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14x Manual Lens Extra Steps


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#1 Joey Daoud

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 12:03 PM

What extra steps need to be taken when using a manual lens with an XL1 as opposed to the standard point and shoot, such as:
  • Measuring focal distance
  • Light metering
  • Follow focus
  • Or anything else I might be overlooking
Is this process something that one person can handle? Also, is the more shallow depth of field more noticable over the standard DV lens? Thanks a lot.
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#2 Tim Carroll

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 01:19 PM

What extra steps need to be taken when using a manual lens with an XL1 as opposed to the standard point and shoot, such as:

  • Measuring focal distance
  • Light metering
  • Follow focus
  • Or anything else I might be overlooking
Is this process something that one person can handle? Also, is the more shallow depth of field more noticable over the standard DV lens? Thanks a lot.


The 14x is my favorite lens for the XL1 and XL1S. It is not difficult to use at all. You need to set the back focus and the iris is manual, it does not use the electronic iris in the camera. The focus and zoom are also manual and you can definitely use a follow focus on the lens because there are no servos in it like the stock lens has.

There should be a decent instruction on how to set the back focus on this forum somewhere, but in short, take a newspaper and tape it to a wall about ten feet from the camera on a tripod. Open the iris all the way up and zoom all the way in to focus on the letters on the newspaper, get it in sharp focus. Now zoom all the way out and see if it is still in sharp focus. If it is, everything is fine, go shoot. If it is not, loosen the little back focus lock screw on the lens (close to the mount) and slightly rotate the back focus ring until the image is sharp, tighten the screw. Now zoom in again and repeat the process until the newspaper is sharp when zoomed all the way in and all the way out. That's it in a nutshell, I am sure others could elaborate more.

Good luck and happy shooting, like I said, I love that 14x lens.
-Tim
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#3 Stephen Williams

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 01:48 PM

There should be a decent instruction on how to set the back focus on this forum somewhere, but in short, take a newspaper and tape it to a wall about ten feet from the camera on a tripod. Open the iris all the way up and zoom all the way in to focus on the letters on the newspaper, get it in sharp focus. Now zoom all the way out and see if it is still in sharp focus. If it is, everything is fine, go shoot. If it is not, loosen the little back focus lock screw on the lens (close to the mount) and slightly rotate the back focus ring until the image is sharp, tighten the screw. Now zoom in again and repeat the process until the newspaper is sharp when zoomed all the way in and all the way out. That's it in a nutshell, I am sure others could elaborate more.

Good luck and happy shooting, like I said, I love that 14x lens.
-Tim


Hi,

Ron dexter has a Sieman's Star to download. Very useful for checking focus and back focus.

http://rondexter.com...cus_pattern.htm

Stephen
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#4 Joey Daoud

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 11:52 PM

The 14x is my favorite lens for the XL1 and XL1S. It is not difficult to use at all. You need to set the back focus and the iris is manual, it does not use the electronic iris in the camera. The focus and zoom are also manual and you can definitely use a follow focus on the lens because there are no servos in it like the stock lens has.


Thanks a lot. But do you still have to measure the focal object distance to get crisp focus and do you have to meter the light to operate the iris? Thanks again.
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#5 Tim Carroll

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 08:46 AM

Thanks a lot. But do you still have to measure the focal object distance to get crisp focus and do you have to meter the light to operate the iris? Thanks again.


Use the viewfinder or better yet, get a production monitor to use with the XL1 when you are shooting. You focus just like you would focus any other camera, look though the viewfinder and focus until the picture is sharp. You can turn on the zebra patterns in the viewfinder and adjust the iris until you get the level of zebras that you want. Using a light meter for digital video cameras does not work as well as a light meter with a film camera.

I am going to go out on a limb here and ask if you have only used cameras which are auto focus and auto exposure? The reason I ask, being a crotchety old fart who came up as a still photographer in the 1970's using manual cameras like the Canon TX and F1, I am a little baffled by your question. But then I look around, and anyone who is learning photography/cinematography these days has mainly auto focus and auto exposure equipment to choose from, so they never learn how to do the basics. That's a shame.

Anyway, best of luck with your 14x lens, it's a great piece of glass.
-Tim
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#6 Joey Daoud

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 09:12 AM

Ha, yeah video wise I've probably only used autofocus/exposure, but I do have a still photography background and I know how to focus and measure light manually there. I was just asking about measuring for focus for a more crisp picture because I know I've read in other places that the viewfiners of video cameras do not have high enough resolution to make an accurate focus, but by recommending a monitor I suppose you answer my question. Thanks again.
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