Best Wide Angle Lens for a Tennis Court

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    • #45916

      I like to film tennis matches and want to get a wider angle when I film from the top of the back fence of the tennis court. I have aPV-gs500 camcorder.

      The court is 36′ wide, the camera is 21 foot back. I’d like to get the whole court, but don’t want too much distortion of the far side of the court. When I draw it out on paper, it looks like I need abaout a 90 degree field of vision.

      What lens would get me in that ballpark? A .7, .5, .45??? I DO NOT want a fisheye effect, and I don’t want to have to buy a bunch of lenses just to find out which one works. If you guys could help, that would be really great!

      Thanks for any ideas or guidance.

    • #189916

      Well the wider you go, the closer to fisheye you will be. That’s just how it is unless you want to spend thousands on a wide angle, non-distortion lens. So .7 will be less wide, but the edges of your frame won’t be curved very much.

      Take a look They provide sample images

    • #189917

      Thanks, that helps a little, but I was hoping that either someone a) had experience filming a tennis court, or b) knew how to calculate the Field of View. I mean, I can go to Wikipedia and look up the calculation, but what is the focal length of the gs500? The ccd is listed at 1/4.7 inches and I can convert that to mm, but the focal length is variable from 2.8 to 39 mm?? What would you use for this measurement?

      Like I say, I like math as well as the next guy, but there has to be an easier way to figure out how to get 90 degree field of view!

      Another question – will a 90 degree angle make it look like a fish eye?? 🙂

    • #189918

      Well, the focal length on your camera is variable because your camera zooms. So to figure out how wide your camera can go with an adapter, use 2.8mm in your calculation because 2.8mm is your widest focal length.

      I’m not sure if a 90 degree angle will make your image look like a fisheye. I never got into details like that. I just shoot what looks good.

    • #189919

      Thanks Robert. After all that I still don’t know what lens to buy. Do you know of a store that might be knowledgable in this kind of thing and is willing to help you out? Time to move on!

      Thanks again for the help.

    • #189920

      As Rob said, I think a 0.7 wide angle adapter would be your best choice – Anything wider than that will give you noticeable line curvature.

      I have used a 0.7 on my cameras and that has worked well for marching band stuff.

    • #189921

      Okay, that’s good advice. Is it possible that it’s as simple as this: If I now have a 45 degree field of view with my current set up, will a .7 wide angle adapter therefore give me a field of view equal to 45/.7, or 64.5 degrees?? And a .5 wide angle lens would result in a 90 degree f.o.v.?

      My fingers and toes are crossed that it’s that easy… it?

      Thanks, birdcat, nice flower!

    • #189922

      Okay, I bought a .45 lens adapter for my Panasonic PV-GS500 and it gives a great view of the tennis court, so that settles that. I DO get a little line curvature….which is interesting. Another guy with an expensive VADO camera gets the same wide angle, from the same position, without the curvature. Guess that’s the “barrel effect”?

      Now I’d like to find a camcorder like the VADO that has removable memory and a wide angle. I’d get a VADO but the memory is too small for a day’s worth of shooting.

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