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Old December 4th, 2009, 10:30 AM   #1
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The Death of the 35mm Adapter

Enter the 1080P Full Frame DSLR The Canon 5D and now the 7D have only been on the scene for a short while, and now video shooters everywhere are ditching their EX1s, HVX200s and even their XHA1s for the affordable full frame DSLR. Indeed, many fortunes have been made by those manufacturers of the 35mm adapter, but Iím afraid itís all over now. Prices are falling, and itís no secret why. (Get the rest of the story on the ikan blog).

The Death of the 35mm Adapter ikan News Blog
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Old December 4th, 2009, 01:03 PM   #2
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Yeap. We could see that coming months ago... and it is clear that those manufacturers have to go to something supporting the DSLR now.

Great thing about being involve with the adapters, at least on the Nikon user side, all those lenses I collected adapted right to my 5D.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 01:22 PM   #3
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I wouldn't predict the end of the adapters just yet. They are still VERY useful, but prices will begin to fall to realistic price levels.

A 35mm Adapter on my EX1 can do a LOT lot of things a 5D/7D/GH1 cannot.

1. I can monitor my signals while recording in HD.
2. I have full peaking, histogram, and other focus and exposure aids.
3. I can mount Canon, Nikon, or PL mount glass.
4. I can record uncompressed HD out of the SDI port
5. I can record 16 bit audio without hacking anything
6. I can over/undercrank
7. I can shoot timelapse
8. I can record to multiple media simultaneously
9. I have built in ND.
10. I have at least 2.5 stops more latitude.
11. I can happily record for hours uninterrupted.

Clearly there is a penalty in weight, expense, and mobility for these capabilities and one must weigh which is more important for what they do.

The DSLRs are certainly coming along very quickly and bringing a lot to the game. But I think this article may be overstating things just a bit...
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Old December 4th, 2009, 02:29 PM   #4
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I think that a lot of the major DSLR issues are going to be sorted quite quickly (in the next 12 months or so).

We can expect to see a lot of the issues you mentioned Perrone being tackled, in particular compression Vs Raw issues & sound. Overcranking has already been tackled (7D & 1DS MKIV and soon the 5D), and hey my 5D does a pretty good time lapse at the moment;)

I think investment now in good third party gear like the Red Rock DSLR bundles will be worthwhile when the DSLR cameras catch up with and exceed the capabilities of the prosumer ones like the EX1. I think the 35mm adapters are great and yes with the right camera they can deliver quality that the DSLRS can only dream of but not for much longer.

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Old December 4th, 2009, 02:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Doyle View Post
I think that a lot of the major DSLR issues are going to be sorted quite quickly (in the next 12 months or so).
While I agree with you that they will get sorted out, I think your timeline is VERY optimistic. I'd suspect over the next 2-4 years, not 1 year. Some of those issues aren't really that easy to solve. Like the monitoring one and sending different resolution to two different places. That may be (and likely is) a hardware change.


Quote:
Originally Posted by George Doyle View Post
We can expect to see a lot of the issues you mentioned Perrone being tackled, in particular compression Vs Raw issues & sound. Overcranking has already been tackled (7D & 1DS MKIV and soon the 5D), and hey my 5D does a pretty good time lapse at the moment;)
Hey, I said NOTHING about RAW. I said uncompressed HD. BIG difference. And tell me about the over/undercrank. I didn't know the 7D did that. I am just really starting to learn about this camera.


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Originally Posted by George Doyle View Post
I think investment now in good third party gear like the Red Rock DSLR bundles will be worthwhile when the DSLR cameras catch up with and exceed the capabilities of the prosumer ones like the EX1. I think the 35mm adapters are great and yes with the right camera they can deliver quality that the DSLRS can only dream of but not for much longer.
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Last edited by Perrone Ford; December 4th, 2009 at 03:38 PM.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 03:36 PM   #6
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Interesting discussion, I'll chime in with a few recent experiences.

I was a perfect candidate for a 35mm adapter but ended up getting a 7D because of the low light problem. I've got a JVC GY-HD100 and it's not great in low light. I have a few short film projects coming up and I really wanted that shallow DOF but there was just no way it was going to happen because of all the low light locations. Put a Letus in front of that camera and it's gonna be gain up city. The cost and size of the rig was also a big concern - an HD100 with a letus or redrock on it looks like a bazooka, hand held would be a real pain.

I was waiting for the Letus relay lens to come out, this would keep the camera to a much more manageable size not to mention allowing in a bit more light, but it's $2699. Add $2000 - $4000 for the letus 35mm adapter and it was just getting out of my price range.

Right about the time the relay lens came out I started hearing about the 5D/7D. Started checking out some stuff on Vimeo, especially Phil Bloom and was really impressed. When I found out the 7D was around $1800 bucks with a lens I was pretty curious about this DSLR stuff.

I went to one of our cine rental houses that just got a 5D in and they were nice enough to let me try it out. I was really blown away, once you get your brain wrapped around how the camera works - and it took a lot less time than I thought it would - you see how this DSLR stuff is really exciting for low/no budget film making. I bought a 7D as soon as they became available from B&H photo. I've used it on two paying gigs so far. What I did not expect is how my clients have been reacting to the footage. They LOVE it. They just think it looks so cinematic, they don't know why it looks like it does they just love the look. In fact one client just called me for a project specifically because of my work with the 7D.

