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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old February 2nd, 2002, 01:55 PM   #1
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Arri PL to XL-1

Has anyone on this thread actually got to play with one of these. I understand that Optex sells the adapter for $599.00 , Does that mean I could fit any 16mm or 35mm type lens (Film) on thefront of an XL-1. What other pitfalls exsist to this type of setup.

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Old February 2nd, 2002, 07:30 PM   #2
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If you have the $$$$ it can be done. I've seen an XL1 with a Panavision(I think) lens on the front of it. It all comes down to $$$$.
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Old February 3rd, 2002, 07:41 PM   #3
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According to the Optex site, that adaptor effectively increases the focal length by a factor of 2.6x. Thus a Zeiss 18mm prime (pretty much the widest "standard" prime) becomes a 46.8 mm, a bit longer than the 40mm or so wide end of the standard Canon XL1 lenses. Using the speciality primes like the Nikon 8mm, one could get a focal length similar to the wide end of the Canon 3x zoom--but we are talking about a $150/day lens that weighs more than the camera!

Without having actually seen or used it, it sounds like an interesting piece of gear and has a lot more utility than the P+S Technik adaptor. I look forward to shooting some tests to see if the enhanced resolution and coatings available on good PL primes make a significant difference in the DV format. Some disadvantages I can see would be the loss of the wider focal lengths due to the conversion, the added expense of renting a set of primes (around $400/day for a set of 5) and accessories (mattebox, follow focus etc).

Speaking of which, I would have concerns about the maximum weight that can be leveraged from the XL1 lens port. A Zeiss standard or speed would not be significant even with a clip-on lightweight mattebox, but a late model prime such as the Cooke S4's, or a variable prime like the Arri VPL's loaded with a few filters up front could easily present stress on the lens port, which was not really designed for such things. I would use a mattebox with support rods at the very least.

There are some other interesting possibilities such as using anamorphic lenses...hmmm...

Afterburner, I would be VERY curious if someone has built a Panavision adaptor for an XL1...! Conceivably their new HD zoom would present a fairly close conversion to the DV focal lengths, but it's a bit like putting a Porsche engine on a lawnmower...no offense to the XL1 intended!
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Old February 3rd, 2002, 08:08 PM   #4
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Interesting. I see that on the ZGC website, the Optex adaptor is described as having a 7.2x conversion factor on the focal length (rather than 2.6x as listed by Optex), which is what I would have expected. Silly me, believing the information given on the manufacturer's own website, what was I thinking?

If this is the case...that adaptor is not of much use unless you plan to shoot extremely long lens footage; in which case, you may be better off using a still camera lens and adaptor, which would be a cheaper setup.
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Old February 7th, 2002, 05:40 PM   #5
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No More Focal Length Confusion, I Hope

Hi Everyone - Your posting about the descrepancy between what the OpTex site www.optexint.com and ZGC site says is well taken! It appears that neither of the sites explains the focal length issue as fully as they should. See the following clarification from Guy Genin, head technician at ZGC, Inc.:

The issue of equivalent focal length when using lenses designed for different formats has to be clarified. This question comes up when you use an adapter allowing the use of a PL mounted or Nikon mounted lens on the Canon XL1 camera. The question commonly asked is “What is the resulting focal length of a given lens?”

Answer: the focal length is not changed. For example, if you use a 24mm film lens, the angle of view of the image recorded on your XL1 will be exactly the same as when you set your DV zoom lens at 24mm. If you need to, you can try the comparison with your Canon manual 16x zoom lens as the focal is engraved on the barrel.

The confusion comes from the comparison of images of different sizes sustaining the same angle of view. Or to phrase it in visual terms, let’s say you want to shoot a small painting and you want the frame of your monitor to be entirely filled by the painting. From a given distance with your DV lens, say you zoom-in at a focal length of 60mm. In this case the image size filling the CCD of the camera is 4.8mm x 3.6mm.

Now if you compare this image with a 16mm film frame, (and the subtle differences in lenses are ignored), a 60mm focal length, 16mm format lens would still create a 4.8 x 3.6mm image of the painting on the film. But as the size of a 16mm film frame is 10.4mm x 7.5mm; that painting would be far from filling the frame. To fill this 16mm frame, (at the same distance) you would need to use a 27.3mm lens. This ratio of about 2.2 comes from 10.4 divided by 4.8 (the horizontal size of the 16mm frame by the horizontal size of a 1/3” DV frame). For this reason some people tend to think that a 27.3mm, 16mm format, film lens is the equivalent of a 60mm in DV format.

