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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old April 22nd, 2004, 09:07 PM   #1
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What Lens?

I'm shooting my first Indpendent movie what is a good lens to use with my Xl1s.

Thanks.
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Old April 23rd, 2004, 09:24 PM   #2
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I find the 3x wide angle lens the most versitile when it comes to making a movie.

My other choice would be the 14x manual lens. It offers 95% of the function and features of the 16x manual lens, but at 60% the price.

Nothing really wrong with the stock 16x IS lens that comes with the camera though if that's what you have.

That's about it, unless you have the money to rent a mini35 system and lenses at around $900 a day. If you do, then use that.
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Old April 24th, 2004, 10:19 AM   #3
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If you are going to use cinematic camera technique, you need a manual lens.

I hemmed and hawed when I purchases my XL1s re the stock v. manual lens. Just bought the 16x manual and like it better than the auto lens . . . except that the auto lens has nice image stabilization.

If you do use the manual lens you need good camera support.
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Old April 24th, 2004, 04:36 PM   #4
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I agree with Peter.

When I bought an XL1s (I already had an XL1) I debated over getting one with the stock lens or a manual 16x.

I got the stock lens. That was a mistake. Should have gotten the manual 16x from the start.

I finally got a manual 16x and really like it. Fitted it with a Century 0.7x wide angle adapter and seldom take it off. The image quality is about the same as that of the stock lens but it stays focused throughout the zoom range and the added weight tends to make the camera a bit more stable if handheld.

And I don't really miss the stabilization feature much as the camera is mounted on a tripod or a Glidecam most of the time. When it is handheld, it's usually being shot with the lens zoomed out, or the weight of the lens sufficiently dampens much of the shake out of the image.

Dean Sensui
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Old April 24th, 2004, 10:16 PM   #5
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Dana, can you give us more info about what type of movie you are making, what your budget is, etc?

The manual lenses may make certain cinematic techniques easier, but if you already have the stock 16x IS lens, the 3x lens will be much more versitile than another lens in the same range. I own all 3 lenses, and find I use the 3x lens about 80% of the time, whether it is indie or paid projects.



One final IMPORTANT word, none of these lenses will significantly improve the look of your footage. Manual lenses only impress other camera nerds. Viewers of your movie don't care how clean your rack focus is, or how wide an angle you can shoot. If you are low on funds, you are much better off spending the cost of any of these lenses on more important things like lighting, sound, actors, costumes etc...
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Old April 24th, 2004, 11:11 PM   #6
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Dylan, are you saying that I am a Camera nerds?!? :)
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Old April 25th, 2004, 02:04 AM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jean-Philippe Archibald : Dylan, are you saying that I am a Camera nerds?!? :) -->>>

You and me both buddy. :)

Plus I have a matte box fetish. <g>
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Old April 27th, 2004, 11:12 PM   #8
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THe 16x Manual is a great lens.

the 3x wide angle lens is a toy.
YOu cant really pull proper focus with it
and it runs soft.

It's nice to have and you can pick one up for $900 or less new, but unforuantely, it's not that great of a lens.
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Old April 28th, 2004, 06:35 PM   #9
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I don't have a budget but I can afford one of these lens if it will make a difference and give me more of a cinema look
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Old April 28th, 2004, 07:09 PM   #10
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"I don't have a budget but I can afford one of these lens if it will make a difference and give me more of a cinema look"

Take a look at the Canon commercial on their website. It was shot using the manual 16x lens.

Also, keep in mind that it helps to be aware of lighting and exposure.

As for me, the 16x with a 0.7 Century wide angle adapter gives me the coverage of the 3x lens but with a much longer zoom range. It's a combination I seldom go without. Great for general use. If I need more reach I'll remove the 0.7x adapter.

Dean.
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 09:59 PM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dana Scott : I don't have a budget but I can afford one of these lens if it will make a difference and give me more of a cinema look -->>>

None of these lenses will give you a cinematic look, but the manual lenses are much nicer to use if you want to spend the extra money.
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 10:06 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by John Threat :

the 3x wide angle lens is a toy.
YOu cant really pull proper focus with it
and it runs soft.

-->>>

Sure, it is a little softer, and you can't pull focus directly with the servo focus, but that doesn't make it a toy. I find it much more useful than any of the 16x or 14x lenses for the XL1 when it comes to filmmaking. No one watches anything I do and asks how hard it was to pull focus, or comments on that the look is slightly soft.

Still, you are entitled to your opinion.
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 11:50 PM   #13
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If you are using the 3x, and you want to get some shallow DOF or proper focus, make sure there is a boatload of light and that you have some ND filters.
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Old May 4th, 2004, 12:07 AM   #14
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Good lighting technique is the foundation for any cinematic look.
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