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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old July 23rd, 2002, 09:04 PM   #91
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I really wouldn't discount the 35-350 Canon L lens so quickly, at least for many uses such as larger animals such as deer and elk.
The 100-400 would probably be better for geese to a certain extent. No one is a greater fan of the EF adapter and telephoto lenses than I, but I hate changing lenses and often larger wildlife does get too close for a lens with a bottom end of 75 or 100mm while the 35-350 gives more margin on the closer shots. There isn't all that much difference in handling characteristics, just compare the specifications. I have handled both lenses and can tell little difference in that respect.
35-350 100-400
weight 3.05 lb. 3.0 lb.
diameter 3.3" 3.6"
length 6.6" 7.4"
min. focus 2.0' 5'9"
In summary both are heavy, well made lenses of nearly equal physical proportions with the 100-400 being somewhat sharper and more powerful and the 35-350 focusing to closer range and working better on close encounters with the larger animals. Both are excellent choices. I have also used the 75-300 IS extensively and it is not as sharp as either of the L lenses mentioned but it is
an excellent choice for the price.
Will
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Old July 24th, 2002, 08:07 AM   #92
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You are correct about the specs. But the feel of the 35 - 350mm is not as nice as the 100 - 400mm. Now that's just me. Everybody is going to feel and hold equipment differently. But look at the MTF charts on Canon's site and you'll see the 100 - 400mm performs much better. But it should, it's a newer lens. I also didn't mention the 100 - 400mm is an Image Stabilization lens. As Will points out, the 100mm range can get you too close to large mammals. But with birds it's a different story. You can almost never get too close to a wild bird. So, it may boil down to how you feel about changing lenses. If you hate it, get the 35 - 350mm, if not, the 100 - 400mm IS. Either way you'll get great shots of your geese.

Jeff
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Old July 24th, 2002, 08:44 AM   #93
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Anyone try a Sigma 50-500mm looks killer and would seem a blast to use- anyone try one?

(seems very versatile)
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Old July 24th, 2002, 09:02 AM   #94
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There was a post here recently mentioning the Sigma 50-500mm and I just searched and couldn't find his post. Lost in the crash, I guess. But, if I remember correctly, he was not overall pleased with the Sigma lens. But I can't remember if it was size, weight, sharpness or what, that he didn't like. You could probably try one at B & H. Shoot some things with the stock lens, the Canon 70-300mm and the Sigma. I would think it would match the 70-300mm Canon pretty well.

Jeff
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Old July 24th, 2002, 03:35 PM   #95
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I just purchased the 100-400 USM.
Worth every extra penny IMO.

I have to mention, as everyone usually does, a GOOD
tripod is vital. You won't be hand holding this combo at 400
and getting anything but trash.

I use a vinten vision 3 and I can good footage (when I'm good
and lucky) following Osprey in flight. I've been to NAB and
tried every single tripod made. I chose vinten.

The weakness of the vinten vision 3 is the tripod plate and the
way it attaches. It is pretty poor considering the rest of the unit.

Also, plan on making a plate that will enable you to bolt not only
the XL1 to it, but the lens to it as well. The vinten plate attaches to
that plate.

Good luck!
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Old July 25th, 2002, 02:59 PM   #96
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Thanks for all the advice.

I've asked to test the Canon 75 to 350mm, 100-400mm and the Sigma 50-500mm.

With reference to Jacques post. I recall reading somewhere – I though it was this forum but can't find the post - that the 75-350mm, unlike the 100-400mm and I assume the Sigma, does not need a the extra support of a tripod plate to bolt onto both the lens and xl1. In other words its safe just hanging from the front of the camera.

Is this correct? As I would like to have the option of changing lenses quickly, which a plate attached to both lens and camera would hinder.

Thanks again.
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Old July 25th, 2002, 03:11 PM   #97
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It can be mounted without additional support. The lens does not have it's own tripod mounting adapter. However, from expierence, I would recommend building your own lens support. Maximum sharpness can only be attained through the use of additional support. At 300mm (that's over 40x magnification) a breeze can vibrate the lens.