I know that these DSLR cams have issues but I think if you know the limitations and know hot to avoid or minimize them you can get some amazing looking video.

A recent anecdote. A local ad agency here in town just shot a bunch of slow motion product shots with a Panasonic Varicam and 35mm adapter (I think it was a PS technik). The footage came back with a problem, they can see the grain from the ground glass in the slowed down footage. It was not visible during the shoot but back in the edit suite it's pretty objectionable. There was some discussion that they should have shot all this with the 7D.

I think it's interesting that a $2000 dollar camera is seriously being discussed as the better option when compared to a $60,000 dollar rig.

Wow, sorry I just wrote War and Peace here - figured I would chime in with my recent experiences but my Redrock Captain Stubling just showed up so time to shoot more stuff with my 7D -:)
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Old December 4th, 2009, 03:51 PM   #7
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Interesting comments Burk. And of course quite viable.

Let's contrast that with a larger budget production group who has ample light. The deliverable is high end HD (DiscoveryHD, NatGeo, etc.) Do you shoot the 7D or EX3 with adapter and a Nanoflash at 280Mbps I-Frame? What if you are shooting local sports? Broadcast news? Documentary on location with no do-overs? What do you shoot?

I completely agree that if the 5D/7D is right for you, then it's one HECK of a tool. And frankly, I wasn't much of a believer in them until I did this recent shoot. That was the first time I could really see how to potentially work around some of the more tricky issues. But it was no panacea on set. Trying to get follow-focus on the 28mm prime was a BEAR. End the end we went without. Trying to keep the codec from failing when we had to go handheld and off the stabilizer was no joke. Having to have the focus puller work blindly wasn't the best scenario either.

Nothing insurmountable, but reading this and other forums has me really wondering if people are just reacting to the hype before really evaluating whether these cameras will work for them. Like the guy this week who was frustrated trying to find his zebras. None of the people on our crew had ever seen a 5D when we got it 2 days before filming. When we plugged in our monitor for the first AC, there was a moment of disbelief when the LCD went black. We worked around it but....
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Old December 4th, 2009, 06:22 PM   #8
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As someone who purchased an adapter right before the 5D craze swept in, I can say that I've had my second thoughts. But the fact of the matter is my EX-1 is a video camera, with all the technology to go with it. It is not a stills camera with video capabilities added on as a value-added marketing feature targeted to a discrete group of professionals (photojournalists). I think it's naive to say the V-DSLRS will one day exceed cams like the EX-1. They are two different creatures.

Cameras are tools. I can hammer a nail with a screwdriver even though it wasn't designed for it. But I don't think V-DSLRs signal the demise of the adapter anymore than the availability of podcasting will put radio stations out of business in the immediate future.

Having said that, adapters are just work-arounds that add elements to the imaging train...and that's never optimum. The VDSLRs eliminate that. But many people still prefer adding elements to a train when the terminal end (camera) is more advanced than the stills cameras. They see the cost outweighed by the benefit of having a fantastic camera to make images with versus having a hybrid camera at the terminal end.

As long as video cameras (bare) make better images than VDSLRs and have features like audio, zebra, peaking, picture profiles etc etc, people will attach adapters to them. I don't see the VDSLR exceeding the video camera because it's still photography tool. I envision a whole new class of camera.......oh, isn't that the fabled Scarlet?!?
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Old December 4th, 2009, 06:52 PM   #9
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I happened upon this blog post after my response

ProLost - ProLost Blog about resolution of DSLRs
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Old December 9th, 2009, 02:05 AM   #10
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I'd take an ex1 over a 7d any day of the week. 1000 lines of non moire resolution(even with an adapter on) is still hard to beat. Even before the dslr evens the playing field with the ex1, the scarlets will be out, so....
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Old December 9th, 2009, 02:49 AM   #11
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I'd take an ex1 over a 7d any day of the week.
And there is the rub. You can buy and lens 4-5 7D cams for the price of the EX1 with an adapter. In terms of superior image and pro features, yea the EX1 + adapter wins running away. But in terms of bang for the buck, assuming you aren't recording anything critical, the 7D is darn hard to beat.

For narrative film, it's the best thing going, and I'll probably pick one up. The 35mm scarlet will just cost too much for me. And I'm kinda sad about that.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 10:49 PM   #12
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I imagine you guys have probably already seen this but just in case:

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-eo...5dmkii-7d.html
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Old December 28th, 2009, 12:55 AM   #13
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I haven't noticed any 35mm adapters dropping in price. Which ones?
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Old December 28th, 2009, 03:44 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
For narrative film, it's the best thing going, and I'll probably pick one up. The 35mm scarlet will just cost too much for me. And I'm kinda sad about that.
You should be able to tell wonderful stories using the 2/3" Scarlet, although a kitted out interchangeable lens version won't be cheap compared to a DSLR.

I won't repeat that list of 2/3" feature films, not counting the TV drama.
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Old January 18th, 2010, 09:14 AM   #15
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also an opportunity?

I think the fact that a young student could pick up a used DV camera and used adapter for a few hundred bucks is tremendous (granted not a high end camera or adapter). I learned a lot about light and lenses and the whole photographic process by using these adapters.

That being said the future does seem to be in the DSLR. Hopefully soon we will see full frame at a lower price point, more frame rates to extend the slow motion capability, codecs with higher data rates for more robust images. But for now, the 7D is an amazing improvement over the quality and workflow I was able to achieve with my camcorder+adapter setup.
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