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Old November 15th, 2005, 06:00 PM   #1
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SG35 - Arrived, tests & review to follow

My SG35 adaptor arrived this morning.. have just had a play using canon Mk1 EF 50mm f1.8 and stock 18 - 55 EFS Digital lenses.

On first impressions the quality is fantastic, all footage captured on XM2/GL2 , cam setting manual f1.8, 12Gain...(indoor lighting) Lets just say with good lighting and a sturdy tripod/hand this unit will deliver!

I have been in contact with Wayne and a few issues need to be ironed out which he is aware of ( being his 2nd customer - there was always going to be)..
I will post a review with samples shortly

Quinn
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Old November 15th, 2005, 06:12 PM   #2
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It's great to hear the SG35 is officially released, good job Wayne.

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Old November 15th, 2005, 06:59 PM   #3
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Bravo Wayne!
I can't wait to hear more positive reviews. Keep it up.
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Old November 15th, 2005, 07:00 PM   #4
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Neat, certainly an option by the sounds of it! Is all that gain necessary though? Wouldn't it make more sense to open the iris more versus raising the gain or am I missing something? Personal preferance?

I'm kind of new to the whole 35mm thing, I've built my own recently and I'm still trying to get things ironed out as far as settings go.
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Old November 15th, 2005, 07:53 PM   #5
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well im sure his iris was opened up all the way plus the gain on top of that... when shooting indoors with adapters sometimes you gotta crank a little gain in there depending on how much light your GG loses.
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Old November 15th, 2005, 08:37 PM   #6
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It also depends heavily on the natural sensitivity of your camcorder. I tested the XL1 vs. my VX2000 and there are about 4 or 5 f-stops difference. The FX1/Z1 vs. the VX2000 is almost exactly 3 f-stops.

The FX1 can be used outdoors at night with moderate added light. I did lighting and assistant camera on a short that used the FX1 and it worked with little or no gain with the equivalent of a 400w key 8 feet away going through a 4x3 diffusion frame. The background lights of the city were still showing at 0db gain and everything looks great at 9db. I would prefer to not go above 12db gain on the Sony camcorders, even though they have the HAD ccds with clean gain.

Now, add 1.5 f-stops of loss through the adapter/35mm lens and we would be pegged at 9db for the whole shoot and maybe even resorting to 12db on the FX1. With the VX2000/PD150/VX2100/PD170 cameras, no gain with moderate lighting should work just fine, even with no gain. Use the XL1 family and you will have almost no image exposing outdoors at night using the 35mm adapter, even at full gain. The GL2 may be a bit more sensitive, and indoors (with reflective surfaces of walls/ceiling/furniture) with bright practical slight is easier than outdoors, so it should be okay for that sort of situation.

Also, the lens Quinn used is f1.8 and f1.4 lenses are available that would help a bit. They cost a bit more, but I got a 50mm one on ebay for under $100. Wide angle lenses that are fast(wider aperture) are still going for about $250 on ebay.

I can't wait for my Letus35A to get here! With the excellent sensitivity of the VX2000 and an f1.4 lens, I will be able to shoot just about anywere/time.
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Old November 16th, 2005, 04:47 AM   #7
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Thanks Quinn and everyone else for your positive feedback.

I am working closely with Quinn and my other customers to improve on my design. Its feedback from people like Quinn that really make a product shine.

Im working closely with my 'HD100' customer to get the SG35 working with JVC's superb HD cam.

Thanks,
Wayne.
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Old November 16th, 2005, 05:33 AM   #8
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Jack: i agree, i'm not a fan of using gain at all but as it was indoors it actually started out at 18db i knocked it down a few pegs and 12 looked 'fine' .. pun intended! It was very filmic - if that makes sense, not super sharp (the bane of digital at times) but soft and slightly grainy - perhaps due to the added gain.

Cody: you got it.. just needed that extra boost..

