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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


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Old September 27th, 2004, 03:33 PM   #1
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XL2 Footage, wide open, wide angle

I help run a local film collective (www.tifn.com) and at our last meeting several filmmakers were asking about the DVX100a vs XL2 debate. I could not answer a number of the questions, especially about softness issue in low light:

I recently purchased a DVX100a instead of the XL2 basically because of the price difference & availability as I would have wanted XL2 body with 3X and 16x manual. In the test footage thus far, it seems that the XL2 is little sharper in 16:9 24p than the DVX100a in 16:9 stretch.

However, all the clips I have found, I don't see any labeled as with the 3X lens. Have any of them been shot in low light, aperture wide open with either the 3X lens at full wide or with the 20X and a .6x or .7x Century Optics?

One thing I like about the DVX100a lens is sharpness throughout zoom and aperture ranges. I get an okay (not great image) in low light, full wind angle, and full open irus with the DVX100a.

How does the XL2 compare? I noted the thread on sharpness issue at full wide - is that a 20X issue only?
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Old September 27th, 2004, 10:15 PM   #2
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I know this won't help much but I have shot with the .6x wide angle adapter and it looks incredibly sharp and sometimes incredibly soft. Initially I just thought I focused poorly because I am still not used to the viewfinder. Upon reading the post about being soft when wide angle and wide open aperture I am now wondering. I guess I need to check to see the data code on the tape to see the f-stop. It won't however tell me the zoom range but I can guess that it is in the wide range.

Just as a little tip that might help....the gain on the XL2 is very very clean and can be used to bump the cameras up a stop or 2 which would allow for the iris to be closed a little...maybe from 1.8 to the 3-4 range which should counteract the softness issue. In theory of course. But you are trading soft image for maybe a little noise. It is easier to work with a little noise than what appears to be a slightly out of focus image.

Your mileage may vary. Just my opinion.

By the way. The .6x wide adapter is almost too wide. It has a partial zoom and it is worthless to me. I can't really zoom at all without it going out of focus. This very same adapter on the XL1 was a good wide and a moderate zoom for medium shots. On the XL2 in 16x9 it is very wide and it won't reach the medium shots. So I find I have to take it on and off all the time which is a nuisance for me.

Anyone have any experience with the .7x zoom throug adapter on the Xl1? Does it hold a good sharp image all the way through the zoom range?

Because Century is within 30-60 days of having a mod ready for it that will allow it to work on the Xl2 and that may be the way for me to go.

Thanks!
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Old September 27th, 2004, 10:36 PM   #3
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Marty, just curious, is your adapter a Century Optics? I've been juggling for a while with the idea of buying an adapter and hesitate between the Cavision, the Century Optics and the Optex.

Also, when you say you cannot zoom without the image going out of focus, I figure you mean "live" during recording right? Or do you mean that you cannot change the focal length at all prior to shooting and then refocus to get a sharp image? Because since I'll be using a manual lens, I will have to refocus manually when zooming anyway, so I guess it would be a non issue for use with a manual lens.
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Old September 27th, 2004, 10:58 PM   #4
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David,
This is the Century OPtics .6 Wide Angle. It is only partial zoom through. Typically it can only zoom to about the 8x range and then it loses focus. I mean really loses it as in it is impossible to focus beyond this range. This is why this particular adapter is less expensive than the zoom through units.

I am manually focusing all of the time but it is a little tricky to do on the fly. You typically setup your shot and focus ....then film. So this adapter will not focus beyond 8x range.

TO give you an idea here are the rough numbers of focal distance for the 20x lens. They aren't exact but get the idea across.

20x lens in 16x9 = 42mm-840mm
with .6x WA 25mm-208mm (beyond 208mm blurs)
with .7x WA 29mm-588mm (retains focus all the way)

Now the difference in price is MSRP $795 for .7 and $395 for .6

Having said all of this the .7x currently does not work with the 20x lens as century has to mod it because of a curvature of the lens element. But according to them they will have a new version and a fix for the current ones ready in the next 30-60 days.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 01:26 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info Marty that helps. I don't think I mind taking the adapter off really (I don't do run and gun, just scripted stuff) as I usually don't like to have anything (filters, adapters, etc.) in front of my lens when it is not necessary regardless.

I was just looking for an adapter to get a 26mm to 43mm extra range out of the 16x manual servo zoom lens. As soon as I need a focal length of 43mm + for my shots, I'll probably take it off anyway, so I guess the full zoom through WA converter would be kind of useless for me. That's what I was trying to find out.

Did you notice if your Century Optics softens your image at all (when it is properly focused of course)?
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Old September 28th, 2004, 05:15 PM   #6
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is the 3X lenses sharp enough for the XL2 ?

thanks
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Old September 29th, 2004, 09:37 PM   #7
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hi

I've posted a quick comparison of the 3x and 20x lenses posted here:

http://homepage.mac.com/barrygoyette/FileSharing25.html

Images were shot at f 3.4 1/60 using 16:9 mode in 30p. There are 3 edits. the first and last are the 3x lens. The middle is the 20x.

The first clip shows a back focus issue that may or may not be limited to my lens. The problem shows itself when zooming out in manual focus or when zooming out quickly in autofocus.

Otherwise, when focused properly...the 3x seems perfectly capable of producing as sharp an image as the 20x (maybe sharper), and is capable of a very crisp image at its widest zoom setting.

Barry
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Old September 30th, 2004, 11:29 AM   #8
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Anyone who's seen the footage...the first clip where it loses focus as I zoomed wide...is that an indication of a backfocus problem? (i was just guessing before). If so, is this correctable by canon (ie...If I were to send it in do they adjust the lens, or the camera).

Barry
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Old September 30th, 2004, 01:48 PM   #9
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barry... i believe that canon will adjust the lense for you... and yes... that is a backfocusing problem.... on another note.... i think imma pick up a 3x myself...

btw... any word on any new lenses for the XL comin soon??
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Old September 30th, 2004, 03:00 PM   #10
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I'm doubtful that canon will invest in anything new soon...we'll have to wait and see if this is the end of the line for the xl series of cameras...it may be.

What I would wish for is a wide to middle telephoto similar in range to the DVX's beautiful lens...but if I had to bet, I don't think we'll see one...canon would have built it instead of the 20x if they had wanted something in this range.

Barry
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Old September 30th, 2004, 04:01 PM   #11
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barry,

thank you for that. i must've missed that clip but WHO CARES ABOUT BLURRY WHEN IT'S VERY WIDE!!! lol!

i luv that wide wide wide aspect but that blurry thing is very questionable indeed. i felt a bit dizzy when i saw the blurrying. but i really really dig the hi-res XL2 brings to 3x. i have the 3x on the XL1s and when you crop it to 16:9 you get heavy losses and when i crop it to 2:35 it's insane. i think XL2 can make it less painful for me =). thx for the footage, great job man!
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Old September 30th, 2004, 05:01 PM   #12
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I forgot one other thing...while the 3x works nicely in autofocus under normal light...in low light it will hunt like elmer fudd...you literally have to turn it to manual...I haven't tried the new "slow" focus speed setting yet...I'll give it a shot, and let you know.

BG
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Old September 30th, 2004, 07:37 PM   #13
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ouch !

big back focus problem...

do you think your lense is defect ? ,
or do all 3X lenses have this big problem ?

If so, i think i better keep my DVX100A .

very sad, because otherwise, the image is very sharp.
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