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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 July 11th, 2008, 11:37 AM   #1
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wich filters to take along? ND/polarize/gradient

hi,

I am taking my canon xh A1 with me on a documentary project in cambodia. I was wondering wich filters I should buy as I dont own any for the moment. guess an UV is necessary and maybe an ND too? wich one do you own and recommand to me?
guess i will go for a normal cheap french flag/and no mattbox...

greetz
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Old July 11th, 2008, 11:48 AM   #2
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ND grads are the most useful for video, to control the contrast on scenics with lots of sky etc. If you take one then a .6 soft edge would be best, or if you can also get a .9 hard edge. Polarisers can look nice but don't over-use it or it can look OTT. Never use UVs myself. LEE filters are great, the whole system works well.
Have fun over there!
Steve
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Old July 11th, 2008, 01:00 PM   #3
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I use a French flag, generally in studio or office situations where a backlight may be a little low and give me a hit in the lens. I got a clamp-on one from Filmtools. The camera has no 1/4" thread on top, so you can't use the standard kind that goes in the 1/4" hole. I don't use polarizers, but keep a clear protective filter on all the time and use an ND .3 on occasion.
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Old July 11th, 2008, 02:34 PM   #4
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ND you need it, just a good screw on one, like B&W mrc 72mm 4x (102M)
No life without it.
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Old July 11th, 2008, 03:00 PM   #5
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Hasn't the XHA1 got ND filter switch? Cams like the Sony Z1 etc. have ND OFF, 1 and 2, with 2 being about 4-6 stops - enough for any conditions short of solar eclipses! Better than putting NDs on front of lens, which can help induce flare.
Steve
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Old July 11th, 2008, 04:53 PM   #6
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The built in ND filter is pretty good for most conditions. I mainly shoot air shows and use 50i and TV mode set at 1/120th with manual db set to 0. Even on really bright days the 1/32 ND filter is enough to keep the aperture around its sweet spot. The 1/32 does darken the final results slightly compared to the 1/6.

Mark
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Old July 11th, 2008, 06:52 PM   #7
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Firstly, I never go anywhere with mine without something on the lens, aside from the lens cap. In the studio, I'd let the good glass go naked but out in the world, I want the protection and more.

Out in sunlight, I almost always use a polarizer. When I shoot race cars at night I'll put a clear one on for protection. I have a UV/Haze filter that I almost never use. If I was going to Cambodia, I'd bring all the ones I own (4) because they're not very big. I'd also want to get another of whatever filter I'd be using most often. For example, if I shot mostly using a polarizer and an elephant snuck into my tent and ate it, I'd want another to replace it so that the look of everything I shot out of doors would be consistent.

What you bring with you should be what you normally shoot with so that you don't end up wishing you'd brought it.
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Old July 11th, 2008, 07:52 PM   #8
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Steve, yes the camera has the usual 2 ND internal filters, but lots of people use an additonal one in bright sunlight so you can open up more.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 09:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
ND grads are the most useful for video, to control the contrast on scenics with lots of sky etc. If you take one then a .6 soft edge would be best, or if you can also get a .9 hard edge. Polarisers can look nice but don't over-use it or it can look OTT. Never use UVs myself. LEE filters are great, the whole system works well.
Have fun over there!
Steve
How do you decide whether to use a soft edge or hard edge? Does it depend on the aperture at all, or just on the view?
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Old July 12th, 2008, 10:00 AM   #10
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Hi Annie,
Just depends on the scene. Hard edge are really only useable if the scene has a fairly straight line in it, ie a flat-topped hill with sky behind or a horizon, as otherwise you tend to notice it on parts of the scene that stick up into the ND section. Soft edge is a much more gradual transition. I think the other thing is you tend to use higher ND and hard-edge more when you're trying to make an effect with the grad, ie making a sky look menacing, whereas the soft-edge, low range grads (ie soft .3ND) will just help lower the contrast range.
I know some folks will carry a whole set, .3, .6 and .9 soft and hard, but 6 filters in the field seems a bit excessive to me (not to mention expensive), so I always travel with .6 soft and .6 or .9 hard.
Steve
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Old July 12th, 2008, 12:10 PM   #11
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Hi Steve - thanks. Having never really got into landscape photography, I guessed that was probably the logic. I'll start with a .6 soft, then add others later. I already have a Cokin filter holder and a polariser, and they work ok as long as I'm not using the full wide angle. What I really need is time to use them!
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Old July 13th, 2008, 03:33 PM   #12
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hi,
thanks everybody. guess I decided to take the normal ND and a gradient.6. was also convinced of taken the UV after sseing the film on the thread what not to da with a 2 week old A1....

grtz
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