URGENT - I am in the middle of a shoot and have lost zoom and focus! - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 09:55 AM   #16
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The 14x was a Fuji lens, and you'll need a seperate zoom control motor. But yeah, that's one way to check it out.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 11:00 AM   #17
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There were separate Canon and Fujinon-based 14x manual lenses. See http://www.dvinfo.net/canon/articles/article58.php#c14x.

Wonder if the current Canon 16x manual is sufficiently manual?
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 05:21 PM   #18
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thats the rub, there are no lenses here without ordering...

thanks Don & Richard:
>>no simple way to determine where the problem is>>
Ok, what's the hard way? we are in a city surrounded by a jungle and the himals where ya can't even get petro. finding obscure manual lenses is like finding an iphone. what to do? we have all canon lenses just for that reason. never had a still camera lens go bad. rats.
BS
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 02:33 AM   #19
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Short of sending the camera out or buying a new camera in, you might need to buy in a still-camera lens adaptor for your XL and a few good still-camera manual lenses.

If you already have Canon still-camera lenses available, then you might only need the adaptor but make sure which type of Canon still-camera, the lenses you have there fit onto.

Some Canon still-camera lenses with auto and manual choices do not work as manual aperture lenses off the camera they were designed for.

Some can be made to work by wedging the little automatic aperture lever in back of the lens open against its spring pressure.

Canon make an adaptor for the XL to fit their own still-camera lenses. There may be one for Nikons. There are non-genuine adaptors made for Canon. I think Les Bosher in the UK makes them.

Because the 1/3" (8mm approx) CCDs of the XL will only see the centre part of a still-camera lens image, the same lens which looks wide on a still-camera will look tele on the video camera.

So for the "normal" field of view you would need something like a 16mm which for still-cameras is an ultra-wide lens and for the tele end, maybe a 50mm which is a "normal" field of view for the still camera, or 85mm if you want to go closer.

You wont be able to go as wide as you can with your XL's own genuine lens.

A higher number than 85mm as your telephoto lens you may find unmanageable hand-held. You lose optical image stabilisation when you take the original XL lens off. (I may be wrong on that one so somebody please correct me if I am wrong.)

You could buy in a still-camera zoom lens, say a 17mm to 50mm, but if you are going with an adaptor, why not use sharper prime lenses which yield better contrast if they are of good quality. If you are in snow country this could be a bonus.

Last edited by Bob Hart; July 3rd, 2007 at 02:39 AM. Reason: errors
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 08:33 AM   #20
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Using a still camera lens adapter, there is a factor of 7x in terms of apparent field of view for a give focal length. That is installing a 50 mm focal length still camera lens on the XL body will provide a field of view similar to a 350mm telephone on a 35mm still camera.

Short of having another XL1 lens (or body) to try, or service manuals and service tools at hand, and making sure the contacts on the lens and body are all clean, I know of no other way to test the lens/body.

Is there any way to have someone air ship (e.g., FedEx, DHL, etc.) a replacement lens to try? or maybe a whole camcorder? from your home or a nearby location?
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Old July 4th, 2007, 01:17 AM   #21
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Thanks, I have always considered this but have never seen any good shoots ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Hart View Post
Short of sending the camera out or buying a new camera in, you might need to buy in a still-camera lens adaptor for your XL and a few good still-camera manual lenses.

If you already have Canon still-camera lenses available, then you might only need the adaptor but make sure which type of Canon still-camera, the lenses you have there fit onto.
Thanks Bob, I have considered this, getting adapter, as I have a complete selection of canon primes and zooms, but I have NEVER seen a sample of normal shooting with this adapter. Just zoomed wildlife and closeups of insects and plant (cells). But that's a cheaper option to try. I still can't believe that I can't find some diagnostic procedure without having a replacement cam or lens!!! I can order a new lens but there won't be a return policy if the body is bad. Then I would be stuck. I may have to wait until I leave this jungle and get back to "civilization" but that won't be for months. Then I guess I could go to a canon repair center and see if they could just swap the lens and see what's wrong. But I sure would like to figure this out before then.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 01:20 AM   #22
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thanks don

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Originally Posted by Don Palomaki View Post
Using a still camera lens adapter, there is a factor of 7x in terms of apparent field of view for a give focal length. That is installing a 50 mm focal length still camera lens on the XL body will provide a field of view similar to a 350mm telephone on a 35mm still camera.

