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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
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Old June 21st, 2009, 06:15 PM   #1
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Macro Filters and depth of field

I recently came across Macro Filters and Lens Reversers. My question is, will any of these, if used on a normal shot, help improve depth of field and get a similar effect to 35mm adapters? Or are these only used for extreme close ups? Hope this makes sense.

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Old June 22nd, 2009, 02:29 AM   #2
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By macro filters, do you mean the +1, +2, +4 etc magnifying filters?

These allow you to focus closer to your subject. However, the focussing range is limited, often to within a few centimetres on a telephoto lens, so you cannot use them on normal distance subjects. I'm not sure how much they restrict you with a wide-angle lens, but you do risk vignetting around the edge of the frame.

I bellieve the same applies when using your lens with a reversing ring - this system is very much for macro work.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 10:14 AM   #3
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I just got a Canon 500D close up lens (happy fathers day!), and while I have attached it to the XH A1, I have not shot anything with it yet. I can say however, that on my Nikon D70 with a 70 - 300 mm lens, I get a very narrow focus depth - like maybe, 1/8" or so - at f/8. This is much shallower than you will get with a 35MM adapter.

As Annie stated, you also get a much shorter range in which you can focus. Again, for the Nikon, it was maybe 10" of focal range, with the maximum distance from the lens being less than 3 feet. I could not focus on anything further away. Different lenses will give different results, but you will not be able to get around the reduced range, which is never more than about 3 feet from the lens.

Now, if you were shooting something on a very small scale - say, ants, or a miniature model - then, yes - you could get some really awesome DOF effects. But I don't think you would get the results you are looking for if you were shooting people, for example.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 03:26 PM   #4
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Interesting. Has anyone actually tried it though? Would love someone to do some tests to see.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 06:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob McCordick View Post
Interesting. Has anyone actually tried it though? Would love someone to do some tests to see.
Hi Rob. I have used macro adapters on the XH-A1. I can't focus beyond macro range with an adapter on, even middle distant shots from a few feet away are out. Haven't tried lens reversers though.

Richard
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 01:45 PM   #6
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Hi Rob -

I have been playing around with this a bit, and I think you might be able to get the results you are looking for, but with some limitations. I don't have a video yet, but it seems that, zoomed in about 1/3, I get the ability to focus up to maybe 6 or 7 feet away, with a sufficiently shallow DOF. If I zoom out further, the DOF increases dramatically. If I zoom in further, I find that my range of focus decreases to the point that only closeup shots are practical.

One other interesting thing - at full wide angle, focus to infinity works at least 15 feet away. This may be due to the fact that the Canon 500D is designed for lenses in the 70 - 300 mm focal length range. DOF seems fairly normal too.

I'll try to get a short vid up this evening...
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 06:26 PM   #7
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Well, the results were not as good as I had hoped. This shot is of my kids, with my daughter sitting directly in front of me, about 2 feet from the camera. The zoom was approximately 1/3 from full wide open, and my son was about 2 feet from my daughter. Aperture was wide open (I think f/1.8 or f/2.0). I could not focus on my son's face, which was approximately 4 feet from the camera, unless I zoomed out more. Incidentally, if I did this, the DOF was greatly incrased, so that with focus at infinity, both of them were in focus.

So, you can decrease DOF with a close up lens, but I think it limits you severely. You won't be switching focus from something near to something significantly more distant, for example, and the DOF changes drastically with the slightest zoom, either in or out.
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