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FPV Lens Sizes!

kah00na

Senior Member
#1
I bought a pair of FatShark glasses around November and bought a Sony PZ0420 because people I talked to said it was one of the best - it came with a 3.6mm lens. I started learning how to fly FPV. It has been kind of a slow start but I'm finally starting to catch on. It has been kind of difficult to cut between trees and mailboxes. However, last week my 2.8mm lens finally arrived. I really bought it for my miniquad, but just for fun, I put it on my F450 and WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! I can see so much more! It makes it way easier to weave in and out of trees and avoid mailboxes! It also makes it easier to turn around in the middle of the street and not feel like I'm turning while completely blind. I feel like I can fly a lot faster because I can see up more even when I'm accelerating by leaning forward. Also, when I'm above the trees, I can see down a little more which really helps in avoiding trees on the way down. Anyway, my point is, if you are starting in FPV, spend the extra $3 and get a 2.8mm lens! Or if you really want to learn to appreciate it, start with the 3.6mm and later go down to 2.8mm and you'll know what I'm talking about!

FPV is awesome.
 

FinalGlideAus

terrorizing squirrels
#5
A 2.8mm lens is the same as what the human eye see's so that's why it feels better. 3.6mm is too narrow and will just cut things out. Some guys like to fly with a 2.1mm lens which gives an even wider FOV but also a slight fisheye look to it.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#7
I ordered my cam with a 2.8mm since my first cam had a really narrow slight tele lens - around a 5 or 6mm (I bought the thing almost 10 years ago so I can't remember and it's not marked on it.) Trying to fly with that was ridiculously hard. I swapped to a 2.8 and it was a HUGE difference. But has had me wondering if the 2.8 was too wide as I can detect a touch of distortion from it and close objects appear a bit further away than they really are. When I ordered my nicer sony cam I really thought about going with a 3.6mm to see if it was a happy medium...

Then I realized that an old IP cam I had laying around which was totally fried still had a good lens on it - and under the giant housing it was a standard 12mm mount lens and a 3.6 according to the markings on it! So I figured I'd order the Sony with a 2.8 and then try the 3.6 later. But I've yet to get the 3.6 out of it's current mount, there's some kind of super strong threadlock on it and I can't get it loose because the bit that holds the glass elements in place started coming loose instead and the only other bits to grab are all threaded. Not sure how I'll get it out but put it off as a project for another day.

I still want to try the 3.6 as I like the wide view of the 2.8 but feel it's just a hair too wide for my tastes. I do want to pick up one of those low light lenses since this Sony does so amazing in low light already...but I'm not sure about the 4mm focal length on it. Worried it may be a bit too narrow for the quad.
 

trigger

Senior Member
#8
For FPV low light/night flying, I think the first thing to do would be to remove the IR filter on the CCD sensor.

CCDs are sensitive to IR, but manufacturers put filters to block them because they are considered parasitic.
If you remove the filter, you'll have much better low light capabilities.

However, during the day, colors will appear washed out, bleached ( see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvhMdfjdy3E ). It's usually not a big deal, but sometimes, the green from the ground can be harder to tell from the blue of the sky because of that.

And for the deep of the night, you can mount an IR illuminator on your multirotor. You'll have a clear picture in your goggles, but it'll be invisible to the naked eye :)
 

Cyberdactyl

Misfit Multirotor Monkey
#9
Ooooo.... Will that one fit a PZ0420? I may be game for one.
Yes it does. . .



However, for late evening and night flying I take the GoPro off, as the quality is grainy and crappy, unless I have the lights on and flying 25 feet or less from something.
 

davet42

Junior Member
#10
^ That is a sweet as setup.

I have a 2.8mm lense ready to go onto my stock HK $30 board cam,

very interested to try it now! - I found the stock lene a bit... narrow fielded... but since its what i am used to i cant wait to give the 2.8 a go :)
 

kah00na

Senior Member
#11
The night camera finally came! I just tried it out and it is surprising how much more light it picks up than my standard 2.8mm lens! It is kind of goofy looking to me but I sure can see better. The metal case I'm using to hold the camera is slightly too long to let the plastic nut fit on the lens so to hold it in place I had to use a piece of tape. :) Definitely not a permanent solution, but it did allow me to test it out! I like it.

My camera is a little grassy from flying earlier today. We just mowed.
night_lens.jpg
 

Cyberdactyl

Misfit Multirotor Monkey
#12
Yea, that lens can be good or bad, depending on the lighting. During the winter months with either clear blue skies or darker overcast skies, it didn't really bother me too much. But now that the much more bright hazy skies of summer are here, it really collects too much light. At the same time, I still love it just before dark. I flew it last night around 8:30-9:00 and it shines. I can still color perfectly good at very heavy dusk.

I'm thinking of trying a trick I used on the old Foxtech V3 I had by putting a 33-68ohm resister across the video output and ground. It's kind of like putting on sunglasses.