1: I think Z1 is a great camera. I also think the Z1 was tuned such that UW shooters could get some really good content with relative ease. Out of the box, with a little knowledge of WB, focus and exposure, capturing same great footage was limited only by the creativity of the shooter.

 

That said, probably the greatest issue with the Z1 is the HDV codec. After shooting with HDV for a couple of years, I am disappointed by how poorly it holds up in post production. I have come to understand why broadcasters have been so "snooty" about it. In good light and slower moving subjects, the codec held up decently. In lower light and faster subjects, the codec breaks down quickly. Underwater, the degree of banding and artifacting can quickly become unacceptable IMO. Add CC in post or gamma adjustments and it degrades further. As much as I have tried to manage variables to eliminate these issues, you hit a point where you can't succeed. One major issue is how the codec deals with blues in lower light. The blue gradient is hard for any image capturing device to nail. With gain locked at zero, I have many shots in open blue where the subject looks tack sharp but the background is banding and artifacting. Come time to sell the footage and I would spend hours trying to 'fix' the unfixable. Bottom line is the bit rate and chroma sampling are insufficient to handle these challenges.

 

Any of us who have shot with this cam for awhile can point to loads of clips that look great and don't have issues. Problem is, when you have to get the shot and conditions are not ideal, you can be left in the lurch. When it then goes to Post, the production runs into issues and quality must be compromised. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a bash session. I have REALLY enjoyed shooting with this camera and have loads of exciting footage from it. I am just being honest about one of it's major limitations.

 

I was very very skeptical about the XDCam EX 35mbs codec before trying it. It smelt like a slight upgrade on a flawed codec. It took a lot of work to change this view. Having now shot with the EX1, I can say with great confidence that the Codec is truly a major step up. How and why I still can't say for certain. It seems that HDV was Sony's first pass on compressed HD and they did a good job. It also seems that they took very seriously the complaints about HDV when retooling the codec. I imagine the XDcam Ex codec is greatly optimized and with the additional 10mbs and true 1920 sensors, it has what it takes to deliver. The codec, though not perfect by any stretch, is pretty darn solid.

 

For me, artifacting and banding are for the most part behind me. The camera can deliver smooth gradients in the blue, even with some gain added in low light. There is very little blotching and artifacting in low light and low vis shots. That said, I am finding the EX1 out of the box more challenging than the Z1. To get great content requires a greater understanding of the camera, its controls, and how they function. I find myself needing to do more shot preparation. I also find that with the larger sensors, the DOF is more limited and the min FD not as good. Much more can be said about this later.

 

Overall, I don't think it's about EX1 vs Z1. Each of these cameras has its place. When you consider the price point for these cams (plus accessories and housings) respectively, you are looking at twice the investment for the EX1 vs Z1. When economics are considered, it really doesn't make much sense to run them head to head. If your work requires your content to be primary format approved (BBC aside) and your productions require a more resilient and higher grade codec, it makes sense to consider the EX1. If you have much larger budgets, throw in a RED and F900 for good measure :) If you don't have these requirements, the Z1 is a terrific solution that can deliver exceptional footage for many projects.

 

...more to come later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the record...

 

I WAS JOKING

 

But wags will move to the darkside... All He needs is his friends at Amphibico to unleash the beast... Or go Gates Wags... Now that would be a rebellious move by our OZ brother... Do it.. you know you want to.... Do it...do it... do it............

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andy,

I have not had this happen yet but I am familiar with it. Rolling shutter is often associated to split frames and high speed flashes. I'll be keeping an eye out for this.

Shawn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rolling shutter will be somewhat disguised unless you are shooting wrecks where the linear subjects will betray the skewing, IF you move the camera too fast. I can see some evidence of it underwater when I look for it but under normal viewing, it's negligible in 98% of clips underwater.

A wise editor once told me, there's always something wrong with the image if you look for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know which century achromat dioptre will fit in the Gates housing? I dont really fancy spending $1000 on a re-badged century one if i dont have to :)

 

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

O dear missed a few posts...been abit snowed under with my software project.

Dean....are you abit socially excited again :) drunk......

 

Banding, yes it is a problem but before you jump to conclusions, make sure you look at the same clip on different screens/cards to really see if it is there or not.

I have two exact HD 22inch LCD screens here driven by two completely different graphics card and the lower powered card puts out a better image..that is no banding playing the same clip......go figure.

Also if you convert it to an intermediate codec banding can be made to be worse, that's why I dumped Premier Pro and that over priced plug in called Aspect HD and went for the Canopus HQ codec....it holds up better with CCing.

 

As for upgrading to tapeless 35mbps...well it is better than what I have for sure but it's not a huge major jump and certainly not worth the cost and hassle of safe archiving it yet.

 

If anyone is really serious about shooting underwater you should be using Full HD unit but for most of us money plays a big part so use what we can afford.

I have seen banding from a HDCAM as well when viewed back on a HD field monitor.

 

Shawn sounds like you have been pretty busy and look forward to seeing some stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dean....are you abit socially excited again :) drunk......

 

Wag that hurts to think you think i spend all day drinking... I represent that comment ..or do i resent it ???? :)

 

Right im off to the pub....Ahem sorry church

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone know which century achromat dioptre will fit in the Gates housing? I dont really fancy spending $1000 on a re-badged century one if i dont have to :uwphotog:

 

Thanks

 

Hey Scuba_SI,

Unfortunately the diopter isn't a simple "re-badge". It had to be modified so it would fit behind the Gates Flat Port.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Joe,

 

Do you know if there will be a Fathom Wide Port or even Standard (not SWP) for the EX1 housing available that has full zoom thru? I have a feeling that I might need a little less than 120 for many day to day shots where I will need some background objects to be more visible (larger in the fov). I never got a chance to ask John this at DEMA as he was busy busy.

 

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey Joe,

 

Do you know if there will be a Fathom Wide Port or even Standard (not SWP) for the EX1 housing available that has full zoom thru? I have a feeling that I might need a little less than 120 for many day to day shots where I will need some background objects to be more visible (larger in the fov). I never got a chance to ask John this at DEMA as he was busy busy.

 

Mark

 

Mark,

I am not aware of any Fathom wide or standard wide port that will be available with the Gates EX1. Typically, the higher end cameras like the EX1, HVX200, etc only have the super wide and standard/flat ports.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Joe.

 

Would someone who has the GATES optic be able to send me a pic of it on the camera so i can understand how it is different?

 

Would it require the glass to be ground down or could you cut the metal ring off the century and attach it to the camera in a different way?

 

Doe anyone know if the sealux allows fitting diopters? I'd like to be able to stack multiple diopters if possible. :uwphotog:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The diopter is quite simple. You place the camera in the housing. Take the front port off. Screw in the diaptern into the front of the Camera. Reattach the port.

 

The diopter is quite thick (over 1cm). You could never IMO turn this into a flip diopter. I have found it to deliver edge to edge sharp images.

 

The Fathom SWP 44 is actually closer to 110 degree FOV as far as I know. It also has full zoom through so if you want to narrow the FOV, you can zoom. Of course the DOF decreases the more you zoom but for minor zoom it is nominal.

 

Shawn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Shawn, do you know the maximum aperture of the macro port and the distance between the end of the camera and the glass in the port? IE can i stack Dioptres?

 

I've just been playing with my still-photo dioptres in front of the EX and i might try a Duct tape and praying solution :uwphotog:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...