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-   -   16x lens breathing (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xl-gl-series-dv-camcorders/42341-16x-lens-breathing.html)

Matthew Nayman April 3rd, 2005 05:11 PM

16x lens breathing
Hey All

I was reading a post from quite some time back, and it discussed the "Breathing" of the 16x manual lens.

For those "Not in the know", Breathing is the slight zooming effect that can occur when a lens focuses. You would pull focus and the lens might zoom in or out slightly. This is a result of the lens pieces moving to obtain focus.

Anyway, the "focus" of this thread (haha) is; Anyone out there with the 16x manual lens... how bad is the breathing? I was considering getting the 16x to pull focus on dramatic films, but if it breaths a lot, I don't see a point. I don't want to zoom everytime I pull focus... it's not the 70's.



Chris Hurd April 3rd, 2005 08:12 PM

For reference, the original "breathing" thread is located here:


Matthew Nayman April 3rd, 2005 08:15 PM

Oh, yes Chris, sorry.

I just started this thread because the old one got quite off topic and the situation was never satisfactoraly resolved.

Does anyone on these forums have the 16x manual lens? If so, could you set up the camera and do some snap focuses on subjects roughly 5 feet apart and post it? I am curious to see how much the lens breaths...

Matthew Nayman April 4th, 2005 02:40 PM

No one?

Richard Alvarez April 4th, 2005 03:19 PM


Patience my boy, some of us just read your post, and are busy editing other projects.

But I did pop something in the oven. If you email me your addy, I'll send it to you.

Check that, just sent it to you. Check your mailbox.

Matthew Wilson April 4th, 2005 05:57 PM

If you don't get an example, let me know, I've got plenty. It is rather annoying, and depending upon how far you gotta go with your focus, pretty darn obvious. That being said, there just aren't many alternatives and if the scene is good enough, I don't think it will be too distracting for viewers. . I've got a 14x fully manual that does it also. Of course, you can go nuts trying to rack focus on the 20x lens. I know Fuji made a lens that will work woth the XL, but I have not tried that one yet.


Matthew Nayman April 4th, 2005 07:55 PM

Thanks for the reply guys...

Sorry about the impatience... you can understand. Always excited about the prospect of spend X-thousands of dollars on a new camera, you can't wait to plan it all out... At least I can't... I'm sick, aren't I?

The footage has shown me a lot. I don't know if the 16x manual is really worth it to me. In dramatic film making, you need to snap focus, and if it zooms each time, that seems kind of lame...

P.S. Nice hangliding footage :P

Tony Davies-Patrick April 5th, 2005 01:37 AM

I think the Fuji lens would do the same. In fact, I think almost all zoom lenses will have some 'breathing' during change of focus (varied, depending on type of lens and amount of movement of different lens groups).

If you really need to keep the 'breathing' to a minimum, then it is best to stick to prime lenses, such as the Canon EOS range. I prefer to use the Nikkor lens range. Of course, this means that you've got the x7.2 factor to add, but lenses such as the 12mm, 15mm, 20mm, 24mm, 28mm etc should keep you in a decent range. You could also fit a wide angle converter to the front of the prime Canon or Nikkor to bring some width back to the frame.

In reality, I don't find the 'breathing' of the 16X manual lens too much of an issue, especially for most of my outdoor work. Sometimes that extremely slight change of view, adds to the affect in a positive way, as you keep the zoom locked in one position. For example, refocus between a sharp take of the leaves on a bush, to a bird hidden inside the bush, or visa versa; or from a deer drinking in a stream (with the out-of-focus autumn leaves in the foreground), and then shift focus to a single leaf in the foreground.
That very slight 'breath' during the shift of focus while maintaining a fixed place of the zoom, rarely is annoying to the viewer, because almost everything in nature is round or curved, and the eye is almost expecting a slight change in view.

When it is annoying for the chosen subject, it is normally easy to do a very short pan during the focus change to hide the slight frame shift.
However, I could see there being a bigger problem when filming indoors, with many straight lines near the edges of the frame, such as doorways etc.

Matthew Nayman April 5th, 2005 06:52 AM

Those are very good points Tony...

I am just starting to wonder if the 16x (which is really pricey) is worth it above the 3 x wide...

Tony Davies-Patrick April 5th, 2005 08:29 AM

The pure "control" with a manual focus lens (and fine adjustments of the back-focus knob if needed) are the main reasons why I use the 16X manual. The manual and servo zoom controls are also very handy. Those same reasons are why I also continue to use a wide adapter optic on the 16X lens, rather than using a X3 autofocus for wide shots.

Marty Hudzik April 5th, 2005 01:28 PM

What wide angle optic do you use on the 16x manual?


Mark Sasahara April 5th, 2005 02:12 PM

Matthew, Get the 16x. There really isn't much choice in the matter. Most zoom lenses display some amount of breathing. Ironically, the 20x doesn't.

Such is the consequence of shooting MiniDV, it is what it is.

I use the 16X almost all the time. I did a little test with the 20x:

If you do use the 20x, the trick is to rack focus at the same speed. Otherwise the marks will drift. Likely, they'll drift anyway.

Tony Davies-Patrick April 6th, 2005 02:39 AM

Marty, to answer your question - I use the Optex Wide Angle Mk2 X.7 Multi-Coated Optic (together with a home-made flag/shade for filming during harsh sunlight conditions).

I will also be trying out the Red Eye .5X Wide Angle lens during filming in USA & Canada this spring, and hopefully will be able to provide detailed feedback or a review when I arrive back in UK.

Marty Hudzik April 6th, 2005 07:05 AM

That .7x OPtex is a fixed adapter right? No zoom through?

Tony Davies-Patrick April 6th, 2005 11:31 AM

The Optex is only a part zoom (very short range) and not a zoom through, although I think that this helps to maintain quality images.
Most of the time, I open up the aperture, adjust the back-focus, stop it back down to about f/5.6 or f/8 (depending on subject) and then simply leave it at that for a lot of my filming.

Depending how much depth of field I've got I may make a short zoom when needed, but more often I'll just treat it like a fixed wide angle, because the adpater combined with the 16X manual allows you to move around filming both distant landscapes and tight wide angles, or close-ups without needing to shift focus. Occasionally I'll re-adjust the back-focus when I'm changing a lot between wide landscapes and tight macro subjects during the same shoot.

The Optex comes as a single .7x for a 30% increased angle of view:


Or as a combined .7X two element .5X system for a 50% increase in angle:


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