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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old November 1st, 2002, 10:06 AM   #1
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XL system Anamorphic

It seems to me that had Canon (are you listening?) not wasted there development money on the ill-fated 3D lens, they could have usefully developed a combined zoom and 16:9 anamorphic lens (or proprietry attatchment) for the XL1/s - to me this single item would have catapulted this camera into more widespread professional use (settable timecode like JVC would be a close second), particularly in the UK, where 90% + of national broadcasting requires 16:9 acquisition (with 14:9 protected framing) - there are limitations on the use of 4:3 for wholly originated programs for broadcast. It seems such a shame when it is the only prosummer camera with an interchangeable lens!

Could any of you knowlegeable blokes tell me if any such plans are afoot/feasible? I am aware of the Optex attatchment but it seems so restricting, limiting as it does the zoom range to 15-25mm. Has anyone experience of this attatchment? And if so, is it good quality?

Many thanks
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Old November 1st, 2002, 06:43 PM   #2
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Panasonic is said to be working on one for the DVX100. The release date is next Spring, I believe. The DVX100 and XL1 share the same 72mm thread size. So, there may be one available soon.

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Old November 2nd, 2002, 08:05 AM   #3
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If its a screw on for 72mm, they ought to sell a bunch.
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Old November 4th, 2002, 07:57 PM   #4
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my 2 cents

I recently got the century optics 16:9 instead of the optex, which in case some of you are as thick as I am (will only work on the vx1000 or other 52mm cameras because it's bayonet mount- so there's not much I can do to stick the baby on my xl1 unless I get all Frankenstein on it, which I might, who knows). Either way, back to the point, Century Precision Optics said that their kicks the Optex's butt because it's not as limiting and is really a better glass, which I have found is the case on other CPO glass I've purchased before. They also said that they are not releasing an anamorphic/16:9 for the xl1s or xl1 anytime, probably ever because it's so pricey and they don't think that most owners would spend what is needed to make it right. They also said that the Optex glass is only zoomable for about 10mm, when it's screwed into the xl1/xl1s or sony cameras. I have heard reports that the Optex is decent but that you can't get really wide at all with it on, plus that the minute you move anything you can focus on everything but the main subject, in addition to a few reports that it's not very sharp. The sharp thing might be endemic to these kinds of adapters because I know how hard it is to put them on correctly and how it really does change how you direct your shoot vs. not using on on. More light, more time, less spontaneous movement for the actors, but the payoff is a really wide picture with all your pixels in use. If anyone wants it, please hit me up and I'll consider selling the CPO 16:9. Take care.

Christian
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Old November 4th, 2002, 10:13 PM   #5
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Christian,

What lens are you using this on? I remember you mentioned on the XL1 yahoo groups page that you also have a 14x manual lens. If this is the case, then yeah, you will need to frankenstein this sucker on. I've use a cavision mattebox assembly with support rods to mount Kowa or Iscorama fullscope anamorphic lenses on my XL1 with 14x manual.What you need is a coweling that the 14x can externally focus under, a clamp that is fastened to the rails and locks the a-lens with the coweling. If you're using the stock or manual servo 16x lens, then it won't be as tricky.

I used visited the local hardware store and found a piece of pvc piping that I cut down to use as my coweling, then stuck that inbetween a couple of plastic step rings.

But I agree, A-lenses are a pain in the ass, as with every piece of glass you stick in front of your main lens, you deteriorate the image somewhat. I've tried a number of a-lenses and each one of them makes the image softer than without them. I only use them when I want fullscope (for going to film), otherwise I just crop if I'm going to 1.66 aspect. They're just too inconvenient to regularly setup and use. Also this setup I've made is kind of precarious because a bump to the tripod can throw my careful focus out of whack. The 2.35 scope images I've been able to get are great, but my zoom range is extremely limited, as I prefer to whack the set with enough light and use ND's to pull a decent DoF. I've found that my a-lenses enhance the meager DoF quite a bit, although on these wide suckers, barrel distortion can be too high for some tastes.

In the end, I think we want HD or film to crop for 1.85, or at least get 16x9 chips. A-lenses are just messy, as many cinematographers have warned me in the past.

Adrian
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Old November 5th, 2002, 08:30 AM   #6
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What about getting better glass like using 35 milimeter lenses with the adapter?
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Old November 5th, 2002, 01:10 PM   #7
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thanks

Hi Adrian-

You are right. A true 16:9 chip is what we both need. But we probably got our xl1's not because we love the hassle but because of cost, which answers the 35mm question posed (by Jeep Bastard) just above this post.

I'd love to get more info Adrian on what your set up looks like. I love tweeking the xl1. I recently had a trade out and got the PAL model (which I had been fighting tooth and nail) and am playing with it as we speak.

