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-   -   First Impressions of the 16x Manual Lens (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xl1s-xl1-watchdog/525-first-impressions-16x-manual-lens.html)

Mike Avery December 14th, 2001 03:47 PM

First Impressions of the 16x Manual Lens
I just got the lens and haven't really had a chance to check it out in the field...but here are my thoughts at this point.

Physically it's the same length as the standard lens, but smaller in circumference. To my eye it makes the XL1 look similar to an old film camera.

The servo zoom is slower than on the standard lens..quite a bit louder too.

The 2 step ND filter is activated by depressing a knob and rotating a ring. It seems effective, but somewhat "sloppy".

I REALLY wish the iris was controlled by ring on the lens itself, but you must use the knob on the camera body.

Overall, I'm pleased so far. It has the look and "feel" of a professional lens. I'm excited to get out and put it through it's paces.

By the way Chris, I bought it from ZGC on your advice. They're good people to deal with.

Mike Avery

Chris Hurd December 14th, 2001 04:03 PM


When you say "servo zoom is slower than on the standard lens," do you mean the fastest zoom speed is slower than the fastest speed on the standard lens,

or do you mean the slowest zoom speed is slower than the slowest speed on the standard lens. I can't imagine it being any slower than the standard lens is already... it's a barely noticeable crawl. Thanks,

Mike Avery December 14th, 2001 10:57 PM

The fastest zoom speed on the manual lens is slower than the fastest on the standard lens.

By the way, the macro and back focus features are excellent on the new manual lens.

Mike Avery

Chris Hurd December 14th, 2001 11:12 PM

Thanks Mike,

That's what I thought. I guess my follow-up question is, how slow is the slowest zoom speed? Is it as slow as the slowest speed on the standard lens? Thanks in advance,

Mike Avery December 17th, 2001 12:29 PM

No, the slowest speed on the manual lens is not as slow as the slowest on the standard lens.

I don't think the new lens has as much control over zoom speed in general.

I did take the manual lens on a shoot yesterday though and I'm pretty happy. Hitting focus is no longer a problem, even with the color viewfinder.

Mike Avery

Mark Chiocchi December 31st, 2001 12:45 PM

I just got my servo zoom lens and it is a slower zoom but it is a lot smoother zoom.

I am lucky that my old canon IF lens I had for my JVC X2B the lens Focus Controller works on this new servo zoom lens for the XL1s.

Now I don't have to speed $500 bucks on the Focus Controller that VariZoom sells. I think that's way over priced and it looks cheap compared to the one I have the canon makes.

Chris Hurd December 31st, 2001 01:47 PM

Sorry, but this is not right at all.

The VariZoom focus controller (either Canon or Fujinon models) is without question the *least expensive* focus controller available anywhere. All other focus controllers, Matthews, Libec, MicroForce, Canon, Fuji usually cost around $1,000 -- double the price of the VariZoom (check for yourself at the B&H website). I don't see how you can possibly call the VariZoom focus controller expensive. It costs about half of what you'd pay for any other focus controller.

I've seen it and worked with it up close, and the VariZoom focus controller is a very smooth and sleek unit. It operates perfectly and is not "cheap" by any means. Frankly we should be grateful that it's even available at all, especially at this price. It took a long time for VariZoom to bring this controller to the market, and their margin on it is very slim. They should probably charge more for it, compared to what other companies get for theirs.

Again, the VariZoom focus controller works perfectly, is not "cheap" and is easily the least expensive focus controller you can buy. Hope this helps,

Mark Chiocchi January 1st, 2002 08:47 AM


Come to thing about it I don't know what I paid for my, had it for 5 years now.

One thing I will say is that VariZoom should put links to there products to a larger photos. One thing I will not but is something I can't get a good look at. I e-mailed them once in the pass about this but still have not see them up date their site. Itís not a hard thing to do.

