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Old March 4th, 2006, 04:33 PM   #1
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Redrock M2 and XL2: MY first impressions

This is a post that I will be updating as I continue to learn and experiment with the M2 from Redrock Microsystems.

First off, they were excellent about getting it here in 4 weeks. Their shipping seems to be top notch and very well packaged (the $120 due to customs was a pain in the rear!).

Anyhoo, I was pleased to see how sturdy all their contraptions were, and the actual product seemed solid. I was a little dismayed at the lack of any PRINTED instructions on use. No handy diagrams or instructions about adjusting the backfocus (more on this later). Simply a URL with a few tutorials. I would have perferred a book, but what can you do?

Anyway, I soon realized how much set up there was to do. First, I had to remove the spinny GG and then use an allan key (inside the tight little box) to remove the rail adapter and add some shims. Took a few tries and half an hour or bashed knuckles, but I got it to the right height.

Now comes the tricky part... focusing. It is my understanding that the GG must be moved forwards or backwards to achieve Infinite focus (critical) and I suppose backfocus too. There are tiny screws called the "collets" under the GG, and we are supposed to remove the GG (easy to scratch) and loosen these screws a tiny bit and then slide the GG holder forwards or backwards (which way for what excapes me at the moment) by a millimeter and then tighten it all back down (evenly so the GG doesn't wobble).

Okay... that is done (theoretically, I still havent gotten the right allan key for the collets). Seems like that is all the set up :)

From my few early tests, the GG seems Top Notch and the construction and design is excellent. Some of the screws are overtightened at the factory and could use some muscle. Also, the rail-clamps seem overly tight and are a bit tough to slide on a 15mm rod.


I know this seems overwhelmingly negative, but I am happy with the product thus far, and I am sure as I learn to use it properly those consternations will turn to adulation...

More to come.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 05:17 PM   #2
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Redrock Micro M2

Second Impressions:

Well, they say you can't unmake a first impression. I beg to differ.

After a good night's sleep and some breakfast, the M2 is looking like the perfect little addition to my Video-making collection.

Now that I have adjusted it to perfection, the image quality is truly stunning. There is slight fall-off towards the edge of the frames, but no real vignietting, and the loss in light is almost nullified if using a 1.4 lens on the other side.

I'll post some footage soon... but I am impressed.

Matt
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Old March 5th, 2006, 08:08 PM   #3
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I hear ya Matthew. My first adapter footage was a bit of a disaster. Once I had things figured out and screened my first footage, I was struck by the images.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 10:38 PM   #4
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Hey Dennis, where in Ontario are you?
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Old March 5th, 2006, 10:44 PM   #5
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get any footage uploaded yet matthew? (one thing i just noticed... 3 users from eastern (i dont know if you guys from ontario consider yourself east or not) canada... with 3 different 35mm adapters.. and around the same amount of posts... cool..you guys want to meet up and have a shallow DOF party?)
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Old March 11th, 2006, 10:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Nayman
Redrock Micro M2

I'll post some footage soon... but I am impressed.

Matt

Hey Matthew,

It'll be great to see some of your footage. There aren't a lot of samples from the XL2 M2 combo on the RedRock site.

I just read the M2 fared very well in a comparison test on the set of the tv show "24." The testers were using the new crop of HD 1/3 cams, but the DP's were impressed the M2. The freeview article is at this link:

http://www.showreel.org/memberarea/
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Old March 12th, 2006, 02:17 AM   #7
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M2 / Xl H1

I did some fairly elaborate tests using the M2 combined with all the cameras mentioned in the Showreel article, and though it was not touched on specifically, the M2/Canon XL H1 combo (using the Canon factory lens) generated excellent results.

Taylor Wigton
DP, Los Angeles
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Old March 12th, 2006, 04:45 PM   #8
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You need to be a member (payment) to view the article.
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testing for 35mm adapter.
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Old March 12th, 2006, 07:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Mandy
You need to be a member (payment) to view the article.

Hello Leo,

Actually, it's free to view those articles. Yesterday, I saw a post from the Showreel publisher indicating there was a lot of interest in the articles, so they were made to be viewed as "freeview." I read them yesterday, and I'm not a member, yet. I may subscribe because there were a lot of interesting articles on the site. Just go to the "Cinematography" section and click on either of the two articles about "HDV on the set of 24." Pretty cool website!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylor Wigton
I did some fairly elaborate tests using the M2 combined with all the cameras mentioned in the Showreel article, and though it was not touched on specifically, the M2/Canon XL H1 combo (using the Canon factory lens) generated excellent results.
Hello Taylor,

Those were great articles. I enjoyed those very much.
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Old March 12th, 2006, 08:55 PM   #10
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Sorry Matthew. I just read your post from a week back. I'm about 16 hours northwest of Toronto :-)
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Old March 13th, 2006, 06:28 AM   #11
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Cool Dennis, we should get together some time...

Sorry I haven't posted any vids yet. Just got back from Goderich Ontario shooting some super 16mm so that has been consuming my life (and chequing account!). I haven't shot a tonne cause I am waiting on a 7" VGA LCD screen so I can Run&Gun, have an image flip, and be able to critical focus!

Keep your eyes on this post... I'll have something up soon...

Also, what is the best compression for net. I don't want to lose too much detail, and want to keep it anamorphic... anyone? Does WMP support anamorphic?
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Old March 13th, 2006, 07:12 AM   #12
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Windows Media Encoder supports any pixel resolution you'd like. I'd use 872x480 sqare pixels if you're just talking 16:9 anamorphic. For the sample footage I've been posting of late, I'm using 3000Kbps. WME's MPEG4 at 3000Kbps is pretty close (maybe better) than MPEG2 at 9500Kbps. So far no one's complained they couldn't see the clips.

If you're looking for more compact files, try 436x240 at 500Kbps.

And yes, if you're ever up on the North Shore, look me up!
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Old March 15th, 2006, 03:26 AM   #13
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Hi Matthew,

Any second impressions?
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Old March 15th, 2006, 07:29 AM   #14
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Second Impressions coming....

Need webspace to post footage!
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 09:58 AM   #15
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Hey Matthew,

So how goes the XL2/M2 testing?

Since there appears to be a lot of interest in a lower cost relay lens by many XL series owners, I was curious if you had had any contact with the RedRock guys about developing one for the XL series. I know there is discussion on the Cinemek forum regarding a future XL relay lens, and I know the Letus35Xl has a few sample images posted. Most people are pleased with the footage from the RedRock M2, so it would be interesting to see what those guys could do with a relay lens.

I appreciate all the info you post.
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