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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old September 8th, 2005, 09:40 AM   #1
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redrockmicro VS canon lens???

I"m just learning about this great sounding M2 at www.redrockmicro.com. I downloaded a few of the tests they did there and the footage looks great!!! My question is this....

What is the difference between a micro35 unit and the XL Mount Interchangeable Lens System?

Wouldn't you get similar results with photo or films lens using the an XL system adapter? Is it a price thing?

I hate the term "film look". I think we should all try hard to strike that from our minds. Seems that a lot of people talking about "film look" are looking for a magic plug in where everything they shoot is great looking and they don't have to light at all. A lot of people when you ask them what "film look" means to them don't have an answer or a lightweight answer like.... "ah, I don't know, film grain?" I'm looking to shoot with a small DOF and the red rock micro looks great for that.
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Old September 8th, 2005, 10:16 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Doyle
...the XL Mount Interchangeable Lens System?
What do you mean by the XL Mount Interchangeable Lens System? Are you referring to the XL video lenses?
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Old September 8th, 2005, 10:26 AM   #3
 
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After looking at the sample videos, I have to say I'm very disappointed. All the videos looked too "soft" to me.

Jay
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Old September 8th, 2005, 11:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Gladwell
After looking at the sample videos, I have to say I'm very disappointed. All the videos looked too "soft" to me.

Jay
That's pretty standard view when you first see the footage. It also depends on what footage you saw. Everything on the main site is from a previous version of the ground glass/imaging element.

It's mostly a matter of preference. A lot of people like the soft look. I imagine (and hope) that you can receive a sharper image through settings on your camera. The adapter and lenses you use may effect it some but really shouldn't play too much into it.
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Old September 8th, 2005, 12:07 PM   #5
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Wouldn't you get similar results with photo or films lens using the an XL system adapter? Is it a price thing?

Film lenses like Cookes will give you a different look than a standard Canon video lens. 28 days later used Canon film lenses and an Optex mount and I believed it helped (small percentage) towards giving the stock video a look that more closely resembled film. I'm imagining the transfer to actual 35mm helped as well.
They may have shot in interlaced (60i) and had it transfered to 24p as well. I can't remember reading in the article if they shot in the XL1's "frame mode" or not. I know that causes severe headaches in attempting to transfer to film, if it's even possible.
Look at the July 2003 issue of American Cinematographer, the article is in there.
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Old September 8th, 2005, 12:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Brown
Wouldn't you get similar results with photo or films lens using the an XL system adapter? Is it a price thing?

Film lenses like Cookes will give you a different look than a standard Canon video lens. 28 days later used Canon film lenses and an Optex mount and I believed it helped (small percentage) towards giving the stock video a look that more closely resembled film. I'm imagining the transfer to actual 35mm helped as well.
They may have shot in interlaced (60i) and had it transfered to 24p as well. I can't remember reading in the article if they shot in the XL1's "frame mode" or not. I know that causes severe headaches in attempting to transfer to film, if it's even possible.
Look at the July 2003 issue of American Cinematographer, the article is in there.

The XL EF adapter allows you to use canon EOS still lenses but it magnifies the lens by a factor of 7.2.
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Old September 8th, 2005, 12:38 PM   #7
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A factor of 7.2x if it's an XL1 or XL1S. With an XL2 it's a factor of 7.8x in 4:3 mode or 9.6x in 16:9 mode. See http://www.dvinfo.net/canonxl2/articles/article04.php for more details.
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Old September 8th, 2005, 03:12 PM   #8
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Correct, I have found it useless for most all applications. Maybe if you are shooting sports from 100 yards or nature but for narrative there are very few practical uses of the Canon adapter. I have done a couple mini35 shoots and I dont get it. By the time you rent or buy the set-up/lenses you could have rented a Varicam or SDX-900 or CineAlta...

I dont understand the obsession with matteboxes, mini35, etc. Those products were originally created for DPs that had an array of 4X4 filters and 35mm lenses already in their arsenal. If you dont have that gear already, you are looking at an XL2 that costs about $15k - $25K in total set-up. A 2/3" CCD camera will give you a similar look at higher resolution for about the same money.


ash =o)
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Old September 8th, 2005, 04:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
A factor of 7.2x if it's an XL1 or XL1S. With an XL2 it's a factor of 7.8x in 4:3 mode or 9.6x in 16:9 mode. See http://www.dvinfo.net/canonxl2/articles/article04.php for more details.
Chris,
I think you accidentally typed those backwards. It should be 9.6x for 4x3 and 7.8x for 16x9.

