HX1---Smart Zoom---2.2X Telex--2045mm

Started Aug 11, 2009 | Discussions
Stephen McDonald
Stephen McDonald Forum Pro • Posts: 13,408
HX1---Smart Zoom---2.2X Telex--2045mm

I used my Raynox DCR-2020PRO, a 2.2X telextender, with the HX1, on Smart Zoom at the 3 Megapixel size for these four shots. This gave a total equivalent focal-length of 2045mm. The first three were with P mode and the last with Anti-Blur mode. All had the EV reduced by .3-stop. and were re-sized on PMB at the highest quality level of 6. They were shot with my steady-grip, which can be seen on my Flickr album.

The scenes obviously weren't chosen for their beauty, but just to demonstrate the mode and telextender performance. The hillside house in the first picture was about 7 miles distant. One problem with shooting these long shots, is the compounded haze in the air, although it wasn't as bad as usual today.

The big Raynox DCR-2020PRO (now sold as the DCR-2025PRO) seems to focus well. Of course, it needs a lens adaptor tube like I made, to be used on the HX1, or one from a future source that might develop from an accessory supplier. I've used it on a Sony H5 and a Canon S5, with good results. It has a 62mm mounting thread and comes supplied with 62mm to 58mm and 62mm to 52mm step-down rings.

The small Raynox 2.2X HD-2200 telextender I bought to match my 37mm Sony HDV camcorder, does not work very well on the HX1. It doesn't focus easily and sometimes not accurately and causes vignetting from about 85% zoom downward. It functions nicely on the small camcorder lens, however. Some cameras and telextenders are just not meant for each other.

clie Forum Member • Posts: 90
Re: HX1---Smart Zoom---2.2X Telex--2045mm

Thanks for positng these Steve.

I never knew smart zoom can actuallly do this until now.

The letterbox is amazingly clear even though its 7 miles away!

Stephen McDonald
OP Stephen McDonald Forum Pro • Posts: 13,408
Re: HX1---Smart Zoom---2.2X Telex--2045mm

clie wrote:

Thanks for positng these Steve.

I never knew smart zoom can actuallly do this until now.

The letterbox is amazingly clear even though its 7 miles away!

Thanks. I suspect that few people who have the Sony, Canon and Panasonic cameras with Smart Zoom or its equivalent, ever use the feature. The manufacturers don't do much to explain it.

Here's a 5-MP Smart Zoom shot from the HX1 I showed about 3 months ago, but I'll use it again to give an example of the Sony DH1758 telex and this mode. The focal-length is 1193mm. The EV is lowered by .3-stop. It's in P mode and the color and contrast are on normal, with the sharpness on high. There seems to be a little blurring on the right side woman. I can't figure what the cause is, as the shutter was 1/500th-sec. and any softness from this telex usually is in the corners.

shakir Junior Member • Posts: 48
Re: HX1---Smart Zoom---2.2X Telex--2045mm

Hey Steve,

thanx for posting these amazing shots.....its really unbelievable that those were 7 miles away. Too impressive. It seems that the HX-1 dances to your tune every time you put it in to use.

Steve I have been reading in almost all of your post like " I'm shooting most everything in widescreen 6.7 MP mode with 5 bits-per-pixel. Then, I re-size them for online posting on PMB at the highest quality level of 6, which helps get the most out of them."....well may be Im a beginner, and you might laugh on my silly questions.. but can you pls tell me how do you make setting for widescreen 6.7 MP mode with 5 bits-per-pixel.....I guess HX-1 image sizes is pretty fixed like..9M,5M,3MVGA,8M(3:2),6M(16:9) and 2M(16:9) so pls let me know how could you do this widescren 6.7MP mode with 5bpp.

And yap, i really liked the other thread for the 'Heron with smart zoom'....its really great to have people like you around...thanx..and very well done.

Stephen McDonald
OP Stephen McDonald Forum Pro • Posts: 13,408
Re: HX1---Smart Zoom---2.2X Telex--2045mm

shakir wrote:

Hey Steve,

thanx for posting these amazing shots.....its really unbelievable that those were 7 miles away. Too impressive. It seems that the HX-1 dances to your tune every time you put it in to use.

