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Alternative Imaging Methods
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 08:21 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New York
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One Letus for two cameras

I'm intrigued and impressed by what can be made using an adapter. Spent the evening looking through some sites and I have these questions I hope you can help me with:

1) I have a small collection of Nikons, some primes (85, 20, 16, 60) and a sweet 80-200. Do these fall within the "useful" range for adapting to video? I'm not asking about personal vision....I mean will they work with an adapter?

2) I haven't seen too many pictures of people using zooms. Will zooms work with an adapter or will there be a loss of quality? All of my glass is f2.8 or faster.

3) I have a Canon HV 20 and aspire to a Sony EX1 in the future. The Letus site advertises the Mini for the HV 20. I'd rather not have to get two adapters and it looks like the Elite is the prefered model for the Sony (the Ultimate is waaay out of the question price-wise). Can the Elite be adapted to the HV 20 without quality loss? Thread adapters, perhaps?

4) Read somewhere that the Elite doesn't stop down past f5.6 and no high shutter speeds. Is this correct and how much of a handicap is that on video?

5) Are the Letus rods worth the money or can one do better with another set of rods?

Thank you for indulging my inquisitiveness. I can't imagine how people navigate this stuff without the help of forums like this!

Bob Kerner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 3rd, 2008, 11:47 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hollywood, CA
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1) Those will do fine. You're missing something in the 35-50 range, shoot a little and feel if you need it or not.

2) I use an FD zoom, 35-135 and it works great, I love it because I don't have to switch lenses. Light efficiency suffers though.

3) Yes the elite can be adapted although for the HV20 I have seen some pretty homemade-looking solutions and not too many professional ones.

4) I've read that as well. Past 5.6 is pretty useless anyway on most lenses, you're better off using the camera sans adapter at that DOF. High shutter speeds is a bit of a bummer, if you're doing anything slow-motion, count it out.

5) There are a lot of rods systems out there: Redrock, Cinevate, Letus, Cavision are all in the same price range. I have Cavision and it works very well. Letus is extendable which is nice but for the price of an extender pair and another set of rods you could easily buy a solid set for the same price (did you mention HV20 and EX? Oh well, you won't need extensions anyway). Look into the other companies and see if you like the prices more, they are all quality products.
Ben Winter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 4th, 2008, 08:37 AM   #3
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If you are getting an EX1, you will need to order a special achromatic dioptre from Letus for it. This camera presents some unique optical challenges to adaptor builders. The images to be had from this combination are very pleasing.

As for your lenses, the general rule of thumb is the wider available aperture the better, typically f1.8 or even wider. You mostly will not always use those wide apertures but again as a general rule of thumb, a f1.4 lens at f3.5 will perform better than a f3.5 lens wide-open.

Many of the budget lenses are in the ballpark of f3.5 wide-open and this does not leave you much headroom below f5.6 which is more or less the limit before artifacts become evident.
Bob Hart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 30th, 2008, 02:48 AM   #4
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 916
Bob, your challenge (small cam, large cam) is specifically why we have interchangeable imaging elements incorporating aspheric optics, and have invested so heavily to develop them. The optical path of the HV20 is very different from the EX1 meaning the only way to deal with these differences is to either buy two adapters, or use one with interchangeable imaging elements/optics. Our approach has always been to work towards maximizing value for our customers.

Dennis Wood
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