20x lens vs 16x manual at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 6th, 2004, 06:29 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: London United Kingdom
Posts: 31
20x lens vs 16x manual

Hi;

1st off hello this is a great forum.
may I ask opinions on how well the new 20x stock lens for the XL2 holds up against the 16x manual lens. I ask this because I'm very interested in purchasing an XL2 and I come from shooting soley 16mm shorts so the 16x manual lens seems a little more like the lenses I'm used to, easier to pull focus etc not to mention better glass?
Thanks

Olly
Rachel Oliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 6th, 2004, 07:21 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Posts: 570
Not sure about better glass. The 20x lens is definitelly a nice sharp piece of glass, and I cannot find a significant difference between my 14x manual lens and my 20x as far as resolving power is concerned.

But, that being said, the 20x is an automatic lens built for run and gun shooting (AF, IS). That endless spinning focus ring doesn't make it very good for manually pulling focus. If this is your #1 concern, you'll want the 16x manual.

If you don't care about the shortest focal range, servo zoom or built in ND filters, you might also consider the 14x, which is pretty much the same lens without those features. But it is about $400 cheaper and it has full manual iris control, which the 16x does not, as you're forced to use the electronic dial on the XL2 with discreet steps.
David Lach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 6th, 2004, 08:05 PM   #3
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,900
Images: 513
The 20x actually has better glass; some of its elements are flourite but none are in the 16x.
__________________
CH

Search DV Info Net | DV Info Net Sponsors | A Decade (+5) of DVi | ...Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!
Chris Hurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 6th, 2004, 08:14 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Belgium
Posts: 2,195
Although I own none of the two lenses I think the 20x will be significantly sharper (I can't state this, but I thought that was one of the purposes of fluorite?) but I think that if you come from 16mm with complete manual focusing and such, you'll like the manual lens maybe more.

I think others on the board can help you more with this actually, as their knowledge about it is unndoubtly FAR greater, but maybe this helps too, I don't know.

Good luck!
Mathieu Ghekiere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 7th, 2004, 06:22 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: London United Kingdom
Posts: 31
Hi;

Thanks guys, you've given me much food for thought. Upon hearing that the new 20x is possibly as sharp or sharper than the manuals i'm less concerned about it as I'm sure I can get around the focus ring issues by using my brain! And here in the UK it seems unlikely to find a body only kit.
Thanks

Olly
Rachel Oliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 7th, 2004, 01:31 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Posts: 570
Rachel, if you have the money, it would not be throwing it off the window to buy both lenses (kit with 20x and a manual lens).

Even though I have no idea what you're planing to shoot, let me tell you I'm more and more glad I bought the Canon with the 20x and a 14x manual lens.

Just in my next project, I have 2 shots that will involve huge telephotos, something I cannot get out of my 14X. I have 1 shot that will involve handlheld shooting, and I don't think I could do it to transparently match the rest of the tripod/crane/steadicam footage without the image stabilization of the 20X. I also have 3 shots in which I will be following someone walk in a parc and that person will be going from shadowed to brightly lit spots all the time, so I will absolutely need the 14x to be able to adjust the iris on the fly, something you cannot do well enough with the 20x. I also have a dozen shots in which I will do some focus pulling. That would be impossible without the 14x. Finally, I have maybe 3-4 shots in which there will be a slow crawling zoom on an actor's face. No way I could have done that smoothly with the 14x, so here the 20x will come in handy.

I could go on and on about instances where I will need one lens over the other for specific reasons, but I think you get the point. If you don't have the extra cash however, fear not, the 20x lens is an excellent piece of glass, but it has limitations, like every lens out there (hey that's why we're all crazy about the interchangeable lens feature on the XL2).
David Lach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 7th, 2004, 02:35 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: London United Kingdom
Posts: 31
Hi;

Thanks David, funnily enough this is a conclusion I drew after the other guys posts too. I think I'll get the stock lens and then add a manual as and when funds let me. Something that freaked me out in your post was the idea of racking the Fstops on the fly in and out of the shadows, on film I wouldn't dream of this as the lattitude would handle it but is this something you find you need to do alot or is it just your style? Just interested as I would have thought picking an average exposure and locking it would render a more stable look.
Thanks

Olly
Rachel Oliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 7th, 2004, 03:07 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Posts: 570
You can lock an average exposure and it will look fine. If you're used to doing this on film and like the results, there's no reason I can think of to change your habits on the XL2, unless maybe if you select very contrasty settings for your shot or if the difference in lighting is just too steep.