I think it helps to get accessories for the xl1 because you learn and discover your own style and the features on the xl1 better than any manual or book. Of course the best learning is done by doing and not fiddeling or shopping which is why I usually care not to tell what equipment I use or spend more than a few minutes on that stuff. In the end you either use film or not, period. And not using film is always budget connected/driven. So why all the fuss, is my opinion.

If you want to chat sometime Adrian, hit me up through my site at www.nebunule.com. Take care.

Christian
nebunule films
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Old November 5th, 2002, 02:34 PM   #8
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Re: thanks

Yup. If I could get a P+S mini35 and real cooke prime lenses etc, I wouldn't be shooting on *ahem* limited miniDV format.
PAL, yeah I noticed you're ditchin your B+W viewfinder. Shame that it doesn't work on both formats at the same time.

Right now, I'm so bloody busy, I got a day film vfx gig, and in the evenings finished pre-prod for a 30 minute short movie (I've been waffling over trimming the running time down to fit it into a single can of film, but I can't without compromising the story). I start shooting this weekend, over 3 weekends. Two cam setup over many locatations, hence the long time to shoot.

I'll get some pics of the camera while on production. I was going to shoot fullscope, but because I have a motorbike chase with stunts to shoot this weekend from the back of a pickup, only going 1.66 academy film framing.


<<<-- Originally posted by digital--guy : Hi Adrian-

You are right. A true 16:9 chip is what we both need. But we probably got our xl1's not because we love the hassle but because of cost, which answers the 35mm question posed (by Jeep Bastard) just above this post.

I'd love to get more info Adrian on what your set up looks like. I love tweeking the xl1. I recently had a trade out and got the PAL model (which I had been fighting tooth and nail) and am playing with it as we speak.

I think it helps to get accessories for the xl1 because you learn and discover your own style and the features on the xl1 better than any manual or book. Of course the best learning is done by doing and not fiddeling or shopping which is why I usually care not to tell what equipment I use or spend more than a few minutes on that stuff. In the end you either use film or not, period. And not using film is always budget connected/driven. So why all the fuss, is my opinion.

If you want to chat sometime Adrian, hit me up through my site at www.nebunule.com. Take care.

Christian
nebunule films
los angeles, ca -->>>
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Old November 5th, 2002, 03:30 PM   #9
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hi back

Hi Adrian-

I'm doing a feature project in February, called 'shiner' (http://www.take-a-hit.com). No motocycle shots for me (thank god, because I'd probably bang up the camera something wicked. It does have tons of stylized fight sequences and very little light in most of the shots so I'm really toying around with lots of ways to get those on tape as best as possible. I'd love to do a blow up of it, when it's edited, but alas the $30 some thousand it costs these days is not in the 'budget' per say. :)

I just finished a short called 'how to walk through a door' or 'beautiful' (http://www.beautifulmovie.com) and that was all interiors and it came out really nice actually.

I'd like to play with the anamorphic but, as you've already mentioned, the shots go about double in time because the setup is so long and the camera stays putt the whole time, and I love shifting from handheld (with shoulder thing from image 2000) and my tripod/crane-jibarm.

Can't wait to see the pics of your adapter. You should make it to sell. It can't be any worst than the optex or century adapter.

Good luck on your shoot. Keep in touch when you have time. Take care.

Christian
nebunule films llc
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Old November 6th, 2002, 05:04 AM   #10
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Christian,

took a peak by your site. I like the idea of posting sides in pdf format. Very cool idea.

I'm not comfortable with fight sequences myself, from artistic and practical pov. I do have shots of a character falling off a cliff at the climax, but that is done with a cg stunt double I made for impossible/impractical shots. So we'll call it even-steven. ;)

Getting this film ready for festival circuit next year. I wish I could show more right now, but a lot of the bigger shows ask that no material be shown on the web other than the usual promotional material. A few behind the scenes won't hurt. Also going for pro 5.1 Dolby, and pro foley work. Make a huge difference. Getting my print done at work for awesome cost. I have to have it ready by end of Feb so it'll be a mad dash, but it's the rush I crave.

Also checked out BeautifulMovie. Looks very interesting. Nice lighting from the few pics I saw. 13 pages of script. I'll check it out tommorow during a tea break.

I work on features and tv during the day, and the result is a heightened appreciation of indy cinema. The latter keeps the creative juices flowing rather than stagnant.

Up here in Canada we have a digital satellite tv station called Moviola. It's very cool as it's 24 hours of short films and classic hard-to-find cartoons. When I'm at home, if I'm not listening to music, I put that station on and let it run while I work at my computer. Then if a short catches my attention, I sit down to watch it, then 20 mins later, go back to my work inspired.

Adrian
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