GL2 close focus ability at DVinfo.net

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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old September 22nd, 2003, 08:59 PM   #1
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GL2 close focus ability

Friends,

You all seem friendly anyhow!

I am seriously considering the GL2 camera. I have done a search and have found little information here on close focus ability. I did find a few posts that indicate the close focus is about one meter.

I am intending to do some training videos that will require close shots of fingers entering data into a small handheld controler and also being able to read the LCD display. The device is about six inches square. Lighting, etc. can be studio so that is not a concern.

I also have a machine shop website where I would like to do close in video of machining procedures.

I have seen and checked comsumer grade DV cameras (at BestBuy) that can focus on my thumbnail about 1 inch from the lens. I realy want to do quality video as I have been using a Sony TR83. I am ready for prosumer and old enough to afford it! <g>

My question is what can I expect as far as macro ability from the GL2? Are there any adapters that can help?

Regards,

Dan Kautz
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Old September 22nd, 2003, 09:59 PM   #2
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Welcome Daniel,
The GL2's lens does not have macro focusing capability. It's emphasis is really on the longer shots with its 20x optical zoom. Its minimum focusing distance is approximately 3 feet. (See the GL2's specifications page.)

Addition of a wide-angle adapter, such as the WD58H, improves matters somewhat.

The XL1s' 16x Manual Servo lens does have a very good macro focus setting, although you would need an XL1s to use it. <g>

The Panasonic DVX100 also has macro focusing capabilities. (The DXC80, it's less expensive little brother, might also have such a facility.)
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Old September 22nd, 2003, 10:20 PM   #3
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Ken, I don't know if my GL2 is a freak or something, but I seem to be able to focus on my fingernail when it's touching the lens. Is that abnormal?
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Old September 22nd, 2003, 10:28 PM   #4
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Hi Ken,

Thanks for the quick reply. However, the link you gave on the specifications says it will focus to 1CM (3/8 inch) at full wide angle. This seems to be what Imran mentions.

If this is true, the camera would be great for any close shooting I would want to do!

Can or has anyone else found this to be true?

Regards,

Dan Kautz
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Old September 22nd, 2003, 10:37 PM   #5
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My bad. Sorry for the error. Obviously, I never shoot quite so close. In fact, I don't recall ever trying to get closer than about 18 inches and assumed that my WD58 (permanently mounted) was enabling good focus in that range.

I apologize for my error. I am losing my wits.
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Old September 22nd, 2003, 11:15 PM   #6
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Ken,

No problem! Even the listing in the spec sheet is a bit confusing. I hadn't seen that page, but the way it is presented, I still would have had to ask to be sure.

I'll see if anyone else can give me a first person report on using the GL2 close in.

Regards,

Dan Kautz
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Old September 23rd, 2003, 12:32 AM   #7
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Dan,
Given my faux paux, I'd be glad to snap some close-ups for you tomorrow (Tues) if that would be helpful.
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Old September 23rd, 2003, 01:15 AM   #8
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close up lens

If you cannot get close enough for your shots, you could also buy a close up lens which you attach on your GL2. This way you can use the zoom when you are close to a subject and still focus.
Hope this tip might be helpfull for you.
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Old September 23rd, 2003, 06:22 PM   #9
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Ken,

Thanks for your offer. If you can show a closeup of some small object like a cell phone. That would be of much help. I am a training instructor for a controls company and I would like to produce high (video) quality training material. This would involve close up shots of our products.

Of course I have about 100 other personal projects in mind. I have a 4.5 minute concept video I did for the the company.

http://www.sky-tek.com/FTP/lightbulb.rm (RealMedia format)

Joris,

I will check out the lenses since you mention there is a closeup available. Is it a Canon product or outside vendor?
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Old September 23rd, 2003, 10:31 PM   #10
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The GL2 operating instructions are conservative. Take the lens hood off of the GL2, zoom out to full wide, make sure there's sufficient light -- you can focus right on the lens. Take your wristwatch and hold it right up to the glass, watch the autofocus pull it into crisp sharpness. All Canon camcorders do this, with the exception of the XL1 / XL1S ( where min. focus is 3/16ths of an inch).
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Old September 24th, 2003, 07:41 PM   #11
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Chris,

Thanks for the further update. I have seen Ken's examples (he emailed them to me) and I see the camera can do exactly what I need. I was hopeing that since the consumer DV could focus that close, that the ability didn't get lost in the prosumer versions.

Gee... too bad the XL1S does so poorly. I was beginning to give that filming device some consideration... <G> I assume that it is their XL 5.5-88mm lens you mention.

Regards, Dan Kautz
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Old September 27th, 2003, 01:40 PM   #12
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On close-ups, wouldn't one be better off to zoom in all the way and shoot at about 1 meter, the spec. limit for focusing? That way the subject should be the least distorted.
Question for Ken Tanaka: Do you still keep the WD-58 wide-angle permanently mounted? What are the pros and cons? I recently got the WD-58 with my GL2, but have not had the time yet to compare images with or without it.
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Old September 27th, 2003, 02:36 PM   #13
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Getting close shots from a close-up -vs- a zoomed position each has its benefits and hazards. Zooming into a telephoto shot has a flattening effect on the subject. But it also tends to blur the background. Shooting close-in at full wide avoids this flattening but can introduce some other distortions if the lens is very wide and the subject's depth is relatively large. Ex. Noses that look too long or bulbous.

I keep my WD58 on my GL2 nearly all of the time mainly because I generally need a wider shot rather than a narrow tele shot. But that's really a matter of personal preference. There is no "right" or "wrong". Attributes that might be "wrong" for a particular context might be highly desirable for another.

Take time to experiment with various shots and lens setting for yourself. I guarantee that it will pay large dividends to you for many years to come.
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