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Old December 18th, 2004, 03:22 PM   #46
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Dan-
I watched your video for your other adapter but I think we would all love to see what the 72mm adapter can do.

Please post a FULL rez LOSSLESSLY compressed video of a pan under a high contrast enviroment. Also a static shot. Considering bandwidth issues just make the whole thing only about 5 seconds long and then set it to loop. Personally I would like to see how sharp it is. Alot of past attempts have had issues with images that were overly diffused. Alittle softness can sometimes help but too much and its simply degrading the picture quality.

I can tell you from the outside your device looks very well designed. Extremely compact and professionally finished. Im crossing my fingers that its image quality is equally impressive.

Give us a link to a full quality sample video.

Thanks for all your hard work!
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Old December 18th, 2004, 03:38 PM   #47
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I will wire you $500USD right now if you can build me one and show me some HIGH QUALITY images from the unit..I am using my "homemade" adaptor with the spinning CD-ROM motor on almost EVERY shoot I do..the image is so much better this EMBARRASSING contraption wins out OVER AND OVER again..it's like NIGHT and DAY..for me and my clients anyway ;)

I sure hope you start building them soon..put me down for the FIRST unit you make

I do hope you have dealt with the issues of alignment of all the parts so the images are SHARP and in focus from top to bottom and left to right..I know this is a problem with my homemade unit ;)..but yours is machine CNC made right?
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Old December 18th, 2004, 10:48 PM   #48
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Gents,

I am overwhelmed by your response on this forum
(and private emails I received)

Brett, you're either a hell of a psychologist or simply honestly impressed, but you managed to touch my sensitive
cord (my stupid pride that is!) to have my work recognized.
You too Obin!

I have dealt with misalignments L/R and U/D in Sept and
took care of in the latest design to be "foolproof" for assembly
(no adjustments needed, one way only is the right way)
But I hear full well what you are saying..........
Bin there (lol)

Sharpness wise is as good as the lens in front. I hope in the next months to print on 35mm film (MP)
the image captured using the last device and shooting
Sony HD FX1 (to make a point again) I intend to use Zeiss superspeed, (just to get any guess out of the way)

I might have to disappoint you Obin, but there are three
hungry "wolves" howling outside my door ....and waiting
for me to get out.
I want to get on the set they shoot (a series that started 3 weeks ago and ends in April)
and shoot some footage. Than I do not have to bother
with lights and "set-up"s, the talent is there, and the time is 1749 in Paris. (I should make something out of it)
That's about footage.

In terms of shipment, it will be a while (hopefully end of January) (I am working on it!)
I can not afford the time to do it myself. It is a lot of work
and time is money. I did enough (for now)

I have a few priorities:
I am working on getting a website up and running.
Footage will be posted (as it comes), pictures of the device,
feedback from customers (unedited)
I intend to add footage to the site from you guys as
testimonials and give a price for the most beautiful
cinematographic work. (we all win after all)

This new site is intended as an open forum for exchanging ideas and work experience. (I have learned this trick from Sherline, and I think is GREAT):

They build the basic lathe, milling machine and quite a few
accessories. BUT, if you look at "tips from other machinists"

http://www.sherline.com/tips.htm

you will find a lot of "clever gadgets" made on their lathes
to help them "work" easier/better ..... on the lathe.
Sherline does not make them. Amazing.
They have it all on the website, but not offer them.
Why?
Because whoever wants one, has everything they need to
.......make one.
But simply sharing the knowledge is just fantastic.
That is a good example to follow.

And now.....
the "money shoot" ;

Help!

I have a very hard time to figure out what to do about the
mount(s) for the SLR lens.
Many of us have a big collection of wonderful manual lenses
from different manufacturers. Minolta, Nikon, Canon.
They all work just great.

Ok, ok but what do I do?
Do I put a mount on the "darn thing" or do I leave it to you and pass on the savings (cost of parts and assembly work?)

