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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old January 27th, 2004, 12:22 AM   #1
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Advantage to using camera lenses

I have some old Canon FD lenses - a 50mm, a 135mm and a macro/portrait. Would it be worth it to buy the FD adapter and what would you do with such lenses?
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Old January 27th, 2004, 05:26 AM   #2
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Some advantages include when you need a long focal length (longer than the 88 mm of the standard lens), perhaps fully adjustment, and already have the lenses.
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Old January 27th, 2004, 08:11 AM   #3
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Be advised that when you use a 35mm still photo lens with the XL1 / XL1S, the effective field of view is equivalent to 7.2 times the focal length. So a 50mm lens on an XL1S yields a field of view equal to 360mm, etc.
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Old January 31st, 2004, 09:34 AM   #4
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Please note you CANNOT USE the FD lens on the Canon XL1/XL1S. Only the EF lenses will work with the EF adaptor. I am not aware that Canon sells a FD adaptor for use on the XL1/XL1S. Reason - FD lenses are not electronically coupled. It uses manual (mechanical) coupling between lens and body.
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Old January 31st, 2004, 10:14 AM   #5
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Canon doesn't make an FD adapter, but ZGC caries one that is made in England. It's just a ring mount with no optics or anything. Unfortunately, it costs $450. That's the reason for my question. What's the point of getting such an adapter? What kind of shooting would it be valuable for?
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Old January 31st, 2004, 10:49 AM   #6
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I really have doubts that the FD lens will even work with the XL1. The reason is - how do you adjust the aperature of the lens then? There isn't such a thing as "stop down metering" on the XL1 - hence, even if you go for manual mode, the XL1 still have to adjust the aperature via the camera control. Perhaps (I guess) if you *could* match the lens physical aperature with the camera's expected aperature, it might work ... but I don't really know.

Why don't you just send an email to Christine of ZGC (I really appreciate their excellent service) and ask her how the FD adaptor really work - bearing in mind the physical limitations of the FD lens (mechanical coupling).

On 2nd thought, it might - I once tried a SIGMA mirror lens (no aperature) on the XL1 using the EF adaptor - the XL1 flashes a warning symbol constantly on the viewfinder - no aperature to adjust. But, if you set electronically the cameras' aperature to match the lens (f/8), it could record the scene. However, that was using the EF adaptor. I have no knowledge of using the FD adaptor.

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Old January 31st, 2004, 03:46 PM   #7
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The FD lens uses a mechanical aperature. This requires the lens to be placed on the adapter a certain way to engage a device on the lens. I have an FD extender that works like that and I assume the XL1 adapter works similarly. The lens should open and close the aperature and the XL1 should have shutter speed control. The XL1 will say "no lens", but should work anyway.
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Old January 31st, 2004, 07:44 PM   #8
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Okay, if you certain that the Canon FD adaptor will work on the XL1, and provided you can somehow mentally erase the irritating warning symbol that flashes right in the middle of the viewfinder ("no lens"), then you can possibly use the FD lenses on your XL1.

The only good thing is that you can use your FD lenses as extreme telephoto lenses on the XL1 (as pointed in previous posts). All FD lenses (and EF too) focal length are multiplied by 7.2X which is great for wildlife. Other than that, that isn't that much use for them. However, you have to justify the US$450 for that.

Because it is an extreme telephoto, you need a ROCK SOLID platform to place your XL1 on - absolutely no hand held - no image stabilisation as well. I need a VINTEN video tripod just to hold my XL1 with normal 16X and 1.6X teleconvertor at the extreme end of the zoom (1008mm). That VINTEN pro tripod costs about US$600 ... so be warned. I also have the EF convertor for which I mount the 75-300 EF lens (500 - 2100mm on XL1). You really need to wait for 5 seconds after you move the platform for the tripod to stabilise before you press the record button. Almost impossible to pan at 2100mm as well. BUT great for birds and other wildlife videography. Oh, and manual focus too - and for that, I found it much cheaper and easier to focus using an external video monitor (LCD is great). The Canon viewfinder is too small & BW monitor too expensive. The one ZGC sells is fantastic. Uses Canon own battery as well.
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