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Old March 30th, 2006, 03:40 PM   #1
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Mixing 35mm adapter footage and non-adapter footage.

I'm from NYC and I leave tomorrow to shoot a short film for in Holland.

I am going to be using a Letus35A adapter. I'm also using the Varizoom Navigator (like a steadicam). I find it more than tricky to keep focus when really moving on the stabalizer.

I'm thinking of not using the 35mm adapter on some following shots with the Navigator.

Do you think that there will be a hugh difference in appearence that I can't adjust for in post?
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Old March 30th, 2006, 09:00 PM   #2
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I have not used Quyen's Letus35 so my comments have no quality for the Letus35.

I have made my own device and have some observations about it.

If you mix Letus and non-Letus images, you may find a difference in sharpness and contrast.

You may find that for detail sharpness in your wide-angle shots, using no Letus35 may give you clearer images. In wide-angle images, you generally seek a lot more background detail in sharper focus. Your camcorder also can give you a much wider field of view than any standard movie frame 35mm adaptor can unless you use some seriously expensive 35mm lenses.

My personal preference would be to shoot direct-to-camera for wide shots, streetscapes, landscapes etc., where a lot of detail is wanted. Use the Letus35 for the closer work like interviews or the shots where you want to exploit that narrow DOF effect. You can reduce contrast and sharpness in post-production but you cannot realistically put back what is not there in a image.

I would avoid sun-across, extremely high-contrast, or into-sun situations. These may aggravate any tendency towards grain showing when you play with apertures for best lighting of your subject. Against the light with a good bounce lighting onto your subject from a reflector or added artificial lighting, the image can still look good, so there are always exceptions.

From a technical standpoint, my own device is not as pure a follower of the Mini35 process as others. To assist integration with non-relay footage, I have customised my groundglass a little with slight backpolishing for a little of the aerial image to come through. This gives more of a video look, confers a little more sharpness and yields less light loss.

The downside is some lighting situations have to be avoided to prevent a halo/ghosting effect on strongly lit out-of-focus objects in the image.

This is why my comments are unqualified relating to the Letus35.

I would not recommend you fit the Letus35 then go straight out on the job. With any relay device including the Mini35, it is a craft to be learned with much practice or lost work and frustration are sure to be companions.

As is normal when using any new appliance or film stock, I would go out and shoot extensive tests and aquire the reflexes with the camera-Letus35 combination that you need for your best intuitive and reactive work.

Given that you are leaving so soon and have no opportunity for practice and optimising the device or learning methods of enhancing the integration of direct-to-camera and relayed footage, I would recommend that you shoot duplicate direct-to-camera coverage of all your Letus35 shots.

Going at it, unprepared, so soon, will be neither respect for yourself nor a fair test of the device and you may well come out of this embittered for the experience.

There is a lot of un-invited comment in my post so ignore what is irrelevent. You are likely a far more accomplished practioner than I.
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Old March 30th, 2006, 10:05 PM   #3
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Would you be able to add artifical grain to match your non-adapter footage realisticly?
(if your footage has grain.)
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Old March 31st, 2006, 01:29 AM   #4
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New email noted. - Adding grain would seem to be a good idea. Maybe adding to both Letus and direct-to-camera footage.

Slightly off-topic, I've been seeing a few Aus made ads on TV over here lately which have a fixed grain artifact on them. I wonder if somebody in Aus is using a fixed gg home-made or one of the fixed gg commercial versions - or maybe somebody is simply being arty in After-Effects?
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Old March 31st, 2006, 08:15 AM   #5
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I mixed adapter and non-adapter footage all the time in my last short and it looked perfectly fine. I use the Intenscreen in my Letus which tends to have a more transparent grain artifact.
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