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Old June 8th, 2010, 08:11 PM   #16
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grain texture

A huge selling feature for 35mm adapters that hasn't been mentioned is that the spining ground glass gives a wonderful texture to the picture.

I see more and more DSLR videos out there and I must say that I'm not a huge fan of the look that is coming from those cameras.

If you are wishing to get a more film-grain type look then 35mm dof adapters are for you. I'm really enjoying my M2e...I just wish that it wasn't so long attached to my EX3.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 08:26 PM   #17
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Sorry, don't buy that grain thing.... A spinning adapter has a circular grain, if any at all. And the vibration version, you run into "long grain"

Besides my 5D, I just bought the T2i, as a "B" camera. In its own right, though, it will out shoot any adapter. And for a much lower price that any decent camera /adapter rig you get into.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 09:03 AM   #18
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The market for new adaptors may be faltering, might even be moribund, however I don't people will cease to use them overnight.

Recently a short was shot on an EX1/Letus Extreme over here and I am camera assisting on a short shoot with a JVC GY-HD100/DR-100/Mini35-400 right now, which will get TV and web release.

My own pet theory on adaptors - low cost consumer video cams might go the DSLR sized single-sensor route when a sensor type becomes obsolete and can be aquired cheaply enough as overstock inventory. I doubt whether there would be enough overstock in this age of just-in-time component supply to sustain a high volume low-cost video camera run. However who knows?

There may be a new manufacturer of adaptors in a low labour cost country. The future 35mm adaptor might be almost a toy level product to go on the most basic of small chip consumer video cameras in much the same way that the Letus Mini meets the small camcorder marketplace.

Both producers have chosen the groundglass adaptor despite Canon 7Ds being accessable.

Last edited by Bob Hart; June 9th, 2010 at 09:04 AM. Reason: error
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Old June 27th, 2010, 05:31 PM   #19
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Chris,
If I may be a dissenting voice here - I own a GH1, 5D and also an SGblade combo and the grain thing is not a delusion from those of us who use adaptors. I shot this a while back and the grain is very clear to see and to me looks very film like. Each to his own though but I cannot get a similiar look out of the DSLRs. Got to Vimeo and download the original if you wish - this was shot with the nanoflash.

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Old June 27th, 2010, 10:00 PM   #20
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I think I have rabbited on about this some time in the far distant past and this is largely speculative, not proven fact.


There may be two sources of "apparent" grain structure with adaptors despite the reasoning that groundglass speed and a sensible shutter speed should rub it out of the image.

Genuine groundglass artifact.

Sensor noise.


Genuine groundglass artifact.

In certain lighting conditions, there may be tiny flashes or to borrow from night-vision speak, scintillations in the groundglass image, momentarily visible as the individual peak or "grain" moves into a position where the individual "grain" renders a pinpoint "flash".

Their intensity may not be strong but enough to change the rendition of the image that particular "grain" is conveying in that instant.

Go into Photoshop or similar. Zoom into the image until you can see individual pixels. Because of electronic trickery through the pipe from sensor to recording, each pixel may not be a faithful rendition of each camera sensor pixel. There is often more than one sensor as in 3 x CCD, 3 x CMOS or pixel shifting going on.

You will observe slight variations in the image in areas where a uniform rendition would be expected, like sides of motor vehicles, sky or walls. These variations may be observable as unevenly shaped pixel groups of a common shade or colour, in the ballpark of about 20 or so, compared to macroblocking from camera compression which may be more tidily defined as a square.

I assume these to be groundglass artifacts.


Sensor Noise.

I am informed that all sensors generate noise in the image. Just how evident it is depends on how much gain you are demanding from the sensor.

In the zoomed-in Photoshop view, sensor noise may be apparent as much smaller pixel groups.

