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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 March 29th, 2006, 10:04 PM   #1
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Dead Pixels and Back Lens (I'm stupid)

I seriously need some advise on this one. I received my Canon XL2 a few weeks ago and finally got around to doing some shooting. I shot about 4 hours of footage over that past week and when I went to watch the footage on my TV, I was overcome with horror... I had 2 dead pixels!!

I was originally watching 16:9 footage stretched to fit 4:3, which made the pixels appear much more obvious than they really were. Where I finally dropped the footage into Final Cut and letterboxed it, the end product wasn't as bad as I had expected. One pixel was hardly obvious except for when I cranked up the gain, the other one was mocking me the whole time. I played with the cam for a bit and could only get one of the pixels (the less obvious offender) to reoccur. I can't for the life of me get the worst pixel to go out again, but that's not to say it won't happen on an important shoot. In addition, I know it couldn't have been something on the lens or filter, as I had removed the filter and cleaned it between the 2 shoots.

But there's more to this. I had read a post on here about a person simply having dust on his lens or CCD. Well I took my 20x lens off and saw a particle of dust resting on the back lens (I haven't figured out the technical name), so I attempted to wipe it off with a clean shirt. BIG MISTAKE. It smeared the small back lens and I've now tried everything to remove this smear and nothing will work. I've used the camera again and it appears to be working fine. However, I do notice lens flare (or green highlights/artifacts) when close to any light source, although the light source is not in the shot. Would this be a side-effect of the smearing or would this be normal?

I, being the procrastinator I am, didn't get around to filling out the warranty info for the XL Owner's Club until yesterday when the drama began. I just spoke with a rep from Canon who said my info hadn't been processed yet and it may take 1-3 weeks before I am listed in the Owner's Club and am elligible for 5 day service turnaround. She said until then, I could expect 10-15 business days for service, but I could try and put my info in a letter to see if they won't do rush service.

So that leads me to my dilemma(s).
- Does anyone know a way to remove the smearing from the small back lens on the stock 20x lens?
- Can this be removed, or did I butcher the lens?
- If I can't fix this myself, will Canon? I know "improper maintenence" is excluded from warranty work, so how much does this type of service cost?
- Should I send the cam off now for the pixels to be masked or hold out and keep checking for my membership to the club to come through? Anyone have any similar experiences?

I am scheduled to do a wedding in 9 days, but can get a backup XL2. However, if I did hold off, does anyone know a way to remove/mask/blend a dead pixel in post? We use Final Cut Pro 4.0.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated!
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Old March 29th, 2006, 11:01 PM   #2
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Hi Derek.

You should get some proper lens cleaning stuff, like a blower, lens tissues and cleaning fluid. Blow away any dust or hair from the lens, apply a drop of fluid and then clean the surface with a tissue. If you are not confident about doing it at first, perhaps you could take your camera along to any camera shop and ask for advice? You will definitely need to learn how to do this cleaning for yourself because a lens can get dust, watermarks or smears anytime, even if you are normally careful. (When you are out for a day's shooting, taking the camera to a repair shop to have the lens cleaned is not a realistic option.)

Regarding the dead pixel, until you clean the lens (front and rear) and the glass on the CCD, you won't know for sure if there are actually any dead pixels. The fact that one of them has disappeared already gives grounds for hope.

Richard
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Old March 30th, 2006, 08:27 AM   #3
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Thanks for the speedy reply Richard! Unfortunately, I got my hands on a cleaning kit a bit too late. The lens tissue and cleaner solution did a great job on the 72mm lens and filters, but didn't seem to do anything for the "back lens" other than further the smear.

My hope is that the 1st pixel issue was resolved by a good cleaning, but the second one looks like it's there to stay. I'm sending in a tape demonstrating both pixel issues, with time codes marking when they are most obvious. I guess my biggest hopeS now are that they have mercy on my soul and do the service within 5 days AND they don't charge me $300+ to clean the smudge off the lens (I didn't mention in the letter that it was induced by improper maintenence, I just played dumb).

Heartbreaking!
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Old March 30th, 2006, 06:28 PM   #4
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Well good luck with that, Derek. And for your sake I hope nobody from Canon is reading this forum! :)

Richard
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Old March 30th, 2006, 10:44 PM   #5
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The camera comes with a port cap i think?? so A dead pixel will show up without a lens on the front. cap the camera port turn the unit on and let it warmup, it takes highend$ 50,000 cameras an hour or so before the pixels start to show up, yu also have a gain function and as you turn that up the really dead ones will show up brighter, you can feed the signal directly to a good monitor and in a dark room this will show you everything. Never put the fluid direcly on a coated lens, filters OK, but never on a lens. drop a drop or two on a cloth diaper YES diaper, and rub in small circles, then buff off residue with dry section. GOOD LUCK.
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Old March 31st, 2006, 09:35 AM   #6
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Where is the blasted "modify" function on this board?! nooooooooooooo
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Old March 31st, 2006, 09:14 PM   #7
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Cleaning lens

I have a whole inventory of lenses including Super 16mm cine lenses, still camera lenses and video lenses. I find that the four best ways of cleaning stubborn smears are:

1. Use a lens pen (available in most photo stores) - works great

2. Try to 'lift' the smear or smudge with gentle wiping in a circular motion with a micro fiber cloth.

3. Gently breathe on the lens and, as the condensation is clearing up, wipe with a micro fiber cloth or lens cleaning tissue.

4. This is my personal best method: touch the tip of your tongue to put a spot of saliva on the lens and clean as above with either a micro fiber cloth or lens cleaning tissue. Don't do this if you've just had chicken tikka masala though! I hate commercial lens cleaning fluids, they generally aggravate the smears or smudges.

Shekar
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XL-2, DSR - 11, Aaton Super 16mm, Bolex EL Super 16mm
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Old March 31st, 2006, 09:19 PM   #8
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Shekir...

DO you have magic saliva, cause I am pretty sure mine would jsut make a HUGE mess!
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Old March 31st, 2006, 09:47 PM   #9
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Don't knock it before you've tried it :) I've been doing this for over 20 years and it works for me each time......and hey, maybe I should try bottling it!
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XL-2, DSR - 11, Aaton Super 16mm, Bolex EL Super 16mm
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Old April 1st, 2006, 07:20 AM   #10
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LoL. I am far to scared to start licking my XL2. I mean, I love it and all but...

I find 99.% pure alcohol works nicely on LCD displays... worked on a lens or two as well.
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