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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old August 25th, 2004, 06:34 PM   #1
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14x manual vs 16x manual

A poll: Which lens do you prefer, the 16x manual or the 14x manual? What do you feel are the pro's and con's of both? What kind of work do you do? and anything else you'd like to add.

I'm on a tight budget, and while I can afford the 16x manual, I want to know if it's really worth it for the added cost. I will be doing entirely dramatic work.

Thanks!
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Old August 25th, 2004, 08:17 PM   #2
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Hi Joel,

I own the 16x servo zoom manual lens have used my friends' 14x manual lens.

I like the 16x because it's capable of automatic exposure (I do a fair amount of cinema verite and have enough experience to know when to trust auto exposure and when to "help" it). But that's also it's weakness -- there's no iris ring on the barrel so it's controlled by the iris wheel on the camera body. Which means iris changes are in painfully noticable discrete steps.

Otherwise, I like both lens -- in my opinion optically better (clearer and sharper when viewed on a hi-res monitor) than the standard lens. I like the macro feature and the 2 ND filters of the 16x, the ability to adjust backfocus (both 14x and 16x), and I like that the front barrel on the 16x does not rotate when changing focus (since the 14x front end rotates, matt boxes and other front-end accessories requiring a particular orientation are difficult to use).

Of course, the big reason IMO for the manual lens (besides optical quality) is the focus ring. Oh -- and there's a great article on the 16x manual lens at http://www.dvinfo.net/canon/articles/article82.php on the Watchdog site (thanks, Ken Tanaka). I wish there were a similar article for the 14x.

Hope this helps -- Kevin
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Old August 25th, 2004, 08:28 PM   #3
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Both lens are great tools! If you are doing only scripted stuff, you will find auto exposure useless since you will want to have full control over your images. The manual iris of the 14X will help in this case. And like you said, if your budget is tight, you should go with the 14X, you can find it for about 450$ less than the 16X. I am sure you will find a good way to spend this money.
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Old August 25th, 2004, 09:28 PM   #4
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I'm a 14x fan, because of the fully manual iris---but that's because I'm used to that sort of lens. The built-in ND's in the 16x are nice, but yhou can always use glass ND's in front of the 14x. As far as the front element rotation as Kevin indicates, if you are using a rod-system mattebox it won't make much of a difference, but if you intend to use a clip-on it does.

Bottom line is, if you have a true "film-style" accessory package, the 14x should do the trick, and it does have the true manual iris advantage.
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Old August 26th, 2004, 09:07 AM   #5
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Thanks guys,

Is there an affordable rod-system mattebox you would recommend?
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Old August 26th, 2004, 11:56 AM   #6
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:::Is there an affordable rod-system mattebox you would recommend?:::

The most affordable I've found is Cavision's 4x4 bellows matte box. http://www.cavision.com/Mattbox/4x4&Canon.htm

The price isn't listed on their site, but it runs $688 USD and comes with a french flag, two 15mm rods and all set for the XL1, which would also include the XL2, of course.

Just a note, I haven't used this product myself, but it seems the best for the money, especially if you need a rod-mounted system.

-Shawn
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Old August 26th, 2004, 05:21 PM   #7
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Does the 14X have 72mm threads in front like the 16X?
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Old August 26th, 2004, 06:22 PM   #8
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Why yes it does...
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Old August 26th, 2004, 07:06 PM   #9
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Thanks, Brian! Or should I say mahalo - you're in Hawaii as well. Just found the answer a second after I posted that question. Ken's 16X lens article does a great good job of comparing the 16X and 14X lenses.

Charles, or anyone who can answer, did you have any problems adjusting focus during a shoot with the 14X lens and a rods system mattebox? I imagine the lens will have to rotate within the confines of the mattebox opening on the back, correct? Was there any problems with the lens rubbing against the mattebox?

Joel, if you need rods then Cavision is reasonably priced.

I had a 4X4 Cavision bellows style mattebox before I moved to a Chrosziel one, and the Cavision was fairly good for the cost. They have a review of the 4X4 at DVXUser, and although this is the XL2 thread, the description of the build and quality should be the same. As for me, Cavision's customer service was very good! They even swapped out some parts for me free of charge. Check out their website.

For over $1000 budgets, definitely check out Chrosziel at 16X9INC.
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Old August 30th, 2004, 01:36 PM   #10
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Would you guys recommend a Wide Angle Adaptor for dramatic work? If so, which one?

Thanks!
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