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Old May 5th, 2006, 03:24 PM   #16
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Sassi, I'm another birder but using an XM2 I've nothing to offer except that a member of this Forum, Paul Doherty shot much of his "Raptors of Britain & Europe" video guide in Israel. Might be worth a look if you have not seen it already.

Steve Siegel, I like your website very much. If I could steal it and run away with it I would. Instead I'll study it a bit more, thrush and bluebird is all I've seen. Apart from the high quality, the layout and accessibility of your footage is to me marvellous. Any tips please on how it was designed?
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Old May 5th, 2006, 09:40 PM   #17
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Thanks for the input about lens adapters, Don. I think I'll try one of the "Affordable Adapters", but the idea of no lock is really scary.
Curious, with your glass-free adapter do you have any trouble focusing at either infinity or close by? I can't imagine why Canon put glass in their adapter (and not just one, but two lenses) unless they discovered some problem getting the 35mm lenses to focus on the plane of the CCD at all focal lengths.
Brendan Marnell, thanks for the compliment, but the website I linked you to is not mine, but that of the Internet Bird Collection in Barcelona (editors of Handbook of Birds of the World). I am a contributor to their efforts, and also use the site as a convenient repository for video footage. My website, if you are interested, is www.seiurusvideo.com.
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Old May 6th, 2006, 03:06 PM   #18
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"Glass Free" Lens Adapters

Just to mention one thing about these "glass free" lens adapters is, that they are in effect an extension tube. These tubes are used by mostly bird photographers to obtain close focus with the extreme telephoto lenses they use. Downside is that you loose the ability to focus at intinfity with many lenses. This is the case with my Tokina 80-200mm lens, although I don't have any problem with my 80-400mm, 400mm, or the 28-80mm. I'm assuming that is the reason the Canon adapter has extra lens elements to correct that problem. I don't think this would be a problem with just about any lens used with these type of adapters, since most subject matter is well inside intifity anyway. A side benifit of using these adapters/extension tubes, is that you can get really close, approaching macro, shots of butterflies and other small creatures with your telephoto lenses.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 04:07 AM   #19
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Unlike the 'loss of ability to focus at intinfity with an extension tube-type affect' found when using a similar glassless tube on a 35mm SLR body, the Les Bosher Nikkor to XL adapter does not seem to affect the focus range of most of the Nikkor lenses that I use on my XL1s or XL2 - for example, a full turn of the manual focal ring to focus on a small bird and then the distant moon using a Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 ED-IF N bayoneted onto the XL2, would provide very sharp footage throughout the range.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 06:19 PM   #20
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I would have to second what Tony said. All my Nikon and Sigma (Nikon mount) lenses focus from near to infinity with no problems. The adapter I use is exactly like the one Les Bosher makes, but was made by a company that is no longer in business. My 80-200mm Tokina is the only lens of that manufacturer that I have, and I only use it for close in and macro work, so infinity is not an issue.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 10:45 PM   #21
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mount adapters and infinity

With any of these adapters you have to be able to reach the flange focal distance for the lens/camera maker (Nikon, Canon FD, Canon EF). From reading elsewhere on this forum there is posted an estimate that the flange focal distance of the XL series is 28mm (it may not be but lets use that distance). The Nikon lenses and cameras use a distance of 46.5 mm. (This is the distance from where the lens mates the body - the flange - to the focal plane of their 35mm cameras. So you have to make an adapter that is 18.5 mm long. The Canon FD has a flange focal distance of 42mm. Canon EF is 44mm. But all Canon EF lenses need power to set the aperture, auto focus, and with some of Canon's lenses, to manual focus. So Canon had to insert an adapter with power and all the contacts to run their lenses. I suppose if you wanted to only shoot at the maximum aperture of the lense a simple mount adapter could be used with many of their lenses. So they are not actually extension tubes but flange focal distance corrections.

Interestingly, after Canon's EF series was out they made an adapter that allowed the use of FD mount lenses on their EF cameras, it required optical elements in order to focus to infinity.

This site has a list of flange focal distances: http://www.bobatkins.com/photography...focus_EOS.html

And Don, if your 80-200 is a Nikon mount, I don't understand why it does not focus to infinity like your other Nikon mount lenses, it certainly should.

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Old May 8th, 2006, 12:11 AM   #22
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To answer Duane's question is very simple, I don't know and I don't care. Perhaps it's has something to do with the way different manufacturers group the different elements. I know that the rear element in the Tokina is set deeper inside in relation to the mounting flange than on my 80-400mm Nikon. All I know is what I'm using works, and that's all I care about. I also worked with an XL H1 this past March using the Nikon 80-400mm with no problems. There was a very minor problem, but a mechanical one. The dimension from the centerline of the lens to the bottom mounting surface on the H1 is about 0.10" greater than on my XL1, and I had to put a shim between the lens collar and my common plate.

