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


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Old June 27th, 2007, 08:19 AM   #31
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Dear Brendan,

Yes, I have a Steady-Stick and I have used it.

I do not think it will be helpful for "Bird in Flight" footage. It does help with the weight of the camera, but you need a lot of flexibility for your work.

The Steady-Stick, in my opinion works best when you have a static shot that you are filming, one in which you have the luxury of getting into position and then take the shot. Yes, you can move your body some while shooting, but in "Bird in Flight" footage you need more flexibility in my opinion.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 12:02 PM   #32
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Sounds like I'm wasting $100, Dan, but if it can keep the cam within instant reach and take its weight off my arms while doing so it may earn its keep.

For want of an alternative with more flexibility I'll give it a try.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 03:07 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Thompson View Post
<EDIT>
Personally I find it difficult going back to a B/W viewfinder when filming birds, it is very difficult on a long lens picking out a bird in a tree with a b/w finder
You should check out Ronsight. http://www.ronsrail.com/

I just purchased one and it is great for quickly acquiring tiny birds like
warblers that almost never stop moving, especially when using
XL-H1 with EOS and 35mm lens.
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Old June 28th, 2007, 05:36 AM   #34
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Thanks for the link Jacques,

I am now shooting more on my XL2 with the color viewfinder so the difficulty of finding the birds is not as bad as when I was using the SP Betacam with the B/W viewfinder.

Bob
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Old June 28th, 2007, 12:39 PM   #35
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BOB/ diopter

Bob,

I was curious what diopeter/close up lens you are using on your xl2.

for my gl2 I simply purchased a set of 58 mm standard camera diopters.

I am curious what you are using . I love the clearity!!

I went to email you privately butcouldn't get through, sorry to you others about this sub thread
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Old June 28th, 2007, 06:52 PM   #36
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Dale,

I use a set of Hoya Close-up filters they appear to be very sharp. Attached are 2 shots of a flower (weed) taken with these filters.

A helpful hint in doing this type of work is to have a piece of string with knots in it marking the limit of focus of each filter, it saves a lot of time unscrewing filters

Bob
Attached Thumbnails
Extra resolution-lmc-flower1.jpg   Extra resolution-lmc-flower2.jpg  

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Old June 28th, 2007, 06:57 PM   #37
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Bob,

Quite a good looking Weed!!

I will order a set of Hoya's on payday!! I really like the close stuff, I can actually eliminate the constant wind we have around here!!
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Old June 29th, 2007, 10:08 AM   #38
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Dale,

No offence to you (Bob). But I have found the Hoyas are not that sharp once you have tried the achromatic 2-element diopters from Canon or Nikon. Canon have them in 58mm, 72mm and 77mm sizes and I use the 77mm with a ring on the 20X stock lens. Superbly sharp! You do pay a higher price than the hoyas but you will only need a good one as the resulting mag rate is really quite high already.

Cheers

WeeHan
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Old June 29th, 2007, 11:44 AM   #39
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Questions:

1.What would a 2-element diopter look like attached to Canon GL2?
2.What is required to attach it to GL2?
3.What positive effects might it have if I was shooting bird flight handheld?
4.How much does all this extra gear cost, approx.?
5.What does the extra gear weigh?

... informed answers to some questions would be appreciated.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 12:00 PM   #40
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Dear Brendan,

In my opinion, the achromatic 2-element diopters would be useful for shooting a static object, such as a flower.

I doubt that you would find them useful for shooting a bird in flight. You need to be very close to your subject for these to be useful.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 02:25 PM   #41
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That is helpful of you, Dan, thank you.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 05:47 PM   #42
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Wee Han, Thanks for suggestion on the Cannon or Nikon filters, of course it is no offence - this forum is here so that members can make suggestions

Brendan, These diopters (closeup) filters would be of no use in your bird photography. I am waiting to see the results of your new Steady-Stick.

Bob
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Old June 30th, 2007, 08:27 AM   #43
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Thanks Bob!

Brendan,

The closeup diopters (or closeup filters) are useful when you do not want to bring along a macro lens or do not have a dedicated macro lens to work with. They work by reducing your focusing distance to a fixed distance (the Canon 500D will be 50cm) and you vary the mag rate of the subject with your zoom lens.

The weight is less than a pound and is about double the thickness of your normal UV filter.

The cost for the 77mm 500D is 139.95 (from B&H).

If you dwell into occasional macro and cant justify getting a dedicated macro lens, this is the one accessory you should use with the stock lens.

Cheers

WeeHan
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Old June 30th, 2007, 12:42 PM   #44
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Thank you WeeHan. I only use macro 180mm fixed Sigma for flowers with Digital Rebel

It does look like nobody is using XHA1 for bird flight; nobody is being specific about the extra sharpness or improved image quality that can be achieved when shooting bird flight with any HD cam. Perhaps there isn't any advantage.

Perhaps i should be grateful that XM2 (GL2) has optical x20 and continue to practice and sharpen skills; read my XM2 Manual for the first time to learn how to tweak away from all the default settings I've been using all along; change from 4:3 to 16:9 before I'm arrested for being an antediluvian nuisance ...
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Old June 30th, 2007, 04:47 PM   #45
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Dear Brendan,

As a former owner of an XL1s and a user of a GL1, I can positively state that there is a tremendous difference between using an XM2 and an XL H1 or XH A1.

When I bought my XL H1, I kept my XL1s for a while. My (foolish) plan was to use the XL1s as a second camera. I soon saw how great the XL H1 was and how much an improvement it was. I never used the XL1s again, so I sold it.

Even if you are going to produce a SD DVD, the XL H1 is dramatically better (as is the XH A1 and XH G1).

It would be my recommendation that you shot in HD. If you don't, then your footage will be less useful in the future.

Now for specific points to show how the Canon XL H1 and XH A1 and XH G1 are better than the XM2.

1. You have much more control over your image.

With the XM2, GL1, GL2, XL1 and XL1s, you control the image overall by setting the aperture and shutter speed.

With the XL2, XL H1 and XH A1 and XH G1, you have specific image settings. One example is the "Knee" settings.

"Knee" can be used to compensate (somewhat) for a bright sky that would normally be blown out and featureless.

If you set the "Knee" to low, then the camera will tone down the brightest areas of your image. Imagine a person's face backlit by a bright sky. With the low "Knee" setting you can brighten up the personís face without blowing out the sky.

This is just one of numerous settings that you can use to customize your image to your specific needs.

While these settings may seem complicated at first, there are numerous "Custom Presets" available for the cameras. Also, with a little reading (and use of DVInfo.Net) you can become familiar with the purpose of these settings and then use them to your example.

2. The standard XL H1 lens is better, much better. The well reviewed 6x wide-angle zoom is also available.

3. Other features, such as auto focus, are better.

4. Other features are present on the new cameras, such as zoom preset.

Imagine you see an empty nest. You could set the zoom preset to the nest, or set the focus preset, your choice. Then, while you are filming something else, you notice a bird about to land in the nest. You could then just press the zoom-preset button to immediately zoom to your preset zoom setting. Of course this is just a hypothetical example, but these new features are actually useful.

I realize that the XL H1 is expensive (and infinitely more expensive than not buying a new camera).
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