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-   -   Wide Angle Adaptor (20X Lens) (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xl-gl-series-dv-camcorders/36684-wide-angle-adaptor-20x-lens.html)

Richard Hunter December 20th, 2004 07:50 PM

Wide Angle Adaptor (20X Lens)
I see that Century Optics have released the 0.7X converter for the 20X lens on the XL2. This looks ideal for me, as I find the 20X to be not wide enough most of the time.

However, I live in Singapore, and the local Century distributor does not carry this converter in stock. They will order it for me, but this means I can't try it out before deciding whether to buy it or not.

So, my question is, is anyone using this adaptor (VS-07CV-XL2) with their XL2, and if so, can you please let me know what you think of it?


Richard Hunter

Bill Turner December 20th, 2004 10:48 PM

Hopefully you will get some response, but the camera and the unit are both relatively new. The .7x was originally designed for the 16X auto focus lens on the XL1. The 20X lens on the XL2 is extremely similar (5.4mm efl vs 5.5mm efl at the wide end)

We tested the .7x converter on the XL2 and aside from changing the spacing between the rear element of the converter and the front element of the 20X (it is more convex and they touched) the results are the same as on the 16X - which is to say excellent.

I do not blame you for wanting to try it out, and wouldn't blame you for taking my statements with a grain of salt since I work for Century.

We do not have an exclusive agent in Singapore and if the agent you are speaking to will not give you a return option you could order direct from us, but if you returned it only the purchase price and not the shipping charges both directions would be refundable. We have a "bullet proof" 30 day return policy on items we sell direct, but dealers are free to both discount and set their own policy on returns/ exchanges/ and refunds.

our website is www.centuryoptics.com

good luck

Richard Hunter December 20th, 2004 11:30 PM

Thanks a lot for the reply Bill. Yes I would prefer to try it out on my camera first. Of course I fully accept what you say, and certainly don't want any grains of salt (or sand) near my lens! :)

I think I will wait for a while to see if there is any response from the XL2 users on the forum. I will also send a mail to Century to find out the list price and shipping cost for the converter (the current list on the Century website does not have this unit inside).


Richard Hunter December 21st, 2004 06:22 PM

I tried to get a price from Century Optics, but they do not ship to Singapore. So any user feedback on this adaptor would be most welcome.


Rob Lohman December 22nd, 2004 05:41 AM

Richard: don't expect any (yet). The camera is new and this
adaptor is even newer. I doubt anyone here has yet seen and/or
tried it yet. Sorry.

Richard Hunter December 22nd, 2004 06:20 PM

Hi Rob. Century say that it is back-ordered with a 3-4 week waiting time. I presume someone is buying them? Anyway, I don't have much choice, so will be patient for a while.


Marty Hudzik December 22nd, 2004 09:10 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by Rob Lohman : Richard: don't expect any (yet). The camera is new and this
adaptor is even newer. I doubt anyone here has yet seen and/or
tried it yet. Sorry. -->>>

Au contraire, mon frère (spelling???)

I recently got my hands on one of these adapters and so far it rocks. I have been using the Century .6x adapter that is partial zoom through and cannot tell you how much better the .7x seems to be. Zooming all the way through is a pleasure and it holds focus through the entire range. I am in heaven again. Having used a DVX for the last 2 years I am addicted to a wide field of view and this delivers.

The only bad thing is it weighs a lot. Now bear in mind I have no trouble at all handling the Xl2. I actually like the weight and mass of this thing as it stabilizes a lot of my shots. But the shift in weight toward the front when the .7x is on the lens is massive. I now find myself trying to rig some type of counterweight to the back assembly to try to balance the unit.

IF you have any specific questions I can answer them the best that I can. I have just been using it for 2 days so it is still early. I can say that so far when I zoom in on subjects I do not feel as if I am missing anything....meaning I don't really notice the lack of telephoto compared to the 20x. I can still zoom in damn close to whatever I want and don't find myself wanting "more". This may not be the case if I was doing wildlife films but then I guess this is not the lens for that.

In my opinion the range this lens has is the "lens" that Canon should have shipped with the XL2. 35mm equivalent of 29mm-580mm is a very usable range.

Richard Hunter December 22nd, 2004 09:30 PM

Hi Marty. Thanks a lot for your comments. You have already covered most of my questions, I only have one concern left.

How easy is it to fit and remove this adaptor? I never used the XL1 and have no experience with the Canon bayonet mount. I am pretty careful so don't expect to break anything, but do you think there will be an issue with wear and tear if I remove and refit the adaptor very often?

Thanks again,


Marty Hudzik December 22nd, 2004 10:57 PM

The unit goes on and off with ease. The biggest issue will be what to do with it if you are in a run and gun situation because the front and back element are exposed when you take it off. You can easily throw the included len caps on but that requires you to put the cam down. It's doable but a pain if you are in a hurry. I think once you have it on you will not want to take it off. IMHO

I don't think there will be much wear and tear either. The only issue I encountered in 3 years of using the .6x adapter on the XL1 was that the black paint began to wear off of the tabs on the lens where the hood or lens adapter slides on. Very similar to the wear you see on a black accessorie shoe once you have moved and removed items dozens of times. However when the Canon lenshood is put back on you can't see it.

