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Old July 28th, 2008, 10:25 PM   #1
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Which 35mm lens to use with Canon XH-A1

Hello, I use a Canon XH-A1 and I'm thinking about buying a Letus lens adapter (Nikon lenses) to use with it and so I was wondering if there is anything important to look for in the lenses I use with it: Should a use a fast lens? If so, what f-stop do you recommend? And for just standard filming what focal length should I be looking to use or does it even matter? 50mm? Any info you guys can give me on purchasing a good lens to use with my Letus/XH-A1 combo is much appreciated.

I will also be looking to purchase a macro lens later on too so any recommendations on that would be great too. Thanks!

Last edited by Paul Whittington; July 28th, 2008 at 11:58 PM.
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Old July 29th, 2008, 12:08 PM   #2
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There is no good single answer to your question. It all depends on what you want to do; how and what you intend to shoot. Plus, some folks prefer Nikon to Canon, and vice versa. I've got some old Pentax "K" lenses, so I purchased both a Canon FD and a Pentax K mount with my Letus Extreme. I have purchased and use the following Canon lenses:

Canon 50mm f/1.4
Canon 24mm f/2.8
Canon 85mm f/1.2 L
Canon 200mm f/4.0

Of course, just like with your old SLR, the 50mm is an all-purpose lens. I have also gotten good results with the 24mm when the lighting is adequate. I'm sure I'll buy myself a faster wide-angle in the near future.

The 85mm is a freaking awesome piece of glass (at $700 used, it ought to be!), with an extremely shallow DOF at f/1.2. Just like it would be on an SLR, this lens has been great for "portraiture" style framings -- whether a head shot or a flower. The 200mm has limited use, and you need lots of light, but I have used it to "reach out" to a shot that is too far away for the shorter lenses.

I would recommend browsing the threads in this forum for a few days. You'll probably find ten answers for every question you can pose. The search function works well, too, if you're interested in specific topics.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 06:57 PM   #3
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Thanks Will for the advice - much appreciated. As I mentioned above I'll be getting the Nikon compatible Letus so I can use the lenses from the Nikon DSLR. One thing I should have asked which is important to know is any lens I do use with a Letus must have manual focus right? I'm assume that the Letus has no way of detecting the auto functions of the newer lenes - is this correct?
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Old July 30th, 2008, 07:17 PM   #4
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You will need manual focus lenses.

You will discover that various lenses will be needed, depending on your shot. I have Nikon
24 (2.8), Nikon 28(F3.5),Nikon35(F 2.0), Nikon 50mm (F1.4), Nikon 100mm 2.8. I also have a Nikon 43-86 to cover range between 50 and 100. Finally, for ER long use, I have a couple of Vivitar teles (one zoom, 70-210 and a 135mm)

People will be telling you to get fastest lens possible. But remember this, with the wide open 1.4, the depth of field in many situation is just to shallow, so I have to close to 2.8 to 5.6. The SerieE 100 f2.8, for instance, is a cheaper lengs on Ebay, but it makes a wonderful image. You just need to be prepared to light or reflect light to your subject.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 06:55 PM   #5
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Yes, glad you mentioned Chris about the Shallow DOF getting too shallow - this is something I was worried about for my non-static shots since I like to move the camera around a lot. I love a super shallow DOF for photo shooting but, when taking photos, I've often thought of how difficult it would be to keep focus with these lenses while filming motion shots. But like you guys are mentioning, it seems as though a nice variety of lenses is the best way to go - thanks!
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Old August 1st, 2008, 09:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
You will need manual focus lenses.

You will discover that various lenses will be needed, depending on your shot. I have Nikon
24 (2.8), Nikon 28(F3.5),Nikon35(F 2.0), Nikon 50mm (F1.4), Nikon 100mm 2.8. I also have a Nikon 43-86 to cover range between 50 and 100. Finally, for ER long use, I have a couple of Vivitar teles (one zoom, 70-210 and a 135mm)

People will be telling you to get fastest lens possible. But remember this, with the wide open 1.4, the depth of field in many situation is just to shallow, so I have to close to 2.8 to 5.6. The SerieE 100 f2.8, for instance, is a cheaper lengs on Ebay, but it makes a wonderful image. You just need to be prepared to light or reflect light to your subject.
Chris is absolutely correct. At f/1.2, the "in focus sweet spot" is just inches in depth -- like no more than two or three inches when it comes to something close to the lens. I've had flowers in a breeze that move in and out of focus while only traveling two or three inches from front to back. If you've got more than one person in the frame, you simply have to close down the iris a little to deepen the DOF to a point where it is manageable.

Don't get me wrong, it's a good problem to have. I've liked the artistic things you can do with such a shallow DOF. But f/1.2 is probably only useful for "static" kinds of shots -- not when there is any movement to speak of.

I've also found (and I've read places where Steve Dempsey makes the same observation) that a simple reflector, held strategically, can often provide that kicker of light necessary to make a shot work at f/4.0 or f/5.6. I should also mention that, with the Extreme (and its vibrating ground glass) you run the risk of seeing GG grain when you stop down more than f/4 or f/5.6. It's not entirely unpleasing -- but you should be prepared for that reality.

Last edited by Will Schryver; August 1st, 2008 at 09:57 AM. Reason: .
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Old August 1st, 2008, 01:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Schryver View Post
I should also mention that, with the Extreme (and its vibrating ground glass) you run the risk of seeing GG grain when you stop down more than f/4 or f/5.6. It's not entirely unpleasing -- but you should be prepared for that reality.
This is good information to know, I was unaware that the vibrating GG would cause grain at lower f-stops - I assume this grain will look more like a film grain (since it is not being caused by the camera) or does it look more like video noise? Does anyone know if the Brevis adapter produces less or more grain at lower f-stops or is it roughly the same amount. And one more thing - does the Letus Extreme produce the image upside-down or right-side up?

Last edited by Paul Whittington; August 1st, 2008 at 01:48 PM.
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