Steve I have been reading in almost all of your post like " I'm shooting most everything in widescreen 6.7 MP mode with 5 bits-per-pixel. Then, I re-size them for online posting on PMB at the highest quality level of 6, which helps get the most out of them."....well may be Im a beginner, and you might laugh on my silly questions.. but can you pls tell me how do you make setting for widescreen 6.7 MP mode with 5 bits-per-pixel.....I guess HX-1 image sizes is pretty fixed like..9M,5M,3MVGA,8M(3:2),6M(16:9) and 2M(16:9) so pls let me know how could you do this widescren 6.7MP mode with 5bpp.

And yap, i really liked the other thread for the 'Heron with smart zoom'....its really great to have people like you around...thanx..and very well done.

Well, I'm glad that you have taken an interest in this camera's less obvious features and thanks very much for your appreciation.

Actually, all you have to do to get the 5-bit encoding with the 6.7-MP widescreen mode, is go to the Menu section where the various photo modes are set and choose the one for 16:9 aspect and 6-MP. It uses 5 bits, as does the Panoramic mode and the 4:3-aspect 5-MP mode. Be sure to set the Smart Zoom feature to the On position, so when you use the 5-MP and 3-MP photo sizes, it will encode them directly with a single process. If Smart Zoom is Off, it will first encode them with 4 bits at the 9-MP size and then re-encode them at the smaller size, which can degrade the quality.
--
Steve McDonald
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22121562@N00/
http://www.vimeo.com/user458315/videos

http://video.yahoo.com/people/4019627

Jerry Stevens Senior Member • Posts: 2,530
Re: HX1---Smart Zoom---2.2X Telex--2045mm

The reach is simply incredible. Just think of the monster apparatus to get this reach in a different venue, such as DSLR. BTW--what is your loss in f stop at the longest zoom here?
--
Jerry (Gerald L. Stevens)

tyampel Veteran Member • Posts: 4,809
Re: HX1---Smart Zoom---2.2X Telex--2045mm

I have the same 2020Pro lens and use it with the H50.

The amazing thing with these lens adapters is that there is no visible light loss, so no F stop is lost by using them.

-- hide signature --

Tod Yampel

Duck Club member

Jogy Regular Member • Posts: 127
Thanks, steve...

...for posting this very interesting procedur taking pics with teleconverter and smart zoom. The good IQ show me that I missed to use the full capacity of the HX1.

And thanks for your detailed comment in this post: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1009&message=32648005

I will try the next teleconverter which you also recommend: Sony VCL-DH1758
and I will show than pics in this forum or at pbase >

HX1 pics and movies:
http://www.pbase.com/jogy

Stephen McDonald
OP Stephen McDonald Forum Pro • Posts: 13,408
Re: HX1---Smart Zoom---2.2X Telex--2045mm

Jerry Stevens wrote:

The reach is simply incredible. Just think of the monster apparatus to get this reach in a different venue, such as DSLR. BTW--what is your loss in f stop at the longest zoom here?
--

Thanks, Jerry. With the Raynox 2020PRO, there is no discernable loss of light nor change in F-stop level. Raynox makes this claim on their website and they deliver what they promised. They have a very pro-active approach to providing and improving lenses for all sorts of photo and video applications and their website is excellent.

We need to dig in and find an HX1 lens adaptor tube source, that is either specifically made for this model or can be adapted with added rings. I've suggested a few solutions, but I've heard almost no feedback from anyone who might have tried them. It may be that the proprietary VCL-DH1757 telextender by Sony, may be the best way to go for most people who want that extra reach. It has a very large outer barrel and would cause vignetting only at a low point in the zoom range. Some online sources have it for as little as $150. (U.S.).

harry cannoli
harry cannoli Veteran Member • Posts: 5,606
Impressive..

Nice job getting that kind of reach. Images look surprisingly good.

Cheers

 harry cannoli's gear list:harry cannoli's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F707 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Canon EOS 20D Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 7D Mark II +9 more
Stephen McDonald
OP Stephen McDonald Forum Pro • Posts: 13,408
Re: HX1---Tod

tyampel wrote:

I have the same 2020Pro lens and use it with the H50.

The amazing thing with these lens adapters is that there is no visible light loss, so no F stop is lost by using them.

