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Old November 30th, 2003, 05:47 AM   #1
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Variable Zoom Rates

Hi guys !

I have a Canon XL1s and have a query !

I would like to get a preset zoom rate of somewhere between Low and Medium on the grip zoom controller. The low is a bit too slow, and the medium is just a bit too fast...!! (There's always one pain in the ar$e isn't there...!!)

Does anyone know a way of getting this "in between" rate, or is it set in stone in the electronics?

Thanks
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Old November 30th, 2003, 11:06 AM   #2
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Canon makes a zoom control, the ZR100, which is pretty good for the money. $185.00 at B&H. It will allow you to dial a choice of seven different speeds, if memory serves me. OTOH, if you set it to "4," as an example, you will start at "4" when you zoom. IOW, you won't feather your start or stop, which is usually considered pretty bush. The controller also has a manual control which will allow a somewhat feathered start and stop. Or, you can also start at "zero" and dial up to "4" and back down to zero. Also a pretty lame way to do it, IMHO, but apparently it works to some peoples' satisfaction. I prefer the more sophisticated control offered by the Zoe, but that is a big step up in price at around $300.00.

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Old November 30th, 2003, 11:11 AM   #3
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Hi Nick,

In the XL1S, there are actually eight zoom speeds in each direction. The one you want is somewhere between the cam's pre-set "low" and "medium."

You can access all eight speeds by using an external hard-wired lens controller. Currently, my favorite of these is the VariZoom VZ-PGL. You can read an article I wrote about VariZoom controllers right here. There are a variety of similar controllers out there in the marketplace, but you'll want one that will allow you to "set and forget" the speed that's right for you, which you can do with the VariZoom PGL.

I'm aware that most working professionals in film and television prefer to ramp their zooms (start slowly, gradually increasing speed), which can't be done with the "set and forget" style without some heavy practice in rotating the speed controller during the zoom. However, for most types of videography including weddings, corporate/industrial, etc., I have never found this to be an issue. Hope this helps,
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Old November 30th, 2003, 04:36 PM   #4
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Minor correction, the Canon remote for the XL1 series (and GL1/2) is the ZR-1000.

The Canon ZR-100 was a simpler single-speed wired remote offered for the A1 and L1/2 series Hi8 camcorders.
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Old December 1st, 2003, 04:47 AM   #5
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Many thanks for your replies guys....I'll have to invest in one of these varizooms then...!

I take it that they are tripod based bits of kit, ie: I cant use it off tripod with a variable zoom rate.....?!

Also.... what do you guys find is the best way of keeping sharp focus on a zoomed shot. I've found that the auto focus can be a little "twitchy" and would prefer to always use the manual....

Is this just a matter of practice, practice, practice...?>!!!


Any good tips would be more than welcome...!

Cheers

Nick
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