"Another report from a beta tester" Guerilla35 at DVinfo.net

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Old May 20th, 2005, 02:06 AM   #1
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"Another report from a beta tester" Guerilla35

The following is a report from Dan Brockett another Guerilla35 beta tester.

"My G35 Experience to date...
After beta testing the Guerilla 35 adapter on several different types of shoots, I have a pretty good idea of how it is able to enhance the look of my footage while remaining fairly easy to use. The Guerilla 35 is quite simple to setup, I merely screw the adapter onto the DVX-100A's 72mm lens threads, check the lcd viewfinder screen for alignment of the mount with the DVX-100A's own lens, then mount a Nikon F-Mount lens. I am testing a beta unit that attaches to the DVX-100A via the threaded mount, the final machined production models will mount via the DVX-100A's bayonet mount so the alignment will be permanent, this step will be eliminated.

Once the adapter is mounted to the camera, it is very straightforward to use. Exposure is determined by the DVX-100's normal iris system or you can set the DVX-100A's iris to manual and manipulate exposure and depth of field via the Nikon lens mounted on the adapter. This is a very flexible setup and allows you to easily determine the amount of depth of field needed. Depending on the Nikon lens used, the overall camera package will become front-heavy, in looking at the design of the G35, this is ineviatable, using the largest, heaviest Panasonic battery you have helps to balance out the package and minimize the front heavieness. After all of the setup and preparation, shooting for the first time with the G35 in place is a revelation, it is a totally foreign concept to shoot with a small DV camera with very shallow depth of field. I alternated between a Nikon 28mm D series 2.8 prime and a Nikon 50mm D series 1.8 prime. and found that I generally preferred the 50mm 1.8 when I was trying to obtain the most shallow depth of field, owing to this lens having a longer focal length then the 28mm and having another stop of speed (1.8 versus 2.8). I did discover that the 50mm 1.8 did seem a bit long focally though when shooting handheld.

If I braced myself against a wall or post, using the 50mm 1.8 handheld was possible but for any kind of shots taken while walking or moving the camera a lot, the 28mm 2.8 was a better choice. I suspect that the front weighted bias would make the DVX-100A and the G35 difficult to setup on Steadicams or Glidecams, although not impossible. While shooting handheld, I was able to obtain the best results when I held the DVX-100A in to my chest, bracing the camera with both hands. I also discovered that in the case of using the G35 with Nikon lenses, the older AIS and manual focus series Nikon lenses may have a better, smoother manual focus mechanism. The D-Series lenses I was using are Nikon's most recent series and are generally used in autofocus mode so it was expected that in manual focus mode, the D-Series lenses have a sort of clunky, not so smooth focus ring and gear mechanism. This was especially noticable when trying to smoothly rack focus when using longer focal length lenses. If you do not own Nikon F-Mount lenses and purchase a G35, you might be better off looking at older or used Nikon F mount lenses, they had smoother focus mechanisms in the days when all there was was manual focus cameras. A minor point but an important one.

When all is said and done, all that matters is what your images look like, the end result is what your audience will care about, not how you obtained the image. While the G35 is very straightforward to setup and use, where it ultimately fails or succeeds is in what the final images look like. I am happy to report that the images I was able to produce with my DVX-100A, the G35 and my Nikon lenses are pretty impressive. In my mind, the Panasonic's 24P images have always looked good, but usually would not be mistaken for film, mainly due to the fact that unless you were zoomed in all of the way or were in macro mode, most of the subjects in your frame were in focus or close to in focus, which is typical of small DV cameras.

In showing the footage I have shot to colleagues and the client, the general reaction seems to be one of amazement with comments like, "which camera did you shoot this with?" and lots of "wow, that is beautiful footage". After years of really enjoying creating images with small DV cameras, I feel that using the G35 automatically takes your DV footage to another level. You still need to light and compose your shots thoughtfully and carefully, but as you go down the list of what we can now achieve with DV, 24P, 16:9, anamorphic, high quality sound, cine-like gamma, the one hold up has still been optics and DV's huge amount of depth of field. The G35 allows you to check one more obstacle off of your list, the lack of ability to obtain shallow depth of field with small CCDs. The ability to choose from hundreds of different lenses when shooting DV is incredibly liberating. Not every shot needs shallow depth of field or the ability to rack between focus points. For the situations where you do want to obtain shallow depth of field though, the G35 is an ideal solution. It's simple, relatively small, lightweight and it works well in bright daylight in the field or in the studio. What more can you ask for?"

Jonathan Houser
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 11:56 PM   #2
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nice.. how about some pics or videos :)
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Old May 24th, 2005, 01:55 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Eric Gorski
nice.. how about some pics or videos :)
Videos on their way.

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