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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old January 16th, 2002, 04:47 PM   #16
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I have been using the XL1 for wildlife
videography for a year and a half. During that
time, I have used the stock lens, a Sigma 50-500,
and a 150-600 FD Canon lens. Both the Sigma and
the FD lenses produced a better quality picture
than the stock lens. Several friends of mine who
use the 100-400 Canon also feel its picture
quality is better than a stock lens. I have not
used the stock XL1S lens yet, so I can't comment.

As for stability, I mounted the Sigma and XL1 to
a 1/4 in. aluminum plate, which worked much
better than the XL1 hanging off the back of the
lens.

I have also had a problem focusing using the
stock viewfinder. The cheap fix is the
VariZoom 5.6 monitor, though there are issues
with glare when shooting outdoors. The expensive
fix is the Fujinon black and white viewfinder.

The particular 150-600 FD lens that I now use will
hold focus if you zoom all the way in, focus, then
pull back. I've been looking into 35mm motion
picture lenses since they hold focus. If anybody
has any information on 35mm SLR zoom lenses of
400mm or greater, that hold focus, please join in.
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Old January 16th, 2002, 07:01 PM   #17
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I have been using the EOS Adapter with EF lenses for wildlife video for several years, and find the system works well. If you can afford the 100-400 zoom it gives a crisper image than the 75-300, but the latter works fine, and better than a second market lens (Tokina 80-300) that I have used. A sturdy tripod is absolutely essential. Lightweight won't keep down the shaking.
I have found no strain on the XL-1 couplings with the 75-300 lens, but always take it off in the car because of the constant vibration while driving. Larger lenses need a support like Wolfwatcher's aluminum plate (mine is plywood). As mentioned several times, the real problem with the XL-1 and these lenses is the viewfinder. One little trick may be of use. If your subject has a really light area, even a tiny one that will show zebra stripes, the stripes max out in intensity at best focus.

Steve Siegel
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Old January 22nd, 2002, 08:01 PM   #18
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XL1s-EOS Adapter-Long lenses

So.... is there a commercially available solution for supporting the Canon 35-300 L lens when used with XL1s?
Canon techs say it needs some support but they have no off the shelf solution.
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Old January 22nd, 2002, 08:26 PM   #19
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ooops - 35 to 350 L Zoom

actually the lens is Canon's 35-350 L Zoom ....weight 3 + lbs.
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Old January 22nd, 2002, 09:07 PM   #20
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A point to remember is that it really doesn't matter what size lens you attach the XL-1s to as long as the lens is what is attached to the tripod. There is no more strain on the adapter or the camera lens mount with a 600F4 than with say a 70-200mm 2.8 L lens.
As I said previously the 35-350mm works extremely well on the old L2 with no problems in the lens mount area for five years. Tape transport problems yes, leaking capacitors yes, but no problems caused by unsupported use of big telephotos. Admittedly the XL-1s weighs somewhat more--3lbs 11 15/16 oz. without battery compared to the L2 weight of 3.1 lb.
Is this enough additional weight to make a significant difference, I don't know ,but I intend to find out shortly. It logically boils down to three possibilities. 1. The XL-1s is not constructed as strongly as the L2 2.The slightly heavier weight of the XL-1s is just enough more to cause problems with the big lenses 3.There is no need to use additional support to prevent damage.
If someone says that the support they use reduces shake, I will not argue that point.
If one uses a support plate does this slow down changing lenses? If I understand the principle the plate would be attached to both the lens and the camera and then the plate attached to the tripod so the entire outfit would have to be dis-assembled to change lenses. I do like to use the normal lens when possible and find this to be a real problem.
At any rate I intend to get the XL-1s soon and I will report back if I notice a difference in vulnerability of this camera compared to the L2 once I have had some experience with it.
Will
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Old February 15th, 2002, 08:31 AM   #21
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EF Adapter for XL1

Hi,

Maybe you can help me:
I am thinking about buying the EF-adapter because I have a range of Sigma and Tamron lenses (both european) which I use with my Canon EOS 300 camera, so the mount must be the same. But will it really work? The answer I got from Canon was not very helpful (they said, it might or it might not work).

Cheers, Peter
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Old February 15th, 2002, 09:43 AM   #22
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They should work fine Peter. As they aren't a Canon product they can't gatentee they'll work as they probably haven't tested them.

A couple of points using the EF adapter though.

1. The lens focal length is increased by a factor of 7.5. eg a 50mm lens will become a 375mm lens.

2. The lenses will be MANUAL focus only.

3. Unless you have a specific reason for using these lenses, eg you need a huge focal length for shooting wildlife, save your money and just stick to the XL lens, you get auto focus, image stabilization, and the optics are probably better.
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Old February 15th, 2002, 12:56 PM   #23
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Thanks for your advice, Adrian.