To answer a question that I'm sure will be asked, I don't know how the Nikon lens held up for HD. I had no way of viewing the tapes, and they were sent away along with the camera. I hope to get that answer in a few weeks. When I do, I'll be sure to post something about it. From what I was able to see through the viewfinder, it looked good, but one never knows for sure until viewed on a good HD reference monitor.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 04:44 AM   #23
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You are helping me understand a littlebetter what precisely an adapter does .. I used to think it was mainly to do with matching up thread sizes .. your well-chosen words have sorted that out ... tell us more anytime .. some of the technical language between pros on this Forum tells me nothing (which is understandable given that they're at it a long time and in a hurry to do their job) .. still, you're probably up to your eyes in work too but you found the words .. thank you
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Old May 10th, 2006, 02:52 AM   #24
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Thanks all.... I mean a lot.
It is just great to be here.

Steve your footage is great, I would very mach like to have that kind of footage.
Per Johan, beautiful footage you have there, my children watched it over and over again.

I can see some good points on each of the previous threads.

The first advice I will take is to ask myself what kind of birding do I like,
What locations do I like to visit, what kind of birds I'd like to whatch and shoot. Would I opt for planned shooting or occasional, while birding?
Well, for me it would be a 'birder with an xl camera', meaning one lens solution and mobility.

All of us think that the most used range is 700-2000 (speaking mm and SLR language),Tristan had a very good point and chose the 28-300 canon (very nice lens).
The next range, say 2000-3000 rises some problems mainly with the ability to pan properly stabilize the rig and aim, but is still used by most, for close up of
birds or smaller birds.
I will add acomment for Laury, that the range for good digiscoping is
2000-2500 (beyond that, you start to lose quality).
Above that range atmospheric conditions becomes the major obstacle,
shooting is probabely an option only at good conditions and with a 'locked' head. In that case I agree with Don , though, birders use the term 'record shot' , meaning, when you see an interesting or rare bird you start shooting
even if you are not in optimal position (long distance), striving for the best shot .
A good video head is impotant for those magnifications, so I'll take Don's advise and get me an adequate head from the beginning.

Meryem, your simple advice to have a couple of different set-ups, to solve the stability/mobility trade-offs is a 'revelation' for me ,so I will make myself
a more lighter/mobile set up that will include a good tripod, a gitzo head (equiv. to manfrotto 501) and a good light 75-300 lens (thinking Steve footage) that the camera can take without a common plate.

For the other set up I will take a manfrotto 516 video head and a all in one lens, like the 80-400 or 100-400, that so many use.
I now realy think I will go for the nikon mount option (glass free adapter) and a one lens solution,I think the sigma 50-500 apo lens (opticaly, reviews put it in the same league as 80-400 and 100-400 of nikon/canon) will do the job, of course I will add common plate to hold the lens and camera together.
This lens may not be the sharpest at every focal length but will help me 'not lose' any shooting opportunity.

As I know myself I'll soon add a good 300/400 lens like those offerd by Alkim (thanks Alkim).

Brendan, I have Paul Doherty's DVDs ,I like them a lot and they made me think xl.

Don, I think I will try one of those plasic adapters (set up will be on a common plate), I realy would like to think that the weakest part is the adapter.

Duane, thanks for your explanations, very helpfull.

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Old May 10th, 2006, 03:59 AM   #25
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Hi Sassi

I think you are on the right track wanting to keep the equipment light. I would suggest starting with either a 75-300mm or an 80-400mm lens. I think others have mentioned that you should try and avoid the cheap 75-300mm lenses; some of them are not very good.

If you can afford it then an 80-200/2.8 would be a big help when the light is poor.

You can see that I like zoom lenses. A straight 300 or 400mm might be nice, but with a zoom you can stay in the same spot and frame the subject in different ways. And finding the subject in the viewfinder is much easier with a zoom than with a prime.

Enjoy your filming - Israel has some great birdlife in particular; it's one of my favourite places.

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Old May 16th, 2006, 08:02 AM   #26
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I am using a Les Bosher adaptor with a Optex modified Canon 300mm T2.8 FD lens and I have no focus problems. I am also able to use, with suitable adaptors, the Canon lens on a Sony Betacam B4 mount cameras and Arriflex cameras
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Old January 18th, 2007, 04:51 AM   #27
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An old thread I know, but just noticed Don's comment about the glassless adapters acting like extension tubes - not true at all. They only extend to get the flange back distance correct (ie Nikon to XL etc) and leave you with the same focus range as before.
Something not talked about much with long lenses is the focussing rings, they need to be very light and smooth for focussing pulling as at these extreme magnifications the slightest touch will induce shake. Manual focus lenses tend to be better in this respect, and I would only use those that have inernal focus as the focus is so much lighter due to the fact that only small internal lens element are moving.
I only rarely use XLs and put my normal film/broadcast teles on it (Canon 300, 150-600, 800) but if I were to buy a lens specifically for it I think I'd get a Sigma 100-300 f4 or 120-300 f2.8, both handle well.
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