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Old November 18th, 2008, 02:41 AM   #1
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which 35mm adaptor for my Sony Z7

Hey Guys

Having trouble making up my mind on which 35mm adapter to purchase let me be totally honest i love the look (DOF) awesome and i would like to incorporate it into my wedding work but i know nothing about them.

I was looking at the letus extreme but then had a read on there forum there were complaints about the motors and quality paint peeling glass falling out so i am more confused now.

I really need some professaional advice on this one.

Which brand and model would suite a z7 or z1
Does the lens of the Z7 have to be removed and then the adapter is added if so how would i zoom in or aren't they made for zooming.

Lets start with this and i will add as i get responses

Thanks everyone
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Old November 18th, 2008, 04:57 AM   #2
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For the Z7, until the vendors complete their direct relay lens developments, you are stuck with using the camera's own lens for relay. Most if not all the vendors may have a mount ring adaptor which will enable the camera's own lens to fit up to their 35mm adaptor.

At a pinch you could put a Les Bosher or similar Nikon to JVC GY-HD*** camera family adaptor on your camera in place of its lens. I understand these will fit the Z7 as the JVC GY-HD*** lenses apparently fit this camera.

Once the Les Bosher mount is on, you could use a 50mm Nikon lens of f1.4 or f1.8 for a relay. It won't be ideal. There will be the same magnification factor which was the achilles heel of the original direct relay Letus35 adaptors for Canon XL and JVC GY-HD*** camera families.

Use of a stills lens will require use of an achromatic dioptre which is usually supplied as part of a kit by the vendor.

The resolution yield of this method may be the same or inferior to using the camera's own lens with an adaptor ring to fit it. The only advantage may be a shorter combined camera-35mm adaptor length.

The Nikon mount lenses are also not designed to support the heavy outboard weight of the adaptor and the focus ring is likely to jam unless the 35mm adaptor is supported on some sort of bridgeplate and rods system.

You would also need to be able to get hold of a 52mm diameter filter thread adaptor mount ring from the vendors to fit their particular adaptors to the front of the 50mm lens.

For a wider view of the groundglass screen, you might get away with a 40mm Voigtlander f2 for Nikon or 45mm f2.8 Nikon. These also have 52mm diameter threaded filter mounts

I have tried a 35mm f1.4 Nikon on a Letus Extreme which I had modified for wider and centralised field-of-view and got away with it. This is not likely to work on an unmodified adaptor.

I can't speak for the more popular Brevis, SGPro, RedRock M2 adaptors which I have not had my greasy hands on.

I can speak for the P+S Technik Mini35-400 which I understand may fit up to the Z7 with the JVC GY-HD*** relay and mount kit the company supplies. Secondhand specimens of the JVC version of the Mini35-400 periodically turn up on e - auction websites or here in the forsale or P+S threads. The asking price can be between US$6,000 and US$10,000.

The P+S Technik Mini35-400 is designed to faithfully relay the standard 35mm motion picture frame.

The alternative adaptors by and large allow this option but with lens-in-camera style video cameras, some adaptors more than others permit a larger view of the groundglass area which potentially permits a sharper apparent resolution.

I can also speak for the Letus Extreme which has an 82mm adaptor ring which will fit the JVC GY-HD*** standard Fujinon lens.

Whether this will fit up to your camera's own lens, I cannot speak for. If there is a threaded filter mount on front of the lens it is likely trhere will be a threaded filter mount ring to fit or step-up rings to make it happen. This comes with a barb in its tail however. The front of the lens must be fixed and not turn when the lens focus is adjusted.

Whatever you fit to your camera in the end, it is recommended you do not scrimp, but go the the whole mile and buy a compatable bridgeplate and rods support system.

For the Brevis, SGPro and Redrock M2, you will need to wait for people who have used those to weigh in with their own accounts.

On Phil Bloom's own website, (Philip Bloom Home), he has published a "shootout" of several adaptors he tested.

Last edited by Bob Hart; November 18th, 2008 at 04:59 AM. Reason: error
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Old November 18th, 2008, 08:19 AM   #3
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It seems I got carried away with the sound of my own key tapping and forgot to answer your question completely.