My intention is to leave it on all of the time and not remove it unless I find myself in a unique scenario that requires the full 840mm zoom.

As I said I have been using the .6x for years and to have to take it off every time I want to do even a medium zoom just stinks! I am tired of taking it on and off. The range I get with the .7x WA and 20x zoom is perfect.

Now if I can just get the camera balanced again!


Richard Hunter December 23rd, 2004 01:50 AM

Hi Marty. Sounds great, thanks a lot for your inputs. I will probably order one soon and worry about the unbalanced weight when my wrist starts to creak too much!


Rob Lohman December 23rd, 2004 05:22 AM

Great to hear we have someone here with that combination Marty!
Thanks for your reply!! (and putting me back on my spot, hehe <g>)

Marty Hudzik December 27th, 2004 10:54 AM

hold the presses!
Okay. While I initially raved about the .7x adapter I have some new data regarding using it in a real world environment. Over Christmas I used the XL2 and the .7x adapter for filming a family gathering. I ran into major focusing issues. I was constantly checking focus as I was never sure of myself. The image seemed soft in the viewfinder and I could never get it just right. Also....I saw major lens flares......I know this happens with WA adapters but they seemed a but excessive to me. This is all based on my "LCD" viewing. I came away from the event feeling unsure about a large number of shots. But I used the "zoom in, focus, zoon out" technique to ensure most of it was sharp.

Well upon viewing I find out almost none of the footage is sharp. Infact it is all very soft. Even in the rare event that I was properly focused it looked softer that the XL2 alone. Also...it did not hold the focus on the "zoon-focus-zoom out" shots. I am clearly in focus and when I zoom out it goes soft.....just a little but clearly soft. I was not able to see this softness in the LCD. Also....in several shots there are objects on the perimeter of the frame that are blurred.....even when the subject in the center is focused. In addition there appears to be a ghost like softening effect whenever there is a light source in the shot. Almost like a diffusion or as if there is condensation on the lens.

I am in the process of troubleshooting to see if I did something wrong but I can't imagine what that is at this point. I have become very proficient at using the XL2 over the last 4 months and no longer have any focusing issues with just the stock lens. I have adapted and can work it flawlessly and almost never have an out of focus shot. This just seems too weird!

Can anyone comment on their experiences with the Century adapters? Even with the XL1? I just can't believe that this level of softness is acceptable.

( At this point I am not saying this adapter is bad! I am saying that my first experience with it is bad! It may turn out to be something I did wrong or it may turn out to be a legit problem. I am trying to get other users input so that I can determine where the problem lays. Thanks!)

Richard Hunter December 27th, 2004 06:28 PM

Hi Marty. Thanks for the feedback, I'm sorry your shots did not turn out too well. Let's hope for an informative reply from Bill Turner that explains how to avoid this soft focus effect.

Do you know what your aperure settings were during the shooting? I've read elsewhere that the XL2 has soft focus problems with small apertures and of course there is limited depth of field at wide apertures. Just wondering.


Marty Hudzik December 28th, 2004 11:43 AM

I have discovered that with this adapter there is a "backfocus like" problem. When I zoom in and focus and then pull back out the image goes very soft. SOmetimes it is blatantly out of focus and other times just a little. It can be hard to detect on the tiny LCD/VF of the XL2. Over time I have gotten used to zooming, tight critical focus on details, zoom out and trust the lens to stay in focus. But with the .7x adapter you can throw that out the window.

I did some tests and I am posting them for you all to review. They are simple. I zoomed in on ornamants on my Xmas tree, focused and then slowly zoomed out. With the WA adapter I can see the image going soft. If you watch you will see me pause the zoom, tweak the focus, then continue the zoom. It then starts getting out of focus again. I repeated this multiple times and it is totally reproducable.

I then tried the same with just the 20x lens and it stays very sharp all the way to full wide. There may be a minor softening at the widest but it still looks in focus. Just not as razor sharp.

This is with the camera on manual focus, 24PA, Iris wide open, +3db gain.

The ammount that the .7x adapter goes out is consistent. I could feasibly slowly move the focus wheel at a proportinal speed to how fast I am zooming out and keep focus that way except the servo design of the XL2 lens does not allow for simultaneous focus and zoom! So that is out of the question.

I guess at this point I would like to hear from anyone that has used the .7x in the past with the XL1, DVX etc. IS this normal? Should the lens maintain focus through the range without having to adjust constantly?

I think this combination is doable if you can live with this flaw. You can focus it manually all over the entire range. BUt if you zoom of change anything you need to refocus a lot. And with the XL2 small LCD it is even harder to tell critical focus when you are in a wide FOV. It is too hard to see the details of the image when they are that small. The normal workaround is to zoom and focus and then zoom back out. But as I pointed out that is not possible with this setup. Unless there is a defect with this particular lens.

Anyway here is the url for the sample clip:


download and rename the .wmvx to .wmv to play it.

Richard Hunter December 28th, 2004 06:35 PM

Hi Marty. I downloaded your clip. This effect looks pretty nasty to me, and I don't think I could live with it.

Another question - I don't know if this is even possible (or relevant), but is there a UV filter or similar on the 20X lens while the converter is attached?

Bill Turner - any comments please?


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