But I find it's always best (and indeed this is personal) to tweak slightly between shadowed and brightly lit areas to get the correct exposure every time, especially on faces. No need to go from F5.6 to F11 every time here. Just a little adjusting, by barely closing/opening the iris. The 14x will allow this in a smoother manner than the 20x or 16x manual lenses.

Of course, since this is video, watch out for highlight clipping. If you change the iris on the fly, you'll want to adjust for the brightest conditions first and work from there.
David Lach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 10th, 2004, 08:49 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 649
If you get the 20x standard auto lens be sure to turn the image stabilzation off for most of your shots.

I haven't really used the 20x lens much. I rented an XL2 with both the 16x Manual and the 20x auto lenses this past weekend to see if I really wanted to buy one (I do and I will!). One day was very windy and I totally forgot that I had the image stabilization option because I was shooting with the 16X manual lens. I could have switched from the 16X manual lens to the 20x and used the stabilzation to minimize or probably eliminate any wind buffets. The footage was pretty steady, but it there were a couple of places where I got hit by strong gusts. I am curious to see how it works for moving hand held shots. I hand held some static shots with the stabilization on and zoomed to the far tele end and things looked quite steady compared to stabilization shut off. I'll have to do some more testing once I buy the XL2.
__________________
Mark Sasahara
Director of Photography
Mark Sasahara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 11th, 2004, 05:48 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Georgia
Posts: 76
Hi Guys,

So if I understand this correct, the XL2ís 20x Lens is backward compatible with the XL1s right?
And the New function like Focus and Zoom Preset will also work with no Problem.

If that is the case, I just might get one. I think the Preset feature would be a nice neat and helpful function.

:oD

Shaggy

If the Glass is as good as the 16, they the 16x has a awesome Quality and Sharp Picture.
__________________
Apple Pro
Shaggy Franks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 11th, 2004, 06:42 AM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Belgium
Posts: 2,195
If I'm not mistaken, yes the 20x lens is backward compatible with the XL1S.
Mathieu Ghekiere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2005, 09:14 AM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Easton, CT
Posts: 28
Well, I just bought the 16x... it should be delivered in a few days and I will be doing a lot of experimenting to compare the 20x to the 16x manual.

For example, can you REALLY switch between the 20x and the 16x and have the image quality (clarity, contrast, etc) match? I will be pleasantly surprised if there is not a huge difference between the video "look" from each lens.

As much as I love the creative freedom I feel when I shoot with an XL series camera, I have NEVER been a fan of the lens operation. There is something wrong about not having a "real" manual focus ring, or a "real" manual zoom ring, like what you find on the XL lenses. Kind of like saying you want to drive a sports car that has automatic transmission. You just miss the tactile part of the experience. In addition, manually zooming or focussing the 20x is really slow compared to a real manual lens.

That said, in a direct contradiction of everything I said above, the XL 3x wide angle is absolutely the BEST lens I have ever shot with. Being a fan of shooting close and at wide angle, when I have the 3x stuck on the front of the camera, I feel like superman... like I can do ANYTHING and the lens will always get the shot.

I am SO looking forward to receiving the 16x manual lens. Although I admit that I am a bit bummed about the 16x not having true Iris control...

I will keep you posted about my findings.
Matt
Matthew C. Abourezk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2005, 09:32 AM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: London United Kingdom
Posts: 31
Hi;

I agree Matt, I finally got the 3x wide and fell in love immediately, even with it's backfocus issues and auto only mode it still gives a cracking image!

Olly
Rachel Oliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2005, 09:38 AM   #14
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
<<<-- Originally posted by Rachel Oliver : Something that freaked me out in your post was the idea of racking the Fstops on the fly in and out of the shadows, on film I wouldn't dream of this as the lattitude would handle it >>>

Hi Rachel:

Riding the iris is pretty common in the film world too--not constantly, but usually when a shot will rotate through 180 degrees (front lit to backlit, for instance). I've often buried up to a 3-stop pull in moves and had them virtually indetectable. Leaving it up to the emulsion is possibly especially for something headed straight for telecine, but I wouldn't want to rely on the Hazeltine for executing a delicate exposure ride.

And certainly on video, this sort of thing is a bear because there is no way to bring back overexposure, so you are forced to underexpose the shade side. It's a bit like shooting reversal stock.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2005, 10:57 AM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: London United Kingdom
Posts: 31
Hi;

Absolutely Mr Papert! I've rarely shot in situations that needed me to do it but your right, it's more common than I made out. I think I was just a little nervous of the new format and the infamous lattitude cut off but so far it's really suprised me actually! Well that and a little help from a Tiffen soft con......

Olly
Rachel Oliver is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:52 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network