Anyway, the first real issue i have come across is the base plate area! -
(XM2 height ( lense) v's adaptor alignment.. ) basically the camera needs to be a lot higher and the unit(SG35) raised so the rods pass through under the unit.. As it is, the unit has to be at its lowest point so much so that the rods are back toward the camera and the unit drops down past the rods ( totally removing the purpose of the lense support idea.) this needs to be addressed Wayne - a little hard I know as you donít have the camera..). Perhaps its a little harsh as the unit itself is great, and not having all the cams under the sun to test with - maybe its up to the user to develop their own positions - i dont know..!
Also the base actel (hard plastic) is quite sharp round the edges, sanding would be a good idea, i was thinking last night to use an old gillette razor and shave off the sharp edges.. not tried but is an idea..
anyway it is in this (Base /Rod/Support) area that modifications are required - just my honest thoughts.

Unit:

The unit is VERY quiet..! (variable speeds .. yes! for what? i dont really know yet but nice to have the option..even at high speed its just a slight hum..) This is great for indoor shooting having a quiet unit, but Could the cam mic be used.. ? I think not to be honest as it will definately pick up slight vibrations of the motor.. i have a rode video mic and will test further tonight the sound. perhaps ofsetting the mic somewhat will be fine, up to the user and situation i guess.

My units GG had a crack in it which worried me at first - i contacted Wayne ( great guy and swift support) and he and i came to the conclusion that this could have happened in transit as the unit was not packed/protected sufficently - this will be addresssed in future units! He is sending me a new GG today and will aid in the fitting..

Weight - ok.. its not feather weight, but can be hand held, its a matter of getting used to it, yes its bigger than the cam , yes its awkward to handle - but who cares when you see what it (they - Quyen, Agus etc) can do for your filmaking..

Looks - just like the redrock unit - whoops can i say that..! it looks great, in matt black it suits the lenses i have, but lets be honest - who cares about looks.. ha ha..!

Power: 8 AA batteries.. this is something the user will have to address.. its not really that cumbersome -the package is small, and can be taped or adhered somhow to the baseplate/rods when handheld - not to the tripod as the cable is too short. The pack gets warm.. real warm! My pack nestled comfortably in between the 15mm rods loosely.. i guess once you have the unit and base all set up you could pretty much fix it permanently to an area that suits and is close enough to power the unit( obviously).


Construction: hes done a great job..! And it will only get better after other user reviews..A solid unit, strong, and the images speak for themselves if all else, that the most important issue here, the rest of this post is just informative. Wayne has researshed the optics and that is his selling point i think.. size, looks etc come second..

So my only gripe is the base and rod support - very important i feel as a large lense will need support, and this issue actually affects the overall balance (h/h and tripod) of the complete package..

I will post some set up shots and screen grabs soon..

Cheers

Quinn
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Old November 16th, 2005, 06:00 AM   #9
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Quinn,
Thanks for the detailed post.

I'll get you out the modified baseplate at the end of the week.

Concerning balance of the unit, I am now offereing an optional extra quick release sliding plate. This will allow you to shift the weight of the unit and camera back and forth to find th best balance.

Also, i may cut the battery pack size down to 4AA's. Im more then sure that the full 12 volts are not needed, and 6 volts will be fine. The variable speed is simply for when you close down the SLR apterture and/or set the shutter speed higher there is more chance of seeing the ground glass, therefore you may need to set it spinning faster. The key is to set it as slow as possible for any given shooting situation.

Thanks,
Wayne.
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Old November 16th, 2005, 10:17 AM   #10
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Sounds cool
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Old November 16th, 2005, 04:05 PM   #11
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Pictures of the SG35

to see a few random images go to this link..

www.photobox.co.uk/album/2140331

Quinn
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Old November 17th, 2005, 04:19 AM   #12
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Thanks for the pictures.

Wayne.
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Old November 17th, 2005, 10:53 PM   #13
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Certainly hope to see the FX1 footage soon. How does this compares to Letus35 or M2?? There are so many poping up in the market now!!
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