XL1(S) 16X Manual Lens at DVinfo.net

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Old February 8th, 2002, 09:14 AM   #1
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XL1(S) 16X Manual Lens

I'm strongly considering purchasing the 16X Manual Servo Lens. I'm hoping this lens will solve the soft focus issues and enable me to find that "sweet spot" focus point much quicker rather than turning the standard 16X II Auto Lens back and forth hoping I found it. I also have the 3X Wide Angle Lens and although it gives a nice "wide angle", I find that it gives a softer look than the standard lens as well. I'm also considering using a good wide angle adapter with the manual lens in hopes to get sharper wide shots than with the 3X Lens. Anyway, I'm just looking for anyone with experience with this new 16X Manual Servo Lens and to find out if it is a good investment. Thanks.
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Old February 8th, 2002, 01:44 PM   #2
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I too am considering this lens, but I'm wondering about a few things with this lens, perhaps someone who has purchased it may have the answers

The specs list multiple modes including a "variable" zoom, but is this a true continuously variable zoom like those found on broadcast lenses (i.e. can be feathered in and out for stops)? Or does it function similarly to the standard lens, with a range of uniform speeds.

Also I haven't seen any information on whether the optical and physical quality has been upgraded from the 14x manual lens. The 14x had a bit of a flimsy feel, so I wondering if the new one has a better fit and finish.

And do I understand that there is no manual iris ring on the new lens?

Regarding the 3x lens: is this a common complaint about focus with this lens? I knew there was a back focus problem with the old 16x standard lens, but didn't realize it was the same with the 3x. I used the 3x as well as a Century Precision .7x adaptor on the 14x lens about a year ago, and thought that the edges of frame were a bit soft using the adaptor, that the 3x seemed better. Is there a better wide angle adaptor out there?
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Old February 8th, 2002, 04:02 PM   #3
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Anyone out there use the Fujinon 14x lens that Optex converted to fit the XL1? I'd love to know how it stacks up against the new Canon 16x Manual lens.

Check out this article that Michaelp Pappas wrote for dvinfo:

http://www.dvinfo.net/canon/articles/article58.htm

actually, that is the link to this site's articles on lenses for the XL1; if you scroll down to the Fujinon lens, there's a link to the Pappas story.

Can anyone tell us about their experiences with the Fujinon and perhaps how it stacks up against the new 16xmanual lens?
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Old February 8th, 2002, 04:15 PM   #4
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I own the Optex Fuji 14x conversion, and I've played with the new Canon 16x Manual lens at trade shows. In short, you will not discern any difference in image quality. Canon and Fujinon simply do not make bad glass. They're both at the top of the industry.

Here are the differences: the Optex Fuji conversion can't communicate electronically with the XL1 body. Therefore you get a "no lens" indicator in a corner of the EVF. Likewise there's no way to access the digital slow shutter effects. The Canon 16x has a non-rotating 72mm front end and the Optex Fuji 14x has a rotating 62mm front end.

The other primary difference is the Canon 16x Manual has a zoom motor built-in, switchable from manual to servo. The Optex Fuji is manual zoom only. Both lenses are manual focus only. The Optex Fuji has an iris ring while the Canon 16x does not (iris controlled by the camera head). There's no ND filter on the Optex Fuji while there are two ND filter settings on the Canon 16x.

You can have remote motorized zoom and focus on both lenses, with some optional accessories. Hope this helps,
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Old February 14th, 2002, 10:13 AM   #5
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Well, I went ahead and purchased the 16X Manual Servo Lens and it arrived yesterday. I really didn't get a chance to shoot anything critical yet but I can tell you this much, I'm never taking it off the XL1S. At last, even with the color viewfinder, you know when you are in focus. The slightest miss and you can see the image blur and all it takes is a little adjustment and you are there. It totally makes the camera look and feel more professional. I reallly wish Canon would make a wide angle lens, even fixed, just like the manual servo lens. I used the 3X Wide Angle Lens, and to me, that was a pain to use as well. I never knew if I was in focus, it was always a gamble. It also never seemd to provide a good sharp image which to me is critical, especially in a wide shot. Anyway, the 16X Manual Servo Lens seems to be a winner, we'll see in the next few weeks.
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Old February 14th, 2002, 11:32 AM   #6
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I've owned the 16x manual lens for about six weeks now. Next to the camera itself, it's the best investment I've made in the mini dv format.

Yes, it makes critical focus much easier. Yes, the focus seems to "snap" in place (especially with zebras). And yes, I've been happy with the quality of the glass and resulting image.

