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Old January 23rd, 2006, 07:47 AM   #1
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What does this mean? What can it do?

The best vulture in flight footage I've seen on BBC was shot showing plumage detail from 50 yards in 2005 with ...

" ... Super 16 film on an Arriflex camera with either a Canon 11-165
zoom or a Canon f2.8 300mm lens with sometimes a 1.4X converter."

Would anyone kindly tell me
(a) what these camera set-ups mean, and
(b) how would those setups compare (for image quality) with the output from Canon XL H1

There almost nothing about Arriflex on DVInfo, and neither Canon or B&H ever heard of Canon 11-165; and what can a 1.4x converter do (all in the hands of a pro)?
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 11:41 AM   #2
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Since this a digital camera forum it's not too suprising that we have no info
on a film camera. Which the Arriflex (no model listed) is. Of coures 16mm film
is just that, 16mm film.

Canon 11 - 165 sounds like a canon zoom lens which is wide (11 mm) and
goes to 165 mm (a 15x zoom).

I have no idea whether such a still or video lens exists, but a quick Google
search yielded: http://www.citystage.com/video.html, so that would
indicate such a lens does exist.

The other Canon lens is quite a long lens (300mm) and the f2.8 is the minimum
aperture (how much lights it lets in).

The 1.4 extender extends the range of the length by a factor of 1.4. So the
first lens would become a 15.4-231mm lens, the second a 420mm lens.

The longer the mm the futher you can "see" with a lens. Or the more close
you can get to things that are far away. The lower the number the wider the
lens is and the more you can see that is near the camera.

To give a very black and white example. The longer lenses are used a lot with
things like sports and wildelife where subjects are far away. The wide angle
lenses are used a lot in interiors since there is usually not much space.

I can't compare a 16mm film camera to a digital HDV camera. Both probably
have their advantages and disadvantages. The look coming of these things
will probably look quite different
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 12:05 PM   #3
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Very helpful, Rob, thank you. I believe that's the first time I've understood
how 11-165 might apply and that 1.4x equals an increase by 40% (not 140%).

Would any XL H1 user care to comment about wildlife footage? Or perhaps there's feedback if I search the threads.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 12:38 PM   #4
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to add to rob's most excellent explanation:

here's a link to the lens set-up in question...picture and a thousand words, etc., etc.:

http://www.cookeoptics.com/zgc.nsf/c...7?OpenDocument

mostly because i just like leering at, i mean looking at lenses....

i believe the 300mm prime lens refers to the standard canon lens mount for still (dSLR) cameras, which some people also mount to the XL2/H1 using the EF lens adapter and which, when used on a video camera, the image is magnified by....a lot. i can't keep it in my head. 7.9? 9.7? i just think of it as really super big and close! there may be some sort of magnification factor with a super 16 camera as well, though i don't know this for a certainty and would have no idea what it is. whereas the 16mm lens is specific for super 16 cameras, thus no magnification factor.

why this is interesting....well, it's likely (though this is pure conjecture on my part....) that the plumage you are looking at is shot with the 300mm with the extender, because to obtain close-in plumage at 50 yards would require magnification greater than 165mm.

i have a recently-acquired 400mm prime and on the XL2, everything is, well, super big and close.

and, by the way, the only professional wildlife videographer shooting with an H1 and posting footage on dvinfo.net at the current time (that i'm aware of...) is Lauri Kettunen, so if you want lauri's feedback on using the H1 (quite illuminating), do a member search, and you can get the most recent thoughts and a bit of footage and H1 camera testing with 35mm lenses.....
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 01:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz
to add to rob's most excellent explanation:

here's a link to the lens set-up in question...picture and a thousand words, etc., etc.:

http://www.cookeoptics.com/zgc.nsf/c...7?OpenDocument

Insert<
Holy God, Meryem ... 1.6kg of lens for $18300 ... over $10 a gram !!! That settles it, I'm doin' the shoppin' 'round here from now on okay. > bm

why this is interesting....well, it's likely (though this is pure conjecture on my part....) that the plumage you are looking at is shot with the 300mm with the extender, because to obtain close-in plumage at 50 yards would require magnification greater than 165mm.

i have a recently-acquired 400mm prime and on the XL2, everything is, well, super big and close.

and, by the way, the only professional wildlife videographer shooting with an H1 and posting footage on dvinfo.net at the current time (that i'm aware of...) is Lauri Kettunen, so if you want lauri's feedback on using the H1 (quite illuminating), do a member search, and you can get the most recent thoughts and a bit of footage and H1 camera testing with 35mm lenses.....
All that's very informative and I'll be checking out Lauri's posts. Thank you, but after that price shock I need that swivel rest more than ever .. phew.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 04:35 PM   #6
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I think that the lens used for the vulture was a Canon manual FD 300mm F/2.8 ED, made for the earlier Canon film SLR bodies such as the F1, and not the later Canon EOS autofocus EOS lenses that emply a differnt mount. THe Canon FD, like the Ais Nikkors, have the added advantage of having the aperture control on the lens itself, rather than on the camera body such asin modern EOS lenses, or the latest AF Nikkor G lenses.

