Lanc Controller for the Canon XH A1 - Page 6 at DVinfo.net

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Old October 19th, 2008, 11:30 PM   #76
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Er, I don't think so..............

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jase Tanner View Post
With the 1000 I can use the lanc to zoom and then use the camera's "push AF" button to focus simultaneously while zooming. With the ZR2000 it seems the camera's "push AF" button is disabled so zooming and refocusing automatically is impossible.
The Canon XH A1 stock lens, like the XL1s lens before it, and many others, has only one servo, which does double duty for both Zoom AND Focus.

It can either Zoom OR Focus, not both at the same time.

Never have, never will.

You need to jump forward to the very latest Canon X Series lenses for double servo operation (not an option with an A1, alas).

Neither the ZR1000 NOR the ZR2000 (nor any other compatible Lanc) will allow/ provide simultaneous zoom & focus, as the lens(s) simply cannot do it.

This IS NOT a Lanc issue.

The ZR1000/ ZR2000 do have a known issue with manual focus with the XH A1, or, perhaps it would be safer to say the XH A1/ G1 has an issue with Lanc manual focus whatever the controller - it simply cannot be controlled accurately enough to guarantee "spot on" focus, especially at extended zoom settings.

[This subject has been pretty well aired in other threads. Canon calls it "a system anomoly", amongst other things].

In this regard the "Push AF" button on the ZR2000 does offer a better option - at least the camera optics will sort themselves out automatically even if manual Lanc won't.

This does imply that you have a subject suitable for "Push AF" to latch onto (without hareing off into the background) and you are NOT pressing the Zoom button at the same time.

You will have to trawl the Controller Forum to see if any other controller offers a functional "Push AF" button, I personally know of none.

If "Push AF" is high on your need list, as far as I'm aware, the ZR2000 is it.

If spot on Lanc manual focus is up there at the top of your list - good luck, you're going to need it.


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Old October 20th, 2008, 11:10 PM   #77
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Chris

Thanks for the info re one servo. Iíll have to search out the posts you refer to.

That said what Iíve written above re the differences between using the 2 controllers is true. At least with my gear.

The camís push auto focus is disabled when the ZR2000 is plugged in. With the ZR1000, Iím able to zoom with the lanc, and focus at the same time with the push auto focus on the camera.. Iíve checked the focus using the peak and magnfying functions and compared the distance readout between this and manual focus. Iím not talking about a last second focus when I release the zoom. I offer no explanation. I just know what I see. It works.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:25 AM   #78
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Well, stuff me...................

If I hadn't seen it with my own eye's, I would never have believed it!

I am now having to re - evaluate everything I thought I knew about the A1, ZR1000 and Zoom and Focus.

So certain was I, that I hoiked out the A1 and tripod and tested it for myself.

It bloody well WORKS!!! (What's that saying about old dogs and new tricks?)

I don't know HOW it works, but it does.

It's easy to test this for yourself, set the ZR1000 zoom speed to slowest, rack the lens as out of focus as you can, hit the (Lanc) zoom rocker and then press the "Push AF" button on the camera, anytime you like.

The picture will swim into focus in very short order without the zoom counter missing a beat.

Even more amazing, as long as you have the "Push AF" button on the camera depressed, it tracks the focus perfectly all through the zoom.

Now, what's REALLY interesting, is that if you stop the zoom, having achieved focus, and barely touch the zoom rocker to zoom the other way, it snaps out of focus even faster than it snapped into focus in the first place!!!

Confused? You bet your sweet bippy I am.

Not tested (as yet) but needs to be: Does this behaviour show up with camera zoom controls, as well as Lanc?

I'm sure that once people have taken this on board and seriously played, all sorts of other little gems will crawl out of the woodwork.

My question to you Jase, is this:

When you mentioned the ZR2000 disables the cams "Push AF" button, were you saying/ implying that it transfers this ability (focus whilst zooming) to the Lanc "Push AF" or it is lost entirely?

Anybody got any suggestions as to how this is possible?

I got really excited there for a while as I thought this might well be a way out of the impasse I've been in with the A1 for over a year now with this damn Lanc focusing.

