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Old November 30th, 2005, 08:11 PM   #1
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Me and my Letus35A

I wanted to post my review of the Letus35 for all of you considering purchasing one.

I got it very recently on Nov 23rd and it is the 35A. I ordered mine in black with 72mm thread mount, the better achromat, and the Nikon mount.

I opened up the box and did what most of us would do -- I immediately mounted it on my Sony Z1, intrigued to see what kind of noise would be inherent from the ground glass approach. I have to say I was suprised and I really like the look the adapter can provide. To me it's sort of a grainy S16mm look and I like it and would not hesitate to use it.

I played with the adapter generally having fun playing with various settings and being very pleased with my purchase until I pressed the All-Scan function. There, along the right and left frame edges was the vibrating edge of the ground glass. This, to me, is unacceptable, and I immediately plugged it into an HDTV set to double check. There, again, on the right side this time was the edge of the ground glass. Needless to say, this is unacceptable. Going with my S16mm motif, if I edge cropped to 1.66, I could probably get rid of the GG but that is not a serious option.

I contacted Quyen about this, suggesting a higher power close up lens would be needed as there is no combination of zooming in closer and maintaining focus that I could find to work. He wrote me that a higher power close up lens would yield too much curve and color aberration and suggested that I move the whole assembly 5-6 mm further away in order to make it work. He offered to extend the tube if I sent it back, but I already understood that this wouldn't work having already tried by hand.

That said, I thought I would put my 35-70mm zoom lens on the adapter and see how that looked. I zoomed into 70mm focused and pulled back to around 60mm and the picture was immediately soft. My understanding was that the backfocus was not set correctly as the zoom was not maintaining its focus throughout its range. Quyen assured me that he takes backfocus very seriously and this could not be the issue but in the same email suggested I unglue the ground glass and move it to find the sweet spot. This didn't make sense to me. I emailed Quyen back regarding that and haven't received a response as of yet.

As for build quality, I got the adapter prior to the metal lens mount option. The plastic lens mount as it is, is also not up to quality. If you're going to purchase from Quyen, insist on the metal lens mount. Quyen mentioned that it was available but it was unclear if he meant that I could purchase it as a separate add-on and put it together myself. Additionally, the lens mount side of the tube was cut unevenly which didn't inspire a ton of confidence in it for me.

Overall I like the adapter, I think it has a relatively elegant, simple design and I think it provides a very nice option to achieve different looks. Unfortunately, as it stands now, I'm not sure what the course of action is to address my concerns regarding the inability to focus without the edge of the GG in frame. Quyen has been very responsive regarding my questions and comments -- it's been said before, but he is good at customer service.

In short, if you own a Z1, it doesn't appear to me that this adapter is ready for your camera yet.


mg

**I could post a pic of my LCD showing the ground glass in frame, but I'm not quite sure how to do it**
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Old December 1st, 2005, 01:01 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Groff
**I could post a pic of my LCD showing the ground glass in frame, but I'm not quite sure how to do it**
Import 5 sec of footage, save a frame (jpeg or gif), post it.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 03:42 AM   #3
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Even without an image we understand what you're saying. The best review I've read so far.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 05:23 AM   #4
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Oh man, i bought the letus35a and i am testing it on the Z1e on saturday. - i hope i don't have the same problems. Will keep all posted.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 05:42 AM   #5
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Same here. I have a FX1E and also can't zoom past the edges, which are visible. There is already distortion and aberration and after adding a achromat (i also own a M2 and used their achromat) it only gets worse.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 07:06 AM   #6
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I have also received my Letus35A for my Z1 and am waiting for my step down rings to arrive tomorrow for testing. The news here is a concern, I hope Quyen will take the time to address any problems publicly for the Sony HDV brigade.

Aside from that the unit is nice and solid, delivered promptly, but the GG was loose when it arrived, two corners are chipped, and it seems to have chipped the center of the achromat in the process. Dissapointing start...here's hoping for a more successful day tomorrow plus with a few grabs for those interested.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 12:25 PM   #7
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I am waiting to see if anybody have a sucessful setup with Z1/FX1 and Letus35A? Many told me they have Z1/FX1 when placing orders, so I assume there would be some successful with Z1/FX1 since I don't receive any complaint till now.

Your concern is my concern and I will try my best to solve it.

Let me share something I learned lately. I thought DVX100(a) is the one with most trouble, I bought 1 of the DVX100 myself to test it out. To my surprise, there are at least 3 different DVX100(a) versions out there, I mean the way it focus vs zoom. (could be more than that, but just to compare the 3 that I know)

My DVX will focus on the GG at z63 and the focus part is 09. When I try to zoom in just a little more more, I cannot keep the focus at 09 and I can see when the zoom still at z63, the focus start shifting really fast to 14. 2 DVX users came to my place and brought their DVX100a over, his can zoom in at z68 and can still focus at 5. Yesterday, I have to help 1 of my customer on the phone using the 2 set of data on the 2 cameras that I learned and his camera also has different focusing set. When he zoomed in at z65, he said the best he could get is 10 on the focus. My question is: why there are too many different things on just DVX100(a) cameras. In my opinion, I think Panasonic see the problem and update their camera from time to time.

