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Old November 24th, 2006, 03:09 PM   #1
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telephoto question

I have a question, When I buy a 100 to 400 zoom for my xl2, if I then purchse an H1 will the lens work on the h1?? By work I mean will the quality still be elevated, or does one actually have to go another step higher on lenses??

Thanks for your thoughts

ps. I put this here as you guys all do the type of video I predominantly do.
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Old November 25th, 2006, 08:57 AM   #2
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Hi Dale,

If you do a search on this forum and H1 forum on ef adapters you will find a few comments on the 100-400 lens. Lauri has used one and in his opion is a little soft at the 400 end.

Hope this helps

Regards

Mick
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Old November 26th, 2006, 11:58 PM   #3
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Mick,

thanks for the note. Going to high definition is a huge jump in overall expenses, thousands besides the camera. While I know the lens will fit the adapter, high definition by todays standards is going to require even more expensive lenses to get the top end quality out of the camera. I sometimes wonder if I need to see all those pebbles of sand.
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Old November 27th, 2006, 06:11 PM   #4
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Dale,

I have heard that the Canon L-series lenses are HD worthy.

If I had already had an XL2, I wouldn't have gone for the H1. I had taken a couple of years off, so my last work cam was Hi8. One of my main reasons for getting out in the late 90's was the frustration with the gap between affordable independent gear and 'broadcast quality'. I wrestled with the idea of just getting back in with the XL2 vs H1, but I didn't want to slip behind by using SD. Having said that, your XL2 is still relevant and until you real feel pressure to upgrade, I wouldn't bother.

The exception might be in the case of Per Johan or Didi Schoeman where you're capturing wildlife shots at a fairly significant expense or effort. Then at least you will have HDV masters, even if you d/convert to SD for now.

I have found that HD also means High Debt. I just took delivery of a new editing system. ($3500).
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Old December 1st, 2006, 04:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Guthormsen

I sometimes wonder if I need to see all those pebbles of sand.
Once seen you won't want to go back to SD

Mick
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Old December 17th, 2006, 03:47 PM   #6
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Many SD-level Telexenders Not Adequate for HD

I'm coming into this discussion late, but I think my experiences in testing some standard definition telextenders on digital still cameras can apply to this issue. I'm not talking about expensive film-camera lenses that replace the large basic lenses on some Canon camcorders, but the telextenders I will describe will fit on the ends of basic lenses of models with medium to small mounting-thread sizes. This is a lower-cost option that is all many of us could afford. What I say could also apply to the large SD-level telextenders that have been made for the Canon and Panasonic DV camcorders with 72mm filter threads.

I've used the Sony VCL-HG1758 on my SD Sony VX2100 DV camcorder for over two years with generally good results for video. This is a large, heavy and fairly expensive telex (I paid $370.). I've also put it on my 2-MegaPixel Olympus C-2100UV digital camera and it delivered a passable amount of sharpness at that level of resolution (1600 X 1200). However, the special edge of fine detail this camera gives is at least slightly compromised with the HG1758. The main problem with this telex, is its softness at the edges of the frame. The center of the image looks very sharp with it, but farther out, it becomes annoyingly blurred.

When trying this SD telex on my 7-MegaPixel Sony H5 digital camera, it does not pass through enough resolution to be acceptable, at any mode above 2-MP. Even when set at 3-MP, the H5 camera shows a distinct loss of detail with the HG1758. And with still photos, the loss of edge sharpness is probably even more undesirable than with video.

I have found a couple of reasonably-priced solutions for my digital still cameras. One is the Raynox 2.2X telextender, model DCR-2020PRO. It is rated at having a resolution potential of 260 lines per mm and it gives full sharpness on my H5 camera, even at 7-MP. See the attached photo of a scene I shot with the H5, with the Raynox 2.2X telex in the 7-MP mode. This photo has been re-sized down to 1024 X 768 for this forum, but when viewed at the full pixel-size, it looks just as sharp as if shot without the telex. Also, the Raynox gives images that are sharp all the way to the edges, unlike the Sony VCL-HG1758 telex. The more I examine my photos and video footage done with the HG1758, the more displeased I am for having given Sony so much money for it. See the photo I will post on a follow-up message, demonstrating the edge blurring with the HG1758.

This Raynox telex does cause vignetting when the zoom is backed off to a certain point, but below that level of magnification, the built-in zoom is enough. The Raynox has a 62mm mounting thread and is not workable for the HD camcorders that have larger lenses in the 72mm to 76mm thread sizes. Oddly, Raynox has shown it on its website mounted on an FX1 HD camcorder, but several users have said that the 2020PRO causes vignetting at all points of the zoom on models with 72mm lens threads. If you have an HD camcorder with a mounting thread of 62mm or smaller, it should do nicely. I've used it on a small SD digital camcorder, with a lens thread of only 37mm, using step-down rings and it worked quite well. On the VX2100, it is optically flawless, but vignettes at any point below 85% full zoom. On the H5 digital camera, it doesn't vignette until the zoom is backed off below 65% full. I paid just $200. for this telex in May, 2004.

