Canon XHA1 Manual Focus concern at DVinfo.net

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old January 8th, 2008, 12:45 PM   #1
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Canon XHA1 Manual Focus concern

I have shot Canon SLR's and DLR's for years. I have shot video for a long time but not played with manual focus ever. I am venturing into new territory and am new to this camera.

I find the distance from .8 to infinity to be a really short spin on my A1, like less than an inch it feels like. It does not feel like it gives me control. No where near the 180 of spin that a EOS manually focused lens gives you.

I turned on custom function 3 (i think that is the focus CF) to see if it gave me longer degree of turning but I don't think it did anything.

Again I am new to this level of camera so sorry if this is a dumb question.

Is it supposed to be this tight?

Thanks for you help!
C.J. Daniel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8th, 2008, 04:54 PM   #2
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Hi C.J..............................

You'll find this a better way to handle manual fous:

0. Set "focus speed" to "slow" (it's buried in the manual).

1. Decide on target

2. Zoom in max on same (Z99)

3. Focus can be done in 100 mm (4") steps to 10 metres, then in gradualy increasing steps with increasing distance. You can, with a bit of practice, manually focus this way all the way out to about 850 metres (2,700+ feet).

The more you zoom out, the less control you have over the focus jumps - always go to Z99 for manual focus.

4. Zoom out to frame your subject - if it's in focus @Z99 it will stay in focus all the way out to Z0.

That's the way to do it.

CS
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Old January 8th, 2008, 07:16 PM   #3
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I agree, the manual focus range is absurdly short - about 1 degree when zoomed out, not much better zoomed in. And that's on SLOW.

I love this camera but for this grievous flaw - I find the manual focus to be useless. I have talked to several canon people about this, left a formal complaint, etc. They say there is no way to improve it. I certainly got the impression that they would never do anything about it.

What is that big, beautiful focusing ring for?
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Old January 8th, 2008, 07:33 PM   #4
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I would rather not change the optical zoom.

My technique is to turn on peaking and turn on magnification.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 08:39 PM   #5
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Guys.........

Glenn/ Tom:

I just measured the focus ring travel on my A1 -

Zoom Full out (Z0): about 35 degrees from closest to infinity & vice versa

Zoom Full In (Z99): 180 degrees dead, as above.

Hence my suggestion to go to Z99 if focus is critical, then back out to frame.

If you're experienceing significantly different travel, it is possible there is a fault with the camera or "slow" hasn't been correctly engaged (or both).


CS
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Old January 8th, 2008, 10:11 PM   #6
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OK I knew I would feel the fool

Well you are right,
Thanks Chris and others,

Yes I guess it is the difference between a physical focus and an focus by wire. Zoomed in the focus ring goes more than 360 degrees in slow focus end to end. But zoomed out it is barely 35 degrees. That is bizarre to me but I guess we learn something new everyday. When focusing a 35mm lens, the distance from 3 feet to infinity is the same in wide mode or zoomed in.

Thanks, problem solved!
-cj-
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Old January 8th, 2008, 10:24 PM   #7
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Bugger.............

Now you've got me wondering whether my A1's "slow" is properly engaged - I suspect it got re - set when I had the firmware upgraded.

Seems like I'm gonna have to dig out that manual again if you're getting 360 and I'm getting 180.

Back to the drawing board - yet again!


CS
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