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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 October 13th, 2008, 08:50 PM   #1
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Filter Kit

Is there anything special about filter kits? Do I have to buy a 72mm filter specifically designed for the XH-A1 or can I buy any filter kit as long as its 72mm in size? I need something just to protect the lens and would like one or two others (UV?). Anything in particular you'd recommend?

Thanks,
dave
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Old October 13th, 2008, 09:16 PM   #2
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Any 72mm filter works. A protective filter for the lens is a must. Most people use either a clear glass or a UV1.
I have a 72mm clear glass (coated) that stays on the lens all the time, then a Lee Filters matte box and an ND.3 and a No. 1 black softnet, both 4 X 4 2mm resin filters. I used to use Series 9 filters but they were sold with the old camera. Series 9 filters are nice because they're cheaper than 4 X 4 and you don't need a matte box. You just need a stepdown ring for whatever size your lens is. However, it's difficult to find a Series 9 lens hood that doesn't give you some vignetting at full wide angle. That's why I changed my system with the XH A1. Here's an article I wrote about the Lee lens hood/matte box: http://www.dvfreelancer.com/articles...eLensHood.html It's really a big bellows lens hood with 2 filter slots that screws onto the front. Weighs only about 6 ounces. You can use glass or resin filters and switch out the slots if necessary.

Before settling on 72mm filters, if you think you might want to stack more than 2 on occasion, you might want to take your camera to a camera store and stick on a couple to make sure you don't get vignetting when zoomed out all the way. Usually you can get by with 2, but a third will often give you corner vignetting. For me it's very rare to use more than 2, but I have done it for certain effects.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 08:05 AM   #3
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I've gone with circular filters and I think the decision on which way you go depends upon what and how you shoot and your budget. For what I shoot (run and gun, and action sport) there's little time to fiddle with different filters. Yes, I would like a matte box, but at present I wouldn't use it enough to justify the cost.

If you stay with circular, a good starting kit would might include clear glass, UV, gradient ND and a polarizer. You don't need a circular polarizer for the A1. Linears are a little cheaper and can offer a stronger effect.

Bill alluded to the importance of coated filters. I'll echo that. Coated glass will reduce the reflections that occur between the lens and the filters. Yes, they're more expensive but IMO they are worth the cost.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 10:25 AM   #4
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Do you even need to buy ND filters with the ND function on the camera already?
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 10:36 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
Any 72mm filter works. A protective filter for the lens is a must.
I agree with Bill's first sentence but don't agree with his second - for reasons we've gone into on this forum many times before.

OK, you're filming in a steel works, dust, sparks, molten metal, 16 wheelers coming in sideways - end of T2 scenario. Yes, get a protective UV for the front of your lens.

But in 99% of situations you won't need this 'protection', in the same way as you the cameraman won't need protection. If you feel you're in a situation that calls for eye protection then fit the filter - otherwise leave it off.

tom.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 10:56 AM   #6
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Agree with Tom, I never use protective filters, but always have a lens hood or matte box to take impacts rather than the glass.
I'm a fan of Lee filters just like Bill, relative inexpensive and high quality, also their lens hoods are basically simple, very light and inexpensive matte boxes, well worth a look.
Steve
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 05:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jeff Hendricks View Post
Do you even need to buy ND filters with the ND function on the camera already?
Not so far, but the best filter I've got is the B+W graduated ND 502. Outdoors in the bright Aussie sun it drops the top half of the pix by 2 stops, I get more detail on the ground eg: under wings of aircraft on the ramp.

B+W | 72mm Graduated Neutral Density Gray 502 Filter | 65063819

It was a toss up between the 501 (1 stop) and 502, but 2 stops seem better for my use. Check where the grad half of the filter is by noting the print on the rim, it's difficult to see it on the cam inside the hood.

The Expodisc clips on the front to white balance, I use it as a lens cap on location.

Cheers.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 06:08 PM   #8
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I don't remember all the lenses that have been saved because of protective filters. In one case I was under a Sikorsky Sky Crane helicopter shooting it taking off with a huge load, and the dirt sucked up out of the pavement and blown back down on me sandblasted the front of the lens...which had a filter. Lost a hundred dollar filter, saved a multi-thousand dollar lens. Another time I was walking fast, doing the doggiecam shot through the weeds and some unidentified weed with thorns came swinging back and a thorn nicked the coating on a filter, not the lens. Another time with a still camera around my neck I was climbing up a straight up walkway about 70 feet in the air, swung up to get out of the way of a crane and bashed the edge of the lens on a chunk of metal sticking out. It dented the filter ring but not the lens. And then another time I got sprayed by some unidentified chemical but was able to remove the filter quickly and still get the shot. You can get an excellent quality protective filter for the 72mm XHA1 lens for under $100, as thin as 3mm if you want. I can't see any reason not to use one.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 06:28 PM   #9
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I have to agree with Bill here--I never take my B&W UV filter off, just as insurance. I use one on both my A1 and HMC150.

Constant cleaning of a bare lens element is not desireable, it can scratch that nice "L" series glass in no time. That lens is worth protecting.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 05:23 AM   #10
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Living close to the coast, I get a lot of salt deposited via wind-borne water droplets on everything. The thought of taking a camera out without having a UV filter to protect the lens . . . . . . I also wear glasses, so am very much aware of the accummulation of dust on lenses and the need to clean them frequently. If your camera lives only in a studio, then you can probably get away without that protection.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 07:05 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
You can get an excellent quality protective filter for the 72mm XHA1 lens for under $100, as thin as 3mm if you want. I can't see any reason not to use one.
I have to agree with Bill here. Yes, there's some "loss" when you put something in front of the lens but since I'm not made of money, all my cameras from the HV10 to the XH A1 always wear a protective filter.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 07:11 AM   #12
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I've never had one of my posts edited out before. What's going on?
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Old January 5th, 2009, 11:39 AM   #13
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Since I work outdoors most of the time, I prefer to keep a UV filter on the front, and just take it off when e.g. shooting a sunset or a strongly back-lit scene. I have a Hoya HQ filter (I think).
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