Most if not all 35mm adaptors to 1/3" cameras with built-in lenses or using the standard lens supplied with a detachable lens camera, require a ballpark zoom-in from about 35mm to about 54mm when using a 4+ power achromatic dioptre which is a high quality close-up lens.

How far in the zoom has to be set is determined by the size of the area of groundlgass being imaged, the strength of the dioptre (close-up lens) being used and the distance between front of camera and groundglass. All these things interact.

The close-up lens is needed to enable the camera to focus on a groundglass screen which is optically between 5" and 8" from front of the camera for flip or image erecting adaptors. Because a prism path folds the optical path the physical distance between front of camera and groundglass is shorter.

For non-flip adaptors, the achromatic dioptre is generally of a stronger power in the ballpark of 7+ to 10+ with some higher. Non flip adaptors for optical reasons present the image to the camera sensor the right-way up which the camera sees as upside-down. This is a big hassle to work with.

My earlier post was limited to the Z7. The Z1 has been around for a good while and nearly all vendors have a kit for it which works.

If you end up testing a JVC verskon of the Mini35 on your Z7, be careful to check that the conductors inside the mount are not sticking up. They should be a lunchwrap paper thickness below the machined face of the mount. To check, cut a small piece of paper with a known straight edge and hold it edgeways-on to the mount face across the conductors. If there is a slight gap, then putting the JVC Mini35 relay lens on should be okay.

The Mini35 for JVC relay is a solid piece of metal as are the JVC lenses and do not have an electrical connection in the mount like the Z7.

Lemac rent the Mini35-400 so you might be able to take your camera in and try a JVC version on it.

Last edited by Bob Hart; November 18th, 2008 at 08:26 AM. Reason: error
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Old November 21st, 2008, 09:06 PM   #4
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Hey Bob

thank you for your response you have absolutely confused me.All good
So what your saying is that there is nothing available at this time for the z7 but i can always modify other adapters and lenses to suite.Wouldn't i loose resolution.

what would you do Bob?

Maybe i will just stay clear of having any adaptors added to my Z7 and see what is available for the Z1 and canon A1.

Rob
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Old November 21st, 2008, 11:01 PM   #5
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Robert.


Sorry to have confused you. I try not to endorse any particular adaptor in the interests of being even handed, fair and hopefully unbiased. All the builders have progressed their various adaptors with a passion and enthusiasm which remains not to far from their enthusiast roots here at dvinfo.

Of the adaptors, my hands-on experience is limited to the P+S Technik MINI35, three Letus adaptors, the older LETUS35 FLIP for XL and JVC GY-HD100 and the current LETUS EXTREME for which I have a particular fondness. Otherwise it is my own home-made adaptors which are known along with many other home-builds generically as AGUS35s. I have not had my hands on a BREVIS, REDROCK M2 or SGPRO/BLADE.

I have probably been over-compensatory in relation to avoiding bias toward the Letus products. I have delved into the innards of the various Letus's and have offered publicly my comments on design and construction, which have to have been on occasions challenging to the Le brothers.

There is an extensive history in 35mm adaptors which I sometimes incorrectly assume other people know.

My assumption draws in part from an earlier period here when there was a lot more technical exchange between members regarding their own home made adaptors, whereas the conversations these days tend to refer to and compare the half dozen of so of the commercialised home-build adaptors.

There is one adaptor which should immeidately fit up directly to your Z7 and that is the JVC GY-HD100 version of the P+S Technik MINI35. I offered the JVC relay lens from one up to a Z7 at a Sony roadshow earlier this year and it fitted and worked.

I did not fit up an entire MINI35 as this was going to disrupt access for other users and the guys on the display stand were understandably nervous about me pulling lenses off their cameras to shove other things on.

The MINI35-400 is the current development. It is a benchmark product designed by ex-ARRI camera engineers, intended to perform reliably. It is priced accordingly and mostly beyond financial reach. Secondhand, older MINI35-300s and sometimes MINI35-400s can be found on auction websites.

