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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 May 29th, 2006, 12:54 AM   #226
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Thing is, a modern Minio DV camera (any of them) is a lot of camera for the money, and my guess is they're priced to sell by the bucket-load for not a lot of markup margin. As such the lenses are just good enough. I could have had more tele reach with my Z1, less chromatic aberation and certainly less barrel distortion, but overall it's a package that's nicely balanced from a specification point of view. Improving the lens a little would've put up the price a lot, I guess.

So too with your XL2 Dave. The whole bundle is a compromise, and the Canon R & D will have fine tooth combed every last pin and bracket in an effore to save money, weight, build time. If you think what a Betacam or an Arriflex would cost and weigh, you're much more likely to give a nod to Canon for their compromising excellence.

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Old May 29th, 2006, 09:50 AM   #227
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Dave,

Being a former news shooter, you might wish to purchase the 16x manual/servo lens. Although the iris is still electronically controlled by the camera, it allows you f1.6 at full telephoto. Many folks, including myself, also feel that it has slightly better resolution than the 16x and 20x auto lenses that are stock with the XL series cameras.

As for the preamp noise, I have this tidbit to offer. One thing that might have got you (because it bit me the first time I used the XLR jack with a studio conenser mic). Make sure that innocent looking 'ATT' switch below the '48v' switch on the rear of the camera isn't set to 'on'. It's a bit misleading from a visual perspective because the off position is actually the up position for the switch. I was having the same issue. Kept cranking up the gain and it was good and noisy by the time I got an acceptable voice level.

As for the mosquito noise on green areas, you can try setting vertical detail level to 'low' in the menus to see if it helps.

-gb-
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Old May 29th, 2006, 08:54 PM   #228
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I'm don't want to buy a lens that might not make the jump to HD. Also the majority of my nature footage is full telephoto so I need the 20x reach. A friend of mine has the JVC HD100. It has a pro type lens and that's nice but it lacks the throw of the 20x. The JVC also has crawl in busy detail. I've tried a few things to mitage in the XL2, but it is what it is.

My audio problems stem from cranking up my levels so high to pick up faint or far away sound. The Shure F24/Sound Designs MixPre has been great. The local nature sound society turned me on to it. If I don't need a second mike, I feed my shotgun into both channels. The limiters are so good on this mixer that I just set one channel so that no matter what it won't overdrive, the other I crank as high as I dare. It's also a joy to be able to monitor sound thru the mixer. A friend who works with the little Panasonic P2 camera was asking me about headphone amps as he is unhappy with the audio monitoring on that camera.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 10:48 PM   #229
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EF Adapter backfocus

I just got an EF adapter for my XL2. A Canon 70-200 f4 lens mounted on it won't backfocus. Is that the way it is with this set up? Anyone with 1st hand experience?
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 05:33 AM   #230
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ND Filter with EF Adapter

Hi David,

I shoot wildlife almost exclusively and work in India where the light is ultra bright most of the time. I use a Nikon adapter and Nikkor lenses on my XL2. My standard long zoom is a 50-300 Nikkor and I hardly ever take off the x.9 (3 stops) ND filter. Before I got the filter (it's a non-standard size and had to be specially ordered from Tiffen) I was sometimes forced to shoot at very small f stops with the same lens without any ND and the results were remarkably good. No noticeable aberrations or defraction problems. I also often shoot extreme macro with the 105mm micro nikkor and deliberately shoot with very small f stops (f 16, f 22) for maximum depth of field and the images look really good.

Hope this helps,

Shekar
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 07:17 PM   #231
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Shekar,

Good to hear from you again. I got a 3 stop and a 6 stop ND filter a few days ago. I've have only played around a little with them, been too busy with editing and pick up jobs, but my Canon 70-200 did seem better at f4 than f32. The wind was blowing too hard for a steady shot, I hope to get some tests in tomorrow. By the way, the 70-200 won't backfocus. I zoom in and grab a focus but lose it when I zoom out. Does your Nikon lens do the same?

