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-   -   XL2 Full Moon Shot (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xl-gl-series-dv-camcorders/36910-xl2-full-moon-shot.html)

Terence Reis December 26th, 2004 03:42 AM

XL2 Full Moon Shot
For the heck of it, I decided to shoot tonight's full moon
using my newly purchased (5 weeks new) XL2.


Canon XL2, EF Adapter, 600mm F4 with 2X Extender
(Approx 9360mm) and 24p.

Here is my quicktime clip:

I've been using my XL2 in my surf photography business
and very happy with it! Here are some surf clips:

Mele KalikiMaka!

Terry Reis
Surf Shooter Hawaii
Kapolei, Hawaii

Richard Hunter December 26th, 2004 04:22 AM

Hi Terry. I am so impressed with your moonshots, and very envious as well (we rarely get such clear skies in Singapore). I didn't know the XL2 was also a telescope!

Richard Hunter

Terence Reis December 26th, 2004 11:07 AM

Hello Richard,

Sorry you're unable to get clear lunar shots from Sinapore.
Well, it wasn't a 1600mm lens that someone else
decided to use on the XL2, but did a pretty good job.

Happy Holidays!



Ralph Roberts December 26th, 2004 12:03 PM

Cool, VERY cool... almost like being there. ;-)

Truly impressive!


Terence Reis December 26th, 2004 12:09 PM

Mahalo Ralph!

"The Eagle Has Landed"!


Ralph Roberts December 26th, 2004 01:28 PM

You got that right! ;-)


Hayden Rivers December 26th, 2004 02:11 PM


Brent Ray December 27th, 2004 12:10 AM

Very cool. I'm getting my XL2 tomorrow morning. I'm so excited. I can't wait to see what this camera can really do.

Terence Reis December 27th, 2004 12:41 AM

Tks Brent!

I believe you will enjoy it very much!



Barry Green December 27th, 2004 02:44 AM

That was *very* cool... and this is one of the types of shots that you just can't do on any other DV camera. Great shot!

Terence Reis December 27th, 2004 09:11 AM

Thank you very much Barry!

Yes, this camera can be used in many ways.
Turning it into some sort of a telescope was
something I wanted to try after reading it could
use EF type lenses with it's adapter.

Chris Mills December 27th, 2004 05:40 PM

That looks really nice - is the slight jiggly quality of the framing from the wind on the camera? What was the camera on?

Terence Reis December 27th, 2004 06:08 PM

Tks Chris...

600mm lens/2X extender was attached to my Winberley Gimbal Mount and
sitting on top of my Gitzo tripod. XL2 was then attached to
600mm/2X extender. I don't have a good quality tripod for
my XL2 at the moment. I agree, I did have a bit of shake problem
with this setup. Require more stable platform to shoot from to make
it smoother.



A. J. deLange December 28th, 2004 04:41 PM

I shot the eclipse about a month ago and was disappointed in the sharpness but then we have, as the astronomers say, "good seeing" on average about 3 days a year around here. Impressed with your shots I tried again last night because it was very cold and that usually improves things and the results were much better but still not as sharp as yours. Did you shoot this from the top of Haleakala?

Terence Reis December 28th, 2004 06:26 PM

Aloha A.J.

Okay on shooting last night. I'm sure it was a great deal colder there
in VA then here in Hawaii. I shot from my backyard. I live
on the island Oahu in a little town called Waikele. Nice clear
skies, weather front just passed through which improved shooting
conditions. What type of setup do you have there?


A. J. deLange December 28th, 2004 06:39 PM


The first time I tried it I used a 300mm Nikkor ED 1:4.5 left over from old days of still film photography. This is a pretty sharp lens. I just think the seeing was lousy that night because it always is when the weather is warm. Last night I tried an AF VR-Nikkor 80-400mm zoom 1:4.5-5.6D which isn't probably the sharpest lens Nikon ever made (it was their first shot at AIS and not generally considered a great success) but I thought it might do with the AIS turned off (which it is definitely going to be when the lens is mounted on an XL2!). I definitely had trouble finding the best focus (though stopped down to f/22). Too lazy to haul a monitor out there which would have made focusing easier. Guess I'll keep trying.

Terence Reis December 28th, 2004 07:03 PM


Okay on the Nikkor lenses and your poor viewing condition.
My Canon 600mm with 2X extender was fairly easy to focus
in. I even opened up the eye piece on the XL2 and just looked at the
LCD to focus in. I was thinking of adding in my 1/4X
but decided 2X was good enough for what I was trying
to do.

Good luck on your next go at it!

Happy Holidays,


TingSern Wong January 1st, 2005 10:07 PM

I was using the XL1 (not my present XL2) with EF convertor with a 600mm mirror lens and 2X teleconvertor = 1200mm x 7.2 = 8000mm) from Everest Base Camp (on Tibet side) to the summit of Mt Everest - back in 2001.

