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Old January 4th, 2004, 12:17 AM   #1
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Focus

Hi
Doing some surf footage this weekend for the first time and focusing was a b1tch, The light levels here in the UK are not that good this time of year, which happens to correspond with the best surf. I can't afford the cost of the FU1000 and was thinking of trying some other method to allow precise focusing. I have the MA200 and was wondering if using a small external CRT TV would be any good, I know powering & setting up etc would be a bit more complicated, but has anyone else done anything like this?
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Old January 4th, 2004, 02:59 AM   #2
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Focus

OK, I think I did not put enough information on my post, when looking through the viewfinder it was really hard to focus correctly, the sea was grey, the sky was grey (typical English wintertime). Being short sighted and wearing glasses doesn't help much either. The resultant footage was constanty blurring out as I couldn't see the focus that well when shooting. so now thinking of something larger to view whilst shooting. I looked at some threads and they mentioned the verizoom external camera mounted TFT screen, cool, but they are not available outside the USA. Does anyone know of a similar item that is available for UK residents?
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Old January 4th, 2004, 11:13 AM   #3
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I too can not see well enough to focus with the viewfinder. However I've learned to trust the XL1s' auto focus button. I run everything manually but when I frame my shot I push the (temporary) auto focus button and have always been happy with the results (in post). As far as your question about using a small TV as a monitor...I used to but then I bought a (cheap $300) shoe mount LCD monitor off of Ebay and it works fine for framing shots but I plan on buying a "real" one before too long. I would search this site for, say, "shoe mount" or "camera mount monitor" for reccomendations.
Good luck,
Randy
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Old January 4th, 2004, 01:04 PM   #4
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Indeed, Jed, you are certainly not alone in your difficulty. The standard color viewfinder is just too coarse to facilitate consistently crisp focus by eye alone.

Randy's suggestion is a good one when using the standard 16x Auto lens in manual focus mode.

1. Frame your subject.
2. Zoom in to the main portion of the subject.
3. Press the auto focus button on the lens' barrel to snap focus (not to change from manual focus)
4. Zoom back out to reframe your subject.

As Wayne Orr, a fellow member here, often notes in his signature, "If it was easy they'd get a relative to do it.".
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Old January 4th, 2004, 02:39 PM   #5
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Thank you kind sirs for your recommedations, will try that out next time the surf picks up (If it ever does)

Regards

Jed

P.S
shot a Christening tonight and had the lens in manual and focused in on the Vicar, really clear, but maybe it was the low light in the Church, or are my eyes getting too bad? but it did seem to drift in and out slightly. Maybe it was my eyes? will let you know when I get it into final cut Pro

TTFN

P.P.S
This is a truly magnificent forum, have been searching for an XL one for quite some time, stumbled upon it accidentaly :-))
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Old January 4th, 2004, 03:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
shot a Christening tonight and had the lens in manual and focused in on the Vicar, really clear, but maybe it was the low light in the Church, or are my eyes getting too bad? but it did seem to drift in and out slightly. Maybe it was my eyes? will let you know when I get it into final cut Pro
One additional remark here, Jed. Your eyes may not be fooling you. If you do not also have the camera's exposure in Manual mode the focus may, indeed, be drifting even though the lens is in manual focus.

Realize that if you are using the shutter speed-priority (Tv) program the camera will be adjusting the iris to compensate for the speed you've set. Your depth of field will vary slightly as that iris opens and closes. Consequently the crispness of focus will appear to drift even though the lens is in manual focus mode.

For complete control, be sure to keep the camera's exposure mode in Manual, if you're not already doing so.
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Old January 5th, 2004, 02:58 AM   #7
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I had the camera set to M (as I always do) and did notice something as well, you know in the top left hand corner of the viewfinder there is the bar that I have always thought of as the zoom iindicator, (well it moves between W & T when I am zooming), last night it was moving itself??? the overall birghtness seemed to change occaisionaly?? I was not touching any off the controls at the time, but anyway I have just woken up and once the effects of the large quantity of Bacardi I consumed have worn off, I will look at the footage (I being the Great Uncle and Godafather it was my duty to purchase alcohol for everyone) Again thanks for the advice Sirs

Regards

Jed

BCNU

P.S
Found a 7" LCD Monitor on E-Bay for 70 (Not sure how many of those green backs that is) basicallly it is a screen for in car entertainment, will modify it and let you know if it does the job, the Neblek ones are over 400 ARGGHHHH being a self employed wannabe camerman I can't afford those sort of prices!!
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Old January 5th, 2004, 01:50 PM   #8
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well the bacardi has worn off and I have started editing, in final Cut Pro the footage is absolutely perfect (to the eyes of a non professional camerman / editor) and the focus issue I think is due to a combination of my eyes and the small viewfinder. I am still amazed at that warm fuzzy film type look of shooting in frame mmmmmmm!
Thanks for all the advice and will carry out 2 important steps

1) visit my Optician
2) when the external TFT LCD turns up will use that to frame everything

Regards

Jed

P.S
Does anyone know why the top left indicator bar moves? I wasn't zooming honest!!
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Old January 5th, 2004, 02:49 PM   #9
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>>and the focus issue I think is due to a combination of my eyes and the small viewfinder<<

I've found that the Bacardi can be an issue too : )
Randy
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Old January 5th, 2004, 03:51 PM   #10
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Jed,
Are you sure that the bar is not indicating your exposure, dark to light (as mine does)? There is a small inverted triangle in the center indicating "correct" exposure. The indicator will slide as the frame changes.
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Old January 6th, 2004, 07:19 AM   #11
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Silly me, guess it is exposure

Thanks

Jed "so much to learn" Stone
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Old January 6th, 2004, 08:15 AM   #12
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exposure bar

Jed,

Yes, that is what you are seeing. The exposure bar only shows up when you have the camera in full manual (M). It will disappear and be replaced by the W/T bar while zooming but will reappear shortly after you stop zooming.

You have to be careful though, as on my XL-1 you will have blown out highlights in a high contrast scene by the time the exposure meter is centered. Of course, this gets back to the basic rule of proper lighting, especially in digital video which doesn't handle high contrast ratios very well.

That being said, you might want to strive to keep the exposure a little to the left of center. And, it you haven't already done so, turn on the zebra bars to show you those hot spots in your frame.

Good luck,
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