At the end of the day, sadly not, as my subjects never (or very rarely) lend themselves to "Push AF/ Auto" focusing, so I'm still in a hole.

Exceedingly interesting developement, nevertheless.

Jase, thanks for teaching this old dog at least one new trick!


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Old October 21st, 2008, 01:39 AM   #79
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Chris

Well I have to laugh. Have to because after your 1st response to me I too had to get out my camera to see if I was losing my mind. Truth is I havenít been shooting much lately and only discovered this about the ZR1000 back in July and havenít used the camera since.

Re the ZR2000 disabling the camís push auto: it simply wonít work if the ZR is plugged in whether Iím zooming or not. The ZRís push auto works just fine but not when Iím zooming. When it comes to that its one or the other, zoom or focus. Hope thats clear.

ok, so I just thought of something. Had to get out the camera once again. Now this is really strange. With ZR2000 plugged in, I can use the zoom rocker on the camera and the push auto focus on the controller at the same time. Hadnít tried that before because I got so used to using the push auto on my PD150 that thats how Iíve trained my hands when shooting. Iím not sure at this point if that will lead me to use the 2000 again. Not sure the ergonomics will work for me, but I will give it a try.

Anyway, glad to have been of assistance with this. Would be great for others to weigh in here as well. Iím out of town tomorrow so will check in on the thread on Wednesday.

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Old October 21st, 2008, 01:46 AM   #80
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Now, what's REALLY interesting, is that if you stop the zoom, having achieved focus, and barely touch the zoom rocker to zoom the other way, it snaps out of focus even faster than it snapped into focus in the first place!!!

Chris - just re read your post and didn't think to check that. I'll do it on Wednesday and let you know what I find
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Old October 21st, 2008, 03:57 AM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Krawchuk View Post
What Lanc controller works with the Xh-A1? I tried two cheaper units that were stated to work with all Sony and Canon camcorders. They didn't work at all with the Canon, but worked perfectly with a Sony.
Here's someone else who loves their lanc controller. In my case the Bebob Zoe. It's small, light, sensitive, ergonomic and infinitely adjustable:
Factory - Zoom remote Zoe-III
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Old October 21st, 2008, 06:17 AM   #82
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I bought a beebob Zoes III a while ago, and I hate it. Maybe it's my small hands, or maybe it's lack of practice - but I don't find it easy to use at all. I wish I could find another Jessops £30 lanc, but they don't sell them any more.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 10:40 AM   #83
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Oh no. Annie that's terrible! I can't believe that we are talking about the same product. I hope it wasn't a post by me that persuaded you to buy it in the first place :-)
Just goes to show - one man's meat is another's poison.
Moral of story - there's no substitute for trying kit out before you buy.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 04:41 AM   #84
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The problem with living out in the sticks is that you don't get much chance to try something before you buy. My decision was based on the facts that a) there didn't seem to be a lanc that would operate the push-focus on the A1, so I looked for a (relatively) cheap alternative while waiting for one to become availabe (dream on), b) the zoe was recommended by several people across the DVinfo fora, and c) you could adjust the speed of the zoom.

What I don't like about it -
a) it doesn't want to stay put on the tripod handle
b) I can't easily change from focusing to zooming without looking at the unit (I could with the Jessops one)
c) I forget whether it is on the zoom or the focus setting until I either look at it, or the camera does the opposite to what I expect.
d) because of it's shape, it doesn't slip easily into the camera bag (and won't stay put on the tripod)
e) I just don't find it comfortable to use off the tripod - which is how I often use it from a hide. Somehow I often manage to switch the power off rather than record on and off .

But that is just me - it shouldn't put anybody else off at least trying it.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 05:31 AM   #85
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Annie,

I have the Zoe as well and agree with your points, but living even further out in the sticks than you I had even less of a chance to try one out!

The issue with it not staying put - I wrapped some duct tape round the tripod handle (it peels off without damage) and the Zoe stays put for me.

Plus I always hit the off button when I have a once in a lifetime wildlife shot in front of me. Aggggh!

All I really need is a lanc control with adjustable speed zoom and separate focus. I've yet to find one that tickles my fancy.

