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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 February 15th, 2007, 10:39 AM   #16
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On the Canon, as well as the Sony Z1, the lens will go back to the same place every time, regardless of how slow or fast your turn it--the same place being the number readout in the LCD and viewfinder.

If you, say start at 3 meters and shift focus to 5 meters, you can see those numbers in the display. Shift back to 3 and you are at your beginning focus, shift the other way and you are at your end focus; speed of the shift doesn't matter. What you say is true of the older cameras, but not these. That's why I said the assistant needs to be able to see the screen. It's the same as having numbers on the barrel, basically. A bit strange to get accustomed to if you come from a manual lens world as I do, but once you get it, it's cool. So you can use the follow focus mechanisms if you want. The Z1 is probably a bit better for that than the Canon because it has its LCD screen in a better place, easier for the assistant to see.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 11:33 AM   #17
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HEY!,

My bad... :P

(good to know)

Does the same go for zoom?
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Old February 15th, 2007, 12:05 PM   #18
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What I actually meant was how do you attach the gearing on the focus ring with the insta-focus sensor and XLR inputs covering one side of the ring?
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Old February 15th, 2007, 12:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor
On the Canon, as well as the Sony Z1, the lens will go back to the same place every time, regardless of how slow or fast your turn it--the same place being the number readout in the LCD and viewfinder.

If you, say start at 3 meters and shift focus to 5 meters, you can see those numbers in the display. Shift back to 3 and you are at your beginning focus, shift the other way and you are at your end focus; speed of the shift doesn't matter. What you say is true of the older cameras, but not these. That's why I said the assistant needs to be able to see the screen. It's the same as having numbers on the barrel, basically. A bit strange to get accustomed to if you come from a manual lens world as I do, but once you get it, it's cool. So you can use the follow focus mechanisms if you want. The Z1 is probably a bit better for that than the Canon because it has its LCD screen in a better place, easier for the assistant to see.
Great to know the A1 focus is spatially repeatable with or without follow focus. That kind of makes the whole "lack of mechanical focus ring" issue almost moot, it would seem.

My big question is, how usable are those distance readouts? Since focusing in HD is apparently so critical (a matter of inches?), are distance readouts in iterations of feet small enough to be useful? Does a readout of say "10 feet" actually reflect something like a 12-inch range, and if so, wouldn't that be enough to make the readout numbers too coarse for critical focus pulls?

Now that I think of it: does the A1 in fact have focus readouts which are finer than feet? "10.4 feet, 10.5 feet," etc...?
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Old February 15th, 2007, 01:34 PM   #20
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I have mine set on meters because I think that way from years of using a 2/3" lens whose meter readings were easier than feet. But yes, it gives you
.1 increments, like 3.1, 3.2 meters, etc.

OK, I just checked out feet, and it does the same thing...3.1, 3.2, 3.3 feet, etc. Much more accurate than the old manual ring. (Damn, I never thought I'd say any part of an electronic lens is any better than a "real" lens. Times change.)
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Old February 15th, 2007, 01:46 PM   #21
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This is excellent. So do you find those 1/10 of a foot increments fine enough for critical HD focusing?
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Old February 15th, 2007, 02:13 PM   #22
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It's just like with a manual lens. You zoom in, focus, zoom back and shoot. If you're shifting focus, you zoom in to your end point, set it and go back to your in point. Having the 1/10 of a foot numbers is a lot more accurate than with my old manual lens. That's only slightly more than a one inch increment. I don't think there's any setting you could come up with on a 1/3" chip camera that gives you a one-inch depth of field. So yeah, it's not gonna get any more accurate than that.

I'm not sure what people talk about when they talk about focus issues in HDV. It' just like film or regular video--either the shot is sharp or it's not. I haven't used the peaking or magnification for critical focus except one time just to see if it worked. I guess in really low light it might be handy, but I don't have any problem focusing, and so far everything's been sharp.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 02:27 PM   #23
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Thanks for the info Bill.

Does anyone want to take a hack at the original poster's question? Kinda got buried.
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Old February 24th, 2007, 09:09 AM   #24
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I did just realize a problem using an FF with the A1...

Due to the IR focusing mechanism, you cannot attach a focus gear around this camera...

Poop.
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Old February 24th, 2007, 05:33 PM   #25
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Yup, thats what my orignal question pointed out!!
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Old July 11th, 2007, 01:16 PM   #26
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Pimped out A1

Hey guys.

Finally got my Follow focus from Redrock, so I figured I would post a pic of my rig, and a glamour shot for fun.

Enjoy..

[img]www.notomatofilms.com/rig1.jpg[/img]

[img]www.notomatofilms.com/rig2.jpg[/img]

edit: If anyone can tell me why my img tag doesn't work, it would be appreciated.

Matt
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Old July 11th, 2007, 01:30 PM   #27
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does this help?
Attached Thumbnails
Follow Focus for Canon XH-rig1.jpg   Follow Focus for Canon XH-rig2.jpg  

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Old July 12th, 2007, 12:21 AM   #28
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Looks hot!

Is that the Varizoom/SWIT 8" with Canon battery mount? How is it for focusing HDV?
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Old July 12th, 2007, 09:45 AM   #29
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That is indeed the SWIT. I find focusing quite easy. Haven't gotten a soft shot yet.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 12:30 PM   #30
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I have rig envy...
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www.facebook.com/projectspecto
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