Macro fucntion on the XL2 ? at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old March 21st, 2005, 07:24 PM   #1
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Macro fucntion on the XL2 ?

I have found some spec on a few websites that say there is a macro option on the XL2 lens but can't find any mention of this on the Canon site or this site.

Any ideas?
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Old March 21st, 2005, 08:24 PM   #2
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It works a bit like my Pana 953 and XL-1. With the lens at full wide, you will be able to get really close and still focus. But, if you want a shallow depth of field, back away and zoom in with a wide open iris. Some folks claim that on the auto lens, the 'macro' mode is engaged when the focus ring is turned beyond infinity setting. I am assuming you were referring to the 20x auto lens.

-gb-
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Old March 21st, 2005, 11:45 PM   #3
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<<<-- Originally posted by Greg Boston : It works a bit like my Pana 953 and XL-1. With the lens at full wide, you will be able to get really close and still focus. But, if you want a shallow depth of field, back away and zoom in with a wide open iris. Some folks claim that on the auto lens, the 'macro' mode is engaged when the focus ring is turned beyond infinity setting. I am assuming you were referring to the 20x auto lens.

-gb- -->>>

Yes, I am talking about the 20x lens. I can't find any info on the macro mode on the Canon site or this site. Is there a button you have to push on the lens to go macro?
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 07:45 AM   #4
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There is no macro button on the 20x lens. The focus ring turns until you automatically go into the "macro" range of most cameras. So it is not like you can't focus in that area if you want. It is just not setup as a different control. This can be good or bad depending on how you look at it but that seems to be how they designed it.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 07:51 AM   #5
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Sorry but the focus ring has nothing to do with it... here's the built-in macro mode, and you can leave the camera in Auto Focus if you wish:

1. Remove the lens hood.

2. Zoom out all the way full wide.

3. Add plenty of light to your subject.

4. Move the camera in as close as two centimeters from the lens to your subject.

5. Depth of field is your enemy here. It will be very, very shallow.

This is only briefly covered on page 40 of the manual. Hope this helps,
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 07:57 AM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Chris Hurd : 5. Depth of field is your enemy here. It will be very, very shallow. -->>>

Chris, are you sure about that? Haven't tried with the Xl2, but the DOF with XL1 was not that swallow. For example, I've taken footages having a flower immediately in front of the lens, and then had a landscape several hundred meters away in the back. In the same way, I've taken footages of birds eating in front of the lens and having a landscape in the background. There's enough sharpness to easily recognize the object in front as well as the background.

If I remeber well, if there's enough light (and the gain is on) enabling one to select small iris, then one gets even closer than 2cm.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 09:34 AM   #7
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Not trying to argue here but I think the focus ring has a lot to do with it.

Here is how I see it.

Using my manual lens I set small flags at 12, 9, 6, 3 and 1 ft in a line. I also set a small pin right in front ot the lens with the lens hood off (thought that was a given to do tight macro stuff). With the zoom all the way out, I turn the focus ring and as I do the objects come into focus one at a time as the focus pulls closer to the lens . When I get to the 1 ft one (approximately as this is an example) my manual lens stops. It cannot turn any farther because it has physically reached its limit.

Now if I want to focus on the pin in front of the lens I need to engage the "macro" mode of the camera by turning the back of the lens and essentially focusing with the rear element. This allows me to focus in that last little area just in front of the lens. The pin, which is right against the front element, will come into focus.

In my experience this is how a manual lens usually works.

The same exact test with the 20x lens has a different outcome. Each of the flags comes into focus but when I hit the 1 ft mark the focus keeps going. It does not hard stop like the manual focus. I continue and I can see the focus getting closer and closer until the pin is now in focus. I have essentially hit the "macro" range with just the focus ring and not having to engage a seperate macro function.

Does this not make sense? In addition if you use any of the single element wide angle adapters you are required to focus on the wideangle element itself to get an in-focus image. On the Manual lens you have to go to the Macro control range to achieve this. On the 20 x just simply turning the focus ring will get you to focus on the wide angle element. This seems to further illustrate the macro properties of the 20x without actually having a macro button.

So doesn't that sound like the 20x can get all the way into the Macro range simply by turning the focus ring into the "macro" range?

Please correct me if I have missed something but I can verify that it works how I described. Maybe my definition of macro is skewed but I don't think so.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 10:03 AM   #8
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Marty if you're talking about the black 16x manual lens that's different. It has a dedicated macro function. On the white auto lenses (the 20x and the old 16x), there is no "macro range" for the focus ring to go into. You simply zoom out all the way full wide, move the camera to the subject and bingo. Greg was referring to the white 20x auto lens so that's what I'm basing this on. As you've noted, the black 16x manual lens is a different animal and does not operate the same way at all. Hope this helps,
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 10:15 AM   #9
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Chris. I understand what he is talking about. I am trying to describe that while the 20x does not technically have a Macro control, it can indeed still focus on subjects close to the lens elements. So there really is no loss of funtionality by the 20x not having a dedicated macro button. It can still achieve the same results by using the focus ring. It travels into that ultra close range directly without a need for a seperate macro ring.

Coming from a manual lens perspective it seems almost like the 20x servo "automatically" moves into macro range. Whereas the 16x manual forces the camera operator to engage the macro feature mechanically.

Perhaps since the 20x has no macro button or ring this is not even considered macro at all.....just the focal range of the lens. I am not sure but I hate to argue symantecs on this one!
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 10:36 AM   #10
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I think it's easiest just to say that the white XL auto lenses have a built-in macro feature, and to use it you simply take off the lens hood and zoom out to full wide. That's what I've been telling folks since 1998.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 11:11 AM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by Chris Hurd : I think it's easiest just to say that the white XL auto lenses have a built-in macro feature, and to use it you simply take off the lens hood and zoom out to full wide. That's what I've been telling folks since 1998. -->>>

That sounds about right to me too! The cool thing about that is that you don't even have to concern yourself a whole lot if you are in the macro range or not. Just focus and forget about it!
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 11:44 AM   #12
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Technically speaking the full wide zoom setting *is* the macro range -- as long as you're at full wide you can do macro with a white XL auto lens. Leave it in auto focus and you don't even have to bother with focus... the simplicity of this is a great feature of these lenses.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 12:44 PM   #13
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Lauri,
I guess it depends on lighting and settings, but I definitely have shot close-up footage with the XL2 that had a very shallow depth of field...on the order of a centimeter or two of depth between sharp focus and obvious blur.
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Old March 24th, 2005, 06:07 PM   #14
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That is what I was essentially saying in my post. Go full wide, and you can get close. Although I missed the part in the manual that Chris referenced about lens hood removal (which makes perfect sense for clearance and lighting). The mic can also get in the way under these conditions.

Marty is correct about using the focus ring. See my caterpillar notes below.

Chris is correct about the compressed DOF, that's just optics 101.

Real world example: Using my XL1 w/16x auto. Full wide, large iris, I was two inches away from the top of an old percolator style coffee pot with the sight glass in clear focus. You can clearly see the coffee bubbling up in the glass. By rotating the focus ring, I could bring the back of the lid or the sight glass into focus.

Another time, I was using the XL-2 w/20x where I was 'follow focusing' with the focus ring, a caterpillar as he kept going around the top edge of an outdoor citronella candle. The candle was only 4" diameter but the front and back sides were never in focus at the same time. BTW, the caterpillar did this routine for hours because it could never figure out where the 'exit' ramp was. I just love filming nature in the process of acting 'stupid'.
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