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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 May 2nd, 2007, 11:50 AM   #1
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H1-EOS-Flange back on 35mm EF lens

It it possible to do a flange back adjustment when using
the EOS adapter and 100-400mm EF lens on the H1?

So far I have had no luck in trying to solve my focus issues
when using the Canon 100-400 mm EF lens with the EOS and
H1.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 05:30 PM   #2
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Jacques I just tried to adjust the back focus with my EF adapter and also couldn't do it. Seem's like it needs the feedback from the lens in order to do it successfully. Which I think kinda stinks, but I guess it makes since.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 10:05 AM   #3
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Thanks Nick. Yeah, I have had no luck either.

It would be nice if Canon would confirm this
(or even better, fix it) as rumors
(inncorrect ones especially) have a way of infecting
the web and people's perception. As of now with the
information I possess I would have to post that it is
a bad idea to buy an H1 with the purpose of using it
with EOS adapter and Canon lens.

I would be happy to learn the truth.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 08:12 PM   #4
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As you said, it appears to be impossible to adjust the back focus.

I am not having any problems with the 100-400mm on the XL-H1, that I didn't have with the XL-1s (it didn't maintain focus throughout the zoom range with it), other than that is not as sharp when zoomed completely in. I am currently editing XL-1s footage and I can see this in it as well, it simply is not as obvious with SD footage. That being said the 100-400mm performs acceptably, especially if one doesn't zoom completely in.

If the problem is with accurate focus, this is more of a function of the viewfinder. I never felt in control of the camera while shooting wildlife when using the stock viewfinder and missed exact focus quite frequently. Although the finder on the XL-1s was bad also, I never lost control of the situation like I do with this one. I am now using the fu-1000 and am having much better success.

Another minus is that the H1 requires more light to give a satisfactory image than the SD cameras did. With some underexposure or a slight miss in focus it is extremely easy to lose the High Definition look.

I still think these lenses and the EF adapter are a viable option, and have been using mine daily with either the 100-400 or the 70-200mm. I would have to say that overall I am pleased with the results. It is just more difficult to get the results that one wants, and hopefully in my case increased familiarity with the camera will result in a higher percentage of good footage.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 07:46 AM   #5
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I agree with your comments Will. I got pretty good at getting
perfect focus even with the standard viewfinder, but even perfect focus when
zoomed fully in results in an image that is just slightly softer than
desireable, so I was hoping to be able to tweak the back focus
and make it sharper.

Considering the cost of other HD long len telephotos
(Fuji: $52K and Canon $62K) I guess I should shut up :)
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Old November 8th, 2007, 07:34 PM   #6
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XL-H1 with EOS long lenses.

I use EOS 100-400, 70-200 and f4/500 on xlh1. Focus is manual only, and extremely critical, however the peaking setting is a huge help, as is peaking+2x viewfider magnification (this for more static subject.

Camera shake is a problem even with heavy tripods, though with lerns stabilizer can be handheld with some success at focal lengths to 200 mm

The 500 fixed focus is best image, but less convenient than zooms like 100/400

The viewfinder focussing is far easier, more accurate, if camera is used at larger apertures, say up to 2 stop smaller than wide open If much maller opening than that, the greater depth of field seems to make the image on screen move in/out of focus much less obviously, seems inprecise. But that same problem was there on old 35 mm cameras before invention of auto apertures which are alway full open when focussing. Try focussing a 35 mm camera with aperture preview button pushed to stop it down to 22 while focussing! With video, I believe you are actually looking thru camera at that small aperture if thats what you are filming with.

So I try to keep to around f4 to f 8, and shutter to match, maybe 1/500, 1/2000, whatever light level requires. Or set gain to -3. In any event, with wildlife, best set at fast speed.

Problem: Camera seems to prefer to revert to 1/50 sec. Which then puts aperture outdoors to maybe f16, 22, etc. Too small to allow precise focus on screen, hard to find precise focus. And too slow to stop action.