Another telex model that has more recently become available, might be an even better option for users of small to medium-sized HD camcorders. It's the Sony VCL-DH1758. It has 1.7X magnification and a 58mm mounting thread. Sony has promoted it as optically adequate for the 7-MP H5 digital camera and several expert users have reported that its resolution is sharp enough for that high level of pixel-size. It should be functional with step-rings, on any HD camcorder with 58mm or smaller lens threads. The most surprising thing is the low cost of the VCL-DH1758. Sony lists its MSRP at $150. and you can find it at many online dealers in the $100. to $125. range. I'm going to get one for my H5 camera and expect to also use it on my VX2100. Within a week, I'll have a report on its performance on all my types of cameras. One thing I will be examining carefully, is how sharp the DH1758 is at the edges. Hopefully, it won't have the same edge softness as the HG1758, but I'll determine that after I have one to test.

Considering that the pixel-size of HDV is 1440 X 1080 (only 720 in one version) or 1920 X 1080 at the higher level, either the DCR-2020PRO or the VCL-DH1758 should be optically adequate for HD cameras.

The photo below shows a 7-MP photo, re-sized to 1024 X 768, from a Sony
H5 digital camera. It was shot with a Raynox 2.2X telextender, the DCR-2020PRO and the camera's zoom was set at 8X or 66% of full zoom, which gave a total of 17.6X magnification.
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Last edited by J. Stephen McDonald; December 17th, 2006 at 08:30 PM.
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Old December 17th, 2006, 09:23 PM   #7
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Pictures Showing Edge Softness with Sony VCL-HG1758 Telex

Here are two photos I shot today with my Sony H5 digital camera, using the Sony VCL-HG1758, a 1.7X telextender. Although the center of the pictures seem fairly sharp, the quality goes downhill towards the edges. The center smokestack at the timber-products plant and the trees just behind it look good, but the stacks and watertower to the sides are blurred. The rooftop scene shows the center peak and a small metal duct below it in fine detail, but the larger duct above it and the roof edges show quite a bit of softness. You have to download the full-size images to see most of the problem.

The photo on my previous message, done with the Raynox DCR-2020PRO telex, has good sharpness out to the edges. The basic attached lens of the H5 camera shows excellent edge sharpness when used without a telex. My VX2100 camcorder's basic lens also does well at the edges of a frame.

It seems to me that with video, more attention is often given by viewers to the center subject and the edges are more likely to be ignored. With still photos, there's more time to examine the frame and unless the edges and background are deliberately blurred to highlight the center subject, then edge softness may be more noticeable and more of a flaw. This is probably why I never observed much of the edge softness of my VCL-HG1758 when I was using it on a camcorder. Recently, when I put it on some digital still cameras, this edge problem caught my eye. Now, I can't use it even for video, without noticing the problem.
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Old December 18th, 2006, 05:52 AM   #8
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I don't honestly think that it helps to try and judge digital still images captured from a good 35mm stills camera and lens combination compared to a still frame from a DV camera. The difference is an ocean away. I'd never even consider using a DV converter for my stills photography, or even to switch the table and use a pro-level HDV lens such as a Canon 20X on any of my 35mm SLR bodies.
A moving image on screen is just not judged by the human eye in the same way that a still photograph is.

Going back to Dale's question, I think the answer is that most high level pro-zoom SLR lenses will produce high enough quality footage on a modern HDV camera such as the H1, and most pro-level fixed prime SLR lenses will provide stunning quality on the H1.

Quite a lot of people are already using SD lenses such as the old Canon 16X Manual Servo from their XL1/XL2 bodies and obtaining superb footage bayoneting it on to the H1 body, so I'm quite sure you’ll work hard to see a marked drop in performance between footage shot with a Canon 100-400mm IS lens on both an XL2 and H1.

The 100-400mm is one of the best quality zoom lenses with that amount of range in one package, so I'd say don't worry and go for it. However, there is no doubt that the longer the telephoto, the more marked is the quality difference between a zoom lens and a prime lens, so if you feel that you can work without a zoom I'd definitely advise you to purchase two separate fixed prime lenses in that range - such as pro-level fixed 135mm and 400mm lenses with ED glass.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 12:13 AM   #9
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I just set up my (wifes')75-300 (4-5.6) Canon Ef lens on the H1 (using the EF adapter). We've been mired in clouds and rain since, but a few observations.

1. My wife does not clean her UV filter.
2. No power zoom. The lens does not glide well manually so on cam zooms are practically impossible. I would like to know if this is true of all the Canon still lens'. Generally, still lenses don't need to move smoothly. Maybe the 'L' series glide better. Given the lack of zoom functionality, I think that a good prime telephoto (even a 200mm) would maybe be a better choice.
3. This lens is SLOW. Admittedly, this is a relatively inexpensive lens. As I mentioned it is pretty gloomy out, but I couldn't shoot in anything near -3db. I had to go to near +3/+6db. I put the 20x back on and was able to shoot in
-3db with the same settings.