Tod, I assume you've gotten a step-down ring to adapt the 62mm Raynox lens to the 74mm H50 adaptor tube? At what point in the zoom range does the 2020PRO cause vignetting on the H50? This lens is rated as having a resolution of 260 lines per millimeter, which is outstanding. If you added somewhere between two and four extra step-rings (depending on their thickness), you could use the H50 adaptor tube on an HX1, which has a lens extension that is 6mm farther out at full zoom.
--
Steve McDonald
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22121562@N00/
http://www.vimeo.com/user458315/videos

http://video.yahoo.com/people/4019627

Stephen McDonald
OP Stephen McDonald Forum Pro • Posts: 13,408
Re: Thanks, steve...

Jogy wrote:

...for posting this very interesting procedur taking pics with teleconverter and smart zoom. The good IQ show me that I missed to use the full capacity of the HX1.

And thanks for your detailed comment in this post: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1009&message=32648005

I will try the next teleconverter which you also recommend: Sony VCL-DH1758
and I will show than pics in this forum or at pbase >

HX1 pics and movies:
http://www.pbase.com/jog >

Thanks, Jogy. You are aware that a lens adaptor tube that is 6mm longer than the one used for the H9 and H50 is needed to put these teletenders on an HX1?
See my earlier posts on the subject for details.

Stephen McDonald
OP Stephen McDonald Forum Pro • Posts: 13,408
Re: Harry----A Prettier 2100mm Photo

harry cannoli wrote:

Nice job getting that kind of reach. Images look surprisingly good.

Many thanks, Harry. From one who knows what it takes to get a lot of extra reach with a D-SLR, I appreciate the comment. These photos were pretty ordinary in content and looks. I hope later, to get some that are more appealing, which will demonstrate the possibilities of Smart Zoom and a telextender better.

Here's a shot I took with my Canon S5 IS almost two years ago, of a pair of Wood Ducks. I used Safety Zoom (the same as Sony's Smart Zoom) at the 2 Megapixel size and the Raynox 2.2X 2020PRO telextender, for a total equivalent FL of 2100mm.

Jogy Regular Member • Posts: 127
I have a self-made adapter...

...see my post here:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1009&message=32529690

So I can fit the cheaper VCL-DH1758, which could have the same optics like the expensive VCL-DH1757 with fixed adapter.

Jogy

http://www.pbase.com/jogy

Stephen McDonald
OP Stephen McDonald Forum Pro • Posts: 13,408
Re: I have a self-made adapter...

Jogy wrote:

...see my post here:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1009&message=32529690

So I can fit the cheaper VCL-DH1758, which could have the same optics like the expensive VCL-DH1757 with fixed adapter.

That's right-----I saw that earlier. It looks very well done. Maybe you and your friend could go into business supplying them to HX1 owners? Hope to see some Smart Zoom with telextender photos from you, to see how it all works out.

Stephen McDonald
OP Stephen McDonald Forum Pro • Posts: 13,408
Re: Harry----A Prettier 1909mm Photo---Re-Calculation

Harry Cannoli wrote:

Nice job getting that kind of reach. Images look surprisingly good.

Stephen McDonald wrote:

Many thanks, Harry. From one who knows what it takes to get a lot of extra reach with a D-SLR, I appreciate the comment. These photos were pretty ordinary in content and looks. I hope later, to get some that are more appealing, which will demonstrate the possibilities of Smart Zoom and a telextender better.

Here's a shot I took with my Canon S5 IS almost two years ago, of a pair of Wood Ducks. I used Safety Zoom (the same as Sony's Smart Zoom) at the 2 Megapixel size and the Raynox 2.2X 2020PRO telextender, for a total equivalent FL of 2100mm.

I've re-calculated this Canon S5 shot and it should be 1909mm total FL.

tyampel Veteran Member • Posts: 4,809
Re: HX1---Tod

Stephen McDonald wrote:

tyampel wrote:

I have the same 2020Pro lens and use it with the H50.

The amazing thing with these lens adapters is that there is no visible light loss, so no F stop is lost by using them.

Tod, I assume you've gotten a step-down ring to adapt the 62mm Raynox lens to the 74mm H50 adaptor tube?

Yes, I got that one and also tried to use the 62-58 step ring that comes with the lens with my other Pemarraal adapters.

At what point in the zoom range does the 2020PRO cause vignetting on the H50?

It is vignetting after 7x if I recall it correctly. But even the Sony DH1758 is vignetting on the Sonys (H1, H5, H9, H50 - I got them all).

