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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old May 14th, 2005, 12:45 PM   #106
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More on 16X versus 20X

Hi,

I'm really not sure at this point: Hand held versus tripod...it seems that I use both equally. I do fictional work, dramas and some artist documentaries. I guess my concern is that I read a post somewhere saying that the 20X isn't great in manual focus and that the 16X is. I wanted to get some feedback about that. Since I'm just starting out with this cam I thought I should go with the standard kit and add as I go along? any advice? thanks!
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Old May 14th, 2005, 01:23 PM   #107
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Haven't I read in this forum that if you change your focus from foreground to background with the 16X, that the frame of the image changes? And that the 20X doesn't suffer from this?

I can't remember the name of the phenomenon, but those posts made me lean toward the 20X. A lot of my style involves changing focus from one subject to another in the same frame and I don't want the size of my frame to change...just the focus.

I'm sure someone will chirp in with the name of the issue (something like focus creeping or follow or something like that) and then you can do a search on it.

Thanks,

Kelly
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Old May 14th, 2005, 07:58 PM   #108
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That's interesting Kelly. Have you any thoughts about the 3X wide angle lens? I've heard it's the most popular second lens to own. Certainly in small spaces it would be very useful.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 08:06 PM   #109
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Yes, the 16x breathes, meaning that as you rack focus from one distance to another, the angle of view changes slightly causing the lens to "zoom" a bit. A lot of zooms and some primes suffer from this phenomenon. Ironically, the 20x doesn't, but it's lack of mechanical focusing doesn't lend itself to rack focus. The focus marks have a tendency to change.

Breathing is not apparent if you are continuously following the subject. Higher priced optics have the problem corrected, but alas not for MiniDv and not the Canon 16X. Canon has some really nice optics for broadcast that are highly corrected and do not suffer this problem.

The 16x is still my main lens and I think it's great. Personal preference and shooting styles differ, so if you can, try renting, or going somewhere so you can play with the camera before buying. It's worth the trouble.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 08:14 PM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucinda Luvaas
That's interesting Kelly. Have you any thoughts about the 3X wide angle lens? I've heard it's the most popular second lens to own. Certainly in small spaces it would be very useful.
Lucinda, you are probably not going to want to ask me. I won't actually own a XL2 for about a month or so. Everything I've learned has been on this board and others as I tried to figure out what camera to buy. I've basically lived on this site and others for the past few weeks.

As far as the 3X, I'd search this forum for that also. My style will always revolve around concentrating on DOF (depth of field). In that respect, I believe (but I'm not sure) that using the 3X will increase your DOF...something that I don't want. I believe may be an indirect effect as you can't do the same things you'd normally do to try to increase DOF when you have the 3X lens on. For instance, I don't think you would be zooming in as much with the 3X for obvious reasons.

Of course, you are right...in small spaces a 3X would be useful. And you probably aren't going to get a decently shallow DOF in a small space anyhow if you are trying to get a wide shot.

I love this site. It is a great resource. If you search for "3X" on this board, you'll probably pull in a lot of opinions that are much more informed than my own.

Thanks,

Kelly
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Old May 14th, 2005, 08:36 PM   #111
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I have had several people including a sales person tell me that the 3x is not very sharp on the XL2. Do a search and see.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 09:14 PM   #112
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Mark,

If you were to get a second lens for the cam, right now there's a good rebate for the 16x servo lens and the 3X wide angle, which would you g et? Also, doesn't the 20X have manual focusing as well as automatic? it says so in the info I've read....

Thanks for your advice.

Yes, I'm going to Pasadena this week to check out the cam, but I've used the XL1 so I feel pretty sure about this.

I'm just mulling about whether to get the second lens because of the rebate or just wait and see how I feel about the 20X when it comes in the mail.

This forum is the best!!!! thanks so much for all your help.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 09:52 PM   #113
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Lucinda,

I have both the 16x and the 20x. Yes, the 20x will manually focus, but this is accomplished through electric brushes that sense the focus, or zoom ring being moved and then electronically move the focus, or zoom. This is all well and good, but you cannot accurately hit focus marks over and over, they tend to drift. I posted a bunch about this a while back, around December and January. Do a search.

