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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


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Old October 3rd, 2005, 04:35 PM   #1
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Canon XL H1 Lens and Depth of Field?

The Canon webiste and an article i found online says that the new HD lens allows for some type of depth of field control. Does anyone have any info on the how this works or if it affective. I am looking at purchasing a H1, but probably won't have the capital to invest in the mini 35 set-up but am hoping to get more control over depth of field than what I get on my XL1S. Any info greatly appreciated!
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Old October 3rd, 2005, 04:39 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Frick
The Canon webiste and an article i found online says that the new HD lens allows for some type of depth of field control.

Yup! It has an aperture!

Kidding aside, there's nothing special the camera has that creates less DOF than any other 1/3rd" CCD camera.
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Old October 3rd, 2005, 05:09 PM   #3
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Absolutely correct. There's nothing that lets you "control" DOF, on one camera vs. another. If it's 1/3", it'll exhibit the exact same DOF as any other 1/3" camera when shooting at the same aperture and same focal length.

However, we should point out that technically the XL H1 is capable of the shallowest DOF effect of any of the 1/3" cameras simply because it has the longest focal length lens. If you can manipulate the shooting circumstances such that you can bring the full telephoto of the lens into play, you could arrange for a quite shallow DOF shot. It'd mean being very far away and zooming all the way in, but when you have the option of structuring your shots that way, the Canon can deliver.
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Old October 4th, 2005, 12:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Frick
The Canon webiste and an article i found online says that the new HD lens allows for some type of depth of field control. Does anyone have any info on the how this works or if it affective. I am looking at purchasing a H1, but probably won't have the capital to invest in the mini 35 set-up but am hoping to get more control over depth of field than what I get on my XL1S. Any info greatly appreciated!

Aaron, you might be refering to the focus preset feature? The XL2 has this feature but I didn't think to check to see if the H1 had it when I handled it the other day.
Unfortunately, under less than perfect conditions, it is somewhat problematic to use.
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Old October 4th, 2005, 12:50 AM   #5
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Barry,

I was always lead to believe that no matter the lens size (focal length), if you have the same subject size you will have the same depth of field.

Bob
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Old October 4th, 2005, 01:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bob Thompson
Barry,

I was always lead to believe that no matter the lens size (focal length), if you have the same subject size you will have the same depth of field.

Bob
Nope. DOF is a function of aperture, focal length and depending how you look at it, focus point.
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Old October 4th, 2005, 01:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bob Thompson
I was always lead to believe that no matter the lens size (focal length), if you have the same subject size you will have the same depth of field.
In theory, yes. In practical real-world testing, no. The longer focal length most definitely gives the APPEARANCE of shallower DOF.

I've posted this before, but I'll post it again. This is a picture where I undertook to test exactly what you said: kept the subject size exactly the same (and I also kept the aperture exactly the same). One shot was at maximum wide angle, so I went in close; the other shot was at maximum telephoto, so I had to back up to get the framing the same. There's a night-and-day difference in which one appears to have shallower DOF.

http://www.icexpo.com/dvx100/DOF-Combined.jpg
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Old October 4th, 2005, 04:56 AM   #8
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Thanks Barry, I had meant to add at the same aperture.

I thought the old Kelly charts used to show it the same, but obviously (from your jpg) my mind is fading
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Old October 4th, 2005, 05:39 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Eric Brown
Aaron, you might be refering to the focus preset feature? The XL2 has this feature but I didn't think to check to see if the H1 had it when I handled it the other day.
Yes the H1 has the Focus Preset function. Combined with the new Focus Distance readout feature, it is somewhat more useful than it was before.
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Old October 4th, 2005, 10:39 AM   #10
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The biggest item that you will observe between wide or tele shots is the subject, foreground, background compression in the tele shots. This is most notable in long tele lens.

For instants, if I was selling a chunk of property, I would go with the wide lens, to exagerate the size of the property: making that 100x60 lot, look like a couple of acres. On the other hand, selling how close the beach is to the house, the tele with a small opening will make it seem much closer than reality.

See if you can get hold of a copy of "Color As Seen and Photographed", by Kodak. While it is still camera oriented, it has the best explanations about what is being discussed in this thread
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Old October 4th, 2005, 10:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Nate Weaver
Nope. DOF is a function of aperture, focal length and depending how you look at it, focus point.
Well technically DOF is a function of aperture, focal length, and subject to background distance.

With the 20 lens on the XL2 (which looks to be pretty identical functionally as the new H1), I can get a shallow DOF very comparable to what I've gotten on with the Mini35 and Canon, perhaps an even nicer bokeh...in very specific circumstances.

Those are when I can open up to 1.6, at the longest end of the lens (850mm) with a close-up or tight close-up and a distant background like a tree line or landscape a few hundred feet from the subject. It can be very filmic and beautiful for outdoor work.

You can get a fairly soft DOF, enough for decent separation indoors given a space that allows for the 850 mm and with a large enough interior for the background.

Overall, I'm sure that the stock XL2 can get the shallowest DOF of any 1/3 chip camera. But you have to work a lot harder to get it than with larger chips or 35mm.
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Old October 4th, 2005, 10:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Robert J. Wolff
See if you can get hold of a copy of "Color As Seen and Photographed", by Kodak. While it is still camera oriented, it has the best explanations about what is being discussed in this thread

Hey Robert, I noticed that your signature says the Adirondacks. We're just wrapping up the last shooting tomorrow up at Lake Placid for a new documentary.
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Old October 5th, 2005, 05:03 AM   #13
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Jim.

You lucked out with this weather we are having up here.
Sorry I missed seeing you shooting. I just finished a shoot a few miles away at Whiteface Mt. Octoberfest, on sunday.
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Old October 5th, 2005, 10:39 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Robert J. Wolff
Jim.

You lucked out with this weather we are having up here.
Sorry I missed seeing you shooting. I just finished a shoot a few miles away at Whiteface Mt. Octoberfest, on sunday.
Well not exactly <g>. Our last shoot of the "Road to Torino" documentary was today on the bobsled track, but after days of sunshine and 80ish weather they've shut the track down to save the ice any real damage.

I'm up there all the time for projects and meetings, my company is the agency for Whiteface, Lake Placid and the Olympic Authority. Let me know a bit more about your capabilities...I may be able to use you on multi cam projects or tight deadlines.
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Old October 5th, 2005, 04:42 PM   #15
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Moderator: You may want to move this to private mail, or, your choice.

Good Evening, Jim.

I will reply to the particulars later within this week, due to currrent operations, I am presently involved in.

Quickly, I was with ABC for better than 38 years. Awards: yes. (Contact Frank G., at ABC for details).

I am using an XL-1s with Samson 32 RF mikes (2).
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