In normal use, with 1/4", 1/3" sensor/lens combinations and their inherently deep depth-of-field, the sensor noise may be buried in the detail clutter of the subject being shot, such as leaves, grass, skin texture, wall texture, pinpoint reflections on vehicle panels,

The groundglass image rendition to the sensor contains broader and gently graduated variations of the image in areas of soft focus. Sensor noise will become more apparent in this image. This was quite apparent in the image from a PD150 and not necessarily a bad thing aesthetically. I even filtered down and gained the camera up to make it more apparent.

It is less apparent in the Z1 image and even less so in the EX1 image. The scale size of each pixel relative to the image area of HDV and HD is smaller. Gaining up with HDV and EX HD does not work due to the more aggressive compression scheme which reduces sharpness to maintain frame rate when individual image frames passed to the processor vary too much.

There. That's my pet theory on the matter.
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Old July 11th, 2010, 07:51 AM   #21
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Hi Bob - awesome explanation.

The DSLRS have an amazingly clean image and colour correcting does not introduce noise issues in my experience. The adaptors can be tricky as the grain pattern makes clean CC harder. The adaptor-less footage with the same camera also has noise in it but is not the same texture or substance. The grain is there - from the adaptor mainly. I have used first light from Cineform to CC and the ground glass speckles are clear to see. In good light this is no problem. In low light it is not good at all because the grain form the adaptor plus sensor noise exacerbates the pattern.

The DSLRs do lack some sense of depth though if you can get my meaning. yes you can get shallow DOF but is kind of like the sigma foveon images create an image with apparent depth and the canons (Bayer pattern) produce a flatter image.

The adaptor images have this impression of grain and depth that I find mimics film better IMHO.
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Old July 11th, 2010, 12:03 PM   #22
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Henry.


Interestingly, a few years back when P+S Technik marketed the Mini35 for MiniDV cams, they published a technical article on their website.

Their description used the term "non-coherent" image to describe the film rendition of an image and the Mini35 rendition of an image.

My paraphrase and probably inaccurate summary of the analogy they drew is that the non-coherent image is "as if" a film camera shoots an image in reversal film and this image is then rendered instantly viewable to the eye via the video camera.

A film camera lens conveys an image to film which once processed, is visible. The projector or telecine is a means of lighting and enlarging the image such so the eye can comfortably see it.

In both processes, film camera and groundglass adaptor there are the two basic stages.

It is this generational separation of the subject from the video camera sensor which was regarded as conveying the essence of a filmed look to the video camera image.

P+S first ventured into groundglass relay of images in making a groundglassed director's viewfinder for 35mm optics, which could be coupled to a video camera for creating instant reviewable footage of setups before film was committed. Moving the groundglass was the next step to the 35mm viewing system becoming an origination system in its own right.

Interestingly, according to some history published, I think on cinematography.net??? P+S Technik were not the first to employ this technique. It was apparently done in the UK in the late 1950s or so with tube video cameras but not progressed. Ex-ARRI P+S Technik engineers advanced the process to the next level and produced equipment to build qualities and optical standards of the film cameras they built and serviced.

The prices they needed to charge placed their 35mm adaptors out of reach of many people.

Then along came Agus Casse in Guatamala, with a sanded clear spacer disk from a CD-R retail pack, the CD-R pack itself, a lens mount taken from a secondhand SLR camera, SLR lenses, a close-up lens, a disk motor from a CD player, some adhesive and the whole low-cost alternative was started for about US$20 if failing memory serves me correctly. Agus. If you are still around, please correct me if my memory is wrong. Then some people started building commercial versions.

There was speculation at the time as to whether P+S Technik would go after them for patent infringement or maybe attempt to injunct commercially purposed origination created with infringing adaptors. Common sense seems to have prevailed and there was no litigation. If anything, before the alternative commercial groundglass devices matured to second or third generations, people probably cut their teeth on the early ones or rolled their own and then moved on to P+S products which were solid and reliable.

Last edited by Bob Hart; July 11th, 2010 at 12:13 PM. Reason: error
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Old September 8th, 2010, 09:12 PM   #23
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Agus ...