If the camera sets itself to 1/50 when turned on, then one has to waste time changing shutter to 1/500 etc, often the action is over. According to instruction book, page 127, the shutter and aperture should be retained at power off (same as on canon 35mm still cameras). But it does not do this reliably. Some times the settings are held at power off and standby, but often when turned on the camera has reverted to 1/50 sec, too slow for wildlife action and causing focus difficulty because one is trying to focus at f22 etc.

I would love to have camera always at 1/500 or similar ,reliably, when turned on. Thats using TV (shutter priority) Or, if AV, to return at and aperture around f5.6 ot f8 (matching shutter speed then fast) . But is unreliable in retaining settings on TV, AV and Manual. Had exactly same problem with my previuous xl-1s model. Same problem also returning from standby. Those few seconds taken to reset shutterr from 1/50 to 1/500 can often be difference between catching the action or missing out!.

The instruction book p 127 says settings should be held, sometimes they are, often not. Maybe the problem is only when using lenses other than supplied 20x zoom.

Canon seem not to know or understand.

Has anyone any experience on all this. Maybe if someone with xlh1 using 35mm EOS leses via canon adapter has experience on this , or could try it out on their own camers and post presult.

But for those with focus difficulties, I certainly recommend using apertures not too small, ie f11 or wider, but with the camers typically aways wanting to set to 1/50, you will often be on f16--32 and focus is imprecise even using the peaking focus aid.

Provided focus is really spot on, results are excellent with all above lenses, and that applies to still photo images also. Although the EOS lenses cannot shoot stills, one can take still images from tape, which works well.

Hoping someone out there has answer to getting this cmera retain its set shutter / aperture settihgs reliably when turned off or to standby.

Finally, I wish Canon would provide sprcifically for for this camera , a zoom pf say 100 to 300 or 100 to 400, computed for the format, and which would have same features as the 20x lens , and which would hold focus while zoomed (wich 100-400 & 70-200 do not) and which woulkd offer the same extrem quality as needed for HD . I am sure it would find a huge market world-wide among nature ands sports photographers. Whats the point of promotong this as an interchangeable lens video camer, and then adding only one alternative lens, the wide-angle??

MM
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Last edited by Michael Morcombe; November 8th, 2007 at 09:17 PM. Reason: add more
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Old November 9th, 2007, 01:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Morcombe View Post

Finally, I wish Canon would provide sprcifically for for this camera , a zoom pf say 100 to 300 or 100 to 400, computed for the format, and which would have same features as the 20x lens , and which would hold focus while zoomed (wich 100-400 & 70-200 do not) and which woulkd offer the same extrem quality as needed for HD . I am sure it would find a huge market world-wide among nature ands sports photographers. Whats the point of promotong this as an interchangeable lens video camer, and then adding only one alternative lens, the wide-angle??

MM
www.michaelmorcombe.com.au
Me too. And why canīt they make a manual lens as they used to? I donīt shoot wild life, but documentaries etc and focusing with this lens is near impossible. At least with the HVX200 you have to move the focus ring quite a bit to change focus. The H1 you barley tuch it before it goes to infinity.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 06:49 PM   #8
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Michael,
I'm disappointed to hear that the XL H1 doesn't hold its shutter speed and aperture settings when it goes into standby (at least I think that's what you are saying). The XL-1s had the same problem and I complained bitterly to Canon about it. Lo and behold, in the XL-2 they seem to have fixed it. I guess they figured they could sneak the problem back in in the HD version.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 11:43 PM   #9
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Hi guys...........

I'm almost afraid to jump in here in case I get eaten alive, but hey, it might just be worth it!

Don't have a H1, but do have the XL1s (amongst others, including the A1) and the "focus whilst zooming" issue is writ pretty large for me.

Not long after I got it (the XL1s) I noticed the dreaded "loses focus whilst zooming" thing. Sent the system back to Canon, it was returned with the even more dreaded "No fault found".

Gave it another shot, only to discover that they had, anyway, changed the lens internal assembly (it's a sealed unit, straight from the factory, so no techie parts to fix) only to discover that, from appearances, someone had flicked their cigarrette end into it. Yep, bits of what looked like fag ash just floating around inside the lens.

