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Old June 27th, 2006, 11:57 AM   #1
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16:1 Manual Servo Lens

We are thinking about picking up a 16:1 manual servo lens. We are doing more tripod based shooting and we'd like to get the best picture quality we can for our clients. Questions:

1. Is the picture quality signifcantly better? Is it just because it has better glass or also because of the quality of the focus? I've heard both.

2. I've read that the lens needs to be calibrated periodically. Is that something that is not difficult to do oneself? Or do I need to have it in the shop for that?

Sorry if these are redundant questions. I searched for 16:1 lens on the forum and one really old article came up that didn't really address my questions.

My goal is to extract as much picture quality as we can out of the camera. With the 20x zoom its pretty good but it could be better.

Thanks everyone.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 12:06 PM   #2
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I bought one for my "Main cam", a few weeks ago, I had to order a second one, for the other XL2, it's that good!
I calibrated mine, so anybody can do it! Instructions come with it. It just takes a minute or two. I love this lens, the picture quality is that good, and the auto focus, isn't missed, in fact it's better than the best auto focus, you could ever imagine, it's so sharp!
Don't hesitate, get one, you wont regret it!
Mike.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 12:17 PM   #3
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Yes, everything Michael said is true. I just sold both of my lenses as I am moving to a new platform but they are definitely nicer than the stock lens. The image may be a tad sharper but what I really like is that it will maintain F1.6 at full telephoto which the auto lens won't.

It's a solid investment and you won't regret it. And if you have a situation that dictates it, you can put the 20x on for longer reach, stabilization, or what have you.

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Old June 27th, 2006, 03:50 PM   #4
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I do miss my 16X MF since it was stolen from the vehicle during a shoot in Spain.
I must say though, that after having been forced to use the 20X lens during a recent 3-week shoot in France, it made me gradually come to like the AF lens more, not for the slow-snail autofocus, but more for the IS under some circumstances.

I don't think that there is that much difference in sharpness between the MF16X and AF20X, so the main advantage is the lovely manual control of focus that has just so much more 'feel' than the loose spinning AF lens. I just wish that the MF 16X lens also had an aperture/iris control ring on the actual lens barrel (like the 14X lens). That is why I love using the Nikkor lenses on the XL2.
The Servo zoom on the MF 16X lens is really nice, and the Macro close-up (via a sliding switch on the barrel) is also very handy for a lot of subjects. Another boon for owners of the 16X Manual Servo lens is the ability to adjust the back-focus.
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Old July 4th, 2006, 12:21 PM   #5
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16x great; sell 3x & buy w/a adpator?

I also love my 16x! The ability to hold focus throughout the zoom(if neccessary) is lovely. (I have forgotten the technical term for this type of lens, anybody out there know it?) I can just zoom in, focus, zoom out and just shoot with almost scant regard for focussing issues. (assuming aperture is small enough).
Now, here's a question: Do I sell on the 3x and buy a wide adaptor instead? I have always used the 3x at the wide setting so I don't need it to zoom. I know quality can be an issue on adaptors. I just like the idea of leaving the 16x on at all times (to save readjusting back focus) and keeping the 20x as a 'run n gun' lens as required.
Any thoughts....
Cheers,
Oliver Horn
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Old July 5th, 2006, 06:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Horn
Now, here's a question: Do I sell on the 3x and buy a wide adaptor instead? I have always used the 3x at the wide setting so I don't need it to zoom. I know quality can be an issue on adaptors. I just like the idea of leaving the 16x on at all times (to save readjusting back focus) and keeping the 20x as a 'run n gun' lens as required.
Any thoughts....
Cheers,
Oliver Horn
With most adapters (I use both the Optex and Red Eye versions), you will need to adjust the back focus when you first fit it on to the 16X Manual lens, and then adjust back-focus on the 16X lens yet again when you remove the adapter for normal shooting. This can be a bind sometimes when you are in situations that call for swapping and changing lenses many times during the same shoot, but at least the fact that you are making sure that the back-focus is spot-on each time, does help maintain confidence in producing sharp footage (unlike the 3X lens which, unfortunately, does not have a back-focus option).

Another bonus with using a sharp wide adapter lens is that if you fit it to the original AF 20X lens the IS is maintained - the IS not always needed in wide angle shoots, but helpful in some circumstances.
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Old July 5th, 2006, 08:16 AM   #7
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If anyone is interested, I am selling the 14x manual lens with Century wide angle adaptor: details here.
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Old July 5th, 2006, 11:58 AM   #8
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16 x lens on plasma and theater blow-up

Just a subjective comment:
When watching footage from all three lenses: the 3x the 20x and the 16x servo on both a large plasma and in a large format theater (don't ask), the 16x footage looks the best. To me, it looks less "digitized" than the video lenses. The objects that are not in focus with the video lens have a certain pixelation to them that the 16x lens does not. The 16x lens produces "soft" images when they are out of focus (background, foreground).
I am shooting on 24p, in a documentary situation--so no studio stuff, and some on and some off the tripod, mostly outside in varying light (from near dark to full sun.)
What I'd like to know is when are they going to make the 16x servo for the XLH1...I hate to get another video lens. (I'm thinking of upgrading, but that's another story.)
I guess there are always cinematic lens attachments....
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Old July 5th, 2006, 12:10 PM   #9
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This may sound stupid

But I thought that the lenses for the xl2 worked with the xlhd? Is this not so?

Thanks for the feedback on the 16:1. I'm sold :-).

David
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Old July 6th, 2006, 04:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Calvin
But I thought that the lenses for the xl2 worked with the xlhd? Is this not so?
David
Yes, and judging by most of the feedback, the 16X Manual Servo lens (and all other lenses in the Canon line up, as well as the Canon FD & Nikkor lenses via an adapter) seems to work quite well on the XL-H1.
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Old July 6th, 2006, 06:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Horn
Do I sell on the 3x and buy a wide adaptor instead?
Any thoughts....
Cheers,
Oliver Horn
Oliver,

Personally, I would never get rid of my 3x.

Mike
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Old July 12th, 2006, 10:52 AM   #12
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Heat?

So I received my 16:1 manual servo lens and.. well its nice. I haven't had a chance to use it yet, just calibraed and messed with it last night. I like the feel of it, for sure. And, maybe is psychological, but the picture quality does seem.. sharper.

I was reading in the directions and it mentioned to not leave the lens in a hot car due to heat causing discoloration of the lens. What about a house? My house gets pretty hot during the day. I'm in California, if that helps. Should I worry? Or are they talking about baking in a car over a long period of time in extreme heat?

Thanks everyone,

David
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Old July 12th, 2006, 11:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Calvin
Or are they talking about baking in a car over a long period of time in extreme heat?
David
Yes!........
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