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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 December 7th, 2004, 08:29 PM   #1
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If canon made a set of prime lenses,would you but them?

If canon made a set of prime lenses,as a set, would you buy them.
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Old December 7th, 2004, 08:43 PM   #2
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If they could somehow design them to achieve the 35mm shallow depth of field on the XL2 1/3 CCD i would consider it. As far as the quality of the image coming through the glass I don;t know how much better it can look at this DV level of compression and resolution. Correct me if I am wrong but most of the reason that filmmakers use the mini 35 is more to obtain the cinematic depth of field and not so much because it is a cleaner or better image. In fact the mini 35 actually softens and you lose some res. If canon made a Prime lens maybe that would not happen. But it is almost guaranteed that the DOF would be similar to current lenses for the XL2.

Wake me up if this dream comes true though!
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Old December 7th, 2004, 11:20 PM   #3
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Well Marty, it could partially solve the DOF problem if they were to come up with high speed primes, sharp up to F1.4 or even less. Right now I feel both my 14x and 20x lenses are too soft when used at the widest aperture. I usually try to stay around F4 to get sharp images. But the more you increase that F-stop, the more you increase the DOF. It wouldn't bring it to cine lenses level any way you slice it though.

Anyhow, I would be shocked if Canon came out with a brand new set of lenses for what is likely the last XL compatible model.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 08:07 AM   #4
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Yeah.

If they were SUPER FAST and sharp, I would buy them. Especially if say, there were four lenses, and two were at the ultra wide and wide end... Price? I could go as high as five grand for a really good, really SUPER FAST set. (Ridiculously low price, but hey, It's my dream.)

Also, in regards to being the last XL series. I think Canon is ultra conservative, in that they will wait till the last minute to jump in with the HD camera. Conservative, in that they will play to their established customer base. I fully expect the HD camera to look much like the XL series, and that the lenses will be compatible. Sounds impossible, but since the lens mount and ccd blocks are a self contained unit, it's not too far fetched.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 12:42 PM   #5
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Possibly but only if they were at focal lengths below 17mm. Above 17mm I've found that the Nikon primes and low range (eg 17 - 35mm) zooms I' ve accumulated over the years capture very nice images. I don't use the auto features for exposure so having to adjust iris, focus and zoom manually doesn't bother me a bit. A nice prime with a focal length of less than 3.4mm (dreaming here) i.e. a real wide angle, would definitely catch my eye.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 01:12 PM   #6
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Agreed, some really wide super sharp primes... manual focus, manual exposure, no bells and whisltes stabilizing gismos...

Just fast, sharp, wide clean glass.
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Old December 9th, 2004, 04:49 PM   #7
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Depending on price, if I could afford it I would, if I couldnt I would just want one badly.

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Old December 12th, 2004, 01:54 AM   #8
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They'd have to be reasonably cheap. Past $5000for a set, I'd start thinking of a mini35 and renting lenses.
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Old December 14th, 2004, 09:38 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Marty Hudzik : As far as the quality of the image coming through the glass I don;t know how much better it can look at this DV level of compression and resolution. -->>>

Marty,

Just a quick note on this point, even though its unrelated to the prime lens question (to which my answer is, "yes please!").

The compression inherent in the DV25 codec format (miniDV, standard DV, DVCAM, and DVCPRO) is not the limiter in the quality of image we are getting out of our XL2s.

Case in point: I just had a DVCAM tape come into my studio for an offline edit. This tape has the same level and type of compression as is in our XL2s. It was a car commercial shot on a Panavision 35mm with Pana lenses, Kodak Vision2 stock, and lots of big lights. It was telecined and colored through a DaVinci 2K. This was a dub tape of the Digibeta output to be used for offline edit. The footage - even on DV - looks fantastic. Sharp as a tack, colors rich, blacks deep. When I jump back to my XL2 footage, it looks good, but its really not on the same level. Since we're talking about the same tape formats here, there are obviously other factors at work on the image: the size and quality of the CCD chip, the lenses, the film stock (in the case of film) and probably most importantly, great lighting.

Now obviously the best test would be to line up a 35mm, CineAlta, and an XL2, light a scene, shoot, do the color correction and then compare them on an SD broadcast monitor. Then we'd see just how "close" or not our XL2s are.

my 2 cents.

Oliver
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Old December 14th, 2004, 11:27 PM   #10
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I agree. To make things much simpler I even captured some "Star Wars" footage from a laser disc a few years ago onto a DV tape and it looked crystal clear and like "film". The DV25 format can be amazing as a storage medium but I am not convinced that it is the best format to acquire source materials in. The quality always seems to drop from there.

Anyway there are other factors besides the compression. Can the electronics in the CCD handle the information form Prime Lenses in a way that makes it worth while?

I would love to have them but for me I am looking for the film characteristics of the 35mm lens. Shallow depth of field being the most important to me.
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