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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 October 5th, 2004, 09:33 PM   #1
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?Question?

I know next to nothing about shooting digital, so please excuse my ignorance. Film is just to damn expensive!

If I wanted to shoot on the XL-2 with a mini35 converter, could I just buy the camera body alone? Would I need a Canon lens? Second, could you please tell me how much a used converter would cost? And lastly, concerning 35mm lenses, what would you reccomend and how much would they cost?

Thank you in advance for your help.
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Old October 5th, 2004, 10:05 PM   #2
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Well, I can tell you that a new Mini 35 can run around 10k new. This isn't an exact figure but I would guess that a used mini35 would cost roughly as much as the XL2. Almost anyone here would recommend that you rent a Mini35 for the duration of your shoot. There ARE cheap ways in constructing a very operational mini 35 set up on your own. The effect can achieve virtually all the same results as a $10,000 professional set up. Information on building this set up can be found on the Marla movie website.

http://www.marlathemovie.com

These independant filmmakers made this short movie with a GL2 and their homemade mini 35 set up. The picture quality is terrific and they probably didnt spend over $150 for the components needed to make the set up. Good luck.
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Old October 5th, 2004, 10:26 PM   #3
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It's kind of like, "if you have to ask, you can't afford it." The Mini35 and one lens will be many times the cost of the XL2 body. The XL2 body should sell for around $3700 or so. Of course you could always rent the Mini35 and whatever lens you'll need for your production... renting is the most affordable way to go.
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Old October 5th, 2004, 10:50 PM   #4
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mini35 on eBay

I just saw a mini35 with XL-1 adapter go on eBay for $4900!

Do a search for "mini35" through the completed listing.

So, hang in there, maybe will come around again soon?
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Old October 5th, 2004, 11:11 PM   #5
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I picked up my first Canon XL1s (PAL version originally from BH Photo Video) last year for a great price and then found a hardly used mini35 still under warranty from a member here on DV Info for around $6800 USD. I then spent about $1200 USD on MF (manual focus) 24mm, 35mm, 55mm and 85mm used Nikor lenses.

A brand new PAL version of the XL1s currently sells for $3,249.95 and a used NTSC version of the XL1s sells for about $3,000.

In total you might be looking at between $11,250 and $12,000 USD for a complete mini35 setup. Of course you can buy the Canon without the Canon video lens and save a couple of hundred dollars but personally I think having the Canon stock lens around would be a bonus just as an alternative option when needed.

As for building your own mini35 - it is true that "the effect can achieve virtually all the same results" but in the case of the visually amazing short film "Marla" the makers went through an extremely long and pain staking process of hand cleaning nearly every frame of video to remove artifacts that were present on the 35mm SLR projection screen, as well spent what I would call an excessive number of hours in post production to get it's final "look". I would not go as far as to call the picture quality of Marla perfect as what is available online is only a fraction of the full resolution one would need to see to make an accurate comparison - even the online manually hand cleaned version shows debris stuck on most of the images scenes. I just don't think this would hold up well on the big screen, but again it may not matter for the intended purpose. In reality for $150 can you really go wrong to try it out?

I suggest renting the mini35 system out for a project, giving it a try and seeing what you think. I've seen as many great films (if not more) shot on DV without the mini35 as I have with the mini35.
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Old October 5th, 2004, 11:45 PM   #6
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Here's a question from someone who has little knowledge of the mini35, what would be the best lens to use with it ? I'm sure the options are endless, but if you just going to get one for all around kind of use, what would it be ?

- Ray
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Old October 6th, 2004, 02:03 AM   #7
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Raymond,

Superspeed primes. I'd rec. Cooke S4 or Carl Zeiss/Arri T1.3 sets.

To answer the original question though, it would be very costly.

"It really depends on how serious you are about frequently using it in the long term and your ability to make the money back.

A good plan for myself has been to aquire my XL2, use saved profits from it's use and other previous projects to buy the Mini35. Then, find grants, investors, loans, more profits, or whatever towards purchasing a set of good prime lenses. Using the complete in-house system to make the return.

Pricing would be roughly as follows:
XL2: $4,000
Mini-35: $9,000
Cooke S4 16mm Prime: $15,200
Cooke S4 25mm Prme: $13,500
Cooke S4 35mm Prime: $13,700
Cooke S4 65mm Prime: $13,700
Cooke S4 100mm Prime: $13,400

Around $82,000 for camera system and lenses alone. Then figure in other production tools like remote follow focus, mattebox/filters, power sources, etc and you've easily got yourself a $90,000+ package.

I have a good way to make back the money on projects, but also to help I would be renting out the equipment as a package or renting the individual components as needed.

Then again, this is because I plan to have a majority of production requirements available in-house. It'll allow for more of my own features/shorts to be done in the long run and an extensive amount of client projects or independent music videos, etc. Especially with the music industry reaching an age of independence, those with all the right tools to save the clients' money in hand will find themselves working more often than not.

Once I own a full package, I'd hope to be shooting something every day I'm healthy and living. I have no problem marrying a camera. *g*

For those without a completely solid plan or a living desire to create motion pictures on their own free will; renting is their best option.

Sincerely,
Kevin Maistros"


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Old October 6th, 2004, 04:32 AM   #8
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Re: ?Question?

