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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 August 3rd, 2006, 10:12 AM   #1
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More on the 16x

I don't like the way the 20x handles, it's a very awkward lens, so I bought another 16 (after having sold my first one with my XL2).

I received the new 16x on Monday and after a brief test began shooting on Tuesday. You may remember that I had reported last December that I thought my original 16x looked pretty good compared to the 20x.

After reviewing my current 2 days of footage, I truly believe that the 16 looks better in some ways.

I DO use diffusion, in this case a 1/2 SoftFX (a very nice 3x3 that I've owned for over 15 years and that, for some unexplained reason, I've never been able to match with a 4x4), but since everything I've shot has been in the 1.6 to 2.8 range, I feel that I can trust this lens, at least in my style of shooting.

Maybe the filter is masking some of the CA, but I'm not seeing anything distracting even at full telephoto at 1.6. Most of all I feel liberated from the frustrating mushiness of focusing the stock lens.

Hopefully Canon will eventually make a 16x manual lens that they feel is compatable with HD (the viewfinder warning IS annoying), but, for all practical purposes, this lens fills the gap for now.
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 11:07 AM   #2
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I have the 16x manual also and love it for its feel. The image seems pretty tight too. Recently I shot some footage with the 20x lens using Disjecta Panalook preset. It looked real good. I switched out lenses with the 16x manual and shot some more. Upon watching the footage later I found the 16x showed a lot more contrast and maybe even seemed over sharp.....I don't know. The lighting had changed significantly from when I used the 20x (cloudy for 20x ----sunny for 16x) so maybe it had more to do with that than the lens. I almost felt the need to go into post and soften it a little. The 16x definitely seemed more filmic from a contrast POV but in this case almost too sharp which looks kind of videoish.

I really need to sit down and do some baseline tests with both lenses to come up with presets for each. I think the glass makes a big enough difference that presets are going to have to be tailored to different lenses....

IMHO
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 01:44 PM   #3
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I agree that the 16x manual is a great lens for the entire XL line.
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 04:56 PM   #4
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I think the 16x is contrastier, but to my eye it's not a "video look" contrast. It's like the difference between an Angenieux and a Cooke zoom in 16mm, the Cooke is snappier, but that doesn't make it look like video.

The big thing is that contrast always gives the impression of more sharpness... so even if the lens isn't actually sharper, it appears to be - and that is a good thing.. It also SEEMS to seperate colors better, with a more defined edge, which bellies the chromatic abberation criticisms to some extent...

Remember, in my case this is all being judged with slight diffusion. But I always use some sort of diffusion, whether it's DV or 35mm, so my opinion is an informed one, and all I can say is the 16x with a 1/2 SoftFX is more than acceptable...
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Old August 6th, 2006, 10:09 AM   #5
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One thing I'm very curious about (now that I'm back in the Canon fold) is the actual lens mount on the H1 as it relates to the 16x manual lens.

I had heard reports a few years back that the XL2 had issues with the ultra-small lens mount screws becoming loose from the weight of the manual lens hanging on the body. I don't know if the "s" version beefed up that mount or not.

Although I used an XL2 quite a bit, I never owned one so I never found out if the loosening lens mount issue was a design problem or a result of mis-use by the users reporting the "problem".

Is the H1 using the same XL2 mounting screws or have they beefed things up?

If need be, I can always add a lens support to my rod system. What are you guys finding?
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Old August 6th, 2006, 01:07 PM   #6
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Good question, but I have no idea.

I am, however, very careful and meticulous with my cameras. Even though I shoot documentaries, I have a 30 year old Aaton super16 camera and an 8 year old DSR-300 that still look brand new, so maybe I'm the wrong person to offer an opinion - but I can say that after using an XL2 constantly last year for about 8 months with the 16x I never had a problem.

The 20x is massive compared to the 16x, so if there was going to be a problem with the mount on the camera, I would think it would be more likely to show up with that lens... I'd be curious to hear others comment on this...
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Old August 6th, 2006, 02:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rosen
The 20x is massive compared to the 16x, so if there was going to be a problem with the mount on the camera, I would think it would be more likely to show up with that lens... I'd be curious to hear others comment on this...
Had you not said it, I was certainly going to. The 16X lens doesn't weigh nearly as much as the stock 20X XL2 lens. I think Robert might have gotten some bad information somewhere.

-gb-
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Old August 6th, 2006, 02:45 PM   #8
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Exactly right -- the 16x manual puts much less stress on the lens mount than the stock 20x.
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Old August 6th, 2006, 02:50 PM   #9
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Like I said, it's not firsthand experience that I've had with this issue. Although, a close friend of mine had (2) XL2's and one of his did have a loose lens mount. But, he bought it used so there's no telling how it was taken care of.

Like you Steve, I baby all my equipment and with bodies like the H1 my lenses are always taken off the body for storage or when moving a set.

In fact, in the images I posted in a thread on the HVX forum you'll see an HVX studio-still of a ton of Nikon lenses on a table; they're all more than a few years old but in brand new condition.

It's good to hear someone else is meticulous with their hardware!
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Old August 6th, 2006, 02:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane
It's good to hear someone else is meticulous with their hardware!
As am I, Robert. Just ask the people who bought my XL2s. ;-)

If a screw in the lens mount was simply 'loose', I doubt it was caused by lens weight. If the screw and/or hole had stripped threads, however, it would be cause for concern.

-gb-
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Old August 6th, 2006, 07:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston
As am I, Robert. Just ask the people who bought my XL2s. ;-)-gb-
Yes, one of my buddies calls it, "the sickness". (big laughs)

My car is always detailed (by me), my camera equipment is always wrapped in something before going into the Pelican, and whenever I have to rent camera equipment, the rental house always jokes that it comes back cleaner than when they sent it out.

God only knows where I picked up the anal-rententive clean freak mantra, but I've always believed that regardless what it is, it will last longer, look better and operate it's best if kept as clean as possible and perfectly maintained.

Somebody, help me! (^_*)
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Old August 6th, 2006, 08:13 PM   #12
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don't mean to Hijack the thread, but what are peoples throughts on the 3x wide lens with the H1
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Old August 6th, 2006, 08:31 PM   #13
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Yeah, that would be a bit of a hijack. There are a number of threads in this forum on wide angle options for the XL H1. Here are a couple of them:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=56278
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=64499
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Old August 6th, 2006, 10:54 PM   #14
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Thanks Pete,
...Carry on
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