Top critical review
25 people found this helpful
Gotta take the good with the bad with this one...
on December 5, 2009
I have owned this for a few weeks now. I've used it a few times with my Canon HF S10. Just recently I used it for a 2 hour tour de force real estate shoot. I filmed indoors and outdoors, low light and bright light, fixed on a tripod and hands free with panning.
The final cut (10 minutes) can be viewed on youtube if you search for "Colonial Square Model Twin Home Complete!"
Issues I've noticed include dark shadows in the upper right and left corners when at full wide (zoomed out all the way). Chromatic aberration (red, green, and blue halos around things) is particularly bad. The barrel distortion (curve of straight lines near the edges) actually isn't too bad but blurring is very noticible everywhere except the dead center of the shot.
The lens is alo extremely suseptible to lens flaring. If there there is a light source in front of or above you... you will have lens flare garanteed. The wide lens is threaded so you can use a Multi Coated UV filter to kill the lens flare.
Overall I found the quality of the video captured with this lens on to be noticably degraded.
That all said I have to agree with the video review that the build quality is spectacular. It integrates and blends with the HF S10 body very naturally. It's solid metal and glass, built like a tank. The snap on lens cap is a great inclusion. And weird as it may sound it adds enough extra weight and viewing area to the camera that it substantially reduces the amount of perceivable camera shake in my shots. If you need to go wide in some hostile environments and need a lens that can take a beating but won't make you shed any tears if it dies this would be worth having in your arsenal.
All things considered for $10 I would buy this again without hesitation. It's alright as a fail safe in the event that I absolutely have to go wide and can live with the issues the lens brings with it. Or in situations where I'm afraid the camera and the lens may be taking one for the team in the name of extreme cinematography. It's also a fantasticly cheap way to play around with different lens styles without breaking the bank.
If you're not shooting in 1080p the chromatic aberration, blurring, etc, may not be noticable. But if you need to do a lot of professional HD grade wide angle filming look to the Raynox or Canon 58mm wide angle. And be prepared to pay A LOT more.