<<<-- Originally posted by Shane Carl :
- I know next to nothing about shooting digital
- could I just buy the camera body alone?
- Would I need a Canon lens?
- And lastly, concerning 35mm lenses, what would you reccomend and how much would they cost?
-->>>

I just have to say that I really do not think you are ready to start
shooting with such a system. You claim to know nothing about
shooting digital and your question regarding what 35mm lenses
to get and how much they would cost indicate you have no 35mm
shooting experience either.

So not only do you need to learn two worlds instead of one, you
also don't have any experience and you are talking about A LOT
of money!

All your questions could also have been answered by some simple
research. This also indicates to me that you are probably not
ready to shoot with such an advanced system.

I would suggest learning the ropes of shooting (digital) first and
then move on. It is very hard to shoot with a 35mm lens with a
small depth-of-field. Going after the infamous film look is more
than just a camera and a 35mm lens/DoF. Have you considered
lighting gear, support gear (tripod, dolly etc.) and audio equipment?

Why not rent some simpler digital camera's like the DVX100a,
the XL1S and after you feel comfortable working with them and
have done some short movies (NOTHING beats experience!)
rent an XL2 with mini35 (which should be more common at that
point in time) and see how that works out. If all works beautifully
then start thinking about buying said rig.

Ofcourse this is just my humble opinion and feelings. Just wanted
to point some things out before you start spending anywhere
between $5,000 and $20,000 on equipment.

Good luck!
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Old October 6th, 2004, 06:23 AM   #9
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i am think about using a similar setup for a feature that i want to shoot with 2 xl1 or 2's(pal). i would make the mini35 as proffessional as i could make it.(not making the thing on a budget) i have also realised the amount of work the makers of Marla went though. do you think what i present is possible. i am also going for film look similar to Marla's. i should have a budget of about $55,000, but do not want to spend it on the P+S mini35, as the picture i saw from Marla outflawed any footage i've ever seen from that device. from the mini35. what i am thinking now is that i should do some test work and take it to my chosen post house and get it converted to see how it looks. also the dirt people are refereing to on the picture of Marla are you talking about in the corners and edges where it is not completely clear?

thanks
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Old October 6th, 2004, 07:20 AM   #10
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Rabi: you seriously think a homemade adapter will outdo a fourth
generation $10K professional made adapter (that IS being used
by professionals)?

And you decided this based on some tiny resolution highly
compressed web footage?

Do yourself a favor and use a very small portion of that $55K
and rent it first with some good lenses before passing judgement.
It is also much easier to shoot with (not having to hold the
camera at an odd angle etc.)

p.s. I'm not saying you can't get beautifull footage with a
homemade adapter. I'm just saying you really cannot compare
it to the P+S adapter.
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Old October 6th, 2004, 07:26 AM   #11
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i am simply saying that from all of the footage i have seen on the mini35, Marla had the closest picture i was looking for. and i have also seen footage of what the exact setup minor light and other things look likes that i would of been using and it still doesn't beat Marla. i will be doing alot of expirimenting though with all different kinds of setups including the mini but i doubt it will be the option i'll go for. and the reason why i cant rent and am reluctant to using the mini is becuase i want use 2 two camera setup. renting is also not an option for this feature as we do not benifit from such cheap rental prices as in america.
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Old October 6th, 2004, 07:28 AM   #12
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Sounds like your decision is more money based (ie, two camera's
for example). That is fine. The mini35 isn't for everyone. I just
don't believe the picture is worse than a homemade adapter.

So for my curiosity: what kind of movie are you going to make
Rabi? How expierenced are you and your crew?
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Old October 6th, 2004, 07:34 AM   #13
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i am not saying the picture is worse it's just not the look i want to achieve. and nop it's a little money based but it just not want i want to achieve. if anyone has seen Lockstock and 2 Smoking Barrels. Marla is the closest thing i have ever seen to that look.
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Old October 6th, 2004, 07:56 AM   #14
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Rabi, if your budget is looking close to $55k you would probably be able to easily achieve the look of marla by shooting your project with a Bolex H16 Reflex or some other standard 16mm or super 16mm camera.

The problem with the system that was put together for Marla is that it was not steady. The alignment of the GL2's line of sight to the focus screen of the camera was constantly being moved. The camera had to be steady on something for it to work. In fact, the car scenes (The water advertisement) were to be the hardest and it took them many, many takes and a long time in post to re-adjust the images if it moved. Also the shot of the camera lifting from the ground, following the can in the beer commercial. Otherwise you'll notice that the camera barely moved.

You will have extremely limited shot and location design because of this idea.

The best way to replicate a certain look is to replicate the process.
Shoot 16mm. Marla just looked like a 16mm short with bad web compression. (Good video compression, but it looks like a 16mm short would with only decent compression in my opinion.)

Also note a lot of the shots had a hot spot effect. (The darker edging to the clips). This was caused by the SLR lense but you would easily be able to achieve the same thing with 16mm. In fact some people specifically try to use their camera a certain way to avoid getting that. So, achieving it would be easy I guess since most try to not get that same look.
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Old October 6th, 2004, 07:58 AM   #15
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on a related note why can't regular plain ole' XL lenses (like the 3x) look like mini35 image quality? what's the diff?
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