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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 July 24th, 2007, 05:58 PM   #1
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Nikon to XL Adaptor - Anyone Used One?

Just enquiring if anybody has used a Nikon to XL adaptor, to enable Nikon 35mm photographic lenses to fit the H1. The Nikon to XL adaptor doesn't have any glass elements & want to know what the image quality is like with this adaptor. I've currently got the Canon EF adaptor & I'm a little disappointed in the quality, the image is a lot softer than the standard 20x stock lens for the H1.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 10:04 AM   #2
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Yes, I have done it with several of the XL series cameras including the XL-H1 and find the results superb with primes or the low range Nikon Zooms. A 105mm macro lens I have had forever remains the sharpest lens I have ever owned on the XL-H1 as well as on any Nikon film or digital camera I have put it on. Bear in mind that with 1/3" chips diffraction will cause blur if the lens (any lens) is stopped down much below f/5.6.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 12:34 AM   #3
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I have compared a Sigma 80-400mm lens Nikon fit with a (glassless) adaptor by Les Bosher to a Sigma 80-400mm lens Canon fit with the XL adaptor.

I thought the glassless adaptor might have the edge, but the Canon image was slightly, but noticeably sharper.

Of course that difference could easily be explained by quality control differences between the lenses, so it's not a conclusive test, but it is food for thought.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 09:49 AM   #4
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I use the Les Bosher on all my Nikkor lenses from 20mm wide to 600mm ED-IF. I've had superb results.

A few notes: Technique and keeping the lens & XL camera body combination steady makes a huge difference to the quality of the end results. The longer the lens used, the more colour fringing you will get, but choosing 'prime-time' lighting conditions when the sky is low in the sky can help matters.

If you shoot subjects at maximum range during warm days with 300mm, 400mm, 500mm or 600mm+ lenses on the XL your footage will lack contrast. I've found that lowering brightness and upping contrast levels during post editing improves the image 100%.

Make sure that you only buy Nikkor lenses that have aperture control on the lens barrel and not any of the 'G' range of lenses.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 07:16 PM   #5
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A.J.
Thanks for your comment. You have answered a question that I have wondered about for years, namely why did Canon put glass in it's XL adapter, when the predacessor, the VL adapter for the Hi8 VL series had none. I too assumed that extra glass would degrade the image. Obviously Canon did its homework to make an adapter that works perfectly with all lenses and at all f-stops.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 11:22 AM   #6
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I have found Tony's observation to be right on. I have footage shot with the old L2, the XL-1s, and now the XL-H1 and all beneifit immensely from tweaking the levels and brightness in post-production-especially on material shot with the long telephotos.

it is amazing just how good old Hi-8 footage looks when tweaked correctly. It is of course no competition for high definition, but it does mix reasonably well with footage shot on the other two camcorders and combined in a 4:3 SD project.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 09:17 PM   #7
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Here are two shots of a mature bald eagle taken with the 500mmf4 and 1.4 extender. This was a humid morning, and a heavy fog had just lifted and there was some remaining haze in the air. These are card camera stills with the levels, etc. tweaked in photoshop, but the results are much the same with
the video when processed in Vegas.
Attached Thumbnails
Nikon to XL Adaptor - Anyone Used One?-eagle-unaltered.jpg   Nikon to XL Adaptor - Anyone Used One?-eagle-levels.jpg  

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Old July 27th, 2007, 09:21 PM   #8
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The eagle shot in the previous was processed on a laptop and it depends on what angle the screen is as to what the results look like. Looking at the results after posting I think I would make the corrected one not quite so contrasty, but it illustrates the principle.
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Old July 28th, 2007, 01:50 AM   #9
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Thanks all for the information! I think it's the same issue for Canon lenses too, which I use. Gonna experiment some in post with brightness and contrast with my footage.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 03:15 AM   #10
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David - I use the Optex mount with a Sigma 300-800mm all held together with a Ronsrail. Very sharp images.
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