Go back to Z1/FX1, I have to make my adapter to work on them instead of telling Sony that their cameras have problem focusing using Letus35A :D. Even though I know this is something that Sony will address and fix later (like DVX100 did)

I cannot afford to buy every camera to test out, that's why I need betatesters. If you are a betatester and have problem with your setup, please follow my instruction closely to solve the problem. There is a small tolerance, which is about 1-2mm can make the adapter useless. My knowledge on troubleshooting based on the data I received not necessarily your camera but you have to listen to me helping you out of your problem, don't just say you have tried. I have many customers about packing the unit and send it back for repair and after I walk them thru by phone/MSN/email, they are good to go.

More powerful achromat will give a lot of color abberation and distortion. I have them here with me and I did try it on the dvx100.

Matthew Groff

If you want me to troubleshoot your unit, you have to follow my instructions. Email me and I will try to walk you thru.

The Letus35(A) designed based on minimum focus, the next one will based on infinity focus and I hope it won't give me a lot of headache, thanks.

Quyen
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Old December 1st, 2005, 01:02 PM   #8
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Hi Quyen,

Why can't you rent the camera? It should be far cheaper than you buy it.

I am surprised about your business practise. I mean to let the customer tell you the problem.

Just a suggestion.

Regards
Leigh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quyen Le
I am waiting to see if anybody have a sucessful setup with Z1/FX1 and Letus35A? Many told me they have Z1/FX1 when placing orders, so I assume there would be some successful with Z1/FX1 since I don't receive any complaint till now.

I cannot afford to buy every camera to test out, that's why I need betatesters.Quyen
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Old December 1st, 2005, 01:30 PM   #9
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I think that's a little harsh. As the buyers of a new product, which we all know is not factory made to any exacting standards, we must appreciate that in the quest to be the first on the bandwagon we must sacrifice a little. Do we expect Quyen to rent out every camera made just to get the adaptor to fit? I didn't think so.....I don't mind beta testing the product (that is not stated as being supported on his website) , if it means it will become better for me and the rest of the community. As long as we have this dialogue with the maker then I believe this will be true.

In fact, Quyen's "business practise" is fantastic, Hhow many manufacturers give you direct dialogue with the man who actually puts the units together? Quyen is always here to respond to questions, I don't doubt he recieves many emails and has to walk users through the same process over and over and ...... ZZzzZzZZzzz fair play to him for having the patience.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Leigh Wanstead
Hi Quyen,

Why can't you rent the camera? It should be far cheaper than you buy it.

I am surprised about your business practise. I mean to let the customer tell you the problem.

Just a suggestion.

Regards
Leigh
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Old December 1st, 2005, 01:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leigh Wanstead
I am surprised about your business practise. I mean to let the customer tell you the problem.
That is the whole idea behind the beta tester program
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Wayne.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 02:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Bristol
how many manufacturers give you direct dialogue with the man who actually puts the units together?
I don't know about others. But I do, I manufacturer stabilizer FYI.

Regards
Leigh
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Old December 1st, 2005, 02:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Kinney
That is the whole idea behind the beta tester program
Then raise another question. If pay the money to buy the unit and face the situation that the unit does not function as expected as seller never test against that camera and the issue can't be resolved to satisfactory, can the full amount of money be refunded and the goods returned?

TIA

Regards
Leigh
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Old December 1st, 2005, 02:33 PM   #13
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Well,
Only Quyen can answer that with his own testing program. Knowing Quyens reputation for customer service, im sure there will be no problems.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 02:36 PM   #14
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I just want to clear up any misinterpretations of my original post. I was/am a beta tester of the Letus35A and for that I still owe Quyen footage that I promised him. I do, however, want to try and clear up any problems with the unit before I go ahead and shoot the requisite footage so as to most clearly illuminate the benefits of the product.

My status as a beta tester is why I am not blasting the product. As I said, I think Quyen has hit upon a novel way to produce this imagery. And as I also mentioned, I think he has done a very good job with customer service. This product is not mature and anyone who has read DVInfo through the evolutions of Quyen's offerings should understand as much.

That said, I think Quyen has the makings of what may be the price/performance leader of the "homebrew" style 35mm adapters.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 03:00 PM   #15
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Quyen,

Did I read that right? The better achromat of the 35A is worse for colour abberation and distortion??!? Did you mean it is better?
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