Dave
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Old June 4th, 2006, 12:20 AM   #232
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Diffraction softness is much more noticeable at very short focal lengths than long ones Shekar, and your 105 mm as against my 2.25 mm proves the point. Glad to hear you're both using ND to soak the light.

tom.
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Old June 4th, 2006, 08:47 AM   #233
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EF Adapter and back focus

Dave,

To the best of my knowledge, there is no way to 'back focus' the EF adapter or a still camera lens mounted on it. I suggest that you don't treat this lens as you would a video or film camera zoom, where the correct way to acheive focus is to zoom in tight, focus and zoom out to the desired focal length. A still camera zoom is not engineered to behave like a cine zoom and needs to be treated as a vari-focal length lens. Therefore try focusing it at whatever focal length you intend to shoot at. However, if you want to make sure that your lens is ok, mount it on your still camera and see if it holds focus through the whole zoom range. If it doesn't, there's something wrong with your lens. I recently tried out an EF adapter on my XL2 with a Canon 35-350mm zoom, and it worked great at all focal lengths. The pictures were really sharp at both ends and anywhere in the middle.

Incidentally, my Nikkor 50-300 holds focus perfectly throughout its range even when mounted on my XL2 or Aaton Super 16mm camera. It has separate zoom and focus rings.

As for your problem with wind induced shake, this is a major problem with long stills lenses since the effective focal length is multiplied by over a factor of 7 on mini DV. You need a bridge plate that will lock camera and lens together (I hope your zoom has a tripod collar!), and a really sturdy tripod with a remote mounted on the handle. I've had my own simple bridge plate fabricated and will post some pictures of it in a day or two.

Best,

Shekar
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Old June 6th, 2006, 11:48 AM   #234
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EF Adapter

David,

I am not sure what you mean by back focus. I have used a variety of lens on mine. Focus is always hard to achieve when you are getting telescopic but I have had no problem adjusting back and forth in manual mode. I do not have your specific lens but I used the 75-300 this past weekend without issue.

Stuart
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Old June 6th, 2006, 12:02 PM   #235
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I think the correct term is track focus. If I zoom in and grab focus then zoom out, I lose focus. I must refocus at each focal length. Not the end of the world, I just never heard this mentioned before. The lens works fine on my still camera.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 02:11 PM   #236
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There's nothing wrong. That's just the way it works. Annoying, isn't it?
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Old June 6th, 2006, 04:10 PM   #237
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Parfocal lenses

lenses that do not change focus while zooming are called parfocal

interestingly the 70-200 F4 L is supposed to be parfocal.

I have not tried that with my XL adapter yet and i dont have the F4 but the F2.8 but i will see if i can try this

AFAI the following canon lenses should be parfocal

EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM
EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
EF 70-200mm f/4L USM
EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM
EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III
EF 90-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM
EF 90-300mm f/4.5-5.6

and some of them i own i know are on still cameras and there shouldnt be a difference on the XL as it is a mechanical property of the lens
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Old June 7th, 2006, 12:20 PM   #238
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My 70-200 holds focus while zooming on my 20D still camera, but not the XL2.
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Old June 7th, 2006, 12:39 PM   #239
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I got a chance to try out the 70-200 and I was very pleased with the results. I didn't do a comparison with and without ND on tape, I could tell just looking thru the viewfinder that the ND was better. I believe that the 70-200 f4 puts out a better picture on my XL2 than the standard 20X. The color seems richer and smoother, less "cartoony" than what I've gotten with the 20X or the 3X lenses. I freely admit that I have done very little tweaking with the XL2 and may not be getting the best out of it but, at the settings I'm using, the 70-200 /EF adapter (running f4-f5.6 with 6 stops of ND) is more pleasing to my eye.
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Old June 7th, 2006, 01:24 PM   #240
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That's the way to go Dave - never smaller than f/5.6 with 1/3" chips and if you're shooting HD then f/4 is probably as small as you should go. It's for this very reason that Sony stop the A1's aperture blades closing beyond f/4. At this point 3 stops of ND creep across the aperture as the light levels increase.

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