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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 03:53 PM   #1
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Any adapter for the 3x canon lens?

Since the canon X3 wide angular is a little bit less wide mounted in the xl2, i was think if there is any adapter that could fit in this lens. Somethink like an X0.7 or so to have a 18 mm (equivalent to 35mm film) without having fish eye distortion.

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Old February 4th, 2005, 04:10 AM   #2
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I doubt that would work with any distortion. But what do I know...
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Old February 9th, 2005, 12:51 PM   #3
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There certainly is a 0.5 x wide-angle converter that will work well with the 3x zoom and not give you any barrel distortion. It takes the 24 mm to 72 mm (equivalents) and makes it a 12 mm to 36 mm lens - seriously wide indeed on the Xl1s.

The catch is the price. The aspheric multi-coated single element Bolex Aspheron (search ebay) is only half zoom through, and you'll need an 85 mm adaptor to attach it to the front of the 3x zoom. I simply adore mine, and the lack of distortion is just amazing.

tom.
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Old February 9th, 2005, 01:57 PM   #4
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Thanks Tom. Could you just attach some images of the lense and footage? It would be great!
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Old February 9th, 2005, 02:42 PM   #5
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Sure. The web site that hosts my images is
http://www.fortvir.net/gallery/tom-s-photo-album

Come back to me if you want more info.

tom.
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Old February 9th, 2005, 10:56 PM   #6
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Wow! Tom, that's something! Any footage (hopefully including rectilinear shapes) you can post?
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Old February 10th, 2005, 02:06 AM   #7
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Yes John, that Aspheron really is something. I can track through buildings and pass through door without the amateurish look of having the door frames bow outwards as I pass through them. I can track behind the bride and groom and not worry about barrel distortion making her bum look big. I can do pans and tilts and not have objects within the image bulge towards me as I pass by. I can shoot buildings and not have them looking as if they're full of compressed air and about to explode.

No movies to post, but the words (above) will tell you all you need to know.

I'm amazed aspherics aten't more popular, but folk always want to have 'zoom through' for whatever reason, and they also don't want to pay the price - that I can understand.

tom.
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Old February 10th, 2005, 10:21 AM   #8
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Ah, yes, the feared bridal bum problem.

You're using this on Canon's 3x XL series lens, no? Have you used it on any other zooms for the XL series? Canon's manual 14x, perhaps?

Not sure I'm asking this clearly, but what range of the zoom is prevented?
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Old February 10th, 2005, 12:18 PM   #9
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A bit later ...

Tom, I took your suggestion & picked up a nice clean Bolex Aspheron on Ebay for $695.

Any suggestions on step-up/down rings for mounting it? I don't have a Canon XL 3x zoom (yet), but did just one adapter ring mate the Bolex to same?

About that CaVision shade you have on the Bolex at your photo album: did you need any adapter rings to mate that? Do you recommend the shade, generally? (I know they're often useful if only as a "foot" on which to safely rest such a curved piece of glass.) Do you find it useful for shooting?
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Old February 10th, 2005, 12:25 PM   #10
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No, I've not used the Aspheron on an XL lens, but I've used this lens on many a movie camera and I haven't come across one yet that it didn't work with. It was designed primarily for the Bolex (Kern) Switar range of 16 mm zoom lenses, and comes with an 85 mm attachment thread. I've tried it with (among many others) the GL2, the MVX31, the TRV900, VX2000, FX1, DVX100 and it works beautifully with them all.

The zoom-through is generally restricted to half, so that if you have a 12x zoom (say) then it'll convert this to a very wide-angle 6x zoom. The more powerful the close focus of the zoom to which it's attached, the more you can zoom before it pops (quite dramatically) out of focus.

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Old February 10th, 2005, 12:30 PM   #11
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Do you happen to know the diameters of the front & back threads?

Any vignetting issues you've noticed?
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Old February 10th, 2005, 12:44 PM   #12
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EXCELLENT NEWS, John! You'll love it. In good condition? Supplied with both end caps? $695 may sound like a lot of money, but remember the new Century 0.65x lens for the FX1 costs a staggering $995, and not only is it a lot less powerful than the Aspheron, but I'll bet it barrel distorts like mad.

