Better Wide-angle XL2 Setup: Canon 3x or stock lens with adapter? at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 03:42 PM   #1
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Better Wide-angle XL2 Setup: Canon 3x or stock lens with adapter?

I've definitely been reading previous threads (for instance, I'm not considering the EF adapter with a wide EF lens anymore due to the inherent zoom), but I'm still debating what setup to use for getting wide shots.

It seems that the resolution on the Canon 3x lens will be better than using the stock lens with an adapter, but the lens itself is rather expensive and some people have been reporting problems with them.

So yeah, going with just a wide adapter would definitely be cheaper, but the edge distortion and making the XL2 more front-heavy are concerns. I use wide adapters for my GL2 and other cams and it's decent, but I want to make sure the projects I'm doing with the XL2 look good from the get-go when going wide.

Any suggestions/experiences for either? Maybe someone who's tried both? I appreciate it.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 04:36 PM   #2
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No contest at all, the 3X wide is far superior. There are so many compromises, even with the best adapters, that it is just not worth it. The only exception is people who need wide shots that have absolutely no option to change lenses. Those people generally choose the .7X zoom thru from Century. Price wise, they are actually pretty similar. I personally would never use the .7X, but for some it is a necessary evil.



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Old February 22nd, 2007, 05:34 PM   #3
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I would have to slightly disagree with Ash on this one, as in my experience it can be worth it.

I own both the Canon 3X and 20X lenses and use a .7X on both, depending on the situation.

The one that I use is the .7X FX HDV Red Eye (partial zoom through), and I'm happy with the results.

The Optex .7X that I used to use did make my 14X Manual, 20X AF and 16X Manual Servo lenses slightly front heavy and impossible to use a lens shade etc, but I do not notice any difference in handling or weight with the Red Eye as it is not much larger than a normal UV filter.

The FX Red Eye lens allows me to use the IS of the Canon 20X lens (handy in certain circustances) and also to go extreme wide when fitted to the front of the 3X lens.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 06:44 PM   #4
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I've been using the Century .7 on my 16x manual lens with pretty good results. As well as can be expected for a supplementary lens on a 1/3" chip minidv camera.

I've thought about getting the new HD 3.4 - 20.4 Zoom, for the H1, but use it on the XL2. However, since it's not manual, I'm not sure it's worth it and I don't think it's compatible with the XL2. Plus I don't really want to sink any more money into 1/3" gear. Not getting and H1, so it's pretty much just an idea.

I'd say, bite the bullet and get a Century. I've heard that the 3x is soft and can have back focus problems. I have a Tiffen clip on rubber lens shade that works pretty well and I have a 95mm ring for my Chrosziel matte box. I balance the camera with an Anton Bauer Hytron 50 on the back.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 01:08 AM   #5
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Well, I have no experience with the adapters, but I love my Canon 3X lens. I bought it second hand, and have not looked back. Richard Alvarez was instrumental in convincing me to get it.

I find it a breeze to work with. It fills the 16:9 frame beautifully and is virtually focus-free at its widest setting at all but the largest aperture (one of the advantages of a 1/3" sensor!) so it's kind of automatic.

I shot this sequence at my son's "battle of the bands" the other day. I turned on the ND filter, but it seemed it wasn't very neutral, so I just stopped down a bit (F6 or so). Shot 24P 16:9 at -3 gain and about 1/100 shutter speed. Processed pretty much straight through on FCP 5.1.3 and rendered with adaptive details set at 30 and otherwise Apple Compressor's standard "H.264 LAN" preset. And the on-camera mic set to automatic gain.

This kid's an amazing drummer.
See him here (it's a 35MB download, so give it some time):
http://stevemaller.fatcow.com/botb-roddy-solo.mov
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 11:27 AM   #6
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Mark, I e-mailed Canon about the compatibility of the 6x lens on an xl2, and this is what they had to say:

Thank you for your inquiry on compatible lenses for your XL2. We value
you as a Canon customer and appreciate the opportunity to assist you.

The 6x HD lens will fit and work fine on any XL series camcorder with
the exception of the iris ring, which will only work on the XL H1.
(The normal manner of iris operation on earlier XL's will work the same as
usual instead.) As a matter of fact, since the lens is designed to
meet HD resolution requirements, it also will appear somewhat sharper than the earlier 3x XL model.

We hope this information is helpful to you. Please feel free to
contact us again if you have any other questions or concerns.