With a 35mm format lens, the size of the full frame is 18mm x 24mm and a 12mm focal would be required to fill it with the original painting under the same conditions as the ratio is now 5 times the 1/3 inch.
Finally, added confusion exists in 35mm as this comparison is often made with a 35mm still frame where the size of the negative is 36mm x 24mm and the ratio is 7.5 times the 1/3”. Again this is relevant if you need to fill the print with the original painting.
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Old February 8th, 2002, 04:26 AM   #6
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Re: No More Focal Length Confusion, I Hope

Thank you for your response, Barbara, however I don't quite get one of Guy's statements:

<<< if you use a 24mm film lens, the angle of view of the image recorded on your XL1 will be exactly the same as when you set your DV zoom lens at 24mm.>>>

If am following him correctly, he then goes on to illustrate that using a 12mm film lens, the angle of view recorded will be the same as when the DV lens is set as 60mm.

I wish it was the former, but I believe that it is the latter that is true?
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Old February 13th, 2002, 12:38 PM   #7
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Mini35 adapter

Charles..

check this out

http://www.pstechnik.de/pstechnik.htm

chuc
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Old February 13th, 2002, 01:31 PM   #8
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Focal Length

In reply to Charles Papert's request for clarification on 2/8:

From Barbara: it's good that this has come to light, because obviously the product descriptions for the XL-1/XL-1S adapters available needed to be reworded on our site so as not to be misleading. Before I tackle reworking the adapter descriptions on our website, I'm going to wait until all sides of this question are answered to the satisfaction of our Watchdog friends.

From Guy Genin:

The right answer is the focal length of the lens is not changed, there is no change in magnification, and the adapter does not turn the film lens in a telephoto lens. For example, if you use a film lens of 24mm focal length, the size of the subject recorded on your XL1 will be the same as the size of the one recorded by your XL1 through your DV zoom lens set at a focal length of 24mm. (It is important to note that the subject and the distance from the camera to the subject have to be the same in both cases to make a valid comparison). This test can be easily made with your Canon manual 16x zoom lens.
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Old February 13th, 2002, 01:36 PM   #9
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to Chuck Hatcher:

Check out: http://www.zgc.com/html/p_s_technik_mini_35_adapter.htm.

ZGC is the North American distributor for the P+S Technik, Mini 35 Digital Adapter. We will be adding - today - more testimonial information to our website from Jared Shapiro and Brad Embree who just completed "Phreakers" the first independent film in the US shot with the adapter and the Canon XL-1.
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Old April 4th, 2002, 11:16 AM   #10
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There's an interesting article about the XL1s and specifically the 2nd generation P+S Technik adaptor in this months "American Cinematographer". It includes prints of a resolution test done with the adaptor, the 16x manual lens and the 16x standard lens. The results were that the lenses performed in the order listed above, with the adaptor resolving the finest detail on the chart. I look forward to evaluating the new version of the system.
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Old April 4th, 2002, 12:43 PM   #11
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If, by chance, you are going to NAB in Las Vegas next week, stop by the Canon Booth #L10600 where we will be demonstrating the P+S Technik Mini 35 Digital adapter. (ZGC reps will also be in the OpTex section of the Tiffen Booth #L9557 demonstrating the brand new version of the P+S adapter for the Sony PD150.)

If you aren't going to NAB, we keep adding rental facilities around the country. Check out the list on our website www.zgc.com to see if there's a rental house near you. Call them for an appointment to see the system.

Any questions, please give us a call,
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Old April 4th, 2002, 02:11 PM   #12
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Thanks, look forward to seeing it at NAB.
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Old April 5th, 2002, 07:31 AM   #13
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Charles,

Any chance you can scan that review and put it up or something?
(dunno if this is legal though)... I'd love to read that comparison.

Thanks!
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Old April 5th, 2002, 08:15 AM   #14
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That ain't exactly legal, but I can talk to ZGC and American Cinematographer and see about getting permission to copy the review on my site. Will see about that at N.A.B.
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Old April 5th, 2002, 08:20 AM   #15
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I was afraid so... I didn't want to push anyone to do anything
illegal. Was just wondering if it would be possible. Would be
nice if you could acquire those "rights" Chris! Thanks.
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