"Then along came Agus Casse in Guatamala, with a sanded clear spacer disk from a CD-R retail pack, the CD-R pack itself, a lens mount taken from a secondhand SLR camera, SLR lenses, a close-up lens, a disk motor from a CD player, some adhesive and the whole low-cost alternative was started for about US$20 if failing memory serves me correctly. Agus. If you are still around, please correct me if my memory is wrong. Then some people started building commercial versions."
Agus was a high school kid when he made that adapter ... good question ... where is he and what's he doing? If you google his name, you get references to adapters but nothing on him.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 02:53 AM   #24
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About two years ago (I think) there was a move afoot to make a bit of a documentary or AV reference about the alternative 35mm adaptors. I contacted Agus Casse and he was willing to do an interview or submit one. Then the Canon cameras came out and the idea seemed to fade away.

His email via here might still be functional.

Last edited by Bob Hart; September 9th, 2010 at 02:54 AM. Reason: error
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Old September 13th, 2010, 12:48 AM   #25
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I'm directing a commercial in Sydney on Wednesday and although we are taking a 5D and GH1 for the timelapse shots, we are shooting the main part of the commercial on a EX1R and Letus Ultimate for many of the reasons listed above. So for the moment I still use 35mm adaptors for TVC's but that will probably change when the Panasonic AF100 arrives.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 05:01 PM   #26
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Thought I'd chime in with my take on this.

We own a Canon XH A1 + Letus Elite rig and I have a 5D Mark II also.

I use a lot of my gear for broadcast work as well as personal projects and the company I work for won't accept footage taken on the DSLR. We're given percentages on how much footage on the DSLRs are accepted by the networks and it's currently 20% for the independents, but 'preferebly none'

I've been told that broadcasters MUCH prefer us to use HD cams with Letus's than DSLRs. Reasons are unacceptable aliasing and artefacts, moire... Rolling shutter can be another issue, although it's in the hands of the filmmaker.

My Letus rig is a pain in the ass to set up compared to my 5D rig, but in the end it's worth the effort.

Maybe the issues mentioned above will get sorted out in the near future or not, I can't say. But at least for now, 35mm adapters are most certainly not dead.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 09:17 AM   #27
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I think the 35mm adapter IS on it's way out.

Between sub-$1,000 HDSLR cameras, near-35mm sized camcorders under $10,000 from Sony, Panasonic and of course RED, by next year who would ACTUALLY be investing $2,000+ in an adapter unless they already own their camera of choice?
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 10:08 PM   #28
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They are still a useful tool that exists today. You can go out and shoot with an adaptor and achieve a great result.

I shot a job recently with the letus, ex3, nanoflash. I had a 5D2 there as well, but the results were so much better from the ex3 camera that I barely used the DSLR.

As for future cameras... I am sure we will see some amazing things in the coming months - but until I can shoot with it, it is irrelevant.

Blog here on the above shoot: Blog
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 10:57 PM   #29
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agree ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Ruffell View Post
They are still a useful tool that exists today. You can go out and shoot with an adaptor and achieve a great result.

I shot a job recently with the letus, ex3, nanoflash. I had a 5D2 there as well, but the results were so much better from the ex3 camera that I barely used the DSLR.

As for future cameras... I am sure we will see some amazing things in the coming months - but until I can shoot with it, it is irrelevant.

Blog here on the above shoot: Blog
I have to agree with Ben here. The 35mm adapter is very useful and while great cameras are on there way ... I think these adapters will still be very useful. I have SGBlade and have used it to great effect with the ex3 and the nanoflash.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 11:28 PM   #30
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Does time fly when you are having fun? Looks like it was an enjoyable gig. Alas I am of an age where the fat would set in my joints at those temperatures.

My guess is your favourite shot is at about 00:47 on your vimeo clip.

I am wondering if you took a tumble with the camera when you were behind the tug? It says something for the robustness of the Nanoflash if you did. A disk based recorder would likely suffer a seized drive in that circumstance if the drive was running.

Last edited by Bob Hart; October 2nd, 2010 at 11:42 PM. Reason: error
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