I do a lot of different stuff so I opted for both lenses. Depending on your needs, you may want to consider getting the body only kit, the 16x lens and rather than getting the 3x zoom, spend $650 on the .7 Century Wide Angle converter. It's a zoom through, so you can keep it on the 16x and use it throughout the entire zoom range of the lens. That's one possible route.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 06:59 AM   #114
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Sasahara
Yes, the 20x will manually focus, but this is accomplished through electric brushes that sense the focus, or zoom ring being moved and then electronically move the focus, or zoom. This is all well and good, but you cannot accurately hit focus marks over and over, they tend to drift.
I have been using the XL series of cameras from nearly day one. Here and elsewhere, I have read statements like the one above over and over again. All I can say is that I have learned how to "accuately hit focus marks over and over." It's not like it can't be done. Like any new instrument, it takes practice. Is it easier with the manual lens? Certainly! But the 20x will work, too!

Jay
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Old May 15th, 2005, 07:33 AM   #115
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The 20x has a push button that operates as a preset for either zoom or focus (chosen by a slider switch), so you can at least get one zoom or focus point set for a shot. Fingering the button while shooting takes practice -- definitely a different technique than with a mechanical lens. And I gotta say that for handheld shooting, the OIS does a fantastic job. The 16x and 20x are really targeted at very different uses; not really a matter of which one is "better" as each one has particular strengths.

I've also read many posts about the softness of the 3x. I have not actually checked it against a resolution chart as I've done with the 20x, but I do not at all find the 3x to appear soft in my shooting. It also has a pushbutton that allows for the "electronic rack focus" feature. The 3x does not have OIS (not really needed for such a wide lens) and the zoom cannot be "push buttoned" (no problem for a wide lens with only a 3x zoom range).

BTW, this push button focus feature is invaluable during manual shooting for both the 20x and 3x lenses -- just press the focus button for a moment and release. It'll put your subject spot on and you can go manual from there. I think this is essential for those of us using a stock color viewfinder, which can at times make a sharp manual focus challenging.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 03:17 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Gladwell
I have been using the XL series of cameras from nearly day one. Here and elsewhere, I have read statements like the one above over and over again. All I can say is that I have learned how to "accuately hit focus marks over and over." It's not like it can't be done. Like any new instrument, it takes practice. Is it easier with the manual lens? Certainly! But the 20x will work, too!

Jay
Geez, you make me sound like I'm retarded or something.

Believe me I've tried it. When you've got one day to shoot two days worth of stuff, twiddling the 20x just didn't work. For the way I work, the 16x works best for me. I don't want to have to think about focusing. The 16x and follow focus are more intuitive for how I work.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 03:36 PM   #117
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Thank-you all so much! I think probably for someone at my level of experience with this camcorder, which is base 0! I will, based on my own intuition and what I'm hearing from you all, is just get the standard kit and use the cam for awhile afterwhich I'll know better which lens to purchase. My mind is swimming with, "should I get the 3wide angle, the 16x, I hear pros and cons about everything, so I guess I'll just wait and see. I guess I was toying with the idea of getting the 16x as well because of the rebate that's on thru much of June. Seems like a good deal and I may still do it. Ah, indecision! Isn't it interesting when we really know what we're doing and what are needs are we have no problem with these sorts of things. But, all the info you're giving is very helpful indeed! thanks again. This is the best forum I've ever been to!

Lucinda
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Old May 15th, 2005, 03:47 PM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucinda Luvaas
I guess I was toying with the idea of getting the 16x as well because of the rebate that's on thru much of June. Seems like a good deal and I may still do it.
Does the purchase of either the 3x or 16x have to occur at the same time as the purchase of the XL2 with 20x? If not does it have to be from the same vendor? No speculation please, I've read every word of the rebate form and I'm still uncertain.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 04:05 PM   #119
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Sasahara
Geez, you make me sound like I'm retarded or something.

Believe me I've tried it. When you've got one day to shoot two days worth of stuff, twiddling the 20x just didn't work. For the way I work, the 16x works best for me. I don't want to have to think about focusing. The 16x and follow focus are more intuitive for how I work.
No, I didn't make you sound retarted.

Believe me, I've not only tried it, I've done it, over and over and over again, and continue to do it. Like I said, it's like an instrument--a trombone versus a trumpet would be a perfect example. The trumpet would be the manual lens, the trombone would be the 20x lens.

Too many people determined from the very beginning, because it was so different, that they didn't want to learn how to "play" this new instrument. Actually, you said so yourself, in so many words, "For the way I work, the 16x works best for me." That was your choice and that's fine! But don't say it can't be done, because it can.

Jay
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Old May 15th, 2005, 04:29 PM   #120
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Hi Mark and Pete,

I just reread your recent posts and wonder what you mean by "drift?" If I focus on the subject and shoot, will the focus change? or stay? I'm not sure I understand fully what you're saying.

I think your suggestion about the adaptor and 16X is a good one.

Lucinda
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