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Old November 25th, 2008, 08:42 AM   #16
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Maybe I am incorrect, but wasn't the CFXL marketed as the EX-1 fix? So if Cinevate is working on something else then why did a number of us spend 250+ dollars to get the CFXL "fix"?
I appreciate the hard work that is going on here, but I think there is some mis-marketing, or premature product release as to what this fix was. If the answer is that this was to fix the edge-to-edge issue, well that is all well and good but introducing another problem (like vignetting) does not seem to make it an acceptable fix.

BE
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Old November 25th, 2008, 11:09 AM   #17
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Dennis,

I really do appreciate your development efforts but I have to say that trying to please the 95% is basically forcing me into spending more on a solution that has never worked as I had hoped, this is a pretty poor way to treat thus far loyal customers. I for one would have appreciated being told that when parting with my money I was not going to benefit from 95% of Cinevate's efforts. The EX-1 'fix' was marketed as just that, not a half way house with extra money to be spent further down the line.

That and many of us purchased the 'fix' knowing full well what was round the corner from the likes of Canon and Red, if you had told us the real time frames for your 'best possible' solution I think many of us would simply not have bothered or bought a Letus instead.

I appreciate you are trying to run a business that competes with the big boys and offers value for money with an upgrade path, but this really isn't working for me at least. In fact have you got examples of work by fully satisfied EX-1 fix customers so we can compare our results? there don't seem to be many around this forum.

Dan
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Old November 25th, 2008, 01:12 PM   #18
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I agree that the marketing of the cfXL is misleading. Even if there are inconsistencies in the build of the EX1, these are within Sony's tolerances and any add-on product should really take that into account or at least make it clear that there is margin for error and offer effected users a return path should they not be happy.

Cinevate are not Sony or Canon though and I do appreciate that when problems like these come up it takes time and effort to put a solution in place. Customers should have an option of returning their purchases though if they feel the product does not perform as advertised. In the UK this is part of a buyers consumer rights, I'm not sure if the same applies with international purchases.

I really hope the new part helps. Do you have any expected prices or release dates for it Dennis?

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Old November 25th, 2008, 08:26 PM   #19
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Paul,

I totally agree.

For the record I thought I'd cut and paste the CF-XL description from the Cinevate web store:

CINEFUSE XL (Patent Pending!) is the newest diffuser option for the Brevis35 for cameras with filter threads over 58mm. Designed to address the Sony EX1 optical issues, it also offers approximately twice the diffusion of the standard imaging element, CINEFUSE 1 and better bokeh. It can be used with great results an all cameras with filter threads over 58mm. It is the most film accurate diffuser available from Cinevate and will prove to be the sharpest edge to edge EX1 solution in existence. Losing slightly more light than the stock diffuser, the XL should be used in the f1 to f4 range, making it ideal for fast lenses. This element is so unique that it carries the patent pending status in our lineup. Like all of our CINEFUSE elements, it will drop in to any Brevis 35mm adapter, past, present or future in about 3 minutes. For a look at just how sharp it is, check this 1600 line chart using the EX1 at f5.6 and a 50mm Zeiss f1.4 lens: http://www.cinevate.com/images/ex1chart.png Note: CINEFUSE XL is only available to existing Brevis35 owners...or those in the process of ordering.

Loved your Kites film btw, proof that kit does not have to be 'perfect' to make a great short.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 11:42 PM   #20
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I don't want to be seen to be going in to bat for Dennis. I am sure he is big enough, strong enough and maybe even ugly enough to fearlessly look after himself as he has been self-motivated to come this far with his adaptors. But I would like to balance the debate a little.

I agree the promotion is enthusiastic. Most advertising is. However it does not represent the CFXL diffuser to be more than a tailored diffuser option for the EX1. No reference is made to other elements in the optical path like condensors or achromatic dioptres.

As I see it and I may be breaking my own wind into the gale by saying this, if there is a sin at all, it may be the sin of omission in that there is no declaration that the CFXL diffuser does not correct any of the alleged optical deficiencies of the PMW-EX1 camera lens but renders from the existing combined adaptor/camera system with its limitations, the best groundglass image possible.

The diffuser screen or groundglass as I call it cannot make good optical deficiencies but can assist or aggravate localised lightness or darkness areas within an image.. It can only reproduce the lens image which falls upon it and as a flat surface, be seen for better or worse through an achromatic dioptre of poor, median or good performance by the camera which views it. There is no representation related to the achromatic dioptre in the text.

However the published chart and the technical description of the diffuser resting there in the text are not in themselves misleading and tell unambiguous truths.