When reviewing the footage, it was very noisy (due to gain), and overall I wasn't to happy especially when compared to the 20x footage. Of course the whole reason for doing this was the increased focal length.

I will be heading down to Costa Rica on January 8th, with this setup. I had planned on shooting primarily with the still lens but I may rethink this. The stock 20x gives me roughly 780mm of equivalent focal length with a much better image. Generally in CR the wildlife is pretty abundant and accessible. I was just wanting to get some of that 'jaw dropping', shallow DoF, hummingbird fills screen, type of footage.

I have to think also, that the 20x with the Canon 1.6x extender might also yield a better image than the 75-300.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 02:38 AM   #10
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I have a good quality 75-300mm Nikkor, but I rarely use it for stills, and never use it on a DV camera - the fast prime equivalents in my armory of lenses just outshine it on both 35mm SLR and DV bodies.

Slow and smooth zooming techniques while filming with a manual zoom such as a Canon SLR lens on the XL2/XH-1, or even using manual DV lenses such as the Fujinon 14X and Canon XL 14X lenses is not an easy task, except maybe for crash zooming in tight to a subject. This is where the servo of the Canon Manual 16X XL Servo lens has a big advantage - it provides a lovely smooth, slow zoom.

Ken, just change your slow zoom lens to a fast pro-level prime and you'll notice the difference. An 85mm f/1.4, 200mm f/2 and 300mm f/2.8 are good examples (slower and cheaper examples such as the 85mm f/2, 200mm f/2.8 and 300mm f/4 will still provide a good jump in quality combined with more light to work with). Even a 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom will provide more light and also better quality footage.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 02:51 AM   #11
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Hi Ken,

Tony is right, I think to get the full quality from the H1 you need to keep to the L seies of canon lens, or top end of other makes with wide apatures. I have a 75-200 F2.8 which produces pictures of quality very close to the standard 20x over its entire range.
By the way enjoy Costa Rica which areas are you going to? My wife and I were there in 2001 and covered most areas, beautiful country.

Regards

Mick
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Old December 20th, 2006, 03:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick Jenner
Hi Ken,

Tony is right, I think to get the full quality from the H1 you need to keep to the L seies of canon lens, or top end of other makes with wide apatures. I have a 75-200 F2.8 which produces pictures of quality very close to the standard 20x over its entire range.
By the way enjoy Costa Rica which areas are you going to? My wife and I were there in 2001 and covered most areas, beautiful country.

Regards

Mick
Don't you mean 70-200mm not 75-200?

If you MUST have a zoom rather than a prime, then another superb (although fairly heavy) fast and sharp lens option is the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 04:10 AM   #13
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[QUOTE=Tony Davies-Patrick]Don't you mean 70-200mm not 75-200?

Correct Tony, 70-200mm it is, must check my typing more carefully before submitting my posting.

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Old December 20th, 2006, 11:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick Jenner
Hi Ken,

Tony is right, I think to get the full quality from the H1 you need to keep to the L seies of canon lens, or top end of other makes with wide apatures. I have a 75-200 F2.8 which produces pictures of quality very close to the standard 20x over its entire range.
By the way enjoy Costa Rica which areas are you going to? My wife and I were there in 2001 and covered most areas, beautiful country.

Regards

Mick
Mick,

We've been to CR twice before. But the last time was in '93. This time we've go 2 kids (yikes!), so we're just renting a house with a small pool for a month in a small village called Nosara, on the Pacific Coast. We haven't been to that village in any of our travels but by all accounts, it's one location that will provide good birding with 300+ species, abundant wildlife (thanks to a 20 year ban on hunting in the area), and very importartant sea-turtle nesting beaches. There is a ban on any development within 200 metres of the high tide line to protect the nesting habitat. The ban extends along about a 20km stretch of shoreline.

We may rent a car for a few days to check out some other areas, but the thought of dragging the kids around is a little frightening.

Tony,

Thanks for the list of lenses. Looks like I might have to break down and pick one up before I go. I'm thinking a 200mm f/2.8 prime would work really well.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 12:47 PM   #15
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Hi Ken,

Lets hope you get the bright nights you need for the Olive Ridleys to come ashore in there hundreds. When we were on the west coast we stayed in Tamerindo, we were fortunate to see 2 Leatherbacks nesting, but it did take several days of waiting (long story about their decline). We also visited the east coast and stayed at Tortuguero, we were just to late in the season for the green turtles but did see some late nests hatching. It was a country we fell in love with. Enjoy your trip, we will be in Kenya at the same time as you are in Costa Rica.

regards

Mick
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