I could catch leading sherpas (2 of them) summitting Everest - being the first folks for the 2001 (spring) season.

Straight line distance from EBC (Tibet side) to summit = 23 miles.

Comparable to a Celestron telescope :-).


Terence Reis January 1st, 2005 10:40 PM

Good deal TS.

Do you have any captured footage of this event posted
on the internet?


TingSern Wong January 1st, 2005 11:26 PM

Unfortunately, no Internet (yet). Only on DVD. If you are interested, I could extract a portion of the entire DVD (just this scene) - encoded it into Divx and send it to you? It is "shaky" - not because of camera, but, due to air movements between the camera and summit of Everest on that early morning.


Terence Reis January 1st, 2005 11:40 PM

It's okay TS.... I thought maybe you might have it
on the internet for viewing... Happy New Year
and good shooting!



Ron Armstrong January 2nd, 2005 12:00 AM

For more stability with your XL series vidcams, check my website at www.ronsrail.com. For some reason, I was not able to view your moonscapes, But, I have done the moon with reasonable success with some of the setups shown on the site. quite impressive.

TingSern Wong January 2nd, 2005 12:20 AM

Hi Ron,

Saw your goodies for sale at ZGC.COM. Looking great. However, you need a super heavy video tripod to hold the rig too. I am investigating the entire loading on my existing video tripod - but, I don't think it can bear the load as such. Thanks for crafting a good piece of metal - will think about it when the need arises.


Yi Fong Yu January 2nd, 2005 01:09 PM

is it me or do ya'll get the desire to howl & grow hair really, really fast?

Ron Armstrong January 2nd, 2005 04:46 PM

Thanks TS, for your compliments.
For quick capture of your subjects, take a good look at the RONSIGHT. At $25.00 a second for video clips, you'll pay for it in 10 seconds with the quicker "lock on" time. Those people shooting surfers will really benefit!!

Terence Reis January 2nd, 2005 06:53 PM


Tks for your website information. I looking over all the



TingSern Wong January 3rd, 2005 08:09 AM

Hi Ron,

Since you are on this discussion list, your RONSIGHT ... does it suffer from "parallex" problem? Since the mic axis doesn't align with the lens axis and there is a vertical displacement of 3" to 5". Or it is used as crude alignment then you go and view the image from viewfinder?


A. J. deLange January 3rd, 2005 09:34 AM

Sure there would be parallax so what you would have to do is put the red dot on the sherpa's coat's top button to be sure the lens was aligned on his middle button.

TingSern Wong January 3rd, 2005 09:41 AM

I reckon, at a certain shooting distance and beyond (yet to be established - because I don't have the RONSIGHT yet) ... the parallax is so small that it can ignored.

I shoot wildlife (birds in particular) and when using EF convertor and a 35mm telephoto lens (like 600mm), it can be an exercise of frustration ... because you don't even know where the lens is pointing to ... if I use a zoom lens, that helps - because you can zoom out, position the camera and lens accurately, and zoom in. A fixed focal length telephoto don't afford me with that facility.

Need to do some experiments with the Ronsight once I have it in my hands.


P.S. Hi DeLange, you mounted a Nikkor AF lens on a XL2 camera? Using EF adaptor? How?

A. J. deLange January 3rd, 2005 10:20 AM

Hello. I used an OpTex adapter (which I got from ZGC though I think they are actually made in the UK). I too have shared the frustration of watching an interesting target wander off while I fiddled around trying to get it into the field. I remember asking here a while ago if anyone knew of a mount for a rifle scope for the XL1s but this thread is the first I've heard of the RonSight. I'll certainly be ordering one soon.

And yes, that was the point I was trying to make about parallax. If you are a respectable distance away from the target parallax should not be an issue. For example 6" would give an angular error of 0.57 degree on a target 50' distant.

TingSern Wong January 3rd, 2005 10:40 AM

Hello deLange, I am curious how good the Optex adaptor is. Usually, a lens manufacturer don't optimise their lenses on 3rd party cameras! Never heard of anybody boasting about quality of a Nikkor lens mounted on a Canon EOS SLR and vice versa. Unless that fellow is a dedicated 3rd party like Sigma, Tamron, etc.

I have lots of AFS Nikkor lenses with me - but the Canon EF system is dedicated only to my XL1 and XL2. I do have 2 Canon 35mm zoom lenses which I brought specifically for use on XL1 and XL2. Using EF convertor and EF lens on manual focus (but auto aperature), I found that it is possible to obtain a very sharp image. On XL1, I can't focus using that camera's LCD monitor - had to resort to using Nebtek's external LCD monitor. XL2 improved LCD monitor is much sharper and can actually be used as focusing aid. Still I confirm the focusing using external LCD monitor ....

