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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 February 27th, 2005, 07:03 AM   #46
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Tony,

I may have misunderstood your original point re: the 16X manual, so apologies. I have never put any 3rd party glass on it as we have felt no need to date. (and yes we use a chart a lot to check the 16X manual settings)

As for steadiness i believe due to the 'non filmlike' weight of the XL2 with the 16X manual I find is quite difficult to be off the tripod and be handhled - obviously this gets worse the tighter the focus. We almost never use it off of very steady, generally locked down conditions.

As an aside i had an occasion to do a nice little in the field live test the other day. I am usually 2nd camera using the 20X, but this day i had both a 20X and the 16X manual locked down side by side for a particular shot we wanted. The scene was lit with 2 - 4 bank Diva lights, in a classroom with falling outside light,both cameras on the same talent, side by side, zoomed in, maybe 18 feet away. Our lighting goal was gentle falloff behind the talent. I lit and set it according to the 16X manual which looked great, perfect short focus on the face, gentle fall off in the background, and white balanced with Warmcards - the filmic look i was going for.
(note: for us this is always 16:9, 24p, 1/48)
Side by side, same focal look, (20X 1 f stop larger to most closely mimic the same light) the 16X manual was quite a bit sharper, richer tone in the face, and much more pleasing falloff in the background.
Now i love the 20X as i tend to live with it 3 to 4 days a week on the feature we are shooting but it was a bit of a oh oh moment as in what i thought was great with the 20X could actually be a bit better, given the right conditions, with the 16X manual.
I guess i always knew this by the numbers, but is was a nice, little revelation side by side.
- apologies for the length, but thought a few might appreciate this.
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Old February 27th, 2005, 12:59 PM   #47
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Useful information, on the 16 Manual Verses 20X, Buzz.

Regarding your views on never using the XL1s/XL2 off a tripod. I understand your concerns about lack of balance and weight - as it is even much lighter than my Nikon F5 with a big telephoto!

I went on some 'test-runs' in dense forests and hills today - filming in dark woods, bright sunlit open areas, blue skies, changing to grey skies and heavy snowfall - varied subjects, including snow and ice, just to check my preferences and how fast and smoothly I could work with an XL1s wrapped inside a large Kata Waterproof protection cover.

I forgot to mount the Canon MA-200 and left it in the car. Following 3-hours of walking and filming, I certainly knew that I'd missed the added weight and balance of the MA-200, because my lower back really ached through the constant efforts of my muscles trying to counter-act the front-heavy camera with 16X Manual on the front.

I can do quite smooth pans and steady 'tight shots' handheld with the 16X bayoneted to the camera, but once I mount the extra MA-200, even without batteries, it really helps to balance the setup, as well as taking strain away from the lower back.

I will be buying the Canon dual battery power-pack for the MA-200, and fitted with two large heavy-duty batteries it should help balance everything even better. Some people think "lightweight" equals better handheld shots, but I've learnt that the heavier the equipment - and as long as it is well balanced, the far steadier your handheld shots will be.

I'll also be trying out some various lightweight shoulder supports that may aid me when I really need to film on the shoulder for long periods. A steadycam costing thousands of dollars is not an option in my budget!

I always try to use a tripod whenever possible, but during my 3-months of filming in USA this year, I will need to do a lot of wading in the water, following my subjects with the camera plus 16X on my shoulder.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 08:52 PM   #48
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3X lense is back from the bench.

Back into the field with it tomorrow.
for any who care will let you know ASAP.

Thanks.

(PS: very terse note from Canon:

"Cleaned, tested, repaired lense to factory spec")
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 09:08 PM   #49
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Are ya kidding? They practically wrote you a love letter!

;-)
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Old March 25th, 2005, 09:10 AM   #50
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3X.....

