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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 March 14th, 2009, 11:08 AM   #16
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It doesn't if you use high quality filters. A cheap $50 filter probably would affect quality, although whether anybody could really see it on most shots might be debatable. Same goes for any color or fx filters, I think. You get what you pay for with filters.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 03:12 PM   #17
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How often should you clean the lens? Also whats strange is, even though I can see the dust on the lens it doesn't show up in the video. Also is there some kind of cleaning solution that I should be using on the lens?
OK Kevin - I have strong views on this 'protective filter' talk. If you're filming in sandstorms then yes, it's a good idea. For 95% of all we lot film a filter is not only superfluous, it's degrading. It reduces the efficiency of your hood, introduces two more air to glass surfaces and increases the risk of flare greatly - especially when shooting into the light.

Modern lens coatings are really hard, and you'd have to go out of your way to cause damage. My spectacles are Zeiss T* MC, and I clean them every single day and dry them with kitchen towel (pulped Canadian Redwoods). The coating remains spotless and perfect.

Don't use any cleaning fluid, just don't. A well washed microfibre cloth is all you'll need. Just go carefully and treat that front element with respect.

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Old March 14th, 2009, 03:26 PM   #18
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Tom,

You're saying wipe the lens dry? Why avoid alcohol or other coating-approved cleaner?
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Old March 14th, 2009, 03:33 PM   #19
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Yes, I'm saying don't use any fluids on your lens. Kodak had to withdraw their lens cleaning fluid some years ago as it crept to the element edges and some owners reported element edge blacking removal (shudder). I've been very wary of fluids ever since.

The microfibre cloth is designed to be used dry, and modern coatings are far tougher than they were years ago - when protective filters were indeed a good idea.

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Old March 15th, 2009, 05:00 AM   #20
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Wow, it seems that there are lots of opinions on this. At this point I alsomst dont have a comfort level cleaning my lens. My camera is only twp months old and perhaps cleaning is not nessasary at this point. I would however like to clean it just as part of routine maintanence. ANy one else have any thoughts on this?
Unless the camera has been kept in a dust-free environment for the last 2 months then the lens almost certainly needs to be cleaned. I check mine before every shoot, and periodically during the shoot as well, in case it collects any dust.

Since you mentioned that you can already see some dust, better get a blower and blow it away if possible.

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Old March 15th, 2009, 06:31 AM   #21
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I think we've all lived through what we thought was a good shoot, to only see in post the "twinkles" of dust left on the lens. Ahhhhhh.
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Old March 15th, 2009, 09:39 AM   #22
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Tom, that's why it's best just to barely moisten a cloth with lens cleaning fluid. If you apply the fluid to the lens, you risk getting solvent into the lens. Speaking of hard lens coatings, I recently bought and used a $2700 multi-element underwater lens port. It's a wide angle converter with a very large diameter domed outer element (with a high-tech antireflective coating.) I used it twice a day for a week. In between trips I rinsed the saltwater off the lens port, blew the sand particles off with a blower, tried to brush the remaining sand off, and then cleaned it with a fluid designed for underwater optics. Despite my best efforts, there were always a few specks of tiny coral sand left on the surface of the glass before I used the cloth. I decided to use the cloth anyway. It may have been my only chance to use this system this year. The glass allows sharp focus basically from the glass surface out to infinity. Any specks or scratches of any appreciable size would have been visible in the shots. While minding my own business on the reef, two sea turtles started chasing each other around me. One decided to do a U-turn right in front of me and kicked the glass with its hind fins. I could hear the claws scratch across the glass. That actually happened twice that week. When I got home I did another cleaning and inspection before putting the lens port away. Viewing the glass surface and coating in sunlight showed that they seem to be in pristine condition. The coatings are pretty forgiving.

Of course I missed the best part of the turtle chase because I decided to flip the housing up and wave the tiny bubbles off the port glass so they wouldn't interfere with the shot. Obviously there is always some tension between using our equipment and getting the shot on one hand and protecting our equipment and getting the best image quality on the other. It seems that each of us approaches this compromise in at least slightly different ways, depending in part on what risks we are willing to put up with and our experience. I am still working on both sides of that equation.


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Last edited by Pat Reddy; March 15th, 2009 at 10:22 AM. Reason: additions
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Old March 15th, 2009, 06:42 PM   #23
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Thanks for the input everyone. Based on the cooments, I think a dry micorfiber cloth sounds like the way to go.
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Old March 15th, 2009, 07:25 PM   #24
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Microfiber
Microfiber with a little breath
Lens pen
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Old March 15th, 2009, 10:00 PM   #25
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Simsolv website:

SimChem - Electronic Assembly Specialty Solvent Cleaning Products
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Old March 16th, 2009, 03:54 AM   #26
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showed that they seem to be in pristine condition. The coatings are pretty forgiving.
Thanks for posting this Pat, it adds reinforcement to what I've been trying to tell these boys for some time now - that at least 95% of don't need a 'protective filter' and that in reality it does a lot more harm (to their images) than good. It's ok for a well-hooded and well-flagged front element, but most times the run 'n' gun brigade accept the added spots of nearly-focused dust as they film into the light at wide-angle and smallish apertures.

I like your last paragraph too - about the conflict we all face in grabbing the shot as it unfolds vs cleaning the lens first, checking the NDs, using the tripod, all in the pursuit of better technicalities. Not good if the fleeting moment has gone.

Back to the lens cleaning. A friend was filming with his 5 year old diddy-cam and put it down onto the table. I picked it up for a look and winced at the state of his front element, which of course had never been filtered, hooded, cleaned or cared for.

I got out my microfiber cloth and with a 'little breath' (thanks David W) returned the front element to as-new condition. That tough front element surface coating had survived 5 years of abuse and neglect, acidic finger prints and being treated as a disposable asset.

tom.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 06:14 AM   #27
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James,

Thanks for the address, I found it also but not the 224 solution. Do you know what replaces SimSolv 224 or if it is still available? Is this a chemical you are familiar with?


I've just purchased 4 Spudz microfiber cloths, 2 lens pens, and a Giottos 7.5 rocket blower. Based on this discussion, my future cleaning plan is to blow off the lens, then brush, wipe with microfiber when necessary, and use cleaner for periodic/deep cleaning for when I have build-up.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 09:08 AM   #28
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While a filter as a lens protector may be of some what questionable visual noticeability, cleaning your lens incorrectly will be an obvious ouch with apparent visual effects.
Always blow first, then wipe wet, never dry. Even if you just haze the lens with a puff of breath just to fog it, it acts as a lubricant and avoids scratches. I use a product called EZ Wipes, they are individually wrapped and widely used for high quality optics. I only use that after alway first blowing off surface debris with my squeeze bulb.
Pressurized air or air in a can will force dirt further into your gear as well as off your lenses, using it has more down sides to it than up's so I avoid that at all costs.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 09:43 AM   #29
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Not many squeeze bulbs come with a filter, so what you blow onto your front element is what it's sucked in 2 seconds beforehand.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 01:17 PM   #30
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Not many squeeze bulbs come with a filter, so what you blow onto your front element is what it's sucked in 2 seconds beforehand.
Be careful you don't breath the air. Perhaps a plastic bubble enviroment suits some folk's better?
Cleansing the bulb with a couple bursts prior to blowing the lens seems a no brainer to most logical people.
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