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Lenses in PMW-EX3

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Adrian Anthony Vasquez SalteiroLenses in PMW-EX3
by on Feb 17, 2010 at 11:09:33 pm

Hi, I'm currently trying to upgrade my equipment from Cannon Xh A1 to Canon PMW-EX3.

Im a Sony Vegas Editor, and also want to switch to solid state technology, slow motion is a MUST for me and also wanted the camera to have interchangeable lens so I can use diferent kind of lenses for the diferent kinds of shots I make, plus clients always ask for cinematic look and shallow DOF (I work in the music video industry in my country) So the PMW-EX3 sounded like a perfect choice for me.

The PMW-EX3 is supposed to handle "1/2" to "2/3" lens, according to what I read, but I don't have a clue to what lenses fit under that category... I was thinking in buying 4 kinds of lenses:

Canon 50mm 1.8
Canon Wide Angle 17-40mm 4L
Canon 70-200mm 4L
Canon 70-300mm 4-5.6

But I'm not shure if they are "1/2" or not? I didn't find anything in the description from the lenses website...

How can I find out what lenses are "1/2" or 2/3" and what kind of lenses are needed to be mounted on a 35mm adapter such as letus xtreme or redrock m2?

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Derek ReichRe: Lenses in PMW-EX3
by on Feb 18, 2010 at 4:46:33 pm

The EX3 is a 1/2" sensor camera. Therefore, 1/2" lenses are designed to cover this sensor. You can use larger image lenses (such as 2/3" lenses from broadcast cameras) or 35mm lenses from still cameras. Any lens larger than the 1/2" image will work, with the caveat that there will be a 'crop factor' meaning that since you are not using the entire image projected by the lens, the image will be 'cropped' (the image is larger than your sensor needs, so you are only using a partial area of the lens image) For example, a 35mm lens on a 1/2" camera such as the EX3 will have a crop factor of about 5.4X. That means a 35mm lens with a focal length of 100mm will give you an image of approximately 540mm. This is a great bonus if you need lots of telephoto (such as wildlife or sports photography) but makes it impossible to get wide angle images using 35mm lenses. Even the 2/3" lenses have a crop factor of about 1.37X (I think?) The only way to get true wide angle using something other than a 1/2" lens would be to utilize something like a letus adapter with a wide 35mm lens.
All that said, there are a wide variety of lenses available as more and more adapters come on the market.

You mentioned several Canon lenses on your list. Keeping in mind the 'crop factor', (magnify each of those focal lengths by approx. 5.4) if you still find those focal lengths useful to you, you need to consider one additional thing with Canon lenses. Unless you're using the older Canon 'FD' mounts, you will have an issue with the newer EOS (or EF) mounts because they have no external aperture ring, and there is no electrical contact with the camera to be able to adjust aperture. (Canon EF lenses utilize electronic contacts in the mount to adjust aperture on Canon EOS cameras) SO, while there are adapters which will allow these lenses to mount to your EX3, you will not be able to adjust aperture ON the EX3. You will have to put the lens on a Canon EOS camera, set aperture, then mount it on the EX3. Quite a pain in my opinion.... especially when you can use any other lens (Nikkor, etc) and have full manual control.
I am a Canon shooter myself, and have a bagful of EF lenses and it KILLS me to not be able to use these yet on my EX. I have a few Nikkor lenses I use with terrific results, but really want to get into some of my Canon glass someday. There is a Canon EF adapter in the works, but it's not ready yet and no timeframe yet when it will be.

Also be aware that you will need to purchase these adapters, the EX does not come with them. (it does come with a 1/2" broadcast mount adapter, the EX mount is proprietary and nothing other than EX lenses fits without the 1/2" adapter) A good 2/3" adapter will cost between about $400 and about $1500. (there are 4 availble, one from Sony without any electrical contacts so the lens has to be completely manually operated, one from Fuji with electrical contacts for auto lens function, one from MTF without electrical contacts and a new one from MTF with electrical contacts.)

Hope this helps somewhat-

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bruno perosaRe: Lenses in PMW-EX3
by on Feb 18, 2010 at 5:18:14 pm

EX3, MBP17"2.93GHz, FCS2, Media100, BtcSP, DVcam

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Steve ShovlarRe: Lenses in PMW-EX3
by on Feb 19, 2010 at 10:39:13 am

Thanks for mentioning our product Bruno.