I know the use for these over-the-top sniper-like focal lengths is a little limited, but a friend of mine is studying biology and will be on a field trip this summer and me and my XL1 will follow her through the wilderness.

and btw, it sounds kinda cool if you can impress people by telling them you´ve got a 2100mm lens. :-)

Peter
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Old February 15th, 2002, 09:36 PM   #24
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Xl1s With 100-400 L Series Lens

ANYONE HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH CANON 100-400 L SERIES LENS WITH XL1S? OR XL1. IN REALITY HOW USEFUL ARE THE LONGER ZOOMS LIGHTWISE?
HOW DO YOU THINK IT WOULD COMPARE WITH STANDARD LENS USING IN LINE EXTENDER ANS SAY A CENTURY DOUBLER IF NEEDED?
Regards
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Old February 16th, 2002, 12:10 AM   #25
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Rick, please turn off your caps lock. No need to shout. ;-)

I believe you're referring to the white IS lens, with image stabilization. I've often thought that this particular lens might be perfect for the XL1, with an effective focal length of 720mm to over 2800mm (remember the focal length of EOS lenses is multiplied by a factor of 7.2 when used on the XL1).

But my Canon Professional Services friends have advised me that this lens is not best suited for tripod use, and any EOS lens on the XL1 should be used on a tripod. So I'm looking into the Canon EOS 35mm to 300mm IS zoom lens and also the 70mm to 200mm IS zoom lens. The one thing about the 100-400 you mentioned is that it's more affordable at appx. $1500USD, vs. more than $1800USD for the others.

You can use them with extenders but you must have a bright, sunny day and absolutely rock-solid tripod mounting. I don't know how useful these extreme focal lengths are, considering they're multiplied by 7.2 on the XL1/XL1S, beyond say wildlife videography or surveillance work. Hope this helps,
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Last edited by Chris Hurd; February 16th, 2002 at 12:21 AM.
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Old February 16th, 2002, 01:12 AM   #26
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I'm pretty pleased with the canon 1.6x on the MK II lens. I've been a bit gunshy re: the focus concerns, but I think I'm about to be over it after my next shoot. Still uses the stabil, and AF, which is nice. Not to mention, they are mated. I'm still debating the <$300 nikon lens adapter because of losing those features. However, a single focal length lens might be sharper than a zoom. If I can manually focus (I'm lazy, I like push AF).

Back focus, me thinks, WILL work on this rig. I keep seeing different focusing as I zoom, but on my last tests, I think that backfocusing WILL work like a charm. (ie- zoom in 100%, push AF, and Zoom out [back off] to the right framing)

My last test revealed to my eyes, that Backfocusing works best (as it is supposed to). Truth will be in the shoot. Wish me skill!!!!!!!
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Old February 16th, 2002, 07:36 AM   #27
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That is unless they are the paronoid type who thinks you'll be down the street spying on them.
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Old February 16th, 2002, 12:55 PM   #28
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Umm... sorry but the focus method you're describing, a good one I might add, is actually called "critical focus." Backfocus is an entirely different thing altogether -- it's an adjustment of the back element of the lens in order to calibrate the whole lens assembly. You should only have to adjust backfocus very rarely, and usually on a test bench.

The act of finding Critical Focus, however, is an excellent practice to get into whenever you set up for a shoot, and is done exactly as you describe... zoom all the way in on the most distant object, set focus, and pull out to proper framing -- everything will remain in focus when you change focal length (that is, zoom in or out). Thanks,
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Old February 17th, 2002, 04:23 PM   #29
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Rick, I'm using this setup (Canon 100-400mm on XL1) now for surf and wildlife footage. It's works great. The picture is much cleaner than the stock lens. However, you must use a sturdy tripod (I'm using a Mathews) and practice awhile. I found that a light touch on the tripod handle is a must, otherwise there is a lot of shaking.

The IS feature on the lens does not work well, during any pans the lens wants to "hunt" after the pan.

I also made a bracket to fit between the lens and the camera body because there is too much weight hanging off the back of the lens when mounted to the tripod. I tried finding an off the shelf bracket that would work but couldn't find anything.

I've shot footage at sunrise and sunset without a lighting problem. Also this lens will not work with extenders.
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Old February 17th, 2002, 09:27 PM   #30
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Howdy from Texas,

<< during any pans the lens wants to "hunt" after the pan >>

Yes, this is exactly what Canon Professional Services described to me, and how they convinced me that this particular IS lens is not the best choice for the XL1. So I guess I'm looking into the 35-300 IS.
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