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-   -   XL-2 Focal Length Concerns. (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xl-gl-series-dv-camcorders/49928-xl-2-focal-length-concerns.html)

Jeff Carrion August 24th, 2005 01:27 PM

XL-2 Focal Length Concerns.
I am currently a happy and sastisfied XL-1s user for many years and I want to get a shiny new XL-2. But since the XL-2 has that nifty new 16:9 chip in it, won't my focal length, when shooting 4:3, be substantially incresed? If, when shooting 16:9, you are using the whole length of the chip and, when shooting 4:3, using only a portion of the lenght of the chip that should make your lens appear to be much less wide right?
Wide angle shots are essential to the type of shooting I do, so how can I deal with this issue? (besides just shooting in 16:9, I am required to shoot 4:3.)

Richard Alvarez August 24th, 2005 01:40 PM


The change in focal length is miniscule. Someone will no doubt log in with the difference in actual numbers. It's not something you need to worry about.

Chris Hurd August 24th, 2005 01:43 PM

Hi Jeff,

Run, don't walk, to my XL2 Articles page located at:


Look for "Guide to XL2 Lens Options" about halfway down. Click on that, and you'll have a handy reference chart comparing focal lengths when shooting in 16:9 and 4:3. If you need to go wider, then you'll want either the Canon 3x Wide Angle lens, or a Century Optics wide angle adapter for the standard 20x lens. Hope this helps,

Chris Hurd August 24th, 2005 01:51 PM

By the way, the image size does not change between 16:9 and 4:3. The only thing that changes is field of view. And of course, the field of view is wider for 16:9 than it is by 4:3, by definition.

See also my "XL2 Fields of View Comparison" located at:


Jeff Carrion August 24th, 2005 01:54 PM

Wow, 2 replys in like 10 minutes. I'm gonna like this place!

Thanks for the info. FYI I only use the 16x manuel lens. I can't stand the auto lenses. The servo control drives me crazy.


Ash Greyson August 24th, 2005 05:26 PM

Do you have a good wide adapter for the 16X? The Century 0.6X wide is excellent.

ash =o)

Jeff Carrion August 25th, 2005 07:18 AM

No, I don't have a wide adapter. But I checked them out. Do you recommend the .6x or the .7x? I would need to be able to zoom through the lens. How's the barrell distortion on those?

Greg Boston August 25th, 2005 07:25 AM


I have the .7 WA adapter and it is full zoom through. The .6 only has partial zoom capability (up to about 8x IIRC). You won't see much in the way of barrel distortion on the .7. I can't speak about the image quality of the .6 but you can rest assured that any Century Optics glass is going to be of utmost quality.


Ash Greyson August 25th, 2005 12:57 PM

Compare them if you can.... to me the .5x is not wide enough and the .7x introduces more softness and distortion at full wide. I think the .6x is the best but it is a personal choice...

ash =o)

Marty Hudzik August 25th, 2005 08:29 PM


Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
Compare them if you can.... to me the .5x is not wide enough and the .7x introduces more softness and distortion at full wide. I think the .6x is the best but it is a personal choice...

ash =o)

I agree with ash. The .7x seems softer at the edges and introduces significant chromatic abberatiion IMHO. It does geometrically distort the image but only a little. The .6x in contrast intorduces minimal softness and to my eye, no CA. BUt at the expense of zoom through and a little bit more geometric distortion.

Also to note, the .6x wide is only partial zoom through on the servo auto lenses. On the 16x it is practically a fixed lens. You can only zoom a tiny bit as the macro range of that lens can't seem to go as far as the servo units.

Also.....the .6x for the servo lenses will fit on the 16x manual if you just loosen the set screw on the side and rotate the flange a few extra turns....so it is a good investment fo both auto and servo lens.

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