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-   Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xl-h-series-hdv-camcorders/)
-   -   Question lens softness (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xl-h-series-hdv-camcorders/114183-question-lens-softness.html)

Jeff Whitley February 7th, 2008 05:12 AM

Question lens softness
 
Hi,

I am looking to upgrade cameras soon and need some advice. I have owned the Canon XL1s for years and was pleased with the camera. If I had any complaints, it would have to be that most of the footage shot was "soft". I all ways kept the sharpness with in the camera turned way up to help.

I am wondering if the the newer generation cameras such as the Canon H1 (and hopefully the H2) improves on the sharpness levels any?

Secondly, does any one know how the Sony EX1 compares in image quality to the H1? I definitely want to go tape less for sure.

My hope is the future H2 would give me all I want but Image quality will have to take priority in my next camera.

Any help greatly appreciated!

Steve Graham March 8th, 2008 08:36 AM

softness
 
I shot with my XL1S for four years. The standard lens had a back focus problem that was a disaster. I went to the 3x lens and cleared that up. I am using the XLH1 with the 6x lens and it is ultra sharp (I have sharpness on 4 (of 9) cause I want it even sharper). Sharpness should not be an issue (altho I have not used the standard lens).

Willard Hill March 8th, 2008 09:58 AM

Completely different performance than the XL-1s lens. In my opinion it is extremely sharp and works quite well!

Lauri Kettunen March 8th, 2008 03:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Whitley (Post 821857)
it would have to be that most of the footage shot was "soft".

Jeff, I apologize if I'm teachng a duck to swim: Any chance you've been using small apertures? With the XL-series cameras I always tried to keep the aperature larger than 5.6, i.e., the f-values were smaller than 5.6. In practice, you need to set the ND on. Small apertures result in soft images. The effect is significant and easily checked at the wide angle end of the lens.

Mike Teutsch March 8th, 2008 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Whitley (Post 821857)
Hi,
I definitely want to go tape less for sure.

In that case why even consider the XL H1. Simply get your Sony or Pany and get to shooting.

M

Steve Siegel March 8th, 2008 08:25 PM

Mike,
Let me second Lauri's comment. I just got an XL H1, and was experimenting with depth of field. I shot with a 70-300 zoom. The target was a tape measure set at 50 feet away. I was blown away by the difference in sharpness when shooting at F/5.6 to F/8 as opposed the F/16.
I expected any difference to be subtle. It ain't. The F/16 shots could only be called "blurry". No wonder the 20X lens goes black after F/11. Canon must know something.

Mike Teutsch March 8th, 2008 08:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Siegel (Post 839401)
Mike,
Let me second Lauri's comment. I just got an XL H1, and was experimenting with depth of field. I shot with a 70-300 zoom. The target was a tape measure set at 50 feet away. I was blown away by the difference in sharpness when shooting at F/5.6 to F/8 as opposed the F/16.
I expected any difference to be subtle. It ain't. The F/16 shots could only be called "blurry". No wonder the 20X lens goes black after F/11. Canon must know something.

You totally missed my point. He wants to go tapeless, so why mention the XLH1, just go with a card type unit. I would not go back to an after market drive. Too many problems with them .

M

Jeff Whitley March 8th, 2008 09:50 PM

I like my Canon
 
Thanks everyone!

What can I say, I love my Canon. I ordered the CD from Sony which contained some footage and customer feedback on the EX-1. It looks like a very capable camera but honestly leaning towards Canon.

The Aperture could very well be the culprit in the softness, good information on what to look for and how to prevent it!!

Tapes, I have had several occasions in which drop outs were high. Not sure, but have been told this is an inherent problem with miniDV tapes. Not only that but the wear and tear on the drive mech. I think tape less is the way to go.

Anyway, the boss (my wife) has given me permission so get another camera, just want to get the best bang for my bucks and hopefully turn a hobby into something more.

The feedback is greatly appreciated!

Mike Teutsch March 8th, 2008 10:08 PM

Drop-outs is like an "In" phrase around here. But, would you believe that I have never had one? It is true. Using one brand of tape, cleaning the heads regularly and just using common sense works for almost everyone. I buy Sony Premium tapes for about $2.50 each and just stay clean.

Perhaps it is that being clean and neat is foreign to most. If you have never owned a very delicate piece of equipment in your life, how would you know to care for it. The current generation knows nothing about maintaining anything they have in their homes, cars, TV's, VCR's, or anything. Some service guy or gal does everything for them. That is not my generation and it does not have to be your's.


Don't believe the "bull" you read here, clean your camera the day you receive it and regularly thereafter. I have never seen one worn out from cleaning but have heard of many sent for repairs that were not cleaned correctly.

Rumors spread like wild-fire, especially if false.

Buy whatever camera feels good in your own hands and does whatever you want and need it to do. Don't be over brand loyal and just get the one that is right for you.

Mike

A. J. deLange March 9th, 2008 07:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Siegel (Post 839401)
No wonder the 20X lens goes black after F/11. Canon must know something.