If the Optex is okay, I might consider getting one myself to optimise my usage of my Nikkor lenses collection.


A. J. deLange January 3rd, 2005 12:41 PM


As there are no optics involved all that is necessary is to machine a piece in which the front (lens) and back (camera) sides are very parallel and to make it thick enough that the back focus plane of the Nikkor lens falls on the CCDs. It's no different in concept from the Canon adapter except that the Canon adapter carries the electrical connections through to the lens and the OpTek adapter does not. As the Nikkors have good resolution and as the CCD's are small relative to a 35mm frame you are only using the best part of the lens's coverage (near the axis) and the results are quite good. There is a sample at
This is uncompressed DV right out of an XL1s of a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly shot with a 105 mm Macro Nikkor which is, I think, the sharpest lens I have ever owned for any camera at any time. The file is big (138 mbyte) but I didn't want compression to get in the way.

So for $265 (US) I was able to take thousands of $ worth of old glass out of mothballs and start using them again. A good investment to my way of thinking.

Slight change of subject: I called ZGC to order the Ronsight today and was told that at the moment it's only available for the XL1s but that the XL2 version is in the works and will be available soon. So as I know Ron reads this thread my message to him is "Hit the milling machine!" I'm most anxious to try this out.


Ron Armstrong January 3rd, 2005 01:24 PM

You are right on about the parallax in the RONSIGHT. However it is of minimum concern unless you are shooting at less than 50 yards( depending on lens power). Even at close distances it only requires minimum adjustment, and is easily compensated for. You will find it invaluable in wildlife videography. For my use, it has decreased the lock on time by as much as 20 seconds or more. A grizzly bear can do a lot in that amount of time!!!
The RONSIGHT does work with the XL2 with the removal of the clip that holds the viewfinder cable. I'll cover that more thoroughly with ZGC. They are good people and will take care of you.
I have friends that use Nikon lenses with the XL cams with excellent results. Some well known photogs that you would recognize use 400 2.8 lenses with the OpTek converter, available from ZGC. I machined my own for Canon FD lenses, but don't recommend anyone trying it!
There's a lot of good glass out there, that is relatively inexpensive and gives some excellent results. You may have to put up with manual focus and zoom,but it may be worth it. I use a 50 - 300 mm FD lens, often with a 1.4 converter for wolves, grizzlies and general wildlife. It works great!!

Brian Gauthier January 4th, 2005 05:40 PM

! Aloha !
Nice work from a fellow Hawaiian surf photographer...

Terence Reis January 4th, 2005 05:53 PM

Mahalo Brian!

Still learning how to use the XL2. Just a rookie here.
I bring it out with me on my shoots. I'm a bit torn between
using XL2 shooting video, and using my SLR's. Enjoy
shooting both still shots and video. It would be great if they could
put both of these worlds in one camera that I could afford.


Chris Ward January 5th, 2005 04:03 PM

I think you overlit the moon. I'd try less key light.

Clint Grant July 20th, 2005 07:27 PM

Awsome footage all around! I really, REALLY liked the surfing stuff! But that moon was amazing. When you were filming the moon, did you have the lens at full telophoto? (Just curious of HOW close that moon was....) I wish the moon was that close where I live.....

Clint Grant

TingSern Wong July 20th, 2005 08:07 PM

Moon is 250,000 miles away from Earth (more or less - by plus or minus 20,000 miles). As I write today, the moon will be at its closest approach to Earth this year. However, in terms of actual size, the difference we can see is only half a second - hardly any difference in terms of naked eye viewing.

Everywhere on Earth, we see the Moon as the same size (really). No difference where you live in. Even if you stay on top of Hawaiian volcanoes, 11,000 feet up, the size of the Moon is probably bigger by only 1/4 arc second - no way we can tell the difference.

If you use the XL2 and its standard Canon zoom lens, a full moon actually overlaps the top and bottom sides of the video frame (at maximum zoom). Use a 35mm SLR (Canon EF) lens like 300mm on XL2, you get 3000mm (nearly), and you find that it moves too fast to capture it properly ...

Unless you have access to a sideral motor drive (which rotates its platform in lock step with Earth's rotation) ... great for CCD still pictures of stars and planets, but, I haven't heard of one for motion picture cameras.


Jay Gladwell July 20th, 2005 09:27 PM


If you use the XL2 and its standard Canon zoom lens, a full moon actually overlaps the top and bottom sides of the video frame (at maximum zoom).
Not in Miami it doesn't. It doesn't even come close to overlapping the frame edges.


TingSern Wong July 20th, 2005 09:50 PM

Hmmm, I am surprised. Singapore is 1 deg N Latitude. Nearly sea level mostly. I shoot my XL2 with Canon XL zoom (20X - the lens that comes with XL2 standard) and it does overlaps top and bottom by a little bit. Are you sure you are not using the older 16X Canon XL zoom then?


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