A slight barrel distortion of the optical relay/camcorder lens combination is evident as is a slight darkening in the left corner from being zoomed back as far as the camera can be taken before bringing in an edge of the prism path. Nothing is hidden or concealed there.

The statement "It is the most film accurate diffuser available from Cinevate and will prove to be the sharpest edge to edge EX1 solution in existence" is a claim and the last half of the sentence is speculatively predictive."

Another superior product could come along in the meantime and render the last half of the sentence false. However until that happens it remains a genuine statement of belief by the vendor.

I found with the Sony Z1 and PD150, that if you shoot an evenly lit white surface and zoom in upon it, you will observe a falloff of brightness in the corners. The EX1 has its own traits.

Sometimes we have to learn to live within our means or take out a mortgage and buy something more expensive or rent a Genesys.

This is not to advocate against criticism of a product. Improvements will only happen if the consumers raise their concerns and make comparisons. Over time the playing field has become rather level and except for individual traits and operator personal preferences I think the alternative adaptors have shaken down to a fair comparable quality and performance.

The next evolutions I suspect will go in the direction of medium format groundglass screens to go up against the RED Monstro option and these will be exciting developments. (Yes I know. That is a speculative statement as well).

Last edited by Bob Hart; November 26th, 2008 at 12:03 AM. Reason: error
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Old November 26th, 2008, 03:11 AM   #21
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Hi Bob.

The cfXL is described by Dennis himself as being a better solution than an achromat, that's where it gets confusing to customers, and certainly was one of the reasons I chose to go for the Brevis. Now that I have a little more understanding of the technology I can see that for resolution alone that's accurate, but in terms of vignetting on the EX1 and allowing higher zoom levels it's not so true.

As I said earlier, these things happen and it's great that Dennis is on the case, and even better is communicating with us but for those that cannot wait or do not want to spend more money there really should be an option of a refund, that's my only criticism of the situation.

I personally love the look the Brevis and cfXL produces, I wouldn't recommend it to an EX1 user at the moment though because the vignetting can ruin an otherwise perfect shot. I'm cropping my shots down by 20% at the moment to get around the issue, so it would be great to be able to shoot full frame again. There's more about the cropping I use at Cropping the Brevis | Paul Joy
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Last edited by Paul Joy; November 26th, 2008 at 08:23 AM.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #22
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If there were other things said that I am not knowing, then I should pull my head in, keep my counsel and let the chips fall where they will.

The misrepresentation word is a biggie. One needs to be a bit careful about it is all.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 07:57 PM   #23
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Bob,

I think Paul is talking about quote like this one straight from the Cinevate forums:

"Yes, we've been testing with excellent results on the EX1. All we're doing right now is fine tuning. I can confirm that the fix will cost less than $130, and be installed in about 4 minutes with no achromat changes required If you decide to use any other camera, getting the adapter back into "conventional" mode will take another 4 minutes.

I've said it a few times now, but using a different achromat cannot fix this issue. Other manufacturers are just using stronger glass to get the camera into a lower zoom number where the issue is masked. Zoom in for cine frame and the problem will be right back. In fact if someone actually tested for contrast and CA on their $300 achromat "fix" I suspect they would not be too thrilled. For zero dollars, current EX1/Brevis users can do the XY adjustment to perfectly center the frame, keep zoom under Z70 and apply a 3% zoom/crop in post. We don't expect users to accept this however and that's why our fix has been in the R&D phase for several months. We bought an EX1 specifically for this purpose."

Dan
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Old November 26th, 2008, 10:39 PM   #24
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Paul, Dan, I can accept that you're not 100% happy. No lens is perfect edge to edge. Quite frankly, there are wild variations even in the same camera...case in point the HVX200 imaging block "wander". Our EX1 solution came to be out of a careful analysis of the problem, and a solution that we felt, and our beta testers felt, was a good one. There is no question that CFX and CFXL have rapidly become the favourite of our shooters, particularly where bokeh was involved. We will continue to market it as one of the best EX1 shooting solutions available in an adapter, because we honestly feel that it is when used as prescribed. Is it perfect? No. Having said that, no other adapter manufacturer has gone to the lengths that we have in order to improve our system, while keeping it modular and upgradeable for existing users. Case in point, eight imaging element options, microprocessor control and a whole host of little details refined at the request of our shooters. If the EX1 was the only camera our users owned (and would ever own), the solution what actually be quite simple...but the adapter would loses it's modularity completely as well as compatability with existing optics. It would completely lose the ability to work with our 2/3" relay lens.

