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Vincenzo Di Salvo

canon xl2 and anamorphic lens

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Hello everybody,

a brief question. Can an anamorphic lens enhance the video quality of the canon xl2 ?

Please, give a look at the following link:

What do you think about ?


Thanks very much in advance.



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There used to be 1.33x anamorphic adapters made for mini DV cameras, that you could put on front of the "kit" lens. They were not mega sharp. The result would probably look better then cropping the 16:9 down to 2.35:1. But the difference wouldn't be huge in terms of quality, you'd have more lines of resolution to work with, but softer optics. 

I did a short way back when with the century optics 1.33X anamorphic adaptor on a DV cam - as I remember focus pulling was more tricky and longer zoom lengths got soft. Also 1.33X doesn't give you a strong "anamorphic look"

You can get adaptors to put traditional film lenses on the XL2 - so you could probably make it work for it proper anamorphic - this would be sharper than the adaptors available - but the sensor is 1/3" so any lens would be super telephoto.

Personally I think making any form of anamorphic on the XL2 would be more cost/hassle than it's worth it. Its really limited by its SD miniDV - even with the best lens the output is going to look a lot worse than a typical smart phone or budget DSLR.

If you want to experiment with anamorphics, either a lager chip camera DLSR/mirrorless camera will give you better images and flexibility. 

Good anamorphics are expensive so it doesn't make much sense spending £1000's on anamorphics and then using a £100(ish) camera 

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I used to shoot a lot of low budget music videos on the XL2. Wasn’t a bad camera at all. Only time we used an anamorphic adapter was with a DVX100. The quality of the adapter wasn’t bad, but both the XL2 and the DVX100 are standard definition cameras so the resolution isn’t great to begin with.

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19 hours ago, Phil Connolly said:

... you'd have more lines of resolution to work with ...

Surely, it will never be possible enhance the definition of the XL2, due to its small chip.
I'm agree with you.

However, what I'd like to understand is if the use of an anamorphic lens, "optically increasing" the resolution lines, results in an enhanced definition of the shooted scene.
Can you confirm this ?


Thanks very much

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You cant add lines, but if your shooting a widescreen aspect ratio with normal spherical lenses you have to crop the image top and bottom to say get 2.35:1. Losing resolution.

A 1.33x anamorphic allows you to get a 2.35:1 ratio without losing any resolution. 

The issue is finding an anamorphic lens that would work with the camera. Youd probably have to rig something that might not be very easy to work with or ergonomic and the quality gains would be minimal. The best image possible out of the camera would still be 16:9 with conventional spherical lenses. 

A good anamorphic lens would cost more then the camera is worth.

I cut my teeth on the XL1 and the XL2 was great in its day. But for the price of most anamorphics lenses you could now buy a HD or 4k dlsr and get better results 

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