The good thing is that an old (but extremely high quality) manual Nikkor ED-IF or Canon FD lens will not only be quite cheap (compared to the 16mm add-on lenses), but will also give outstanding footage matched to cameras such as the XL2 & XL-H1.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 05:04 PM   #7
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FYI, since the camera in use originally was Super 16, which is roughly equivalent focal-length-wise to a 2/3" camera in the video world, the field of view represented by a 300mm lens in Super 16 would, if mounted on a 1/3" HDV camera, present a field of view comparable to a lens somewhere between 600mm and 800mm.
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Old January 24th, 2006, 01:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert
FYI, since the camera in use originally was Super 16, which is roughly equivalent focal-length-wise to a 2/3" camera in the video world, the field of view represented by a 300mm lens in Super 16 would, if mounted on a 1/3" HDV camera, present a field of view comparable to a lens somewhere between 600mm and 800mm.
Charles, please give this another twist for me.

I understand (just about) the significance of 2/3" ccd and 1/3"ccd. What I don't understand is (a)what measurement is referred to by 600mm and 800mm and (b)how and why might those lenses be able to focus in on a smaller target at a greater distance than, say, Meryem's 400mm. Or perhaps this is what Rob Lohman was referring to above when he wrote .....

< The longer the mm the futher you can "see" with a lens. Or the more close
you can get to things that are far away. The lower the number the wider the
lens is and the more you can see that is near the camera.>

If I'm right in connecting Rob's quote in this way, then am I correct in thinking that the mm's refer to the physical length of the lens (or the effective length of the lens as designed with mirrors & mechanism) within ?
If I'm right so far then I would have thought there must be a fairly simple table/graph/scale somewhere which correlates the various mm's (by the 100, say) with a range of target sizes and distances. Where is it?

Or, to quote the vicar in Blazing Saddles, am I just jerking off?
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Old January 24th, 2006, 01:51 PM   #9
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good points by tony and charles...it would make more sense to use the FD mount with a film camera. hadn't considered that....

and a good question--what the heck does "mm" refer to anyway? i don't know if there's a chart, but i think you get a "feel" for the "mm" simply from using 35mm (there it is again!) lenses and that helps you to understand what people are talking about when they throw around "mm." try a 15mm lens. then try the 300mm. you'll get it.i guess you don't have to know what a thing means at all, in order to actually use it....

i mean, what does 35mm even refer to, anyway? we all act as if we know, but is it referring to the film? or the lens? and is one then simply referring back to the other?

more academic wanking back atcha....
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Old January 24th, 2006, 05:40 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=Meryem Ersoz]good points by tony and charles...it would make more sense to use the FD mount with a film camera.

Now if you'd mentioned a PP mount I'd have known you were referring to that music-loving parish priest who famously mounted The Merry Widow but what is an FD mount, Meryem, please?
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Old January 24th, 2006, 09:01 PM   #11
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tony, who uses an FD mount, is probably better equipped to answer, but the mount just refers to point of connection between the lens and the camera. the FD version is configured so that you can mount the lens to camera without putting extra glass between the camera and lens, whereas the EF mount (for EOS lenses)--which is the mount built into the EF adapter, also the same mount used on still cameras, such as the popular Canon Digital Rebel, frinstance, puts extra glass between camera and lens, possibly degrading or softening the image, or so the argument goes.

do i have this right, tony?

brendan, what's up with all of these nutty innuendo-laden literary images, hmm? extra bonus points if you can tell me who said, "an old black ram is tupping your white ewe...."
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Old January 24th, 2006, 11:02 PM   #12
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The FD mounts refer to the earlier Canon interchangeable lens attachment points to the Canon FD camera. Twenty year old technology. FD mount lenses(the 150 -600 mm and the 50 - 300 mm) were and still are adapted to the cine cameras as well as the current interchangable lens video cameras. I use a 50 - 300 4.5 FD lens consistently with my XL1 and find it works fairly well with my new XL H1. They do not need glass in the converter as the later EF lenses require. I am not sure the EF lenses actualy need the glass or that they need the room to provide for the electronics. Without the glass, the image is improved.
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Old January 25th, 2006, 01:48 AM   #13
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Just to add to Rons reply and to clarify some points about lenses. Some of the FD lenses are indeed 20 yr old technology but they are still the prefered long lens of choice for both video and film applications, especially for wildlife. A typical 'workhorse' setup for most cameramen S16mm would be something like the following and will be what 90% of wildlife footage that you have seen over the last 20 years will have been shot with.