Probably the only thing that keeps it from being the perfect lens in my opinion is that the iris control is not on the lens, it's on the camera body. I'm having a hard time getting used to that.

Another point to keep in mind is that the Century .6 wide angle lens will not work on the front of the 16x manual lens. I've talked to Century about this and they're working on a retrofit.

The 1.6 extender will work with that lens though.

I think anyone who has worked with larger format "professional" lenses in the past would be very happy with this lens.

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Old February 15th, 2002, 05:30 AM   #7
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Isn't it so that wide angle lenses at their widest
setting don't require any (or much) focusing at all?
since these lenses are so wide?

Just something I heard somewhere...
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Old February 15th, 2002, 11:43 AM   #8
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Since DV has such massive depth of field anyway, Rob, you are essentially correct. But
"wide" is a subjective term. Fisheye lenses hold from virtually the front of the lens to infinity, but even the Canon 3x wide angle lens can be made to throw the background out if the object focused on is just a few inches away and the aperture is wide open.

For most types of shooting though, you can get away with going "wide and stupid" (that's just an expression!)

Otherwise, for the folks who have posted recently about their new 16x manual lens, do you have any feedback about my earlier query regarding the zoom speed; i.e. is it able to perform a truly variable speed zoom that allows you to feather in and out of stops like on a broadcast lens, or does it jump between preset speeds when more or less pressure is applied, like an automatic transmission?
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Old February 15th, 2002, 12:56 PM   #9
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Hi Charles,

The zoom on the new lens does "feather".

It's just like a real broadcast lens, except of course it doesn't have an iris control......that's on the camera body.

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Old February 19th, 2002, 08:12 AM   #10
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iris control

What do you mean that the iris control is on the camera body. Do you mean that you can only control the iris through the camera itself and not on the lens?
Second question is that I'm looking to purchase this lens but wanted to know if the servo zoom control device (or whatever it's called) that's attached to the lens would prevent me from being able to attach a follow focus unit on the lens.
Third, I've been trying to find out where I could get a follow focus unit for the xl-1s and how much it would cost me. I tried contacting the company listed on the xl-1 watchdog but got no reply. does anyone know where else i could get one, and how much it would cost? or atleast how much the ones they carry cost.
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Old February 19th, 2002, 08:29 AM   #11
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Yes, unfortunately the iris must be conrolled by the thumbwheel on the camera body...the lens itself has no exposure control (other than a built-in ND filter).

In my mind that lack of iris control on the lens is the only negative factor, but it is a big one.

It's my understanding the 14X manual does have the iris control on the lens itself (like a professional lens), but I've never used one so I can't say for sure.

I don't know anything about focus pullers so I can't answer the rest of your questions. Many others on this forum are knowledgeable in that area though, and I bet they can help.

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Old February 19th, 2002, 08:53 AM   #12
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Mike,

I can understand that having the iris wheel on the camera
instead of directly on the lens can be irritating. But why is
it a big negative factor? It does what it needs to be done
only a bit different. If I understand it correctly it will not
harm your shots in anyway (since you set your iris before
shooting). The problematic point has been the manual
focus that this lens solves. Isn't that good enough?
Ofcourse everything can be improved, I am not denying
that.

Just being curious....
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Old February 19th, 2002, 09:21 AM   #13
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The follow focus mechanism attaches to the left side of the lens, whereas the zoom motor and assembly is on the right, so a follow focus unit should work with the 16x manual.

Cinetech and Chrosziel both make follow focus setups, neither are cheap. It's a fairly exotic piece of gear for most types of DV shooting, IMHO.
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Old February 19th, 2002, 09:22 AM   #14
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It's an irritation more than anything. For twenty years I've used lenses with the iris control in the same place and I'm very comfortable with that set up. I can make quick adjustments on the fly without giving it a second thought.

Almost all of my video is shot outdoors. Wildlife, hunting and fishing are my main topics. Yes, I can set my exposure beforehand, but when light conditions change or my subject moves I have to make changes while rolling.

It woudn't be so bad if the iris wheel even turned the SAME DIRECTION as a standard lens mounted iris control, but it's the OPPOSITE. I just can't seem to get used to that.

Don't get me wrong, I think the new 16X manual is a huge improvement over the old standard lens, and I'm sure eventually I'll get used to it.

However I think folks considering one should be aware it's not identical to lenses they may have used in the past.

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Old February 19th, 2002, 10:14 AM   #15
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Okay! thank you for explaning to me! Makes sense :)
Like I said I was just wondering....
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