Jeff
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Old July 25th, 2002, 09:24 PM   #98
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As Jeff says, the 75-300 will work without a plate between the camera and the lens. I haven't compared the specs., but it is about like the normal lens as far as physical characteristics go except that the front barrel section has some play to it and the combination of this and the high magnification results in vibration in strong wind, but it works quite well in most conditions and the IS feature can help eliminate much of the jiggle. The camera is very easy to carry with this lens attached.
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Old July 25th, 2002, 10:24 PM   #99
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few other lenses

Well I've just tried the Canon 50mm USM and Canon 100 Macro lenses- I found the Macro to be a bit less useful in that it magnifies the images too much and quite a distance is needed to keep the objects in focus- the Canon 75-300 USM seems to do much the same but with less effort and closer focusing......the 50mm is an excellent alternative to the stock lens but with a marked improvement in sharpness- it's probably an awesome lens for interviews and can be handheld....so far the 75-300mm remains my favorite- although I hear the 100-400 is the true "star" amongst the EOS lenses...I'm gonna try a few Sigma macros and get back to you guys......
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Old July 26th, 2002, 05:48 AM   #100
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Steve

Can you tell a little more about your expierence with the 100 macro? I was considering that lens. It is supposed to be one of the sharpest Canon makes. Any comments or impressions would help.

Jeff
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Old July 26th, 2002, 08:50 AM   #101
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Been very busy at work lately (I'm an airbrush artist)- I'll mount up the 100 macro and shoot it outdoors and see what benefits or drawbacks there are to using it- i'll post soon.
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Old July 28th, 2002, 09:22 AM   #102
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Which EOS Lenses should I Try?

It seems to me, that you are perhaps missing a better option than a longer lens.

Every june, I set out feeders for the species that I am going to tape.

Unless your birds are far different from those here in the Adirondack Mountains, of New York State, after you feed them for a while, they practically eat out of your hands.

I am about to tape a quartet of hummingbirds, from a distance of 2 feet, using the stock 16-1 on my XL-1s.

Last august, I shot them at about the same distance, at 1/8,000 of a second, and shorter.

Stunning photographic ballet! They are full frame to head's only.

While I am not familiar with your laws, might I suggest, that if it is possible, plant some wild rice.

If you can do it in a secluded spot, they will come in to feed.

Most super long lenses are best used on dangerous situations. And, yes, I do use them………, often.

Bob

p.s.: Even at its highest speed setting, the hummingbirds wings are still a blur. Maybe the ?XL-2? will bring the speed up to a "decent" level.
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Old July 28th, 2002, 10:31 AM   #103
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I don't think a super high shutter speed alone can do what you want.

AFAIK, no manufacturer makes a high speed (slo mo) video camera under $50K.

That is why I personally want 720P to take root
as the HD format of choice. At least you
get a full 60 frames per second, as opposed
to 24P or 1080i. Panasonic is on the right
track with their varicam.

More frames provides more options. To reduce
bandwidth or if you want that stutter look, you can always repeat frames, but
if the number of frames is only 24, the options
are limited.

24Pdv will be an improvement over interlace, but
temporal resolution will remain weak. Fast pans
will still strobe.
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Old July 29th, 2002, 08:10 AM   #104
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Which EOS lenses should I try?

I don't disagree with your conclusions, as to the format, such as digital HD.

Mine was just a wistful desire for a perfect camera (sic).

As we progress toward a truly solid state system, (no tape, disc, etc.), the progression to a fluid shutter system, such as the army has used for many years, seems to me quite likely.

I continue to dream on.

Bob
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Old July 29th, 2002, 08:58 AM   #105
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A perfect camera would have better contrast handling.

I am currently working on an Osprey documentary here near Ann Arbor, MI. These birds are beautiful. Their backs and the mask that cover their eyes are
dark brown. The top of their heads and most of their face is pure white.

If I turn my exposure down to where none of image is clipping, the rest of the
image is so dark that it is unusable. I done some experiments,
but my conclusion is with the XL1 filming these creatures, you gotta clip
their heads some or you have nothing.

JVC claims that their higher bit depth allows for in-camera processing to have better contrast control, so not only whites, but shadows.

I would love to see the XL1-HD not only have 720 P, but some kind of
in camera processing to control and level the whites better than any
other video camera made. Contrast at least as good as film would be
nice.
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