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EOS lens adapter for XL1s and XL2

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Jiggy Gaton
EOS lens adapter for XL1s and XL2
on Jul 15, 2009 at 1:54:32 am

Hi there, my brother keeps telling me that if I put my canon still lenses on our XL1 and XL2 that he will get better DOF in his shots. while this theoretically makes sense to me, i have yet to see this in real life. can anyone post any expericences using one of the still lenses adapters that are on the market? like the canon one, or the more expensive redrock one? r these really worth it, and what are the applications? thx!!!

Phoenix Studios Nepal: A small A/V Production House in Kathmandu.


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Todd Terry
Re: EOS lens adapter for XL1s and XL2
on Jul 15, 2009 at 2:16:44 pm

[Jiggy Gaton] "Hi there, my brother keeps telling me that if I put my canon still lenses on our XL1 and XL2 that he will get better DOF in his shots."

If by "better" you mean shallower (or more controlable), sorry, no. If if were that easy everyone would be doing it. Those lenses put directly onto either of those XL bodies will have absolutely no effect on the DoF.

The depth of field in a small camera like that is limited by the tiny 1/3" size of the chip. Tiny chips = almost infinite DoF. A 1/3" camera natively has about the same deep DoF as 8mm film. Even a big full-size 2/3" camera still has about the same DoF as 16mm film, which is still quite deep (much deeper than 35mm film).

To get true shallow (and controllable) DoF you must use a lens converter.

[Jiggy Gaton] " r these really worth it,"

Absolutely, if the 35mm DoF look is what you're after and is appropriate to your project. I use the P+S Technik Mini35 with cine primes every day, and it works like a charm. There are lots of people like me who swear by the system I use... and even more users of the much less pricey Redrock M2... and probably even more users of the bargain units like the Letus35 and the Brevis35. You do, however, largely get what you pay for.

Do a COW search for "Depth of field" and/or "DoF" and you'll find tons of postings and threads about the use of DoF converters. Or search the back issues of COW magazine (the PDFs are here somewhere on the COW), I wrote a painfully long article about DoF converters for an issue last year (I think it was last year... time flies).




T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Jiggy Gaton
Re: EOS lens adapter for XL1s and XL2
on Jul 15, 2009 at 3:02:28 pm

thx terry, this is just the sort of info i was looking for but could not find! so is the M2 good enough? I think the others u mentioned are much more (700+ vs, 450). one more q, what is the dif between the canon adapter and the others, is it the extra glass or what? thx!

Phoenix Studios Nepal: A small A/V Production House in Kathmandu.


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Todd Terry
Re: EOS lens adapter for XL1s and XL2
on Jul 15, 2009 at 3:26:53 pm

I'd really recommend a DoF search. There's enough info in various threads on the COW about this to write a book... literally.

All the adapters work in basically the same way. What you are paying for is features and usability. I don't recommend the lens converter that I use (P+S Technik Mini35) for everyone... since it comes in at about $11,000. It is the perfect tool for cinematographers out in the trenches shooting every day on decent-budget projects... but for weekend warriors or indie shooters on a budget the price just makes it overkill (I will say though that it's a unit that works absolutely flawlessly).

The much cheaper Redrock M2 comes in at about a fifth the price. I personally have never used it, but hear that it can work very well. One of the downsides is that even if you have a camera like one of your XL series with a removable lens, you still have to use the camera's zoom lens. Unlike the more expensive units which replace the camera's lens, these units stick on the front of the existing lens. There are whole bunches of other features that set them apart as well.

The same can be said for the bargain-basement units like the Brevis and Letus.

Again, there's a lot more than can be convered in a quickie post. Do a COW search, and/or read the COW magazine article here:

http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/focus-on-controlling-depth-of-field...



T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Jiggy Gaton
Re: EOS lens adapter for XL1s and XL2
on Jul 15, 2009 at 4:19:32 pm

thx for ur help! looks like i'll tell bro to get the m2 and give it a try, either that or tell his girl to eat less oil and use better makeup.

Phoenix Studios Nepal: A small A/V Production House in Kathmandu.


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Todd Terry
Re: EOS lens adapter for XL1s and XL2
on Jul 15, 2009 at 4:48:05 pm

[Jiggy Gaton] "eat less oil and use better makeup."

Ha! That'd be a heckuva lot cheaper.

But seriously... you're dealing with two different issues there... the skin smoothing and the DoF. One doesn't necessarily have a lot to do with the other. Bad skin is still going to look like bad skin, even with a DoF converter... it's just that the foreground and background can be soft.

I certainly wouldn't buy one of these units, even the inexpensive M2, just for a one-time gig. For much less than the cost of the M2 you could rent the much-higher-end Mini35 for a few days, and possibly a nice set of PL mount superspeed cine primes, too. The good thing about your particular camera is that the Mini35s that are available from rental houses are almost always the Canon XL mount versions.

I will caution you -- whether you buy or rent -- not to get this thing on the day of the shoot. Even the pain-free Mini35 I would never recommend using fresh out of the box. These things take some getting used to, and there is a learning curve with getting truly proficient at it. Video is gone, you will have to shoot, light, bock, and make camera moves exactly as if you were shooting real film, not video. And a good follow-focus unit is an absolute must because the DoF is so shallow (and not one of those cheapo plastic "Fisher Price" ff units... they have way too much slop in them). Focus will require a monitor, too... the camera's low-res viewfinder will be useless for eyeball focusing when DoFs are this shallow... or use a tape measure. Cinematographers with experience in shooting 35mm motion picture film find these units relatively easy to get used to... videographers who have only shot electronic will find them a little more challenging. It's not super hard, but it's not child's play, either. I've found that in my own case, I've shot with the P+S Technik converter almost constantly for two years (and a few zillion feet of 35mm film before that), and I still learn new/different/better ways to use it every day.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Jiggy Gaton
Re: EOS lens adapter for XL1s and XL2
on Jul 15, 2009 at 5:07:37 pm

thx for all that, yes, there are two problems the shooter is trying to address, well, 3 if you count his fussy girl subject. he needs to smooth her skin and also needs DOF for some of the shots. There is no such thing as renting in Nepal. Unless he wanted to just rent a movie camera. Im sure we can find other uses for the M2. I just shoot straight docs, and don't do the music vids unless I am forced into it. looks like i am already getting sucked into this one! ps. appreciate all the great tips, thats why i come here.

Phoenix Studios Nepal: A small A/V Production House in Kathmandu.


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