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Old January 9th, 2006, 08:01 AM   #1
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Letus35+FX1E+Gl2 review

Hi Guys,

A couple of month ago I bought a Letus35 and here are my conclusions:

I tried the Letus35 with both a Gl2 and a FX1 (both Pal models). I made tests with 3 canon fd lenses (28mm f2.8, 55mm f1.2, and 85mm f1.8).

Lets start with the Gl2 - as soon as I hooked up the Letus35 to the GL2 I was amazed with the incredible DOF, but pretty soon, I started realizing how much I had to sacrifice for the DOF (and wondered if it would be worth it). The GL2 is 6lux (barely a great low light camera) and its' image is naturally soft. With the letus35 hooked to it, it lost like 2 stops. Even in extremely well lit conditions, the resulting image was way too soft (a strange, almost blurry kind of soft). Maybe that is the look some people are going for, but not me. I tried all kinds of different camera settings, light conditions, CC and the image was always too soft and still too video like. I consulted Lee a couple of times and received replies almost immediately. He is a very very nice guy and the support is truly awesome. Unfortunately, the Gl2+Letus35 didn't work for me.

In the meanwhile I sold my Gl2 and bought a FX1E (very very sharp and very nice in low light). I bought a 72-58 step down ring and hooked the letus35 to the FX1 straight away. I thought that I would not have the same issues with the FX1 but sadly all the same happened again. Again, I used the same lenses and tried all possible conditions, but no go for me. The image still looked very soft and video like.

Another thing that I was not very please with was the place where the 58mm ring connects to the Letus35...it really feels like it'll come off if you move the camera too fast (I shoot a lot of run and gun, so this would naturally be important for me).

I visited the Letus35 website recently and read that there is a new version available (letus35A), which apparently uses a better achromat and already has a 72mm thread (for about 400 bucks)...but so far I didn't see any FX1+Letus35 footage that would make me want to buy it. I feel bad about it, because I feel that the letus35 could be a nice option to those who cannot afford more expensive solutions. More and more I'm convinced that what you pay for is what you get. I will save some more money and invest on the Guerilla35 (very very sharp, loses way less light, increases the cameras latitude...which really helps overcoming the FX1 "videonish"). Anyway, I hope that Mr.Lee can make some improvements on his product, because I feel it could have potential as a run and gun adapter and I know a lot of filmmakers could benefit from it.

Cheers,

Rafa
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Old January 9th, 2006, 09:58 AM   #2
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Couldn't you jack up the sharpness on both cameras before shooting the videos? To compensate for the softness of the lens?
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Old January 9th, 2006, 11:04 AM   #3
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I did that. Belive me. I tried it all.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 11:29 AM   #4
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Post some screengrabs.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 11:48 AM   #5
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I'm not home right now, so I don't have access to video samples, but when I get home I'll try to rember to post a 5 minute video test I did some time ago. Anyone knows where can I upload it for free?
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Old January 9th, 2006, 12:00 PM   #6
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There are a few weak points in the Letus adapter, but I think the biggest one is the GG--it's image is way soft. I'm replacing it with an Intenscreen as soon as it comes in the mail--I think that'll improve things a lot. Of course, its how it performs as "stock", not modified, that matters, so (I think I've mentioned this before) I wouldn't recommend the Letus for anyone who doesn't like to tinker around a bit with things.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 12:10 PM   #7
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I thought Intenscreen is not usable in Letus kind of adapters.
Isn`t that too big orbital movement of frensel focusing screen?
Dan knows better...
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Old January 9th, 2006, 02:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toenis Liivamaegi
Dan knows better...
Dan has been sharing some results and comparisons on his site long before any other commercial contraption took off (wax, shaking or spinning). Dan tried for a year to contribute some FREE education (for the uninitiated that is) in an attempt to save you hundreds of wasted hours and $ on cutting corners and also to save you from jumping to the first buzzing fly like fish out of the water on a sunny afternoon (excuse my plastic vision)

The "brightness comparison" album on my site is not there for me nor is any other test I have done.

I knew the result of them before I even got to this project. That is WHY I used a focusing screen instead of a GG. in the first contraption (Sept 2004 - with a flipped image)

Check the messages prior to Dec 2004: (how long should I grind the filter?, what grit and what-not). Hobby? Yeah is a lot of fun, but if you want competitive results.... One nice comment I red on this board (deleted or I just can't find it) was: "hey mister, what's wrong with you? we just want a great adapter for a decent price!

But...your wallet vote says I was wrong all along, so what else can I say?
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Old January 9th, 2006, 02:40 PM   #9
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But you're not bitter, right? :)
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Old January 9th, 2006, 03:07 PM   #10
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I used my Nikon D screen in the Letus for a while without any problems. I don't see why a beattie would be any different.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 04:20 PM   #11
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No Bill, I am not.
Ben, do you have frame from footage of a resolution chart?
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Old January 9th, 2006, 04:39 PM   #12
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A chart or screen grab with the D screen on would be nice.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 05:48 PM   #13
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The D screen got scratched up after trying it out on different adapters, so I threw it out. I'll tape a res chart once the intenscreen comes and it's on.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 11:11 PM   #14
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I can't help but think that Rafael has a back-focus problem like I did on my Letus35A. In addition to moving the 35mm lens forward and back to test backfocus, I recommend taking the Letus off the camera and hold it about 1/4" away from your video lens to see if it is easier for it to focus on the ground glass.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 11:40 PM   #15
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What camera do you use Marcus?
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