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Old January 31st, 2008, 01:22 AM   #1
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A few Letus questions...

Hi,

I finally got my Letus Extreme! I'm very happy with it so far... The only lens I have so far is the Nikon 50mm 1.8

But maybe someone could help me with a few points:

During setup, after you focus on the glass particles, is there a way to disable the focus ring on the XH A1? Or should I even do this? In my first test shoot with the Letus, I found myself mistakenly adjusting the A1's focus ring and sometimes it seemed to help...

Should one not be using the A1's zoom at all? I know zooming out reveals the innards of the Letus (actually kind of interesting effect) but is zooming in sometimes a bad idea? Or can that be disabled in the camera?

and suggestions on other lenses? Should a zoom lens be used?

I really appreciate anyone's comments on the above. I realize some of this may sound dumb to the initiated. This forum has become my first stop every night while I try to build this dream rig, so thanks everyone!

Sean
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Old January 31st, 2008, 08:06 AM   #2
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Once you set the proper zoom and focus on the XH-A1 so that the Letus is in focus and fills the screen properly, then use the Focus and Zoom Preset function on the XH-A1. That way if you happen to move the focus or zoom ring on the A1, you can instantly retrieve your zoom or focus marks.

Good Luck!
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Old January 31st, 2008, 11:40 AM   #3
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I have had very good luck with my Nikon 35-70mm zoom lens. There's a thread where I asked this very question....good answers, but the jist is that you can but everytime you reframe (by zooming), you will need to refocus. Also rails are highly recommended if you use a zoom, as they are bigger and heavier.
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Old January 31st, 2008, 03:15 PM   #4
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Thanks David, that's good advice. I'll do it!

and thanks Paul...
I do have the rails.. I got the Letus rods... (pricey but great for adjustability...)

So you're saying you use a Nikon zoom lens and you need to refocus every time you zoom with it? Or you need to refocus if you use the A1's zoom?

It seems to me that once you focus on the glass grains, zooming on with the A1's zoom should keep it in focus on the grains... Or am I nuts?

thanks again for the replies....
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Old January 31st, 2008, 10:03 PM   #5
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I mean if you re-frame by using the zoom(on the Nikon), you will have to refocus (on the Nikon). Once your focus is set with the camera to the GG, it is good to go and won't need changing. I don't zoom using the camera at all though. It tends to cut your resolution and makes it softer by the fact that you are zooming on the grain structure of the GG. You could maybe a little and not notice.

I can tell you it'll take some time to get used to not using the camera's zoom! I still catch myself reaching for the rocker switch! However, you need to re-frame with the Nikon zoom (if you are using a zoom lens) and then re-touch the focus on the Nikon zoom.

Sorry if I was confusing, it does take a while to get used to having 2 zooms, 2 focus rings and 2 apertures/iris's! I set the focus and zoom on the camera and leave them alone, then set the aperture on the Nikon lens to it's widest position (to get greatest DOF) then adjust the iris and ND filters on the camera as needed for proper exposure.

Hope this helps!
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Old February 1st, 2008, 12:04 AM   #6
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Yea, thanks Paul! You made it crystal clear now. And a lot of things that I was supposing are turning out right.

It is a weird beast to get used to, but I really like the looks of the footage so far.

I'm trying to shoot an independent this spring of a script I wrote (feature-length, too - yeesh...). This weekend I'm going to do a test shoot with actors on one scene just to see how everything goes. I'll try to put the footage up so you can take a look and maybe offer some pointers...

Thanks again...
Sean

PS One thing I am looking for, maybe you'll know... is a shoulder mount-type thing. Any suggestions on that?
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Old February 1st, 2008, 07:26 AM   #7
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Sean,

Sounds like you already have rails, if not I would recomend the Zacuto system. www.zacuto.com their rails and entire system is modular. You can add as needed and they look to have a great shoulder mount option, see the video on their home page. I'm using a V1 with my Letus 35 and coupled with the Nikon zoom, it's monstrous! I only use sticks or a bean bag to shoot from.

I wish I could find a tripod that is only about 1-2 feet off the ground! The Letus is great shooting from close to the ground (I mostly do nature photography).
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 01:28 AM   #8
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The Letus35 Rods are also a good choice if you want something more affordable than the Zacuto gear. the 45cm + 15cm complete system is a great setup if you are using long lenses.
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