This lens is rated as having a resolution of 260 lines per millimeter, which is outstanding. If you added somewhere between two and four extra step-rings (depending on their thickness), you could use the H50 adaptor tube on an HX1, which has a lens extension that is 6mm farther out at full zoom.

I am still sitting on the fence regarding the HX1.

I am not convinced the IQ is that much better that it makes sense to upgrade from H50.

The only thing that makes me want the HX1 is the burst speed.
On my H9 the burst speed was 2.2 fps, whereas on the H50 they dropped it to 1.8.

Also the IS seems to be less effective than on the H1/H5.

Just want to thank you for the tip regarding Smart Zoom with reduced images size. I have been using it since you first mentioned it.

-- hide signature --

Tod Yampel

Duck Club member

Jerry Stevens Senior Member • Posts: 2,530
Re: HX1---Smart Zoom---2.2X Telex--2045mm

In old days I was so used to loosing light . . . some matters have improved, especially for the general consumer.

On the adaptor, I am still lobbying Pete, but trying hard not to be obnoxious or too insistent. I do not know what the results were in his discussions with the German fellow who posted a YouTube video of a one-off barrel created for the HX1 that looked very impressive.
--
Jerry (Gerald L. Stevens)

harry cannoli
harry cannoli Veteran Member • Posts: 5,606
Stephen, a question..

I'm curious about this "Smart Zoom" thing. My guess is that a whole bunch of pixels are cropped away in the camera.

My question is wouldn't it be preferrable to shoot at maximum resolution, then crop away pixels from the comfort of your home?. I would think that I could crop away pixels, then add a few pixels to what's left using bicubic smoother as the interpolation method, and in doing so get a better result than the camera can give me using smart zoom.

I'm probably wrong, as the results you're getting are more than satisfactory, but I'm curious about this zoom mode you're using.

Cheers

 harry cannoli's gear list:harry cannoli's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F707 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Canon EOS 20D Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 7D Mark II +9 more
Stephen McDonald
OP Stephen McDonald Forum Pro • Posts: 13,408
Re: Stephen, a question..

harry cannoli wrote:

I'm curious about this "Smart Zoom" thing. My guess is that a whole bunch of pixels are cropped away in the camera.

My question is wouldn't it be preferrable to shoot at maximum resolution, then crop away pixels from the comfort of your home?. I would think that I could crop away pixels, then add a few pixels to what's left using bicubic smoother as the interpolation method, and in doing so get a better result than the camera can give me using smart zoom.

I'm probably wrong, as the results you're getting are more than satisfactory, but I'm curious about this zoom mode you're using.

Harry, if you have an advanced processing system, you might be able to crop an image from the HX1 and not lose image quality. However, since its photos are pushed right up to the limit, with the high pixel-count, small sensor and long lens, cropping is something that I would avoid.

Smart Zoom simply uses the image from a smaller, inner-sector of the sensor and then encodes it directly, using just one process. When you crop it later from the full-size image, a second encoding takes place and this usually lowers the quality.

Smart Zoom also allows the metering to be done only on the inner sector that is used, instead of the image on the whole sensor. You can see exactly what will be included or excluded from the picture at the edges and the larger EVF image lets you identify and focus on the main subject more precisely.

I must say, that to get a few of these very long SmZ photos with a telextender, that look presentable, I have to shoot a lot of them. I bracket each one with many combinations of settings, as the more the image is magnified, the more important it is to get them just right. I tossed out more than a dozen of those goose shots, that weren't much good at all, just to get lucky and have two in the bunch that were keepers.

The higher the magnification, the steadier the camera must be held. Just the squeezing of the trigger is an art that must be learned, to avoid blurring the image, even with moderately-fast shutter speeds. My experience in an earlier phase, where I was trained to be proficient with weapons, is directly and almost exactly applicable.

It seems that very few photographers use shoulder-mounts or other similar devices, that are much more mobile and versatile than tripods. These steadying rigs I've made, are essential to my being able to take longrange photos, or at any distance in low light.

This multi-bracketing of all settings, with many extra and in fact, experimental shots, is a necessary policy with the HX1. Unless, of course, you have completely mastered the workings of this camera-----and I don't think anyone is going to do that. I'm glad to have an 8-GB memory card and a huge set of HDDs at home.
--
Steve McDonald
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22121562@N00/
http://www.vimeo.com/user458315/videos

http://video.yahoo.com/people/4019627

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