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Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.


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Old June 21st, 2007, 10:01 AM   #16
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I have never attempted to hand hold either the XL1 or XLH1 for birds in flight, because I never considered these cameras to be portable enough and not the same form factor as a 35mm camera. Also, I have never used auto focus for the XL1. I have had good results though, using auto focus with the XL H1 when using the stock 20X lens, but I can't use auto focus with a third party telephoto lens like a Nikon. Manual focusing and following a subject also has not been much a problem when using telephoto lenses in good light, because when you are at f8-f11, the depth of field in in feet or yards, not inches. I had an assignment to get a specific Common Raven shot for the CBS show the Unit, and while I was in the process of getting it, I got footage of these two ravens dong some kind courting behavior, which was about the most difficult shooting I have done in terms of focus and following the subject. This was shot with the XL H1 and a Nikon 80-400mm. The clip is slowed down by 50%. If you go to the site below, make sure you click the screen size button in the lower right corner to see in widescreen. I did get the specific shot, and made $750 for 3 seconds of footage that was used.

http://www.birdcinema.com/view_video...09556518c2fcb5
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Old June 21st, 2007, 04:19 PM   #17
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Thank you for that response Don. I'm really interested that you have found the autofocus on XLH1 useful with x20 lens and I understand why autofocus won't help much with bigger lens. That is encouraging news.

I'm also trying to relate to my situation your statement ...
"when you are at f8-f11, the depth of field in in feet or yards, not inches."
On this point, is it possible to achieve f8-f11 using the standard x20 lens on XLH1 ? A few feet of depth of field would help me greatly keep bird flight in focus ... I must study my XM2 manual to see how to preset for optimum DOF. How is DOF set on XLH1 using x20 lens?

I do admire the black sheen on your ravens ... it's beautiful and quite distinct considering you slowed the clip down by 50% and compressed it. This is clear evidence of the use that can be made of the "extra resolution" afforded by XLH1.

By comparison, this compressed clip from my XM2 is at its original speed, but the lack of pixel-count is glaringly obvious ...

http://www.birdcinema.com/view_video...823815f6610286
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Old June 21st, 2007, 06:47 PM   #18
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When I shoot with the XL H1 and its 20X lens, I always shoot in manual mode at 1/60th, adjust the iris (f stop) for the correct exposure, and set the gain at -3dB for most normal light conditions. In fact, I have never used any of the other shooting modes either on the XL1 or the H1. I guess I'm a leftover from the old school of manual photography. The nice thing about the 20X lens, is that it has 2 built in ND filters, so I would think that working with the iris and the ND filters, you could get near f8-f11 on a normal sunny or bright overcast day. The few times that I used auto focus with this lens, I was amazed how good it worked on very small target like waterfowl, even in low light at sundown, and once you get onto the target, key phrase here, and kept it close to centered until the auto focus could lock onto it, it worked close to 75% of the time. Larger the target, the greater percentage the auto focus will lock on, and at that point, I don't think the f stop makes much difference other than getting the correct exposure. I'll try get out next week and get some flight shots using the 20X lens and post something.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 02:55 PM   #19
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Clips using the standard lens would be a revelation to me, Don. That's a really practical idea ... just imagine that ALL the marvellous XLH1 clips I've seen MAY have been shot with non-standard lens. Am I being fascinated by a "pig in a poke"? Were any of your published bird flight clips shot with the standard x20 lens on your XLH1?
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Old June 24th, 2007, 08:23 AM   #20
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Dear Branden,

I want to emphasize what Don said.

I also shoot in "Manual" mode almost all of the time, and almost all of the time at 1/60th of a second shutter speed.

Just to be clear, this is entirely separate from "auto focus" or "manual focus". The "Manual Mode" on these cameras allows you to select both your apateure and shutter speed.

If you want to be able to convert your footage to slow-motion, I recomend either 1/100 (Pal) or 1/120 (NTSC).

Other than for slow motion, most use 1/60th shutter speed. If you use a high speed shutter, such as 1/250th, you will have an undesirable "strobing effect" when you pan. The background of your shot may strobe if you have any type of pattern, such as trees.
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Old June 24th, 2007, 09:04 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post

I also shoot in "Manual" mode almost all of the time, and almost all of the time at 1/60th of a second shutter speed.

Just to be clear, this is entirely separate from "auto focus" or "manual focus". The "Manual Mode" on these cameras allows you to select both your apateure and shutter speed.

If you want to be able to convert your footage to slow-motion, I recomend either 1/100 (Pal) or 1/120 (NTSC).

Other than for slow motion, most use 1/60th shutter speed. If you use a high speed shutter, such as 1/250th, you will have an undesirable "strobing effect" when you pan. The background of your shot may strobe if you have any type of pattern, such as trees.
More blasts of wisdom, Dan, or rather like gentle breezes the way you put them ... all to be added to my first draft of Dan's Tips for Auto Handheld Headbangers. I have been confusing manual mode and manual focus and I never had the wit to realise that shooting with higher shutter speed helps the quality of footage converted to slo-mo ...
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