Short of having another XL1 lens (or body) to try, or service manuals and service tools at hand, and making sure the contacts on the lens and body are all clean, I know of no other way to test the lens/body.

Is there any way to have someone air ship (e.g., FedEx, DHL, etc.) a replacement lens to try? or maybe a whole camcorder? from your home or a nearby location?
Well, like i just replied to Bob...plewwweee. The nearest place to get parts is BKK or Singapore, and I have to go thru an importer if I ever want to see anything. Duty here is over 30%. Personal FedEx is a blackhole. Oy vey.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 03:30 AM   #23
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You can find out if your Canon still-camera lenses will work by getting a thick sock, rolling it over the still-camera lens to hang over in a thick roll at the mount end to work as a light shield.

If you have a firm bench or table handy outdoors in what would be close to your normal shooting environment, put some tape or a piece cut from a band-aid, steristrip or sticking plaster over the conductive pins inside the camcorder lens mount so you don't short them out, sit your camera on the table, get some books or wooden pieces to pack under the still-camera lens to help you keep it steady, then offer your still-camera lens up in front of the camera lens mount about 8mm away from the mount which hopefully should put you close to the flange distance. Slide it inwards and outwards while keeping it centred and you should see an image in the LCD viewfinder.

Start with the still-camera lens aperture set to f11. You may have to jam the little iris lever open against its spring for manual aperture to work with the lens off its normal camera. Set your camcorder shutter on about 1/150th sec, video automatic gain "on". This will give you enough of an indication whether a manual lens is going to work or not for your camera in its present condition.

Try this with the widest still-camera lens you have ( 12mm - 24mm) otherwise the image will shake too uncontrollably for you to see if sharpness, available manual iris control etc., is okay.

As other posts have suggested, most still-camera lenses for the wider 35mm film or smaller digital still format will work like telephoto lenses on your XL Focal lengths on your XL's own genuine lens will be in the ballpark of about 6mm at the wide end to about 70mm at the tele end.

Another long shot you could try if you don't have a choice of wide still-camera lenses in the 12mm to 24mm ballpark, would be to order in a Letus35 flip for XL with the correct lens mount for your Canon still-camera lenses. This would give your video camera near to the same field-of-view as your digital still-cameras through the same lenses.

The Letus35 would require lenses of f1.8 widest aperture to work properly. If you don't already have f1.8 lenses with you there, it would not be worth trying.

It is not a choice I would feel confident to make because the Letus35 has to be set up correctly and one or two modifications needed for best results. If you are making images of snowfields, there might be soft blemishes on the white image areas.

The Letus35 battery pack is also exposed and might not work well in freezing cold conditions. In freezing cold conditions, the rubber parts might also stiffen and stop the internal groundglass from moving properly.

If you wanted to go completely feral, you could find a 15mm thick piece of wood, fix your XL down onto it with the tripod screw hole, choose your widest Canon still-camera lens which works to your camcorder, cut one or two pieces of wood to fasten on edge as uprights to the longer wooden piece your XL is mounted on and carve gullies in the top edges to become chairs for your still-camera lens to sit into correctly centred for you camcorder, hopefully leaving room for the lens focus and aperture rings to be accessable and movable, then fix the lens down into the chairs with two more timber saddle clamps and screws or gaffa tape and seal off the gap between the back of the lens and front of Canon XL with the rolled up sock.

The local residents would roll around on the ground laughing or stare in rapt awe but as long as the centres were correct and the optical axes correct it could work as well as any adaptor though it would not look very professional.

Last edited by Bob Hart; July 4th, 2007 at 03:52 AM. Reason: error
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Old July 5th, 2007, 07:59 AM   #24
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I believe that the point Bob is making, is that if the camcorder currently produces an image, but you have lost the ability to control the lens focus, zoom, and/or aperture via the camcorder body, fitting on a full manual lens should work to provide useful video, because the manual lens will not rely on the automation.

You set the focus, zoom, and aperture manually, and it mattes not whether the failure to communicate with the automatic lens lies int hat body or the lens.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 02:56 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Palomaki View Post
Short of trying another known good lens, no simple way to determine where the problem is, but if exposure and recording are otherwise OK, try get your hands on the older Canon 14x fully manual lens.

Just to close this out, this was fixed by Canon Thailand (replace the lens circuitry) at a cost of 650 USD, Vat non-refundable. So overall, not bad, took a week waiting in a hotel, but that was fun! Cheers,
HG
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