We have been manufacturing the Canon EF to PMW-EX3 adaptor for about 6 months and in that space of time have sold many hundreds of them. They have proved to be very popular with EX3 owners who own Canon glass and don't want to head for Ebay to pick up some cheap Nikon lenses.

There is one extra step that is needed when using Canon EF lenses. Because the EF lenses don't have an external aperture ring, the only way possible to change the aperture of the lens is to pop it onto a Canon EOS, change the aperture, then pop it back onto the EX3.

Whilst this sounds a pain, it actually only takes a few seconds. I have spoken to many of the customers who have purchased our Canon EF to EX3 and they say, depending on lighting conditions, to set the lens aperture, and they are then set for the shoot (as long as lighting conditions don't change!)

We manufacture the adaptors ourself and guarentee then for 12 months no quibble. They are currently in stock ready for same day dispatch worldwide.

Best regards
Steve Shovlar

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Derek ReichRe: Lenses in PMW-EX3
by on Feb 19, 2010 at 3:27:07 pm

While some may see having to set aperture for a Canon EF lens on a Canon EOS body, then put it on the EX and HOPE the lighting doesn't change (seriously?) is not a hassle, this is not realistic for anyone doing shooting outdoors. Since the extreme crop factor makes this the ideal set up for wildlife and sports photography, many people using these lenses will find themselves outdoors. Unless you are shooting on a heavy overcast day, the lighting is changing constantly and often quickly. A few seconds is more than enough to lose a critical shot. Not to mention having to cart the EOS body around to make the aperture changes. The holy grail here (for us Canon EF owners) would be an adapter which would initiate electrical contact with the EX mount, and allow for aperture adjustment from some sort of external dial. This has been accomplished with B4 mounts such as MTF's new B4 adapter. I'm told MTF is working on a similar electronic version for the Canon EF mount. Here's hoping! That would be worth waiting for.

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Steve ShovlarRe: Lenses in PMW-EX3
by on Feb 19, 2010 at 5:01:03 pm

I completely understand what you are saying in regards the Canon EF mount. It's a drawback for Canon EF owners and I go out of my way to explain the shortcomings of this particular adaptor.

However, we have sold an amazing amount of them since we started manufacturing them several months ago. I took 50 to Broadcast Video Expo at Earls Court with me this week and returned from the show last night with only a handful. It was explained to ever customer that they would have to use their Canon stills to change the aperture and all said it was something they were prepared to put up with.

The adaptor does work, but you are right, under a partly cloudy day with the sun coming out every five minutes, changing the aperture would become frustrating.

And probably the reason why our Nikon adaptors outsell our Canon adaptors 4 to 1.

The chances of an electronic version coming out? Unfortunately not from us as the expense involved in developement, and in the end to the customer, would reduce sales to a trickle.

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Chip DossRe: Lenses in PMW-EX3
by on May 5, 2010 at 4:24:16 am

We have developed a way to control the aperture of the EF lens on the EX3, we are using a EOS 650 body connected remotely with a pin bridge mounted in the EF to EX3 adapter. We mounted the EOS 650 on the back of the EX3 for (IRIS) control. The problem we ran into is when the aperture lockup button was held down for two hours in a test it fried the EOS 650 camera body. This was an old thrashed camera that already had problems so we are going to try a newer body when it comes in later this week. I will let you guys know how it goes. Chip

Chip Doss
Edgemont Video, Inc.

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Stephen de VereRe: Lenses in PMW-EX3
by on Feb 11, 2011 at 1:35:17 pm


How did it go ? (Canon EF IRIS control)

I see have done it (and more) for Red and Panny AF100/101 - maybe all EX3 owners should lobby them ASAP.

My lens tests don't give the standard Sony zoom a very good score and I'm desperate to find affordable alternatives like EF lenses. FD lenses other than the tele 'L' fluorite series aren't good enough. I'm even having to use a Optex longitudinal colour corrector on my Canon 500/4.5L to make it clean on the EX3. I'd love to have the EF 70-300 constant f2.8 to use.

I don't like using Nikon lenses due to the focus going the opposite way to Canon lenses (and I'm used to Canon for all my 2/3" broadcast work).

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