Slipin Lizard January 11th, 2002 01:31 AM

Iris Control on the 16x manual lens...
I am going to be purchasing a Canon XL1s in the near future, and am considering going straight for the manual lens. I was disapointed to hear that the iris control is not on the lens (two people have mentioned it here) but when looking at the specs on the Canon website, it says that the iris is controled by the iris ring and is also auto iris compatible. Since this is a new product, I was just wondering if anyone had found that the iris is actually adjustable on the lens, as well as on the camera.

Mike Avery January 11th, 2002 08:39 AM

iris control
I've spent a lot of time using this lens the past few weeks and have found no iris control on the lens itself.....but I would love to be proven wrong.

By the way, the more I use this lens, the more I like it.

Mike Avery

Mark Chiocchi January 11th, 2002 10:03 AM

Slipin Lizard

The iris ring on the XL1s is just fine. Having the iris on XL1s and not the lens can be better in the long run.

I use to us a JVC X2b and I found out that I always use to hit the iris on the lens by mistake when make adjustments on the fly.

So having the iris on the XL1s there is really no chance of that happening.
Plus auto iris on the XL1s will adjust 5 times faster than one on the lens.

Don Williamson January 11th, 2002 10:06 AM

16x Servo Zoom Lens
How would you compare the quality of image you get using the 16x Manual servo zoom with the image quality you've gotten with the standard 16x lens? I have an XL1 with the standard 16x lens and am thinking of getting the 16x manual, or, perhaps, going with the Varizoom controller for the XL1(S) that I've heard overrides the focus adjustment on the standard 16x allowing you to focus more precisely. I find my standard 16x (I got my XL1 in 1999) is quite sharp when properly focused. The trick is maintaining optimal focus throughout a shoot. Thanks for your feedback.

gratedcheese January 11th, 2002 01:51 PM

Mike, others:

I will purchasing an XL1S by the end of January, but am still debating whether to buy the 16x Auto or Manual lens. I am leaning heavily toward the Manual lens.

However, do you miss having the image stabilization when using your 16x Manual lens?

Also, does anyone have a preference for the 14x Fujinon lens that fits the XL1; more specifically, how would it rate against the new 16x Manual lens by Canon?

-- Alan

Steve Nunez January 11th, 2002 05:57 PM

Manual Lens/ Stock Lens
While i understand SLR lenses as used in photography- i'm a little lost in what is meant by a "manual" lens as opposed to the lens that's comes OEM equipped with the XLS (which i'll assume is automatic)- does this mean the "manual lens" doesn't auto focus and all adjustments are fully manual--- or that it's not servo controlled? ... sorry for the newbie type question- i'm sure it's answered somewhere on the Watchdog pages but if someone would be so kind as to point out the operational differences- it would be much appreciated.
Thanks guys.

Mike Avery January 12th, 2002 09:08 AM

manual lens
Well I certainly don't agree the iris control on the camera body will adjust five times faster than one on the lens.

In fact, iris control on a professional quality lens is immediate.

As far as accidently bumping the iris control on a lens....I've never had that problem.

I would still definately prefer the control on the lens itself, but I'm getting used to the wheel on the camera so it's less of a factor to me now.

Regarding the quality of the 16x manual lens...I haven't put it on a chart, but because it's so much easier to "snap" into focus I have noticed a definate improvement in my video. No more searching for the sweet spot. When you hit focus it's very obvious, even in the standard viewfinder.

I've found I really like the 2 step built in ND filter too. It's quite easy to get good exposure in a wide range of light levels.

I don't miss the image stabilization on the standard lens at all, but I really don't shoot in many situations where it's necessary anyway.

As far as comparing it with the 14x Fujinon, I've never used that lens on an xl1, but I have it on a Panasonic camera. Even though the 14x has iris control on the lens, I prefer the 16x for the extra reach.

And finally, calling the 16x a "manual" lens is a little misleading. While there is no autofocus or image stabilization, it does have a servo zoom.

In all, I'm a big fan of the 16x lens. I find myself reaching for the xl1 more now than my DVC pro gear.

Mike Avery

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