There is no other adaptor except maybe the fixed groundglass MOVIETUBE which will fit directly up to your camera, the JVC GY-HDs or the Canon XL camera family.

Letus and Brevis as I understand from posts here, have direct relay lenses in development, possibly a few beta examples out there being quietly tested but nothing released yet.

So your options in the alternative adaptors will require you to use either your camcorder's own lens or a substitute like I mentioned such as a Nikon stills lens via an adaptor mount.

If your Z7 camcorder's own lens focus movement does not spin the 0.7mm threaded filter mount when you change focus, you should be able to use it for relay on the Letus Extreme, Letus Ultimate, Brevis, SGPro/Blade and Redrock M2.

If adjusting the focus spins the filter mount thread then it makes using a 35mm adaptor very difficult because most adaptors hard-mount to the front of the lens via the filter thread on front of the lens.

Adjusting focus on the lens then becomes difficult or impossible because the 35mm adaptor must rotate with the turning of the focus barrel.

Nearly all vendors provide a close-up lens or achromatic dioptre which is usually built-in to the back of their 35mm adaptors, plus some sort of ring which bridges from the 35mm adaptor to the filter mount size of a camera type.

The most common lens filter mount diameters in prosumer cams seem to be 58mm, 72mm, 77mm and 82mm for the JVCs which is also a common size in larger ENG style cams.

On the Z7, like the JVC and Canon, using the camcorder's own detachable lens makes the combined camera/35mm adaptor assembly longer and awkard to use.

Check your Z7's lens focus movement. If the filter mount which the filters screw into on front does not rotate when you change focus, a 35mm adaptor you buy to fit to your Z1 with a 72mm filter thread fitting should also be usable on the Z7 with another filter thread fitting which matches your Z7's lens filter diameter.

The Nikon stills lenses I described in my previous post related to previous hacks that I have done to directly relay the Letus Extreme to JVC and SI2K cameras.

Resolution-wise, the P+S Technik MINI35-400 and LETUS EXTREME I have used on a Z1, both test to 865 TV lines of horizontal resolution on a Lemac Chart with good prime lenses on front of them. That is up to the resolution limit of a Z1.

I can only leave it to Dennis, Wayne and Brian or the users of their adaptors to provide the numbers on their products.

Resolution obtainable under controlled testing conditions and real-world practical utility are two different things.


This clip was shot with Z1s wearing LETUS EXTREME and P+S Technik MINI35-400.

http://exposureroom.com/members/DARA...d66d180457613/


The MINI35 was fitted with a Nikon 50mm f1.4 and the EXTREME with a Noct-Nikkor 58mm f1.2, which is a sharper lens wide-open. In the real-world low light conditions in this clip, see if you can spot the difference, except when the lenses are actually in true focus on their subjects.


This one was with an unaltered LETUS EXTREME on a PMW-EX1 at 1280 x 720 resolution at 50P then retimed in post to produce half-speed slo-mo.

http://exposureroom.com/members/DARA...0680b99a8cccc/




Hopefully I have confused you less this time round.

Last edited by Bob Hart; November 21st, 2008 at 11:58 PM. Reason: error
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 07:40 AM   #6
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Z7 with Brevis

Have been using Brevis on Z7. Fits onto it much as it would onto Z1. Have been using it for months now and am very satisfied with most of the footage while dissatisfied with the occasional shot footage.

It's definitely not for panoramic shots. Here the inevitable softening, while minimal, that any additional glass element creates shows up.

Framing and focus are critical: framing because the adapter adds a powerful aesthetic if the elements of each frame are composed so there are strong back, mid or foreground features around the object in focus; focus, well, it's not just a run-and-gun affair anymore as with just the stock lens and no adapter. You will spend your shooting life sweating over getting focus right unless of course you're shooting with a focus puller with whom shots are rehearsed, marks are made, etc. movie-style.

One point to be careful of that's little discussed: most adapter-adopters like myself invest in non-cine lenses which do not have much 'pull' so you can focus from 3m to near infinity in a couple of degrees of a turn and easily miss the sharp point.