This time I physically took the system to Canon Service UK, and did not leave till they had ascertained

a) I wasn't totally deranged, there was stuff floating around in it

b) Changed the lens assembly yet again

c) Given me a 10 minute lecture on how, exactly, to use this new, single servo lens.

This may well be second nature to you guys, and nothing whatsoever to do with the discussion above, but it was a bit of a shock to me, a hardened stills photographer from the dark ages.

Bottom line (this from Canon): You want to zoom whilst shooting?

Turn off Auto Focus, do NOT re - engage it.

Zoom right in, focus, zoom out and go for it. Do not expect the lens to keep correct focus on a "zoom in" unless it was focussed at full "zoom in" beforehand.

They were right, if you didn't do it, it never would.

Unfortunately, from memory, it still didn't keep focus on occasions, tho' it was much better, in the main.


Quite what that has to do with your problems I'm not sure, but just maybe this could be at the bottom of some of them. Or not.


CS

Last edited by Chris Soucy; November 10th, 2007 at 12:02 AM. Reason: Addition
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Old November 10th, 2007, 02:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Morcombe View Post
Problem: Camera seems to prefer to revert to 1/50 sec. Which then puts aperture outdoors to maybe f16, 22, etc. Too small to allow precise focus on screen, hard to find precise focus. And too slow to stop action.
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Michael,
have you upgraded your XLH1 with the latest firmware? I have firmware #1.0.4.0 and wasn't able to copy the same problems as you have.
I did several on and offs with a Canon 300mm attached with several shutter and aperture settings and they was holding their position when I turned the camcorder off and on.
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Last edited by Per Johan Naesje; November 10th, 2007 at 03:37 AM. Reason: Spelling correction
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Old November 10th, 2007, 10:50 PM   #11
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My Xl-H1 (NTSC) will revert to a default of 1/60 shutter speed when using the EF adapter if you turn the control ring to off or vcr mode. I usually shoot in TV mode with the exposure lock always depressed, which is really much if not exactly the same as the full manual mode and I always carry it in standby mode. It always powers up to the same setting that it was shut down on. If one changes batteries, or powers off for any reason, then the first thing to do is power it up and set the shutter speed where you want it if you do not want the default. It is second nature to me when I head out to shoot. Power up, put the camera in the mode I prefer, press the exposure lock and then put it in standby. You are always going to have to make some type of change when the action starts and often frequently during the action. Also in my experience it does not work well to have the adapter in auto mode. Exposure change is not as smooth and gradual as with the stock lens and you are better served to leave the adapter in the manual position (control lever straight up) and either push the button on the side at a non-critical point in the filming if the exposure needs changed, or do as I do and lock the aperature and control it with the iris wheel.
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Old November 11th, 2007, 05:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Per Johan Naesje View Post
I did several on and offs with a Canon 300mm attached with several shutter and aperture settings and they was holding their position when I turned the camcorder off and on.
Although I've sold already my XL H1 have the same experience as Per Johan.

In general, and looking backwards to the material shot with the XL H1, those taken with EF-adapter and EF-lenses or with the wide angle lens please me the most. In addition, with all XL-series cameras I've always felt there is a significant difference between the best L-series lenses and the others. Say, I found the primes, such as 300mm/f2.8, 400mm/f2.8, 600mm/4.0, 100mm and 200mm macros and the 70-200mm/f2.8 zoom very good. In my eyes there's already a difference between the 300mm/f4.0 and 300mm/f2.8 lenses, and the other zooms than the 70-200mm/f2.8 never yielded results I was looking for. Perhaps it just me and I was looking for something which is not really there?

Another issue is, managing with the focues ring is easier with the best lenses. Some of them even enable one to set the focusing speed. I used to have everything fully on manual, and with the XL H1 I used the aid of EVF peaking and 2x magnification for focusing. For me those worked just fine, and my conclusion was that the biggest issue of focusing is some sort of uncertainty which is there at the first place. Once I learnt to rely on the EVF and the aid of peaking and 2x magnification the uncertainty gone away and after that did not pay excessive attention to focusing.

Still, just some thoughts, not much of facts.
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