Thank you for choosing Canon.

Sincerely,

Chris
Technical Support Representative

... So the lens is compatible, only with the loss of the iris ring, FYI.

Kevin
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Old March 27th, 2007, 04:50 PM   #7
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Steve - very smooth footage - how were you supporting the camera?
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Old March 29th, 2007, 01:05 AM   #8
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Frank--

We thought buying the 3x wide lens was going to be too expensive; but I convinced my wife, made some adjustments in our budget (like waiting to buy a wireless lav system), and finally bought it. This was last year.

We've never regretted buying the 3x lens. We use it for a variety of things, among them is run and gun interviews for event videography. You can really get up close for your interviews, capture better audio, especially if you mount a shotgun mic on your xl2 (minus a boom op, of course).

Plus it's alot lighter than the stock 20x lens :) Well, maybe not your wallet...

Good luck,

--JA
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Old March 29th, 2007, 08:21 PM   #9
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Can't speak to the .7, but I do have the 3xxl and I wouldn't do without it, using it for about 60-70% of my shots.
Funny thing re focus on it ... About two weeks ago I was in the middle of a shoot, with the 3XXL and the viewfinder / picture just started going to black. It took about 30 seconds and I started adjusting shutter and apeture and she kept going black. I took it off, shot some stuff with the 20X, then put it back on again and it worked fine.
Except all the controls -- zoom, focus, etc wouldn't work (Both on the lens and thru the camera). But, it was still in a "good enough" type situation, and except for some close ups, almost all the footage looked, good enough.

End of the saga, I got the lens back from Canon today, and while I haven't tried it yet, I'm sure it works fine. This was the first issue with it, and I've had the lens for 2 years.

No charge, thank you very much!
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Old April 11th, 2007, 09:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Maller View Post
Well, I have no experience with the adapters, but I love my Canon 3X lens. I bought it second hand, and have not looked back. Richard Alvarez was instrumental in convincing me to get it.

I find it a breeze to work with. It fills the 16:9 frame beautifully and is virtually focus-free at its widest setting at all but the largest aperture (one of the advantages of a 1/3" sensor!) so it's kind of automatic.

I shot this sequence at my son's "battle of the bands" the other day. I turned on the ND filter, but it seemed it wasn't very neutral, so I just stopped down a bit (F6 or so). Shot 24P 16:9 at -3 gain and about 1/100 shutter speed. Processed pretty much straight through on FCP 5.1.3 and rendered with adaptive details set at 30 and otherwise Apple Compressor's standard "H.264 LAN" preset. And the on-camera mic set to automatic gain.

This kid's an amazing drummer.
See him here (it's a 35MB download, so give it some time):
http://stevemaller.fatcow.com/botb-roddy-solo.mov

Man, you're XL2 footage looks way crisper than mine.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 12:19 PM   #11
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I'm also looking for a wide abgle solution. It's a tough call. If you go with the Canon, you lose the OIS, which I don't like. But the image looks better to me.

I don't know. It's a touch call. The wrong decision could be an expensive one.
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Old April 13th, 2007, 12:22 AM   #12
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I still dont get the OIS thing... I can literally RUN with a wide lens and keep it steady with no OIS....



ash =o)
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Old April 13th, 2007, 07:05 AM   #13
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Ash, I agree with you 100%. I have had the 3x for many years, both on the XL-1s and now the XL-2 and never had a problem with image stabalization. There is no need for an OIS system on a wide andle lens. I feel it is a wonderful lens and has great balance on the XL-2. Bob
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Old April 13th, 2007, 09:00 AM   #14
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I bought the .7X HDV Red eye wide angle adapter from Collinscraft, on the recommandations of Tony Davies-Patrick. It's wonderfull. It's filter sized, weight virtually nothing, and can be used on any lenses, your 20X with OIS, your manual lens, your 3X if you want a greater wide angle effect, you can also use it on your XLH1, XHA1 DVX100, or any other 72mm lens. it is exceptionnally sharp and very little distortion.

You get the best of both worlds!
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 12:25 PM   #15
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Wide Angle Lense for Canon XL2

Guys, I hope I'm asking the question in the right area but I need to buy a wide angle for my canon xl2 camcorder and I need some advise so I don't throw money at the wrong solution. I do alot of indoor and close quarter shoots and need it to be capable to get the most out of the rooms

Any thoughts?
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