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Old April 28th, 2002, 05:51 PM   #1
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P+S Technik Mini 35 Adaptor - What do you want to know?

Hi Everyone,

I'm finally preparing my first look article about the P+S Technik Mini 35 Adaptor that I just purchased. Fame and fortune right Chris? ;)

So here's where you come in - If you have any questions or thoughts, or experiences that you wouldn't mind me including in my write up please send them to me. Thanks.

justin@monsterrocket.com

Cheers,
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Old April 29th, 2002, 10:03 AM   #2
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Justin,

What lenses are you using with the rig?

I quess what I don't understand is way is there the need for the rotating class plane - because, I take it that Canon's lens adapter does not incorporate this type of technology - am I correct in that assumption?
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Old April 29th, 2002, 08:20 PM   #3
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And you lose about two stops of light, correct? Not that this should be an issue by any means though.
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Old April 29th, 2002, 08:42 PM   #4
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With my Zeiss super speed primes I think I'm losing 1, to a maximum of 1.5 stops. I still haven't gotten to do my battery of tests but that will be this weekend. Mizell at ZGC is sending a chart over so I can do some comparison testing.

I'll also do a gray card test and check exposure levels.

All these tests are pretty complicated and I'm probably going to get another XL1 to simplify the comparison tests.

Randall:
The mini35 uses a spinning glass plane so the grain of the ground glass doesn't show up on screen. The adapter glass has 3 settings, low, high and stopped. You can definitely see the grain of the glass when it's stopped. Most of the time the low setting is enough, but sometimes a higher speed is necessary if you're stopped down to T8 or more.

As for the Canon adapter, I believe it doesn't use ground glass.
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Old April 30th, 2002, 06:29 AM   #5
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Hi Justin,

I'm curious of frame grab comparisons between 4x3 and 16x9 settings in frame movie mode. I love the P+S Technik invention. It outsmarts all high end SD solutions but I have to produce in 16x9 (cropping degrades the image too much). I'm ordering the mini35digital but have not desided on the XL1 (with it's unusually low pixel resolution count) and the PD150. As i hear it the PD150 has a no good faux 16x9 setting (but on the other hand a higher pixel count). Since you would be shooting of an even smaller part of the ground glass in faux 16x9 I think this is a relevant issue.
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Old April 30th, 2002, 07:21 AM   #6
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Martin,

I can't give you the exact tech specs, but the reason for the XL1's apparently low pixel count is that the pixels are larger than those you'll find in similar cameras. This allows more light to enter the CCD block and also allows for the extended green colour space.
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Old May 1st, 2002, 08:11 AM   #7
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Thanks for the input, Adrian :-)

Do you know the purose of having a larger green space? What is it you are gaining by this technique?

I'm aware of the pixel shift technology but I don't quite follow on the "green space" thing. Does other CCDs have limited green space? And if so; why?
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Old May 1st, 2002, 10:27 AM   #8
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The original XL1 brochure had an explanation of extended green space. Mine is back in Australia, but some one might have one handy.

I seem to remember something about rendering richer sharper colours or truer colours, something along those lines.
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Old August 3rd, 2002, 11:27 PM   #9
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Hi Justin,

I have a question. Since we all know the PD-150 does not have a removeable lens <g>, I kind of question the effectiveness the Mini35 would have on a PD-150, i.e., having the light go through a ARRI prime, via the relay optics, then through the Sony's on-body lens, before reaching the CCD, as compared to the XL-1 solution. Just a thought.

I may be wrong here, but I think the glass on a ARRI lens (or Zeiss or Angenieux) is part of the elusive film look most videographers are pursuing.

I dropped by my local rental house yesterday to take a closer look at the Mini 35. While I didn't run any tests, I did try it out for a while with my XL-1s, along with 50mm & 85mm primes, and a connection out to a field monitor. I was very surprised at the depth and density (for lack of a better word) of the image. I switched back to my standard IS II lens and the image just looked different. Bleah.

Again I may be wrong here, but I think that film lenses and video lenses simply render different images. Why is this so? Is it because of the glass, or something else? I'd like to hear the opinions of those here who have had extensive film experience.

I will be taking the Mini35 out for a test run sometime next week. Will post more details then.
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Old August 4th, 2002, 01:57 AM   #10
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I've gone Mini 35 too

Hey Justin,
After testing the Mini 35 on a couple of commercial shoots in the last week or so, I ordered one for my studio...it should arrive this week. I had a chance to work with Cooke and Zeiss Super Speed primes and found the Zeiss ideal (and about 35k less for a set). Everyone at my shop (mostly experienced with film work) that saw the footage thought it was shot on film. Mizzel is shipping me the system with a Nikon adapter so I can do some side by side comparisons with footage I shot with the adapter and cine's, and with a set of Nikon primes of maching focal length (AI-s 1.2's- 1.4's). I actually shot some comparison footage straight thru the 16X Canon under the same circumstances, so it should be interesting.
Personally I think the XL1 and Mini 35 setup has the potential of exceeding Super 16 (thanks to the 35 lenses and the XL1 in Frame), but certainly doesn't have the richness/detail of 35. That said, looking as good as it did after 5 days of shooting, It's only going to get better with use. Guy at ZGC has been a gas to work with in my research, and I'm looking forward to ongoing feedback both ways, especially if the Nikons work as well as they should (and have in limited tests). Sure, no follow focus, but what a cool way to pull together a run and gun "film" set up with 2k worth of new Nikon 35's.
I look forward to hearing more of your experience with the setup.
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Old August 4th, 2002, 01:38 PM   #11
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To Claytonl:

I wonder if a certain amount of what you are noticing as a difference between the stock lens and the 35mm lenses has to do with the adaptor itself. Since the image is being relayed to a ground glass inbetween the lens and the body, it takes on different contrast characteristics. An interesting experiment would be to use the Mini-35 with a still lens adaptor and shoot some footage with a given lens...then use the Canon EOS adaptor and use a still lens from the same family but of a focal length that will deliver the same field of view (which means it would be 7.2x wider than the one on the Mini-35). So the major difference between the setups is that the image is going through the ground glass on one and directly onto the chips in the other, removing the variable of the lens itself as much as possible. That would be a good indicator of what the Mini-35 is adding to the image.
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Old August 5th, 2002, 01:48 AM   #12
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I'd like to know the breakdown of what the setup costs.
Just so I can decide which car I have to sell to get one. ;)
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Old August 6th, 2002, 04:00 AM   #13
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To Steadichupap:

For the sake of this discussion, let's discount the optical relay characteristics of the Mini 35 for now; indeed, I'm sure the ground glass in the Mini 35 modifies the resulting image on the CCD.

What I was trying to describe is this:

The image that one sees from the viewfinder of a 35mm SLR camera is immediately different to that as seen with a video camera. I could be barking up the wrong tree, but I'm very, very curious as to why lenses manufactured for motion picture (or even stills 35) renders images that are so different as compared to lenses for video.

The test you suggested, i.e., between the Mini 35 and the EF adaptor, is an interesting one. I shall try it out soon.

But back to my question: the image that one sees on a, say, Arri 435 viewfinder is the result of a purely optical process; light comes in thru the lens, and relayed to the viewfinder via the mirror shutter. That's fine, since the situation is essentially WYSIWYG, and that goes for a SLR camera too.

My confusion begins when I think about how a video camera forms an image; what one sees in the viewfinder is relayed from the CCD (and further prior, the lens). Since there is a limitation to the amount of detail a CCD can resolve, the image is somewhat lesser; is this correct?

Now bring the Mini 35 into the picture: the image is formed via light coming into a lens designed for 35mm motion picture photography and onto a ground glass. This is in turn relayed to the CCD. And as I've seen with my own eyes, the resulting image is *so* different. Exactly as though I'm looking thru the viewfinder of a SLR or an Arri. But considering that a video image is the result of the CCD, why is the image from a Mini 35 unaffected, even after being resolved by the CCD? Is this where the Mini 35's function of preserving a 35mm frame comes into play?

How is this possible? What are the characteristics of a motion picture lens (or, simply, lens for 35mm photography) that lets it resolve such an image? Construct? Type of glass? Or some optical principles that I've yet to grasped? Could it be that lenses for video and lenses for motion picture are generally the same, and that they would render similar images, type of medium notwithstanding? (A note here: the film image and the video image I'm trying to describe is that of one single frame, not motion. It's solely the lenses I'm asking about here, not the characteristics of motion picture in general.)

Lately I've been guessing that the physical size of a CCD, as versus the physical size of a 35mm frame, may have something to do with it. Any enlightenments?
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Old August 6th, 2002, 09:05 AM   #14
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This is a complex question. A couple of things to think about:

If you are working with a 16mm camera equipped with PL mount (say, an SR3), you can switch between lenses designed for the 16mm format and for the 35mm format without seeing a major difference between them. Presumably this would be the case with the Mini 35.

Some of Canon's Super 16 zooms were based on their broadcast 2/3" zooms (virtually identical target area). They were rehoused and some of the optics tweaked for the new format, but they are extremely similar.

Angeniux (I think) just came out with two new zooms, one built for 35mm and the other for 2/3" broadcast. They appear to be very similar from the pictures and information I have seen on them.

I have used the Panavised 24p camera with their lenses (which have double the resolution of their previous 35mm lens sets) and the unmodified 24p camera with a standard Fujinon lens. Not having shot tests running both cameras side by side, I can only say that the images shot with the broadcast lens were fairly comparable. The Panavision lenses are ultra sharp from corner to corner and offer great contrast, flare resistance etc., but the image is still a 24p image, i.e. the lenses did not transport the results into a whole new dimension.

My personal feeling is that the depth of field characteristic is providing much of the psychological effect of the Mini-35 system. (And I'm sure Justin will back me up on this!). It is such a different look than the "endless focus" of the DV format. After that, I remain convinced that the ground glass significantly alters the color and contrast. I wish I had the opportunity to perform the test I referred to earlier. If you get the chance to do it, please post the results so we can gaze at them!
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Old August 8th, 2002, 03:12 PM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dylan Couper : I'd like to know the breakdown of what the setup costs.>>>

If you go to the ZRG website: http://www.zgc.com/html/p_s_technik_mini_35_adapter.htm
you'll find the PS Technik price they list is about $6500. You'll need more stuff to make it work including extra battery, matte box, etc. My guess add another grand or two easily.

You need an XL1s camcorder "body," and battery(s) and whatever
extras you'd like . . . the CRT viewfinder etc. $3500-6000.

Lens (or a set of them) $10K-$100K. Maybe Justin Chin will
enlighten us as to his lens costs :)

However, once you have this stuff, your "film" cost is less than $5 per HOUR. Or in film terms, FREE! Can't afford the lens kit? You can rent them.

Is it film? No. For the investment cost and the cost of operation, is it the best value? Without a doubt. Most everyone who's seen the results is amazed.

Nothing that looks this good takes less money IMO, and until something
better comes along that I can *afford*, I will keep lusting for
a PS-tech/Zeiss/XL1s combo.
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