I did some 23 years ago a blow up of a 35mm color neg to
50/60 cm until I saw the grain from the film. But the lens
was good enough to show it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Canon 1.4/50 and a "decent" (no name) enlarger lens.

If is Nikon or Contax, or any other brand, I assure you it will be hard to tell the dif. On a 52" display they should not show any weaknesses.

There is too much of other stuff to
"look after" ;lights, highlights, shadows, white balance, etc,
that the sharpness will be there anyway (if properly focused.
And here is another point. You might consider a focus
puller. When set in motion, the operator can not afford to
look like he left the focus on AF (hunting for the sharpest
image)........while the talent cries their eyes out delivering
the performance of their life. Whoa..........
Got some work to do here and got carried away.
Thanks again.
Soon.
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Old December 18th, 2004, 11:04 PM   #49
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dan Diaconu : Gents,

I have a very hard time to figure out what to do about the
mount(s) for the SLR lens.
Many of us have a big collection of wonderful manual lenses
from different manufacturers. Minolta, Nikon, Canon.
They all work just great.

Ok, ok but what do I do?
-->>>

You could go with a t-mount adapter and then everyone could buy the matching adapter that they need for their lens.

Or go with Nikon as the first mount. I know there are a lot of good old lenses out there, but my guess is that Nikon is the best blend of quality/availability/affordability
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Old December 19th, 2004, 01:06 AM   #50
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I may be the wrong person offering advice, here. Having read that the image will be upside down and that this won't really work with an XL2 (seeing how it will have to hang onto the end of my lens somehow and my viewfinder image will be upside down), I think you're shooting down the idea of charging anything more than $500.

From a marketing standpoint, I don't think you can compare this to the Mini35, because it's in a completely different league. Like I said before, your target market will be the 'hobbyist'. The 'gorilla-style film maker' (that's not meant in a derogatory way). Then again, will they even have $500 in their budget? Don't know. Rather than how much it's worth to you, you should consider how much your 'potential customer' can afford to pay for it. Does that make sense? Weigh each aspect of the unit. For example, you may have spent 5 months figuring out how to replicate the ground-glass movement ... but the unit is still a homemade-looking contraption that makes noise and gives you an upside-down picture. What about lens mounts? Is the groundglass guaranteed to be in absolute focus? What if someone needs to use filters? I'm not looking for answers to these questions ... these are just points you need to consider yourself.

One thing you're got going against you is the fact that the Mini35 with rods, handles, mount and follow-focus unit rents for $250 per day. Like I said before, I may be a bad person to give advice because I'm more in the prosumer to pro market sector.

Just a note - you may be able to have a machine or metal shop design a professional housing ... to give it a more professional look. I have things made by machine shops all the time and it's rather reasonably priced!
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Old December 19th, 2004, 01:14 AM   #51
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Joel beat me to it. Go with the T-Mount and then either we could buy our own lens T- mount adapter or you could include one of a few choices with it. P+S Technik sells them seperately but then again they are custom made for the Mini35. I'd recomend you include the right T-Mount adapter according to each order. Throw it in a seperate box if need be. You want to give your customer the closest thing to a out of the box device to make them happy. You dont need to have T-Mount adapters for ALL the different companies out there. Just 3 or 4 of the major players. Anything else the customer can get at B&H.

Look forward to seeing that video. Only then will I personally beable to give you a accurate number as to how much I would be willing to pay.
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Old December 19th, 2004, 10:50 AM   #52
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<<<
From a marketing standpoint, I don't think you can compare this to the Mini35, because it's in a completely different league. -->>>

Here's the way I see it. I don't give a ratsbehind what the unit LOOKS like as long as it's fairly compact.

In this case, I think both his devices look BETTER than the mini35. Plus you can slap it right on a DVX100 which is probably the biggest market for this thing right NOW. He may need to add a rod system to help support large lenses.

