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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 April 6th, 2006, 11:58 AM   #1
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3x Wide angle with the H1

Has anyone used the 3x wide angle with the H1 in its 24F mode for HDV? I really want to have a wide angle available for this shoot I have coming up, but I would like to hear the thoughts of those who have tried it with this camera. I would think it would be soft when in full wide ...
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Old April 6th, 2006, 12:02 PM   #2
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Not at all advised by Canon or anyone else for that matter. That lens is almost too soft for DV; and on the H1 in HD mode it's so soft as to appear unfocusable. That's why there's an "HD incompatible lens" warning in the viewfinder if you try to use it in HD mode.
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Old April 6th, 2006, 12:09 PM   #3
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Has anyone tried the 16x9 or Century adapter that you put on the front of the lens yet...
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Old April 6th, 2006, 12:18 PM   #4
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I have tried the 3x lens on the XL-H1 in 1080i50 with the aperture set to something around 3.7. While the center was reasonably sharp, sharpness fell off considerably towards the edges. In addition, the zones near the edges showed strong CA. Not advisable to use this lens in HD-modes, I concur.

HTH,

Ron
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Old April 6th, 2006, 02:34 PM   #5
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What's interesting is that I've just recently had a great experience using the 3x lens on the H1. We shot a handful of shots this past weekend using the 3x.

I found the corners of the image to be a bit soft. But the rolloff was nice. The center was nice and sharp. I saw no considerable impact on sharpness. I also found CA on the edges to be far less noticeable than using a .7x converter on a stock lens.

Bottom line, for me, was that the 3x lens performed better than a .7x adapter. The imperfections of the 3x was less objectionable than the flaws of an adapter.

And trust me, I was expecting a total disaster when I mounted the lens onto the camera and was very surprised at how well the image looked on our field monitor (23" Cinema Display via HDLink via HD-SDI).
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Old April 6th, 2006, 03:27 PM   #6
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I have never been able to figure out whether the 3x has a design flaw or a manufacturing problem which can be fixed. Many seem to feel that the problem is one of back focus which a trip to Canon will repair. That said, the particular 3X lens I own is OK zoomed in (max focal length 10.2 mm) but cannot be focused when zoomed out (3.4 mm focal length.) At the maximum focal length the MTF for the 3X measured better than that stock 20X lens on the H1. 50% MTF is about 700 lpph. Zoomed all the way out this drops to 600 lpph. The MTF curves are at http://www.pbase.com/agamid/image/54796410.
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Old April 6th, 2006, 04:27 PM   #7
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If your shooting HD then you wont be able to use the 3x lens, it is incompatable, it only works in SD mode.

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Old April 6th, 2006, 05:39 PM   #8
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I shot in HD mode with the 3x lens. It works fine. You get a little warning light that says "HD incompatible lens" and then it disappears after a few seconds.

The footage looks sharp and great. It's soft in the corners. But it has a nice gradation to it. And that was full wide. And it was focusable.

Maybe I got the only good 3x lens out there. Who knows.

I don't care what the manual says. I don't care what lens engineers say. I wasn't shooting charts and graphs. I was shooting real people in a real environment on a nicely controlled and lit set. And the lens worked extremely well.
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Old April 6th, 2006, 06:20 PM   #9
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16x9 Adapter

Gary,
John Benton has the 16x9 adapter and we both tested it so you can learn more in the thread about it. Basically it is okay but not great. Soft corners and CA show up.
Century has some new product coming out which might help the situation. Depending on when you are shooting stuff it is a good idea to check with them.
If I had to shoot this week I think I would look for the XL2 16x manual lens and add a Wide angle adapter to that as a test.
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Old April 6th, 2006, 06:39 PM   #10
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Thanks Daniel...

Might get a F900 for my shoot... so if that happens I won't need a camera... but I'll have to wait and see on that...
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Old April 9th, 2006, 01:07 AM   #11
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Check out res charts on the XLH1 with 3x lens here: http://www.geosynchrony.com/scratchpad.htm

(It looks pretty good to me)
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Old April 9th, 2006, 01:18 AM   #12
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I agree with Robert's and Jeff's assessments, as you can see at Geosynchrony. The 3x is an SD lens, but does surprisingly well and if one needs a wider framing than the 20x can do, the 3x is worth having. The XL H1 shot through both the 3x and the 16x manual at the TX Shootout; a quick glance at the 3x rez chart this evening showed roughly similar results to what I got in my rough tests in December. Final analysis to follow when the Shootout data are fully processed, validated, and released down the road.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 02:08 AM   #13
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I can second Robert's, Jeff's and Pete's view.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 12:19 AM   #14
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looks similar, but not equivalent.
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Old April 16th, 2006, 06:27 PM   #15
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if you keep the 3x lens right in the sweet spot for exposure, around 2.4-2.8 it is surprisingly sharp, wide open or stopped down the 3x looks terrible in hd

i took my 3x in to canon service last october when i was still using the xl2 and they did an excellent job fixing the backfocus, i have been MUCH more fond of the lens since then, and i agree that although not GREAT the 3x is considerably better for hd than any of the currently available screw on adapters.

so when's a set of primes getting announced already???
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