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Alternative Imaging Methods
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Old September 24th, 2008, 08:22 AM   #16
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Location: Western Minnesota
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First off, it's been a good learning experience for me, reading these posts.

It appears that the Letus is still the winner. From what I can glean from the posts I read, the Letus, rails and the extras are going to run in that $2,000 U.S. range.

Paul, good points regarding research and repeat posts.

It's interesting to me that each of the camera/video forums that I frequent have their own 'personalities' if you will.

Some of the forums that I read/participate in encourage mulitiple semi-repeat threads with members sharing and exchanging info...and that seems to work well for those forums.

This forum seems to encourage more 'on your own' research and that seems to work here.

Nice to read your inputs all.

Take care.

Rog Lee
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Old September 24th, 2008, 08:38 PM   #17
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Seattle, Washington
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Roger, as a long time Letus user (FE, XL, Extreme, Ultimate) I will tell you that I have had little or no issues with quality build and usability.

Now that that's out of the way, let me address a few more issues:

1. Focus is a challenge. Once you are dealing with shallow depth of field, you have to pay particular attention to focus. I would recommend an external monitor for critical shoots but for regular shooting, make sure you check each shot using the focus assist before you commit anything to tape. Focus and an understanding of depth of field will enable you to get the best shots possible for what is called for. Having said that, however, you are simply not going to have the same kind of forgiveness as the huge depth of field of the native video lens.

2. I suppose this should have been number one but you have to treat a camera/adapter combo in a whole different way to what you have been used to using the camera solo. You have to make many more decisions when taking a shot. For instance, you will really get to know what a 50mm field of view is going to look like versus a 35mm because you are going to be changing lenses quite a bit if you are shooting mainly with primes. It's going to take time but if you are willing to do the work, then you will get great results. One of the mistakes I see time and time again is that people are too obsessed with gear and they think that once they have a cool new gadget, the shots they get are going to look spectacular. I have news for you...if you don't spend time learning all the nuances of shooting with an adapter, your footage is going to look way worse than the worst stuff you shot with the native lens.

3. You must use a rails/rods system. To do otherwise is to risk damaging the front of your camera. Relatively speaking, these are pretty cheap compared to replacing your whole camera. They also act as added protection should you drop or bump your camera.

4. I have not used this combo on a steadicam system but you will not be able to use a Merlin, for instance because the combined weight of the camera, adapter and lens will exceed the maximum capacity so keep that in mind when buying a stabilizing unit. People have used the system quite successfully...it's just a matter of getting the appropriate unit.

5. There is an added cost in lenses but you can get a great picture using regular Nikon or Canon still lenses and they are relatively going for a song on eBay and similar used equipment outlets. We are talking hundreds of dollars for a nice prime set as opposed to thousands if you were buying movie lenses or additional video lenses for an interchangeable camera.

6. So long as your tripod meets the payload of the whole camera/adapter/lens/rails rig, you will have no problem. I did not have to update my tripod to accomodate the extra weight and it works just fine. Obviously make sure you have a decent quality tripod...not something you get at Radio Shack (joking, of course, don't take offense).

Adapters are like everything else. Make sure you do a lot of research before you part with your cash. Shelling out a couple of thousand dollars is a big deal so you should feel like you are getting your money's worth. Also make sure it's something you are going to use. If it's more of a novelty, you will be easily distracted and it will probably end up with all of the other toys found in a typical basement.

Personally, I have worked hard to get the best picture possible from this combo and I can tell you I would not turn back. I leave my adapter permanently affixed to my camera and I'm glad I put some sweat into understanding it to the point where it's second nature to me now and the picture produced still thrills me.

I hope this helps you in your decision.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 11:16 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Steven Dempsey View Post
.... I'm glad I put some sweat into understanding it to the point where it's second nature to me now and the picture produced still thrills me.
The pictures you produce thrill most of us and are, as always absolutely inspiring
Cheers - Paul M.
www.relivetheday.com.au : www.perbenyik.com
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Old September 25th, 2008, 06:22 AM   #19
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Location: Bradford, PA
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Thank you for your insight and responding to this thread. I have been following this thread because I too am considering purchasing a 35mm adapter. I have done a lot of research and I do beleive that the Letus Extreme would be the best choice.

I just want to add, when I first signed on here and saw one of your videos, that was the deciding factor in getting my A1. Recently I joined the Canon XH A1 group on Vimeo and discovered you are a member as well. I watched all your videos and I must say you are truly a master of your craft.

You do for the Canon XH A1 what Andrew Kramer does for After Effects. True inspiration.

Thank you for sharing your talent with us.

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Old September 25th, 2008, 03:11 PM   #20
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Location: Western Minnesota
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Excellent reply as are your videos.

It's great to have you here as a resource.

Thanks so much for taking your time.

Rog Lee
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