Well, it didn't get a 'great' test last night - as it was an interior shoot. To me it looked much better, my producer, - who i think sometimes needs glasses
; ) was still unconvinced. The goal was subtle lighting motivated by a tv screen (and by the way never used the Clearscan feature - man that works perfect) so I was unable to get good contrast to really see back fucus across the range.
We might not be shooting again until Easter Sunday, so sorry to report not much news yet.
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Old April 1st, 2005, 10:41 AM   #51
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3X Lense

I have shot with it 3 days now off and on and it definately seems better, and sharper across the rack, so i thin ki can safely say one of 2 things:
1. either it WAS out of calibration, or
2. the settings are in fact different for the XL1 and the 2 and when rest to align withthe needs of the XL@'s body and newer electronics, it works like it is supposed to.

Sorry for the delay, if anyones here.
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Old April 1st, 2005, 10:54 AM   #52
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thanks buzz...maybe I'll finally get off my butt and send mine in...glad to see that you got resolution to your problem.

Barry
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Old April 1st, 2005, 11:34 AM   #53
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Interesting note. So, one begins to wonder if a 'new' 3x lens shipped directly from Canon, will be better suited to an Xl2 then a 'used' one that has been around for a year or two?

I am going to hazzard a guess, and say that it's a case by case scenario. And it's up to the owners to notice and ship back???
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Old April 1st, 2005, 12:11 PM   #54
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Perhaps we can get an informal poll that might help to back up this theory. We know that some are seeing issues with the 3x lens and some aren't. Anyone who has one want to weigh in and let us know if they bought a new 3x lens, already had it as a holdover from xl1 days or had it sent in and adjusted.

My personal experience was that I borrowed a 3x lens in February and i had backfocus issues. I couldn't tell you for sure it's age but I think it was a holdover from my colleagues XL1 and as far as I know it was never sent in for backfocus adjustments.

FWIW.
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Old April 1st, 2005, 12:30 PM   #55
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Mines old, just like me.
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 03:28 AM   #56
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The problem is, if someone owns both the XL1s & XL2 bodies, and then wants to use the 3X lens on both cameras in different circumstances.
At least when using a lens with a back-focus control, any slight differences can easily be adjusted by the user.

Come on Canon! - (or any independent lens maker) - build us a high quality MF X 3 lens with back-focus!
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Old April 7th, 2005, 02:01 PM   #57
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This is purely anecdotal on my part but my guess is that backwards compatibilty is likely not an issue. Its all about math and calibration sent via the pickups as the lense and body meet - when the 3X was originally built they would have been hard pressed to calibrate it at the time for the exact CCD's etc., in future cams.

More speculation on my part is Canon has no desire to pony up for ALL the 3X's that are migrating to XL2's - look at all the ones that show up on ebay - so their hope is some will pay the 90 bukcs i did, many will not, and there will be no 'recall' ....but hey, you never know.

any guesses how many 3X's there are in the field ? ( And PS - i think the 3X becomes more important on the XL2 due to the increase in pixel count to help create detail in wide, establishing shots.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old April 9th, 2005, 07:19 PM   #58
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Canon lens 3x problems

The backfocus problem with the 3x lens on the XL-2 is big. Naturally it doensn't show up in broad daylight but if used af fully open iris it doesn't hold the focus at all. Canon recommends to use it in manual setting but also recommends to focus at the long end and then pull back, which is totally counter productive. Setting the lens to infinity (turning the focus ring to the left) in manual works, but not always. But even with an open iris the focus is OK from about 1.5 feet to infiinity, provided you can set the right focus. Using the focus button is very slow in low light. Perfect focus is very hard to see in the viewfinder in low light. I had backfocus problems with the Canon 16x and 3x on the XL-1 - the main reason why I sold the camera. The XL-2 with 10x lens is an excelent tool but even here sometimes my (automatic) focus was just a bit off in low light.
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Old April 9th, 2005, 07:53 PM   #59
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Re: Canon lens 3x problems

<<<-- Originally posted by Thomas Hoepker :The XL-2 with 10x lens is an excelent tool but even here sometimes my (automatic) focus was just a bit off in low light. -->>>

You do mean the 20x lens, right?
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Old April 9th, 2005, 09:39 PM   #60
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Sorry, my mistake. I meant the 20x lens, of course...
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