- A zoom- the Canon 11 - 165 mentioned is a truly beautiful lens and used by some but is very expensive. There is also an very nice Angenieux 11.5-138mm T2.3 but by far the most common is the Zeiss 12-120mm 0r 10-110mm. These are the most commonly used lens for S16. There are many other lenses around Cookes, Canons, Angenieuxs etc designed for 16mm but without the coverage or resolving power of the more modern and expensive zooms. The lens are likely to be fitted with Arri B, PL or Aaton mounts depending on the camera body they should fit.

- A wide lens- This may be one of a number of lenses but is often part of a set of dedicated cine Prime lens. The most oft used wide prime in my hire set is the Zeiss Superspeed 9.5mm. Some of the zooms can be fitted with an aspheron that will make the wide end wider. There are many other wides ranging from fairly standard 9.5mm down to ultra wide 4mm. They are made by Kinoptik, Arriflex, Zeiss, Optar, Cooke, Canon etc. The lens are likely to be fitted with Arri B, PL or Aaton mounts depending on the camera body they should fit.

-Standard lenses- 25mm, 50mm etc... Can be dedicated cine lenses, some people again use converted FD or Nikkors (remember the FOV issues with all these conversions)

- Long lenses- There are two standard long wildlife lenses, both are designed for 35mm so cover S16 and theoretically use the 'sweet spot' of the lens. The Canon FD150-600mm f5.6 'L' and the Canon FD 300mm f2.8 'L'. Both are the white lenses you will see on sports photographers. The former is huge and very expensive but versatile having much of the range covered. These can be retrofitted with electronic zoom demands from companies like varizoom. The Canon 300mm is relatively lightweight and super fast. There are various others of these long lenses in varying flavors including a monster 400mm f2.8, 500mm f3.5, 600mm f4. As the magnification gets higher so does the unwieldiness. These long lenses would generally be accompanied by a 1.4x and a 2x extender, often again an FD extender. So to clarify, the extender would be unlikely to be used on the zoom.
These FD lenses are fantastic and can be picked up relatively cheaply. The optics are so good in fact that a number of bespoke cine lenses are built from 'repackaged' FD optics in lens housings with better focus racks and focus gears etc.
These lenses are generally finished with a 'Universal' mount. This can have PL, Arri B, B4 etc mounts attached so making them very adaptable.

- 'Macro' lens- Often an FD, Tamron or Nikkor 100/105mm 'macro' lens- Fast and good for S16mm work.

- Esoteric lenses- There are a number of specialist lenses and optical devices that are commonly used in wildlife cinematography. The most notable being Boroscope lense assemblys that allow for some very exciting footage where a simple pan following an ant can look like a tracking shot. These range from long tubes with optical assemblies and finished with a lens (10mm to macro) to more complicated ones that can see around corners, Les Bosher makes a good one. These are used extensively in the industry.
Significant others in this catagory include micro lenses that are used on darkfield microscope stages, fisheyes and so on, plus a range of homegrown lenses and adaptors designed for specific jobs.

This list is by no means exhaustive but gives some idea of what is being used in the high end wildlife film industry. There are of course a number of other amazing zooms including a cracking 33-1 zoom and various others. Most of the long lenses are also used on the rare 35mm wildlife productions. They are also used for digibeta and in some cases on HD although dedicated zooms are more de rigeur.

I hope that this helps answer a few questions regards what is in use. Obviously the industry is moving towards HD these days, the new BBC NHU blockbuster 'Planet Earth' is originating on HD and 35mm. This will mean that this list is bound to change with new lenses entering the fray (or rather old lenses with better optics) but for the meanwhile you can be certain that you are watching footage shot with a combination of the above.

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Old January 25th, 2006, 05:41 AM   #14
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James Ewen wrote <<< I hope that this helps answer a few questions regards what is in use. Obviously the industry is moving towards HD these days, the new BBC NHU blockbuster 'Planet Earth' is originating on HD and 35mm. This will mean that this list is bound to change with new lenses entering the fray (or rather old lenses with better optics) but for the meanwhile you can be certain that you are watching footage shot with a combination of the above >>

That was a powerful blast of insight into the world of (wildlife)cinematography, thank you very much, James.

Would you go a step further, please, and suggest the possible parts (second-hand will do) of a set-up that would give you (not me) high quality moving images of griffon vultures in flight at up to 80 yards, subject to a weight limit of about 3 kgs and a price tag up to US$15,000?

By the way what's Mozambique like for such wildlife and videography?
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Old January 25th, 2006, 05:46 AM   #15
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I think that James as summed up the question.

I have a Canon 300mm T2.8 FD lens with a universal mount that has adaptor for Arriflex PL and Bayonet mounts and Sony B4 (Betacam) and XL2 mounts.

It is a must have for bird photography and is pin sharp. Being able to mount the lens to the XL2 with a "straight through" adaptor (no glass) is also a plus.

The only minus factor is a study tripod is necessary to obtain stable shots and ND filters must be put inside the lens as the camera has no ND's.

I often use it with a 2x extender with great results, I think it works out to be equivalent to nearly 6000mm on 4:3
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