But with a smaller lens:
http://pictures.care2.com/view/2/717325749

VS. this mess?
http://www.pstechnik.de/datasheets/pics/digital/d_mini35_2_l.htm

The Mini35 is ridiculous on any camera other than an XL2 (one of the sillier looking cameras ever produced in it's own right)

Having said that, there's a guy on another thread that put a static adapter on the front of his XL2 and seems to like it. So that CAN be done TOO. I think Dan's unit is more likely to turn an "on the fence" XL2 buyer into a DVX100 or Sony FX1 / HVR-Z1U buyer.

Additionally you could adapt to a zillion other cameras with inexpensive step up rings. There are some pretty nice under $1k 3 chip cameras out there right now. Great for pre-production trial footage. Remember, that was supposed to be one of the Mini35’s selling points? If it’s not the final product then all it has to be is “good enough”. Does anyone really use these for trial footage though?

Nothing in Dan's posts indicated his unit makes much noise. I thought he specifically mentioned it was very quiet. If it's really noisy that might knock it out. Or I might baffle it because the unit is so compact.

As to renting a Mini35... great if you're in LA or NY go for it. I'm in Phoenix... the 5th largest city and there isn't ONE for rent. So, taking a wild guess here... that probably leaves about 90% of the world's population without a Mini35 available locally to rent. And if 2 days rental BUYS one of Dan's then I feel sorry for the rental houses anywhere other than LA.

In the end it comes down to image quality. If his image quality is as good as a Mini35 or better for a fraction of the price it will sell just fine. If the image quality is too soft it won't sell for $19.95 even if it includes 3 extra knives. ;-)

As to the higher end market... the Mini35 will be either put into obsolescence by units like this one (buy 10 instead of one and do multicam shoots) OR more likely it will be killed from above. The new small company brew HD cameras will drop into the 10 to 25K range like the Drake system. I'll be looking very seriously at those when they happen.

It's safe to say my opinion is the Mini35 is close to dead at it's PRICE at this TIME and there's much more of a market for a low cost unit. Then in 5 years technology may erase that market.
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Old December 19th, 2004, 01:19 PM   #53
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Thank you Joel for your sincere opinion and fare vision.

Noise, image quality, size, weight, compactness, all have been
extensively considered and will be documented soon on the new site
(a rods support for longer lenses and T-mount will be there for all)

(I can not resist though): If anyone will EVER (that's a STRONG statement)
find any better image converter using a GG in motion
(brighter, less noise, less blah blah, etc AND no grain visible not even when the aperture on the SLR lens is set at
16 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HELO!

16!

hence a crispier picture, emulated by another device, you will prove me worthless.
(of course using a different method than mine)
The pictshaaaa is as sharp as the SLR lens can deliver @1.4 or 1.2. (Clips soon)

Keep in mind, please that my drive on this quest was FX1 print on film, for theatrical distribution. That defines a certain market segment.
Can't compromise anything with THAT goal in mind.

Please note that for the Pro35, P+S recommends using apertures no higher then 4-5.6.!!!!!!!!to avoid seeing the grain of GG. Anyone with me?
The unit is $ 28.000 US. Twenty eight thousand.
(have to catch my breath.....huh, that's better now)

I live to set standards, from which (hopefully) all measure.
Been doing it ever since. (this is how I ended up having as many friends as I have........)

Performance. That's all I care and live for. The best that can be achieved. Can I do it better than I did it yesterday?
Am I better than I was yesterday? It will end in the grave. Then I will be perfect and everyone else happy.
(if I was around for money, I would have done something else by now, without irritating everyone ....)

End note:
I already thought of another way to reduce the noise further. (further improvement on the current movement and no mousepads involved)
Dono if I will implement it though.
Too expensive to assemble. But..... I'll think about it...............
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Old December 19th, 2004, 02:06 PM   #54
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<<<--
Originally posted by Dan Diaconu : Thank you Joel for your sincere opinion and fare vision.
->>>

Hey no problem. Now buckle down and put a couple together so Obin and I can be the first couple of guinea pigs! Provide us with an upgrade path of course. :-)

No offense, but you're not the first (or 2nd) person to come around here saying you were "this close" to having something people could buy/replicate. I think you're closer than anyone else from what I've seen so I'm hopeful you'll pull it off.