Edit: I see Varizoom's OFF button needs to be held down for two seconds, this may be useful for me.
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Last edited by Mike Beckett; October 22nd, 2008 at 06:04 AM.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 07:21 AM   #86
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Perhaps it depends what you are using it for. I don't use it for wildlife. I can see why you would want to use a lanc controller to cut out shake on a long zoom of a bird etc. The Zoe is not the best controller for that because it's designed to be used on the tripod arm, not off it.
What I use it for is interviews, rooms full of people, exterior pans and zooms etc. Everything really. I don't like to use the camera without it. It improves pretty much everything I do by making it easier, quicker and better.
I can operate it with my thumb and that leaves plenty of fingers etc to operate the arm on the tripod and the camera controls.
There are only three buttons and they have different indentations so you can feel which is which ie two are concave and one is convex.
I never use the focus on the Zoe. I can see why that could be confusing because you have to look at the lights on the controller to see what's happening. That's probably the main difference between the way Annie uses the Zoe and the way I use it.
I either focus manually using the ring on the camera. Or I use the push autofocus on the camera. In fact I almost always use the push autofocus. Much of the work that I do requires me to reframe and focus very quickly.
My left hand operates the camera controls eg focus. My right operates the zoom (via the Zoe) and moves the tripod arm.
The variable speed control on the Zoe lets you creep the zoom so slowly that it's almost imperceptible. Slower than using the camera controls. Very useful for interviews because you can cut into the zoom if you need to.
A lot of footage eg of a crowd of people at some kind of event, that would be otherwise be unusable in the edit is usable when I use the Zoe.
It's usable because the transitions and reframing are so much smoother and quicker that you can quite often use them in the edit if you need to. You can also lock onto people or things quicker so you get more usable footage and catch things as they happen.
I'm mystified about the reference to it falling off. I fix it to an ordinary Manfrotto tripod and it stays put. Without tape. Always has.
It also works brilliantly on my Fig Rig.
Recently I lent my XA A1 to a friend to film a play and he came back raving about how good the Zoe is. This was completely unsolicited. I didn't even mention the Zoe to him before or after.
My A1 lives in a Pelican case together with the Zoe, my Sony A1E and other bits and pieces.
It's just about the best bit of kit that I've ever bought which is why I was so gobsmacked to read Annie's comments :-)
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 08:24 AM   #87
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My problem is feeling the difference between the off switch and the others through at least one pair of gloves!

Don't get me wrong - the Zoe unit is, overall, a great piece of kit. The power off problem is the only thing I don't like about it and can't live with. Come to think of it, I could open it up and do something to that button to make it never work again... reckon that would void the warranty? (hah)
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 09:53 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Beckett View Post
My problem is feeling the difference between the off switch and the others through at least one pair of gloves!
Good point.
Well, I think that one thing that we have established is that it's not the ideal lanc controller for wildlife camera work :-)
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Old December 11th, 2008, 12:08 AM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katrina Spires View Post
. . . Looking at photos of the Bebob Zoe DVXL, the Varizoom VZ-Rock, and the Bogen/Manfrotto 521, I like the way the Varizoom is set up -- it looks the most intuitive for the way that I would want to be able to use a controller, as it has a large rocker for zoom and a smaller rocker for focus. The Bogen 521 appears to have a zoom rocker but up and down buttons for focus -- which could have their advantages. Meanwhile, the Zoe has one rocker which, if I'm reading the reviews correctly, has to be switched between zoom and focus in a somewhat complicated method that doesn't sound very intuitive for me. . .
This much I can tell you about zoom controllers, they are easily damaged setting up and tearing down and going in and out of the tripod case (have lost two of them in three years) so keep that in the equation . . AND . . a controller which requires the least amount of hand action is less likely to cause camera movement which when zoomed in close causes a LOT of unwanted movement.

Thus for us, inexpensive thumb rockers are the best, cheap, and all lens actions are done with the other hand manually. That's our opinion.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 04:18 AM   #90
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I find it very fiddly to use any of the camera controls directly when I've got the portabrace body armour wrapped around it. Even more so when I'm wearing gloves (fingerless mittens usually). With the old Jessops lanc (rocker for zooming, buttons for focussing), I could hold that inside a glove, and then just operated the tripod head with the other gloved hand.
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