While we were working on the EX1 fix, the R&D effort revealed that there might be a way to allow current CF1 and CF1Le users to the use their existing elements in the adapter. This was actually the $130 solution. It's also the most technically challenging as we had to figure out a way to use the optics decoupled from our oscillation system. So given two paralell approaches to the problem, CFX/CFXL development resulted in the chart that we've posted, as well as improvements in bokeh tightness, shallower DOF rendering and a few other properties that have been regarded as improvements over CF1 and CF1Le. Folks like Mike and Aram (Urbanmouse) and the crew at Stillmotion.ca have been using CFXL in the majority of their commercial work. The second stream is the one that's required much more time and experimentation. That project is not complete, however the final optics (or more precisely, we're about 95% sure they're the final optics) are in the testing phase right now.

This second option is definitely not a replacement for CFXL..but it will represent another choice for folks (and believe me, there are a few) who want the light efficiency of CF1Le in a solution for the EX1.

What we've learned very early on in the business is that one adapter could not possibly keep everyone happy. In the first 12 beta units I clearly recall the gamut of shooters. Most were bowled over with the light efficiency..and at least two of the twelve wanted shallow DOF rendering. Then we observed what is obvious now...small cameras and larger ones have profoundly different optical paths. This is how the entire CINEFUSE line came to be. We are the only adapter company that openly posts charts, (and invested nearly 10K in them) simply because we want folks to know that they should expect..or not expect. The video university has over a dozen clips which are 100% honest efforts to keep our customers and potential customers as informed as possible. I'm always open to suggestions for improvements, and we work incredibly hard to implement them. All I can promise is that we're constantly working to improve all aspects of performance...and our track record is very clear on this front.

And Bob, thanks for piping in...you're pretty much bang on with your observations.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 03:11 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Chung View Post
I think Paul is talking about quote like this one straight from the Cinevate forums:
Hi Dan, no disrespect but I don't it's necessary to keep posting extracts. I'm personally not interested in trying to prove anyone was mislead, we all make our own choices based on what we read and information we gather. What's important to me is that the current situation some of us are in is known to others so that they can make more informed choices than we did.

For at least some of us the brevis system is not as usable on the EX1 as the letus Extreme, this is a fact and one which I'm sure will change in time due to Dennis' constant efforts and the modular system used.

I know it's not much help when you just want an adapter that works, but I really do value the fact that Dennis is here talking to us and explaining the situation. Look around the Letus forum and you'll see that's not the case very often so that alone makes me feel that the choice to go down the Brevis route was not a mistake, it's just slightly bumpier going than the other road :)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Wood View Post
Paul, Dan, I can accept that you're not 100% happy. This second option is definitely not a replacement for CFXL..but it will represent another choice for folks (and believe me, there are a few) who want the light efficiency of CF1Le in a solution for the EX1.
Thanks for the long explanation Dennis. I'm never 100% happy :)

As said above, I very much appreciate the way you are communicating all this to us so thanks very much for that. You say that this second option is aimed at users who want to use the CF1Le in the EX1, where does that put it in terms of working with the cfXL? Will this additional part help with the problems we are encountering?

Many thanks


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Old November 27th, 2008, 10:05 AM   #26
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Dennis,

I guess the reason why I'm so frustrated is that it is now almost a year since the EX-1 came out and there is still seems to be no definitive 'fix'. I fully understand the issues and headaches that the EX-1 has presented you and that they were out of your control.

All I ever wanted from Cinevate was a setup to work with from the get go, to bridge the gap until Red, Nikon or Canon caught up. After spending so much I've only actually felt able to use the Brevis for one shoot in the entire time I've owned it and I had to use it zoomed in. Now it transpires that in order to get the quality I've been yearning for I have to spend more money and use a flip. I can wait no longer, the 5DmkII provides a better solution for me right now. Sure it has issues and work arounds too, but it image quality wise it blows away my particular EX-1 + Brevis setup which has cost me considerably more.

I really do appreciate your efforts and communication with us here and on the Cinevate forums, but in the final analysis it simply hasn't worked for me. I think I'm entitled to be a little disappointed.

Dan
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Old December 18th, 2008, 08:04 PM   #27
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Paul, the new solution will offer quite a few more options for EX1 owners..including CFXL. Keep in mind that the MP.2 is coming shortly too :-)
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Old December 18th, 2008, 08:10 PM   #28
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Sorry about the double post here but I'm unable to edit! This was all EX1 using CFLX: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/wedding-e...xperience.html

Cheers,
Dennis :-)
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