What they know is that the tiny pixel spacing of these 1/3" sensors is smaller than the width of the point spread function for a lens stopped down more than f/8 or so. In other words, the sensor is beyond the diffraction limit if closed down further than this. What you are seeing with the XL-H1 is entirely within the realm of the expected. OTOH the pixel spacing in the XL1s, XL2 is about double so I would be surprised to see diffraction blurring in that camera unless a lens were stopped down to f/16 or smaller. There are lots of things which can cause blurring besides diffraction and some of them have been named here. I always thought those cameras were pretty sharp considering the limitations of NTSC and DV.

Lauri Kettunen March 9th, 2008 11:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A. J. deLange (Post 839535)
I would be surprised to see diffraction blurring in that camera unless a lens were stopped down to f/16 or smaller.

A.J., You must be right. With the XL1 f16 was the smallest reasonable aperture. With the XL H1 it was around f5.6, if remember correctly. Nevertheless, one can find a good example here:

http://dvinfo.net/canon/articles/article19.htm

Ronan Fournier March 10th, 2008 09:18 AM

I've got an XL-H1 and tested for a couple hours the Sony EX1. It's a little sharper at 35mb/s quality than the XL-H1 IMO.
But the Canon has the advantage of the interchangeables lenses, (which is very important for my work).

Jeff Whitley May 11th, 2008 05:14 AM

Sony !!
 
Sony has taken a cue from Canon and I'm impressed!
http://www.vimeo.com/882030

Dave Gosley May 12th, 2008 02:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch (Post 839429)
Drop-outs is like an "In" phrase around here. But, would you believe that I have never had one? It is true. Using one brand of tape, cleaning the heads regularly and just using common sense works for almost everyone. I buy Sony Premium tapes for about $2.50 each and just stay clean.

Perhaps it is that being clean and neat is foreign to most. If you have never owned a very delicate piece of equipment in your life, how would you know to care for it. The current generation knows nothing about maintaining anything they have in their homes, cars, TV's, VCR's, or anything. Some service guy or gal does everything for them. That is not my generation and it does not have to be your's.


Don't believe the "bull" you read here, clean your camera the day you receive it and regularly thereafter. I have never seen one worn out from cleaning but have heard of many sent for repairs that were not cleaned correctly.

Rumors spread like wild-fire, especially if false.

Buy whatever camera feels good in your own hands and does whatever you want and need it to do. Don't be over brand loyal and just get the one that is right for you.

Mike

Hi Mike, please, can you share your knowledge and cleaning tips - what to use, when and where...please?
Thanks,
Dave

Tom Hardwick May 12th, 2008 04:09 AM

Just a point about diffraction losses. Many cameras offer you the chance to menu-in a 'smallest aperture' to be used because of the softening effects of shooting at small apertures, especially noticeable in HDef work. And it's down the wide end (shortest focal lengths) where diffraction is at its worst and most noticeable.

So use those NDs even before the v'finder calls for them.

tom.

Jeff Whitley May 12th, 2008 11:40 AM

aperture
 
Tom,

No Pro by no means of the word so forgive if this is simplistic. I purchased my XL1s from guy in DC who shot pro for a while. He told me to all ways leave the gain on -3. Based on your comments, could this then be to keep the aperture open wider by chance?

Tom Hardwick May 12th, 2008 11:49 AM

Yes, but only by half a stop. It's mainly to reduce the noise floor even further.

Robert Sanders May 12th, 2008 01:53 PM

There are still XL1s' floating around out there? Wow. ;)

Mike Teutsch May 13th, 2008 08:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave Gosley (Post 875735)
Hi Mike, please, can you share your knowledge and cleaning tips - what to use, when and where...please?
Thanks,
Dave

Dave,

It is not so much knowledge as a lack of fear.

People are so scared by all the bogus rumors about destroying their cameras by cleaning them that they don't do it. This often leads to the heads getting so dirty that they will not clean up with the 10 seconds that the people DARE to use the cleaning tape.

Think of the camera heads like your shower doors. If you don't clean them often, with a good cleaner, the mineral deposits get so thick that it is really hard to get it off. Cleaning tapes are a very mild form of cleaner and must be used more ofter than the harsh chemicals that the service centers can use.

I would guess that within the first year of ownership, 25% of the owners do not even own a cleaning tape. Most don't read, or worse choose to ignore the part of the manual that says to clean it regularly. So blame it on the cleaning tape and send it in for repair, or worse yet, complain about it endlessly here on the forum and tell everyone how bad Sony, JVC, Canon, Pany and all the other companies are!

Pick a brand of tape that you can buy in bulk and stay with it. Clean your camera regularly. If you experience a problem with drops outs and you have used and cleaned your camera properly, try switching tape brands. I bought a used XL1s years ago that would just not work with JVC tapes. I had the JVC tapes because I had a JVC camera too at the time. I switched BOTH cameras to Sony Premium and have never had one single drop-out.

Be smart, not afraid.

Mike


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