As to adapters, you'll need to get a 'special' made. There's a firm here in the UK that will machine you one up and black anodise it if you want. You'll need to go from the Bolex's 85 mm down to whatever the filter thread size is of the lens you intend to fit it to. I bet a lot of people have abandoned thoughts of buying the 3x Canon (no steadyshot, lots of money) and simply fit the Aspheron to the front of their 16 or 20x zoom.

The Cavision hood is a perfect fit onto the Aspheron. There's a groove inside the rubber and that grabs the Aspheron outer diameter as if they came from the same drawing board. I recommend the shade without reservation, and others will tell you my theory that a lens hood is the cheapest, lightest best accessory you can buy to improve your picture performance. Don't leave home without one. I have a series of 'how-to' pictures that I could send you if that would help.

There's no front thread (at least not on mine) and no - no vignetting issues at all, not even on the FX1.

tom
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Old February 10th, 2005, 01:05 PM   #13
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"In good condition? Supplied with both end caps?"

Judge for yourself---the auction has a couple photos:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...e=STRK:MEWN:IT

Looks clean to me (& has the caps). I called the seller---a Canadian aggregator of Bolex & Arri miscellany named Mike---& he says it's had one owner & he'll ship today.

"As to adapters, you'll need to get a 'special' made."

No problem. I'm in Los Angeles. There are almost as many high-end machine shops here as low-end talent agencies!

"The Cavision hood is a perfect fit onto the Aspheron."

Do you recall CaVision's model number (I'll call them, but just in case you know it)? Here's their page of lens shades:

http://www.cavision.com/LensHood/sunshade.htm

"I have a series of 'how-to' pictures that I could send you if that would help."

Yes, please do. I'd be grateful.

"I bet a lot of people have abandoned thoughts of buying the 3x Canon (no steadyshot, lots of money) and simply fit the Aspheron to the front of their 16 or 20x zoom."

I wouldn't be surprised, if it performs as well as you report. I've been meaning to pick up a Canon XL 3x; this is the perfect reason to do so. I'll be testing this Bolex on Canon's 3x and their 14x manual zooms on my MagiqCam (a Steadicam knockoff). Looking for that glass-smooth feel ...

Tom, have you measured the close-focus distance for this Aspheron? I.e., nearest distance to the front element? Do you happen to know, for that matter, how many elements this adapter contains? (My Century .7x wide, which is beautifully made, has 4 elements.)
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Old February 11th, 2005, 02:02 AM   #14
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Questions, questions - I can see you're as excited about finding this lens as I was. Mine is Nr 50047, so you'rs is later off the Swiss production line.

The Cavision hood is LH100P, though strangely it's not 4:3, more like 4:3.5, and too square. Let's hope they make a 16:9 version for the Bolex + FX1.

The Aspheron is a single, aspherical, glass element, hence the non zoom-through. The reason it's so expensive is that aspherical surfaces have to be ground individually, whereas spherical surfaced elements can be ground tens at a time, considerably reducing the cost. The aspheric elements inside our zooms are injection moulded plastic of course, making these much cheaper.

The close focus of the camera is unaffected by fitting the Aspheron, but as you've halved the focal length at a stroke, you've increased the depth of field for any given aperture. So it's quite possible to focus sharply on dust on the inner surface of the Aspheron - so you'll need to keep it spotlessly clean. Most viewfinders don't have the resolution to tell you this problem exists.

I'll try and get the pictures to you today.

tom.
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Old February 11th, 2005, 08:04 AM   #15
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I have a lot of interest in this adapter myself and would find it very informative if you can add any info about having this converter manufactured for it. I don't live anywhere where I could personally go and have an adapter made for me so this info would be invaluable to me. I am currently keeping my eyes open for a used unit but haven't seen any. Is there anyplace where I can buy it new and if so where?
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