At least that is what the article you linked to says.
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Old September 8th, 2005, 05:05 PM   #10
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D'oh! Guess I was still on my first cup of coffee there. Thanks for the correction,
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Old September 8th, 2005, 05:29 PM   #11
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I dont understand the obsession with matteboxes, mini35, etc. Those products were originally created for DPs that had an array of 4X4 filters and 35mm lenses already in their arsenal. If you dont have that gear already, you are looking at an XL2 that costs about $15k - $25K in total set-up. A 2/3" CCD camera will give you a similar look at higher resolution for about the same money.


ash =o)[/QUOTE]


Good, point, Ash.
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Old September 8th, 2005, 05:42 PM   #12
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I'm probably the first person to have an XL2 and an M2, so I'll try to answer these questions as best as I can.

The M2 is NOT just a 35mm lens adapter like the Canon EOS adapter is. With the M2, the 35mm lens displays its image on a piece of glass (the M2 element) within the M2 box you see. You then use the XL2 to focus on that image. The effect is that the depth of field (DOF) is dramatically reduced to around the amount you get from shooting actual film. The physics behind this could probably be explained by someone else better than what I can do off the top of my head so I won't try.

It is important to note that you do NOT get this effect by merely hooking up a 35mm lens to the XL2. You HAVE to display the image on an element and then focus on that element with the XL2.

To further clarify, the M2 isn't about making the image "soft" or giving it "grain" or anything like that. Its whole purpose is to limit DOF.

I disagree with the idea of striking the term "film look." I think it just has to be explained by TWO main things: 24 frames per second and limited DOF. This "looks like film" because film cameras shoot at 24 frames per second and have a more limited DOF than video cameras. The more you make a video camera work like a film camera, the more the video looks like film.

Sure, there may be many other things that could be described as contributing to the "film look," but if you start out with 24fps and limited DOF, you are 90% there.

As far as the M2 screen grabs or footage seeming soft, it may just be because it is slightly out of focus (operator error...by nature limited DOF means more difficulty focusing) or you are seeing the background and foreground out of focus while the subject is in focus (this is how it is supposed to look...that is how the films you see on the big screen typically look).

I hope this helps. My footage is probably not the best, but it was the first time I ever shot anything with any camera.

Thanks,

Kelly
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Partial Equipment List:
Canon XL2 w/ 20X zoom
Bogen/Manfrotto 516 Pro fluid head
Bogen/Manfrotto 3246 legs
Panasonic PATC7WMS1 7" LCD

PowerMac G5 2.7 GHz
OS X Tiger
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Old September 8th, 2005, 06:11 PM   #13
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Hi Kelly,

Would you be willing to share some photos of the entire rig and maybe a frame grab or two? At your convenience, of course. If so, I'll be happy to modify your DV Info account to allow you to upload images to our gallery. Thanks in advance,
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Old September 8th, 2005, 07:06 PM   #14
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I'd also love to see not only pics of the rig, but also of some additional footage. I'm not totally sold yet, either. The footage on their site didn't impress me much, but I hope it's better in real usage.

Thanks.

Kevin
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Old September 8th, 2005, 07:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Hi Kelly,

Would you be willing to share some photos of the entire rig and maybe a frame grab or two? At your convenience, of course. If so, I'll be happy to modify your DV Info account to allow you to upload images to our gallery. Thanks in advance,
Chris, go ahead and modify my account and tell me what I need to do.

Until then, I do have some pictures at www.snd.toobookoo.com. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge. Nothing is color corrected yet and everything will seem way too dark on most CRT computer monitors.

I can get more pics of the rig this weekend.

There are some important things you need to keep in mind if you want to get an M2, especially if you are using an XL2. I'd be happy to expand more and answer questions.

Thanks,

Kelly
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Partial Equipment List:
Canon XL2 w/ 20X zoom
Bogen/Manfrotto 516 Pro fluid head
Bogen/Manfrotto 3246 legs
Panasonic PATC7WMS1 7" LCD

PowerMac G5 2.7 GHz
OS X Tiger
2 GB RAM, 400 GB SATA
ATI Radeon 9600
Dell 2405FPW 24" LCD

Final Cut Pro 5.0 Studio
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