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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old October 14th, 2004, 11:53 AM   #1
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Going off to make first video, need advise

Hi everybody, I have been an avid reader of this forum for some time now. I never had a reason to ask any question, since there were enough threads already talking about everything I was interested in.

I am off to Quito-Ecuador to make my first music video. Ecuador has a very limited movie industry, and I have to prepared for *everything* so I am taking everything I can from here in order to avoid having unresolvable issues over there.

I am traveling with a canon XL2, and a mini35 adapter. I was able to secure a great computer with final cut pro over there. I rented a dolly, and a small crane that I will need for some shots. I am taking a manfrotto tripod, with a 501 head from here.

I also bought a couple of schnieder filters, some ND and polarizer, for some effects. I have no matte box yet, I am looking to get one in the next couple of weeks. I have also secured plenty of lighting over there, both for indoors and outdoors. (The video will be shot at night, in the city and inside a club)

About the lenses.... I don't know what to do. I am not sure what lenses will be absolutely necessary and if I'm going to be able to rent them over there, so I am looking for a viable option, I am hoping that in the case I can't rent 35's in Quito, I can use my canons with the mini35.

that's it, the reason for this thread is because I know there is people who has done this before, and I am hoping to get their thoughts on problems they found, kind of like a guide of "what could happen"

For everybody that thinks I am missing something, please post! this is my first project and any help is very much welcome.

Sebastian
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Old October 14th, 2004, 03:57 PM   #2
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Hi Sebastian,

I also have a 501 head on a Manfrotto tripod. Today I mounted the XL2 on that combination for the first time and noticed that the camera is not stable - it seems to drift on high zoom (vertically) and it does not matter how tight he tension on the head is applied.

I am going to look for another head - maybe the Manfrotto 316 fluid head.
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Old October 14th, 2004, 03:58 PM   #3
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I used the Zeiss Lenses in combination with the Mini 35 (XL1s). One thing I learned was to open up the lens to get a nice Shallow DOF. Is this Music Video going to be released to the public, TV etc?
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Old October 14th, 2004, 05:20 PM   #4
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Yes, It will be released to the public. I am trying to make it look as professional as possible. I have a small crew who has experience in lighting and grip, as well as production work. The XL2 and the mini35 is the part where we fall short. We never used this camera before.

I am prepared to put some serious post work to make this happen. I will be shooting at night in the city, trying to capture typical street setups where my actress will be runing on her car. Another location is inside a night club, and I want it to look like one of those parties on a million dollar video.

Thanks Nico, I will definely change that 501 head, cause this is the second time I hear about that problem. I might go with the 503, it looks a little better.

Alain, about the lenses, what kind would you recommend? I have the one the XL2 comes with (20X) and a manual 16X servo. I don't know if I should get a wide angle.

What is the minimum? is there something I definitely need?
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Old October 14th, 2004, 11:04 PM   #5
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I don't have the XL2 (yet). But If you have the 20x you should stick with it since all indicates that it has a better resolution. The 3x is a must, you will need it! Now if you have the Mini 35 then that becomes a different animal. You should do some research on the P.S Technik section, hopefully you have a D.P who knows his craft. I went to the IFP Expo in New York and I saw some demo videos shot with the XL2 and I have to say that they looked great. One was a Police drama, a concert and a D.R type of Hospital show. The image looked as if they were shot on film. I'm not sure if they used the Mini and/or what Post they applied, but it surely looked fantastic.
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Old October 15th, 2004, 01:16 AM   #6
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I just got the 503 head because I was not happy with the 501. 503 is great and yields good pans and tilts with a PD 170 and it is possible to balance the camera sliding it slightly in the fitting.
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Old October 15th, 2004, 11:18 AM   #7
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If you would have to choose between having the 3X wide and the 16X manual, what do you think would be more useful?

I want versatility, since I don't have too many options.
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Old October 15th, 2004, 11:28 AM   #8
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In my opinion 3x. During my last shoot I used the 3x 70% of the time. For DOF effects the 16X will be more efficient.
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Old October 15th, 2004, 11:30 AM   #9
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Thats really going to depend on how you plan to shoot. The 3x is going to give you a nice wide angle, which depending on the style you are going with, could be what you need. The 16x is going to give you rack zooms, focus shifts, and a much longer reach...they are really different lenses for different purposes...neither is necessarily more versatile (while the 16x may seem that way, your stock 20x can do most of what the 16x will, with just a little less control, where as the 3x gives you an expanded focal length range, at the expense of the true lens control)...hows that for a non-answer!!

Barry
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Old October 15th, 2004, 03:19 PM   #10
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Thanks Barry and Alain, I am already looking for a 3X wide angle. I will have the stock 20X plus the 3X, maybe the 16X. A couple of filters, some lighting, and that's it.

Since the Fluorite lens has 2 ND filters built-in, I will just bring a circular polarizer and UV. I remember seeing once a filter that caused a very cool glowy..dreamy kind of effect on the interior lighting (color lights, like the ones from a club...see where I'm going?) Do you guys happen to know what filter is this?

Again, thanks

S
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Old October 15th, 2004, 08:08 PM   #11
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yeah,
I am having the same dilemma picking the right tripod head for XL2,

I don't think 503 is even going to handle XL2 well.
Maybe 503 will be able to handle XL2 without any accessories.
I am thinking about going for 516 now.
anybody with experiences with 516?
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Old October 16th, 2004, 12:48 AM   #12
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According to a photographer shooting with the XL 2 that I talked to in the store he claimed that the 503 worked well with that setup. He said he could balance the camera by adjusting it a bit forward.

While unfolding the instruction sheet for the 503 I find that they have the outline of an XL cam balancing.

This is not first hand knowledge of course.

516 looks nice and is fluid dampened and the sliding quick release is even longer. Why not load the camera with the accessories that you will use and see how much off centre the centre of gravity moves. This way you can see what you need.
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Old October 16th, 2004, 02:34 AM   #13
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My experience with the XL2 on a 503 head was that it was fine - as long as you didn't need to use the long end of the lens.
It just isn't up to keeping the camera steady and giving smooth moves in that situation.
Robin
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Old October 17th, 2004, 08:05 AM   #14
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Wait a minute, guys. If he's using the mini35 he won't be able to use any of the stock lenses will he? The images would be too small to cover the ground glass in the adapter? If's he's happy with the stock lenses, he can take the mini35 back to the rental shop. What he needs is a recomendation for a set of lenses that will go with the mini35 and give him the coverage, reach, zoom etc. he needs. For working inside the club I'd think good wide angle coverage would be the driving requirement. Probably the same for the city stuff too.

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Old October 17th, 2004, 10:18 AM   #15
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A.J., Yes, thanks.

the cannons are Plan "B". In case I cannot get lenses for the mini35. I am going to Ecuador and I don't know what am I going to find. I do not own any 35mm lenses, and in the case I cannot use the mini35 (not likely but I am preparing for it) I wanted to make sure I have an option.

But ideally I would like to know what 35's do I need, my budget is very slim, and I might not be able to rent a whole set. Here is where I wanted suggestions.

For the canons now I am planning the 3X wide angle, and the 20X. I imagine something on those lines for the mini 35 would do, any ideas?
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