Adapters are hefty. If you're shooting like most of us with a flip unit, you're adding up to a kilo to the front end and you need a good rod support system and this combined with the second lens adds further weight. Handheld, it's no longer so easy to keep your camera then at eye level unless you have a very good support rig with counter weights at the back.

Audio: the Brevis unit's vibrations mean any on-camera sound is spoilt unless you have a good mic on a shockmount.

And finally, the Brevis adapter requires half an hour of additional shoot day setting up so factor that in. I'd say it's the same for most adapters unless the unit's left on from shoot to shoot.

As for relays for 1/3" lens, forget it. When finally one comes it, it will probably be pretty pricey and honestly, call me crazy but my feeling is soon manufacturers will be producing camcorders with better DOF control.

Returning to positives, they do create an aesthetic that goes beyond the humble flat look of most sub $10k camcorders. There are abundant examples online of work produced with 35mm adapters. The Brevis is a good unit, loses little light, is relatively light in weight, has good tech support and is reasonably priced. Call Videoaustralia or Lemac in Sydney and hire an adapter for the day to get the feel. The former will show you how to mount and use a P+S Technik, the most established and expensive adapter.
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Old December 28th, 2008, 11:25 PM   #7
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Bob & Michael

thank you so much for your responses still haven't made up my mind on what to buy. I have recently invested in a canon xh-a1s i am now thinking of adding a perminant adapter to it

what would be the best beginners complete unit to purchase between a letus or brevis

Rob
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Old January 6th, 2009, 12:49 PM   #8
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redrock micro M2


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Old January 9th, 2009, 04:42 PM   #9
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Michael, the crispness of your wide angle shots are about 90% dependent on the quality of your wide angle 35mm lens. One of the best we've tested is the Nikon 17-35mm f2.8d which has 100% FOV at all focal lengths and excellent edge to edge sharpness used on the Brevis system. We also really love the Zeiss 28mm f2 prime.

Just a few notes on your experience with the unit. With the oscillation adjusted, it should be silent. If it's isn't, drop us a line for a few things to check. Almost always it's one of the motor wires contacting the carbon tube...a 2 minute fix. In terms of setup, once your initial XY adjustment is done, you should be able to affix the adapter to the camera in 30 seconds and drop it onto our rails system. Just curious on whether there's something we can help with in terms of setup?

Our new MP.2 unit uses a motor that is both more efficient (longer run times) and also more consistent before the charge level drops and the unit does it's auto-shutdown. It's a direct plug in for MP.1 units too :-)

Cheers,
Dennis Wood
www.cinevate.com
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Old January 11th, 2009, 08:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Wood View Post
Michael, the crispness of your wide angle shots are about 90% dependent on the quality of your wide angle 35mm lens. One of the best we've tested is the Nikon 17-35mm f2.8d which has 100% FOV at all focal lengths and excellent edge to edge sharpness used on the Brevis system. We also really love the Zeiss 28mm f2 prime.

Just a few notes on your experience with the unit. With the oscillation adjusted, it should be silent. If it's isn't, drop us a line for a few things to check. Almost always it's one of the motor wires contacting the carbon tube...a 2 minute fix. In terms of setup, once your initial XY adjustment is done, you should be able to affix the adapter to the camera in 30 seconds and drop it onto our rails system. Just curious on whether there's something we can help with in terms of setup?

Our new MP.2 unit uses a motor that is both more efficient (longer run times) and also more consistent before the charge level drops and the unit does it's auto-shutdown. It's a direct plug in for MP.1 units too :-)

Cheers,
Dennis Wood
www.cinevate.com
Hey Dennis

Just the guy i want to talk to

What setup would you recommend for someone starting out with an adaptor i own a Sony Z7 and a xh-a1 and i would like to alta the adaptor between both units. I have looked at the letus extreme but it just looks to plastic and i have red alot of negative things about the unit ( glass falling out ,wiring etc. so put it this way i need to get it right unit from the beginning

regards

Robert
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