There is one other thing I wondered about your design. Can the battery be replaced if it runs down while on location?
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Old December 19th, 2004, 02:29 PM   #55
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I use NiMH rechargeable. They should last for about 100 hours of continuous use on one charge.
(They last longer than that but I am playing on the safe side)
How many hours or takes or days that means?..... depends on the shooting style. Unless you forget it ON (LOL)
One should have enough time (once a week) to leave them for one hour plugged in.
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Old December 19th, 2004, 03:42 PM   #56
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Too much talking, not enough action. Why not show some side-by-side comparison footage, rather than writing a novel about how great the picture is (and how much you love yourself)? I hope Dan's unit takes off and becomes competition for the Mini35. But I doubt it will. At this point, I kind of get the feeling that Dan is looking for compliments from this board, more than input and ideas to develop his unit.

It just seems that Dan's writing about how great he thinks he is and how great the picture is and how some huge producer quickly returned a Pro35 when he got Dan's homemade contraption ... and the 2 guys on here are blindly sucking down what's being fed to them - without seeing any proof.

Show some side-by-side comparison footage, prove me wrong. Then, if the picture quality really is comparable (or half as good as you rant it is), then you'll need someone to design a professional-looking housing. Then you'll have something.

About renting the Mini35 in other cities - you have it shipped. Most suppliers don't charge for delivery time. I live in the DC area and we don't even have one to rent.
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Old December 19th, 2004, 04:35 PM   #57
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<<<--
Originally posted by Daniel Stone : Too much talking
-->>>

You're right. I think your objections have been noted.

I do think some uncompressed footage like Brett requested is called for soon but I don't think Dan needs to spend a nickel on redesigning the housing. I'm with Brett on that one too. It looks well designed. Certainly better than the Mini35 hackjob. (sorry, couldn't resist - but it does look like a joke afterthought on a PD-150 or DVX100).
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Old December 19th, 2004, 04:39 PM   #58
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Dan Im going to have to agree with Daniel. Your ego needs even more stroking than mine. Show us the goods.

If the sharpness isnt there then thats that. We can always go with my design which works with medium format lenses and a much much larger (clearer?) image on the GG.

See there is always a better design right around the corner so try and keep your comments under control.

We all look forward to seeing the videos.
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Old December 20th, 2004, 03:42 PM   #59
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<<<-- Originally posted by Brett Erskine : Dan Im going to have to agree with Daniel. Your ego needs even more stroking than mine. Show us the goods.

If the sharpness isnt there then thats that. We can always go with my design which works with medium format lenses and a much much larger (clearer?) image on the GG.

See there is always a better design right around the corner so try and keep your comments under control.

We all look forward to seeing the videos. -->>>

Hi Brett,

Can you direct me to your url which you are talking about in your post? I am interested to know about your design.

Regards
Leigh
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Old December 21st, 2004, 12:27 AM   #60
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Unfortunately I dont have a website dedicated to my design. Actually its basically P+S Technik's design but with a 645 medium format GG. But if you want to read more about the advantages of using large GG and MF lenses we extensively talked about it in:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&postid=254002#post254002

But this is Dan's thread so I dont want to cluter it with other info. Dan's adapter is much further along than mine and I applaud him for all his hard work. In reality we dont know which one is better and it was unfair for me to say so without knowing for sure. I was making a blanket statement based on the general fact that the imperfections of GG are all reduced when the image is larger as it would be if it used medium format lenses. Even Dan's adapter will be even clearer if it used MF lenses. But perhaps its clear enough already. So my apologies and I take back that particular statement.
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